This is our take on a popular Chinese dish from the Sichuan region, in Western China. The dish is typically made by deep-frying the beans until the skin of the beans begins to shrivel before being tossed through a dry-fried pork mixture flavoured with fermented chilli paste, Shaoxing wine, and Sichuan peppers. For a healthier alternative we've decided to omit the deep-frying stage, instead opting to dry-fry the beans until slightly charred yet still crispy. We've also swapped the pork for a vegetarian-friendly mince made purely from shitake. The results? You'll just have to try it for yourself.
Serves 2-4 main/side|15 mins prep|5 mins cook
2 tbs of rice bran or any neutral oil
400g French green beans, ends trimmed
50g dried shitake mushrooms, rehydrated in boiling water
1 tbs fermented chilli bean paste
1/2 tsp hot chilli powder (optional)
1 tbs Shaoxing rice wine
1 tbs pickled radish, finely chopped
2 tbs roasted peanuts, crushed
Salt and sesame oil to taste
1 tsp toasted Sichuan pepper, crushed
Step 1. Heat a large wok over med-high heat.
Step 2. Once smoking, add the green beans. Dry-fry (no oil needed) the beans until slightly charred but still crispy. Remove and set aside.
Step 3. Meanwhile, drain the rehydrated shitake mushrooms before placing into a food processor. Process until the mixture resembles a coarse 'mince'.
Step 4. Add oil to the wok, followed by the shitake mushroom mince. Stirfry until golden and dry, then stir in the chilli bean paste.
Step 5. Add the Shaoxing wine & beans; followed closely by the pickled radish and roasted peanuts.
Step 6. Season to taste with salt, sesame oil and Sichuan pepper.
Step 7. Serve with steamed rice.
- Dried shitake are found in the Asian aisle of most supermarkets. If unavailable, substitute dried mushrooms for 100g of fresh shitake or button/swiss mushrooms.