The dish exemplifies the Salty-Savoury Flavour (咸鲜味), one of the 24 official complex flavours in Szechuan cuisine while “干煸” gān biān is a popular cooking method used. The texture of dry-fried vegetables is similar to that of grilled ones, with a hint of smoky flavour. Seasonings are added after dry-frying. The method works to remove the initial water content in the ingredients so as to help them absorb the seasonings. To make the best Szechuan dry-fried green beans, you need pick good-quality French beans with a tender and crispy texture. Pork can be replaced with minced shiitake mushroom as a vegetarian alternative.
- 400g fresh green beans （French beans）, ends removed and cut into 8cm long sections四季豆
- 2 cups cooking oil for frying
- 2 teaspoons light soy sauce生抽
- ½ teaspoon caster sugar白糖
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon Szechuan Ya Cai 芽菜 (it is essential for the dish. You should be able to find it in any Asian market/wet market or online store)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced， 蒜末
- ½ tablespoon minced ginger，姜末
- 1 teaspoon Szechuan peppercorns花椒
- 3-5 dried dried red chili, roughly chopped 干辣椒
Minced pork and marinate (discard this portion if you are vegetarian.)
- 25g minced pork猪肉末
- 1 teaspoon corn flour生粉
- ½ tablespoon light soy sauce
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ tablespoon minced ginger
- Marinate minced pork with all the seasonings in a small bowl for around 15 minutes just before cooking. Prepare the green beans and drain with paper.
- Heat up oil in a small deep pot until you can see light smoke on the surface over high fire. Add drained green beans by 3 to 4 batches to fry over low to medium heat. Fry 1 batch for about 2-3 minutes. Use chopsticks to stir the beans occasionally during the process. They will be well deep-fried when there are obviously withered. Transfer out on a plate. You can place paper towel on the plate to help filter the extra oil.
- Scoop 1 tablespoon of cooking oil from the pot and place in a wok. Be carefully during the process as the oil is extremely hot. Add minced pork in the wok and fry until for 1 minute until aroma and then add ginger, garlic, Szechuan pepper, ginger, Ya Cai (if you happen to have some in kitchen) and dried red chili. Fry for another 1 to 2 minute. Return green beans along with salt, sugar and light soy sauce. Fry until everything is well combined. Serve hot!
- Ya Cai 芽菜is a pickled vegetable and quite salty. Remember to reduce salt accordingly.