This recipe for Dry-fried Green Beans and Bamboo Shoots is based on a very popular Sichuan dish called ‘Dry-Fried Four-Season Beans’. In that particular dish, the long green beans are first deep-fried in order to make them deliciously crisp-tender, and then pan-fried with other ingredients. Here, bamboo shoots get the same treatment as the beans, and then they are both stir-fried together with ginger, chili, and umami-rich reconstituted dried shrimp.
To make this dish, you can just use the whatever fresh green beans you usually come across in your local grocery or supermarket.In Sichuan cookery, there is a preference for a variation of the very long bean sometimes known in the west as the ‘yard-long bean’, but the more common ‘runner beans’ will work just fine. Just make sure you use fresh and not frozen as they just will not adapt well to the double-frying technique used in this recipe.
As for the Bamboo shoots, if you have the good fortune to live near an Asian market, or other source for fresh ones in the size called for here, then go ahead and use them. If this is not possible, then try to find ones that have been packed in brine, as were used in this recipe. You may be able to locate them in a Chinese grocery, or other Asian produce shop in your community, and you can generally find them for sale online.
- 10-12 thin Bamboo Shoots;
- 1 large handful of fresh Green Beans, neatly trimmed but left whole;
- 8 – 10 dried Shrimp (use the larger, slightly soft variety if possible);
- 2 tbsp. Rice Wine;
- 2 tbsp. Soy Sauce;
- 2 tbsp. Sugar;
- 1 tbsp. Ginger, finely chopped;
- 2 tbsp. dried Red Chili, cut into small sections.
Notes: If you haven’t used Chinese style Dried Shrimp before and are not quite certain what to buy, you may want to read the introductory article: How to Prepare and Use Dried Shrimp .
Combine the rice wine with 1 tablespoon of the soy sauce and 1 teaspoon of the sugar and marinate the bamboo shoots in this mixture for an hour or so. For aesthetic effect, you may wish to trim away enough of the thick ends to make them roughly the same length as the beans.
Put the shrimp in a small container and cover them with a little warm water. After they have softened (roughly 30 minutes to an hour), chop them fairly finely but reserve the soaking water.
Heat a cup or so of oil in the wok and fry the green beans until the skins start to wrinkle and blister and show a few brown flecks here and there and then remove from the oil to a separate bowl.
Now, drain the bamboo shoots of the marinade, pat them dry, and then quickly deep fry them too. After they are just getting a little brown, and even a touch crispy at the tips, remove and allow the oil to drain off. You can deep-fry the green beans and bamboo shoots ahead of time and let them sit until you are ready to complete the dish.
Drain the wok of all but a tablespoon or two of oil and, when the oil is shimmering hot, add the ginger and chili. As soon as these give of their aroma, add in the shrimp and the soaking water along with the remaining sugar.
When the soaking liquid in the wok has all but evaporated, add in the green beans and bamboo shoots along with the remaining soy sauce. Toss until all is combined and heated through then plate and serve immediately.