Thursday, December 07, 2006

Sichuan Green Beans

From Cook's Illustrated January/February 2007

Excellent, spicy, and messy (but worth it)! This is one of the recipes I tested for CI last summer. --Pamela

Serves 4

To make this dish vegetarian, substitute 4 ounces of shitake mushrooms, which have been stemmed and minced, for the pork. If using mushrooms, you will need to add a teaspoon of oil to the pan in step 3 before adding the mushrooms. The cooking of this dish goes very quickly, so be sure to have all of the ingredients prepped before you start. Serve this dish with steamed white rice.

2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon dry sherry
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/4 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 pound green beans, stemmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
1/4 pound ground pork
3 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through garlic press (about 1 tablespoon)
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
3 scallions, white and light green parts, sliced thinly on bias
1 teaspoon sesame oil

1. In small bowl, stir together soy sauce, sherry, sugar, cornstarch, white pepper, pepper flakes, mustard, and water until sugar dissolves; set aside.

2. Heat oil in 12-inch non-stick skillet over high heat until just smoking. Add beans and cook, stirring frequently, until crisp-tender and skins are shriveled and charred, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer beans to large plate.

3. Reduce heat to medium-high and add pork to now empty skillet. Cook, breaking pork into small pieces with heatproof spatula or wooden spoon, until no pink remains, about 2 minutes. Add ginger and garlic; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, 15 to 20 seconds. Return beans to pan along with sauce. Toss to combine and cook, stirring, until sauce is thickened and beans are coated, 5 to 10 seconds. Remove pan from heat and stir in scallions and sesame oil. Serve immediately.

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