April 6, 2009 § Leave a comment
When I’m home for breaks, there is one restaurant that our family must always go to for dinner – Dragon Palace. It serves amazing Sichuan food that we can’t get anywhere else, and the fact that it’s about a three minute drive from our house is a plus. We always show up early before the dinner rush, our waiter is always the same, and we always order the same three or four dishes and then branch out a bit. Sometimes, familiarity can only be a good thing.
One of the must-order dishes is the Sichuan dry-fried green beans. Now, my mom is a pretty good cook, but her green bean dishes could never compared to the wonderfully blistered and salty nuances of Dragon Palace’s version. The beans are crisp but somehow still juicy on the inside, and that light smattering of ground pork is always a good thing. The last time I was home, I think they knew we were going to order it, and they gave us an extra huge helping.
Originally, I assumed that their version was superior simply because they were a restaurant; they had to make it better because otherwise no one would pay for it. But, while browsing the archives of one of my new-favorite blogs, appetiteforchina, I found a dish called “dry-fried green beans” and I knew that I might have found the answer to my string bean-pleas.
We didn’t have ground pork when I made this version, and I also added maybe too much chili paste. It was a lot spicier than I intended to turn out but it was still delicious. We paired the beans with some Korean galbi which I’ll post about later. Together, it was probably the fastest, simplest, most delicious meal that I cooked while I was home.
Dry-fried Green Beans a la Dragon Palace
lots and lots of canola oil (about 3-4 tablespoons)
Heat the oil in a wok until just beginning to smoke. Add green beans and stir fry. Again, make sure that the beans are really really dry, otherwise they’ll cause a lot of oil to splatter when you add them. These are delicious but they’re not worth any serious grease burns. Make sure the beans all get a coating of the oil and stir them constantly for about 8-10 minutes until they finally begin to blister. When the beans are wilted, take them out and drain on paper towels.
Remove all but 2 tablespoons of oil. Add garlic, ginger, preserved mustard, shrimp and cook for about 1 minute until fragrant. Return beans to the wok and add chili bean paste (you can add more if you like it really really spicy), sugar, salt, sesame oil and stir until well combined. Serve blazing hot.