AKA – a recipe to use up a TON of Asian condiments sitting neglected in your fridge.
Lately, I’ve had a thing for green beans. Not sure why. I mean, they are so average. Predictable. Every day. I think there is something about their crunch that is winning me over (yeah, I’m one of those people who BARELY cooks vegetables. “Crisp tender” is probably overcooked to me. “Crisp crisp” is more like it).
So enter Szechuan Green Beans. I will readily admit to never having had them at a restaurant. Supposedly, they are normally deep fried – which seems a sorry fate for my beloved green beans. Then you mix in some ground pork, sauces, a little heat and some chopped peanuts for more crunch. Um, what’s not to love here folks?
I FLIPPING LOVE THESE THINGS.
I came across a super flavorful recipe from Guy Fieri. But he deep fries them and I just can’t bring myself to doing it. Plus, he doesn’t include any pork. So that’s two strikes.
Then I came across a Cook’s Illustrated recipe and they just stir fry the little guys on high heat till they get nice and shriveled and burnt. I thought that would do nicely. But I like Guy’s sauce. A LOT. So that stays, but I use the method (and the pork!) in the Cooks Illustrated recipe.
Give it a try. It comes together fast (we are talking 20 minutes tops including prep) – so it’s perfect for weeknight cooking. I usually serve over rice to make a full meal.
Szechuan Green Beans
Adapted from Guy Fieri and Cook’s Illustrated
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 lb ground pork
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 ounce hot chili garlic sauce
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon mirin or white wine
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1 pound green beans, cleaned
2 tablespoons chopped peanuts
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves (optional – I usually forget this part)
1. Heat oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over high heat until just smoking. Add beans and cook, stirring frequently, until crisp-tender and skins are shriveled and blackened in spots, 5 to 8 minutes (reduce heat to medium-high if beans darken too quickly). Transfer beans to large plate.
2.Reduce heat to medium-high and add pork to now-empty skillet. Cook, breaking pork into small pieces, until no pink remains, about 2 minutes. Add garlic and ginger; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, 15 to 20 seconds.
3. Quickly add soy sauce, chili sauce, rice wine vinegar, hoisin, mirin, sesame oil and cilantro. Return green beans to pan. Toss to combine.
4. Serve immediately. Garnish with chopped peanuts and parsley.
Ms. Pantry Raid