Bright, blistered, charred green beans tossed with a meaty, chili-flavored oil that’s the definition of ‘umami’. You’ve ordered the Chinese fried green beans at your favorite restaurant, but now you can make Sichuan Dry-Fried Green Beans, a healthier version, at home.
Did you know those delicious Sichuan green beans you order from the local Chinese restaurant are deep-fried? While they taste SO amazing, they’re no longer a healthy option. I was thrilled when I learned about dry-frying – without the oil. And that it was pretty easy. And I can eat Sichuan green beans any time I want them and still be healthy! Score!
WHAT IS DRY FRYING?
Dry frying is a unique Sichuan cooking technique where vegetables or meat are stir-fried for a longer time in very little to no oil giving them a smoky flavor and a blistered, withered surface that has an intense, pungent flavor.
WHAT INGREDIENTS DO I NEED TO MAKE THIS RECIPE?
- Green beans – buy them fresh and trim the ends and pull off the string or buy them already trimmed to save some time.
- Sesame oil – toasted or untoasted, this will add a ton of that familiar flavor.
- Ground pork – like most Asian dishes, the meat is just a condiment and used for flavor. You could also use a bit of ground turkey or beef.
- Scallions – use the white part and the lighter green part. Slice them thinly for the best flavor.
- Garlic and ginger – buy the paste found in tubes in the herb section of your grocery for another time saver.
- Dried red Sichuan chili peppers – you could also use dried red pepper flakes. Start with ½ teaspoon.
- Ya cai– this is a fermented, pickled mustard green that is then dried. It adds a sweet tanginess to the dish but can be omitted. If you omit the Ya Cai, add 1 teaspoon of rice vinegar and 1 teaspoon of brown sugar instead.
- Rice wine – this can be found in the Asian or International aisle of your grocery.
- Soy sauce – Bragg’s amino acid, coconut aminos, tamari can all be substituted
- Granulated sugar to bring out the flavor of the beans
A healthier version of your favorite takeout, these Sichuan Dry Fried Green Beans are the smoky, savory, and sweet side dish you’ve been craving.
1 pound green beans, trimmed
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sesame oil
¼ cup ground pork
3 scallions, white and green parts, sliced thinly
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
1/2tablespoon finely minced ginger
2 dried red Sichuan chili peppers
2 tablespoons ya cai (omit if you don’t have it available)
1 teaspoon rice wine
1 ½ teaspoons soy sauce
½ teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon sesame oil
Place a clean, dry wok on the stove over high heat until it just starts to smoke.
Toss in the green beans and salt.
Lower the heat to medium-low and sear the beans for about 20 minutes, stirring often, until you see small scorch marks on the beans.
Once the beans become tender-crisp, remove them from the wok and set them aside.
Increase the heat under the wok to medium-high.
Pour 2 tablespoons of sesame oil into the wok and crumble in the raw pork.
Add the scallions, garlic, ginger, and chili peppers. Stir for about 30 seconds.
Add the ya cai and toss everything together. Cook, stirring for another minute.
Slide the green beans back into the wok.
Make a slurry with the rice wine, soy sauce, sugar, 1 teaspoon of sesame oil, and cornstarch. Stir until smooth and pour into the wok. Toss to combine.
Increase the heat to high and stir-fry for 1-2 minutes.
Remove the green beans to a serving platter and top with the pork mixture.
- Category: Side Dish
- Method: Dry Fry
- Cuisine: Chinese
Keywords: Sichuan dry fried green beans, Sichuan food, side dish, green beans, takeout, vegetables, spicy food