Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Chili Garlic Green Beans


A friend and I were just reminiscing about a plate of fiery hot, garlicky Sichuan green beans we shared at Big Bowl. As much as I love green beans tossed with olive oil, sea salt, and toasted almonds or with fresh herbs and butter, our conversation made my mouth water for the oh-so-wonderful combination of ginger, garlic, red chilis, sesame oil, and soy sauce. In my quick Asian-inspired dish, I used dried red chilis, but I think fresh red chilis would add a nice texture (and some color) to the dish. Flash frying the green beans allows them to retain their color and snap, but if you prefer to boil the green beans, do so until they are crisp tender.


Chili Garlic Green Beans
1 lb green beans, ends trimmed and discarded
2-3 dried or fresh red chilis, chopped
1 tbsp garlic, minced
1 tbsp ginger, peeled and minced
1 tbsp canola oil + 2 tbsp for frying
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup rice vinegar, unseasoned
2 tbsp hosin sauce
optional 1/2 tbsp hot chili garlic sauce
for garnish 2 tbsp peanuts, chopped or 1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds

Prepare greens by trimming ends. Heat 2 tbsp canola oil in a wok over medium high heat. Once oil is hot, add green beans. For crunchy beans, fry in batches for 1-2 minutes. Do not overcrowd the beans in the wok or they will steam. For soft, wrinkled beans, fry in batches for 5-6 minutes until shriveled and slightly browned. Remove with slotted spoon and drain in a paper-towel lined bowl. Repeat until all green beans are used.


If you don't want to fry the beans, you can boil them until crisp tender. Bring water to a boil, add green beans and cook uncovered for 6-7 minutes. Drain and plunge beans into an ice bath to stop cooking for about a minute. Drain and pat dry. Set aside.

In a medium skillet, heat 1 tbsp canola oil over medium high heat. Add chopped red chilis. Stir, frying for 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium. Add ginger and garlic. Fry until garlic becomes fragrant and lightly browns, about 2 minutes. Add seasame oil, toast for about a minute.

Add soy sauce, rice vinegar, and hosin sauce, stir to combine well. Quickly toss in green beans and mix to coat well. Remove from heat.

Serve garnished with chopped peanuts (or toasted sesame seeds). Serves 4 as a side, but seriously, I could probably eat a pound of beans like this.

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