Published January 1, 2007.
This tangy, spicy dish offers an exotic change of pace from everyday green beans. We set out to overhaul its foreign ingredient list and simplify a troublesome technique.
Traditionally, Sichuan green beans are deep-fried in a wok filled with oil, but this procedure can be greasy and messy.
We wanted to achieve Sichuan green beans' traditional crinkled, chewy texture and intriguing spicy tang, but without the mess of deep-frying.
After trying and discarding roasting as an option (the beans took a long time to cook and we had more dirty pans then we wanted), we turned to a traditional stir-frying method. This delivered crisp green beans, but without the desired chew or deep flavor. When we let the beans stir-fry longer than usual, they became charred in places, giving them the deep, caramelized flavor we wanted. To create the right sauce, we combined dry mustard, dry sherry, a little sugar, ground white pepper, some chopped scallions, and a drizzle of sesame oil, then added simple ground pork, which worked fine as a replacement for the shredded bits of Chinese barbecued pork often added at restaurants.list of recipes