One of my favorite dishes on the menu of a Chinese restaurant is also one of the most ubiquitous, Schezwan green beans. In my opinion, Wild Ginger in Seattle makes the very best version, at least the best I have ever eaten. There is a recipe floating out somewhere on the internet and I have made it in the past to rave reviews, but it has a large list of ingredients including minced pork. I have been looking for a version which can be cooked quickly mid-week and is vegetarian. I found it in the cookbook Lucky Peach presents 101 Easy Asian Recipes, the same book which contains my Yum sauce.
This recipe is easy, quick, nutritious, and delicious. I found all the ingredients in my pantry. Sambal oelek is a ground chili paste, substitute chili flakes if you don’t have it. The recipe calls for a wok but I used a large skillet and it worked out fine. Don’t use one that is non-stick because you have to fry the beans at a high temperature.
Dry-Fried Green Beans
- 2 tablespoons neutral oil (I used grape seed oil, you need one that can handle high temperatures)
- 1 pound of green beans, trimmed but left whole
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger
- 1/4 cup of chopped scallions
- 1/2 teaspoon of sambal oelek or Sambal (or 1/4 teaspoon chili flakes)
- 1 tablespoon of soy sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- Kosher salt to taste
- Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a wok or large frying pan over medium heat. Leave it in the pan until it starts to smoke.
- Add the green beans and stir-fry until they start to shrivel and turn brown (see photo below), this will take about 8 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
- Turn the heat to high and add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil to the pan. Add the ginger, garlic, and scallions. Stir fry for a few seconds, then add the sambal or chili flakes. Add the green beans, soy sauce and sugar to the hot pan. Toss until the beans are coated with the sauce and heated.
- Season to taste with salt and serve immediately.