Sichuan green beans

Szechuan green beans

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This is a popular vegetable dish across China, and can easily be made vegetarian by switching the pork out for shitake mushrooms. The beans are cooked by ‘dry frying’ (gan bian), a popular technique throughout the Sichuan province, which entails frying the beans in oil for around 5 minutes or until they are wrinkled and blistered. They are then tossed with typical Sichuan flavours of chilli, ginger, garlic and of course Sichuan pepper.

1
Pour about 3cm deep of vegetable oil in a pan or wok and heat up. Once hot, fry the trimmed green beans until just starting to wrinkle – about 5 minutes. Do not overfill the pan, you can work in batches
2
Drain the beans on kitchen paper and pat down to remove some of the oil
3
Empty the wok of leftover oil, leaving about 1 tbsp in the pan. (You can reserve and re-use the oil for any future frying you may do.) Add the ginger and garlic and fry until soft but not coloured
4
Next add the chillies and sichuan peppercorns, followed by the pork mince then the soy sauce, Chinese rice wine and sugar
5
Cook on a medium-high heat, stirring all the time to evenly caramelise the pork
6
Once the pork is nice and caramelised, return the beans to the pan to reheat. Toss to combine with the pork
7
Taste and season with salt if needed, then serve hot
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