Sichuan Pan-fried Green Beans with Ground Pork
Tender, blanched green beans are pan-fried with an aromatic mix of garlic and ginger combined with ground pork. While the variation often served at restaurants deep-fries the green beans I opt to blanch and pan-fry them to keep them from taking the turn into extremely unhealthy. I first had this dish at Din Tai Fung in Shanghai and have been obsessed ever since.
This dish is typically served as an appetizer but I love serving it over steamed rice for an easy and complete dinner. For a vegetarian take on this dish omit the pork and for a gluten-free version opt to use tamari rather than soy sauce.
Kosher salt, as needed
½ pound frenched green beans
2 tablespoons peanut oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons freshly ground ginger
½ pound ground pork
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons sambal oelek
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
½ teaspoon toasted sesame seeds (optional)
Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the green beans and blanch until the green beans are tender and bright green, about 3 minutes. Drain the green beans in ice-cold water to stop the cooking process.
Heat a wok over medium heat, oil and heat through, add the garlic and ginger and sauté until fragrant, about 10 seconds. Add the pork and allow to brown, breaking apart the pieces with a wooden spoon, about 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the meat to a medium bowl, leaving as much oil in the wok as possible. Set the meat aside and increase the heat to medium-high.
In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, sesame oil, sambal oelek and sugar and set aside.
Add the green beans and sauté until tender and slightly blistered about 2 minutes. Add the pork back to the pan along with the sauce, stir to combine and let cook for an additional minute. Sprinkle the sesame seeds over the top if using and remove from the heat.
Add the green beans to a mixing bowl and serve immediately either as a side or with rice for an entrée.
Serves 4 as a side or 2 as an entrée.