The first time I tried dry-fried green beans or string beans I was in Shanghai at Din Tai Fung restaurant. It is a well-known chain throughout Asia (and there is one in LA too for your lucky Rodeo-Drive types). Dim Sum there is to die for and my kids and their friends loved to go there for dinner. The highlight for the kids were the handmade soup dumplings, which you could watch being made in the kitchen through an observation window. Hand made soup dumplings were amazing, but for me, salty, crispy dry-fried green beans were the real show stopper.
Now that I am back in the US, I found a great, authentic Dim-Sum restaurant about 40 minutes from my home in Northern NJ, and of course there are many options in NYC, just a 1.5 hour bus ride away. But for those between-times when I want to munch on something savory, spicy and vaguely good for you (vegetables cooked with pork and oil still count, right?) I turn to my recipe for homemade dry-fried green beans, which I created based on what I tasted at Din Tai Fung and other restaurants around Shanghai.
Dry-Fried Green Beans
These dry-fried green beans are a classic spicy Sichuan dish and a great addition to any Dim Sum or Chinese meal.
- 1 lb french green beans
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1/4 lb ground pork
- 1 Tbsp minced garlic
- 1 Tbsp minced ginger
- 4 Tbsp chopped pickled mustard greens
- 2 Tbsp Shaoxing wine
- 1 tsp ground Sichuan peppercorn (or more, to taste)
- 2 Tbsp broad bean chili paste (toban djan)
- 2 tsp soy sauce (optional, to taste)
- dried red chilies to taste
Begin by rinsing and trimming the tough ends from the green beans. Dry thoroughly. In a wok, heat the vegetable oil until smoking. Carefully add the green beans and fry, stirring frequently until blistered and browned. Remove from the wok to a plate covered with paper towel and set aside. Carefully drain the oil from the wok, leaving just a small amount remaining on the surface.
Heat the wok again and add the pork, breaking up and stirring until golden brown. Add the garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the chopped pickled mustard greens and the cooking wine and stir well. Add the ground peppercorn and chili paste and check for seasoning. If salt is needed, add a small amount of soy sauce, to taste. Remove from the heat and sprinkle with dried chilies for color (if you can take a little extra heat). Serve alongside rice and your favorite Chinese dishes.
Some of the ingredients may be unfamiliar to you, but rest assured that they can easily be found at an Asian market, or simply order from Amazon, using the affiliate links below the recipe.