Posted in Recipes

Sichuan Dry-Fried Green Beans

Sichuan Dry-Fried Green Beans 1

When I was a kid, I heartily disliked green-beans and I never really changed my opinion much over the years. I liked them raw, actually, as they taste quite a bit like snap-peas in that state, but, once cooked, especially by boiling, the nice sweetness of the raw product disappeared. Fresh ones were the best, if I had to eat them, but the frozen sort were rarely very good and the canned (which were all we ever got in school dinners) were nothing less than disgusting.

Once I discovered the Sichuan method  of dry-frying beans, however, I found a way where I could genuinely enjoy this vegetable. In this cookery style, the beans are first quickly fried (nowadays mostly by briefly deep-frying) and then they are stir-fried a second time along with various ingredients (commonlya little ground pork, or dried shrimp) and the sort of seasoning such as chili paste, scallion and garlic, that you often find in Sichuan dishes. The taste of the fresh, raw article is preserved and the texture is terrific… Continue reading “Sichuan Dry-Fried Green Beans”

Posted in Notable Nosh

Notable Nosh: Edamame

Edamame 1

Edamame, for those unfamiliar, are young green soybeans that are often steamed or boiled and then seasoned before being eaten, frequently as a snack or appetizer. They have been a staple on Japanese restaurant menus in the west for quite a few years now (and the odd Chinese restaurant too), but they are also being increasingly more common in non-Asian restaurants, even being included as appetizers in pubs and the like. So far, though, I have only eaten them in Japanese restaurants.

The ones pictured above were served to me in Ottawa recently and were tossed in butter and then coarse salt before coming to the table. Butter may not sound typically Japanese but, in fact, it is not that uncommon in the cuisine any longer and it certainly does go with the beans. I am not sure if the ones I had on this occasion were steamed or boiled but they were just a little underdone and not quite as tender as others I have had… Continue reading “Notable Nosh: Edamame”

Posted in Experiments, Recipes

Dry-fried Beans and Bamboo Shoots

Dry-fried Beans and Bamboo 1

The actual purpose of this recipe is to showcase some Brine-Packed Bamboo Shoots I featured in a recent post. However, the recipe itself is a modification of a very popular Sichuan dish called ‘Dry-Fried Four Season Beans’, the beans being a variety of the common green runner bean that is usually cooked to a nasty tasteless greyness in western kitchens. In this Sichuan specialty, the beans are generally deep-fried first in order to make them deliciously crisp-tender, and are then pan-fried with other ingredients. Typically, the additions will be garlic, ginger and chili, but non-vegetarian versions can include ground pork, dried shrimp, or even both… Continue reading “Dry-fried Beans and Bamboo Shoots”