With seeds germinating in the garden, I’ve begun to panic that our freezer will still be full of last year’s bounty when summer arrives. This dish nearly marks the end of our green beans, but we still have tons of corn, a couple quart bags of wax beans, one bag of peas, and countless bags of berries, cherries, and peaches in addition to canned tomatoes, pickles, chutneys, salsas, and jams. The green beans would have been gone months ago if I had parboiled them long enough before they hit the freezer (I’ve also heard that pressure cooking for about 1 minute works too). They have a somewhat squeaky texture that isn’t very pleasant. Although these were probably the best preserved of the bunch, the dry frying masked the undesirable texture beautifully.
Dry frying involves cooking the green beans in a little bit of oil over high heat until they turn brown in some spots. It causes the beans to dehydrate and wrinkle slightly. The seasoning (garlic, ginger, etc.) is added after the beans are done and cooked only briefly.
Szechuan green beans, adapted from a recipe by Rhonda Parkinson
1 lb green beans, ends trimmed
1 Tbsp garlic, minced
1 Tbsp ginger, minced
2 scallions, sliced thinly – white parts only
1/2 tsp chili paste
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbsp peanut oil (or vegetable oil)
Heat 1 Tbsp oil in wok over high heat. Add green beans and dry fry until they brown and shrivel slightly, about 6-8 minutes. Add a little kosher salt while frying. Set aside. Add remaining tablespoon of oil to wok and add garlic, ginger, and scallions. Stir fry for a few seconds and add chili paste, soy sauce, sugar, and salt. Add green beans back to wok and mix everything together. Serve immediately. We served them with salmon steaks and coconut rice.
Note: If you use frozen green beans, don’t bother cooking them first. They will cook in the pan when they fry.