Tuesday, February 27, 2007
Sichuan Green Beens
This has become one of our favorite easy meals at Chez McGary. You can prep everything earlier in the day - and believe me, there isn't much prep - and then stir fry it up when you are ready to eat. This is a very authentic tasting dish. I urge you to try it....TRY IT RIGHT NOW!
You can make this vegan/vegetarian by substituting either ground seitan or frozen crumbled tofu for the pork. See note at the bottom of this entry for more details.
2 tablespoons soy sauce (preferably tamari or shoyu)
1 tablespoon dry sherry
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoons dry mustard
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 pound fresh green beans, ends trimmed, cut into 2 inch pieces (I sometimes use a combination of sugar snap peas and green beans)
1/4 pound ground pork (or tofu or seitan, see below)
3 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
3 scallions, white and light green parts, sliced thin (optional)
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
white sesame seeds
1. In a 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 nonstick skillet until just smoking. Add beans and cook, stirring frequently, until crisp-tender and skins are shriveled and blackened in spots, 5-8 minutes. If the beans darken too quickly, reduce heat to medium high.) Transfer beans to a large plate or bowl.
3. Reduce heat to medium-high and add pork to now-empty skillet. Cook, breaking pork into small pieces, until no pink remains (or until lightly browned if using seitan or tofu), about 2 minutes. Add garlic, and ginger and cook (you might need to add a bit more oil at this point if not using meat) and cook, stirring constantly until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Stir sauce to recombine and add it along with the beans to the pan. Toss and cook until sauce is thickened, about 5 - 10 seconds. Remove pan from heat, stir in scallions (if using) and sesame oil. Sprinkle generously with sesame seeds. Serve immediately and ooh and aahh about how good it is. ( we serve it with brown rice)
Tofu note: Tofu that has been frozen works beautifully here. Freeze firm tofu and thaw. Squeeze water out of it and then crumble it and use it as you would the pork in this recipe. Throw the remainder into a chili or stew.
Seitan that has been finely chopped or ground works very well here. I use relatively unflavored seitan that I make myself. Leave me a comment if you need that recipe.