Thursday, February 5, 2009

Gan bian [Sichuan dry fried] string beans

Prep time: 20
Cook time: 15
Yield: 2 servings

1.5 T peanut or cooking oil
1 t sesame oil
3/4 lb Chinese longbeans (aka yardlong or long beans) or just plain green beans and/or cabbage to make up total of 3/4 lb
1/4 lb protein (optional: can use bitter melon or eggplant. If using meat, see Techniques.txt re: cutting)
2 T brine shrimp, rinsed (optional)
6 cloves garlic, minced (increase to 10 cloves for BJB)
3/4 cubic inch fresh ginger, peeled and minced (don't use galangal; if only bottled ginger is available, use no ginger)
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1 t chili garlic oil paste (increase to 2 t for BJB)
3 T Sichuan preserved vegetable (radish), rinsed and minced
1 T dark soy (none if protein has been marinated in dark soy)
1 T dry sherry or rice wine (optional)

mince garlic, ginger, & radish (can use small food processor), then mix with
rinsed shrimp and chili paste
rinse beans & dry (Important: Dry thoroughly or you'll get speckled with burn marks as they fry)
snap or cut the ends off the beans, remove the string, then cut into 2" lengths
put protein in a bowl by itself (marinade in dark soy, if desired)
heat wok until it smokes, then add 1 T cooking oil (dry-fry means little oil)
When the oil smokes, toss in beans
stir & toss beans until they begin to shrivel up and get some browned spots (~7-9 min, as the water cooks out the flavor of the beans is enhanced and the texture changes from crisp to chewy and tender...cook too long and they get mushy)
about 3-4 min before the beans are done, toss in the cabbage, if any
remove bean mixture and drain in colander or on paper towels
turn heat back on full & add 1/2 T of cooking oil
When oil smokes, dump in the garlic mixture
stir until aromatic then dump in protein, if any, and cook until almost done
toss in the scallions, then toss the beans back in, drizzle in the soy sauce & wine & cook until protein is all done
salt to taste
turn off the heat, pour in the sesame oil, stir and serve

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