In Sichuan, if some one is obstinate, he is called a green bean. This is because green beans are often hard and difficult to cook. Green beans are often overcooked because the Sichuanese believe they lightly cooked beans are not good for health. Therefore, when cooking these beans they should be dark green, not bright, and the skin should be puckered and dry.

  • Green beans (200 g)
  • Pork, minced (50 g)
  • Ya cai (fermented bean sprouts) (15 g)
  • Salt (2 g)*
  • Cooking wine (10 g)*
  • Soy sauce (2 g)*
  • Gourmet powder (1 g)*
  • Sesame oil (1 g)*

* Amounts are approximate.

Preparation:

  1. String green beans. Break into 7-10 cm segments.
  2. Remince ya cai.

Cooking:

  1. Heat oil for deep-frying. (A lot of smoke should be rising from the center of the wok.)
  2. Place green beans in oil. Cover with a strainer to prevent splattering.
  3. Remove green beans when puckered and tender to the touch.
  4. Pour off deep-frying oil.
  5. Add cold oil to wok for stir frying.
  6. Stir fry minced pork over high heat until oil is clear.
  7. Add cooking wine and soy sauce (for color). Stir fry briefly.
  8. Remove pork and set aside.
  9. Return beans to wok.
  10. Add additional oil, pork and ya cai. Stir fry.
  11. Add cooking wine.
  12. Add gourmet powder, salt and sesame oil.
  13. Remove from heat and serve.

Dish checklist:

  • Are the beans tender and puckered?
  • Is the dish well salted?

Alternatives: Most vegetables with a low water content lend themselves well to dry-frying including bamboo shoots and potatoes. Dried chilies, Sichuan peppercorns and Sichuan peppercorn oil may be substituted for ya cai and sesame oil.

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