Wednesday, September 22, 2010

putting the "Sichuan" in the green beans

We made a Cook's Illustrated version of Sichuan green beans this evening; for some reason, their Asian recipes always eliminate what they call the "foreign ingredients." (I suspect that anyone who's interested enough in cooking to attempt their recipes is more than capable of going to Penzey's and the asian section of the grocery store.) Anyway, I didn't change much in the recipe other than to replace the things that they used to replace Asian ingredients.

One of the substitutions I made was to use szechuan peppercorns instead of the called-for ground white pepper; I wasn't sure how much to use, however, and I think I didn't add enough. Next time - more pepper! The other substitution was that I used mirin instead of sherry, but I just did a straight-forward replacement there. It was great, and we're both looking forward to tweak it a bit in the future.

Sichuan Green Beans with Pork
adapted from Cook's Illustrated

  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • 1 Tbsp mirin
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp (or so) szechuan peppercorns, freshly ground
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (either use very spicy ones next time, or increase the amount to 1/2 tsp)
  • 1/4 tsp dry mustard
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 lb green beans, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1/4 lb ground pork (they suggest substituting 4 oz shiitake mushrooms to make it vegetarian; I think this would be a great addition in general)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tbsp ginger, minced or grated
  • 3 scallions, sliced thinly
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
To make the sauce, whisk together the soy sauce through dry mustard.

Heat the oil in a large skilled over high heat. Add the beans and cook until tender with slightly shriveled and blackened skins (6-9 minutes). Transfer to a large bowl.

Reduce heat to medium-high and add the pork. Cook, breaking up the pork, until no pink remains. Add the garlic and ginger and continue stirring for another 30 seconds or so. Add the beans and the sauce (stirring if it looks like it started to separate) and cook until the sauce looks thickened a bit (just another few seconds). Remove from heat; add the scallions and sesame oil. Give it a final stir, and serve.
serves 2 as an entree

1 comment:

  1. This recipe sounds really yummy! I have some frozen green beans from our garden and I plan to make this with them. I just stumbled on your blog and love it. My binder is black and it use to have a 'No Farms, No Food' sticker on it but the binder fell apart from use and I had to replace it (twice)! I thought if I recorded everything I cooked for one year I would have all the recipes I'd ever need but no, one's cooking continually evolves and so...I too started a blog: Sheep, Spinach and Strawberries. I'm so going to make this! Thanks.