Szechuan Dry Fried Green Beans is a healthy Chinese Restaurant side dish specialty.
Serve these one-pan vegetarian Sichuan style green beans with fried rice and seasoned pork mince.
What is this dish?
Dry Fried Green Beans is a popular Chinese side dish form the Szechuan province in China.
It's called dry fried because the green beans are stir-fried with the least amount of oil.
The people in Szechuan (also spelled as Sichuan) are known for cooking up spicy food with red pepper and evidently for their use of the mighty Sichuan peppercorns.
The beans are fried on high heat in a wok or large skillet for a short amount of time until cooked.
By doing that the beans get shriveled but remain crispy, which adds a beautiful texture to the dish.
Sichuan green beans are commonly served at Chinese restaurant buffets as one of the many Asian side dishes.
You can prepare these spicy oriental green beans at home within 15 minutes and serve them with Chinese chicken, fish, pork and beef meals.
What is Szechuan pepper?
Szechuan Pepper (or Sichuan peppercorn) is an interesting spice.
Its sharp numbing flavor resembles that of a regular black peppercorn but Sichuan pepper is not spicy per se.
It has more complex flavors.
You can purchase Szechuan pepper online, in wholefoods or in any Asian neighborhood store.
I think it's a very underrated and beautiful spice and it can be added in all kinds of Asian and Indian dishes.
In fact, Sichuan Pepper is a very common ingredient in Indian curries.
Just know that there are a few varieties of Szechuan Pepper.
Andrea from Vietworldkitchen.com shares her knowledge about the Szechuan pepper varieties.
I'm using a green variety which we purchased fresh and dried in the sun.
You can also use the red (pink) Sichuan Pepper variety for this Asian green beans recipe.
How to make it?
You will take about 15 to 20 minutes to prepare this Chinese green beans recipe.
Keep all the ingredients ready including the stir fry sauce.
The green beans need to be washed and the end clipped off.
You will need to work quickly over high heat so that the Asian style green beans cook through properly.
That means stir fry all the time and don't leave your green beans alone on the heat.
Heat up a large shallow pan or wok over with oil.
Add your sliced ginger and cut garlic with the Szechuan peppercorn to the oil.
Stir cook the spices over high heat for a minute.
Place your green beans into the pan and start to stir cook on high heat for a minute.
Pour the previously prepared stir fry sauce over the green beans while maintaining high to medium heat.
Stir cook the beans with the sauce.
Do that for about 8 minutes or until the green beans are done.
The beans should be cooked but still, have texture.
I like them slightly crunchy and not soggy.
Garnish with red chili flakes and sesame seeds.
I like to use black and white sesame seeds to create a contrast.
Add extra red pepper flakes for super spicy green beans.
Serve your Chinese green beans stir fry hot with a main course meal or other Asian sides.
Asian side dishes
Dear Reader, with what do you serve your Szechuan green beans recipe?
Please feel free to share your thoughts and ideas with us in the comment section further below!
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Chinese Szechuan Dry Fried Green Beans Recipe
For the Chinese Stir Fry Sauce:
To stir fry:
- Red Chili Pepper Flakes
- Sesame Seeds *see Notes
- First mix together all the stir fry sauce ingredients. That includes sugar, Chinese cooking wine, rice vinegar, and soy sauce. Keep aside for later.
- Heat up a large shallow pan or wok and add the oil. One tablespoon is enough because we will dry fry the green beans.
- Add the sliced ginger and cut garlic to the pan, as well as the Szechuan pepper seeds and stir fry on high heat for a minute.
- Continue to add in the green beans and stir cook for a minute.
- Now pour the stir fry sauce over the green beans while keeping everything on high to medium heat and quickly stir fry everything so that the flavor are incorporated.
- Continue to stir cook on high heat for about 8 minutes or until the beans are cooked through.
- Garnish with red pepper flakes and sesame seeds and serve still hot.
- It's important that you keep the sauce ready and the green beans cleaned, and with the ends trimmed, because you will be working very quickly during the stir fry process.
- I like to use white and black sesame seeds as a garnish contrast. You can use both or either one.
- If you want to keep it less spicy, reduce or omit the red pepper flakes
- DOn't omit the Szechuan pepper in the recipe, they give a lot of flavors. You can reduce if you like but I don't think they are spicy hot.