November – Dry Fried Green Beans

November – Dry Fried Green Beans

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.

Sambal oelek

Sambal oelek

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
  1. 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.
  2. 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.

    Dry-Fried Green Beans

    Dry-Fried Green Beans

  3. 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.
  4. Season to taste with salt and serve immediately.
Dry-Fried Green Beans

Dry-Fried Green Beans

Delicious!

 

May in the Kitchen – Green Beans with Spinach and Seedy Mix

May in the Kitchen – Green Beans with Spinach and Seedy Mix

Green beans with spinach and seedy mix

Green beans with spinach and seedy mix

The seedy mix will add a crunch to many vegetable dishes. The green colors in this dish are very peaceful and the seedy mix adds flavor and crunch. The inspiration for this recipe came for the cookbook “Seven Spoons“. It is based on an Indian green bean subzi or vegetable dish. Feel free to use the black mustard seeds called for in the original recipe, or add some black mustard seeds to the seedy mix. I think that would be rather nice and I might do that next batch.

Green Beans with Spinach and Seedy Mix

  • 1 lb of green beans, trimmed and cut into 4 inch pieces if large
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1/2 package of baby spinach or a large handful, washed and dried
  • 1 large shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons of seedy mix
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. When boiling, add the green beans and blanch until bright green but still very crisp. For my beans that was 4 minutes.

    Green beans

    Green Beans – blanched

  2. Drain the beans in a collander and run cold water over to cool. Spread out on a fresh tea towel.
  3. In a large non-stick skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallot and saute gently for about 5 minutes until softened.
  4. Add the garlic and continue to saute, stirring, for another minute.
  5. Add the drained green beans to the pan and cook until tender, perhaps another 2 to 5 minutes.
  6. Turn off the heat in the pan and add the spinach. Stir until wilted.
  7. Add the seedy mix plus salt and pepper to taste.

    Seedy Mix

    Seedy Mix

Transfer to a warm serving dish prior to serving, this is also good at room temperature.

Green beans with Spinach and Seedy Mix

Green beans with Spinach and Seedy Mix

Just in case anyone needs another suggestion for the seedy mix, I’m taking this to Fiesta Friday #67 to share with Angie and the other guests.