What do you do when you find yourself with a humongous bag of green beans? You make what my friend Jackie claims is the one of the best things she has ever eaten: stir-fried sichuan green beans.
Now, I know what you are thinking. How can green beans be one of the best things someone has ever eaten? I was skeptical too. I do love green beans. But there is a whole world out there full of ice cream, cookies and cake. Those thing MUST be better than green beans, right?
Well, I decided I had to make them for myself and see.
Using Jackie’s recipe as a guide, I re-worked things a bit to turn what was suppose to be a side dish into more of a complete meal. I doubled the recipe for the sauce and threw in some thin spaghetti noodles to create a noodle-based stir fry. I also increased the garlic and the ginger, because I like things spicy. But if you prefer something with a little less kick to it, you can reduce the garlic to 3 cloves and the minced ginger to about 1 tablespoon.
There are two things that are very important when making this stir fry. First, don’t crowd your pan or you’ll risk steaming the green beans instead of crisping them up. So work in batches, if necessary. And two, things will happen very quickly so make sure you have all your ingredients prepped and within arms reach before starting.
So the question that you are all dying to know: was this one of the best foods I have ever eaten? I probably wouldn’t go that far. But it is incredibly flavorful. And not to mention easy and healthy. So I will certainly be making this dish over and over again.
If you happen to try it out, let me know if it turns into one of your favorite meals!
Recipe adapted from Foodology via Cooks Illustrated
Sichuan Green Bean-Noodle Stir Fry
- 1/2 lb thin spaghetti noodles
- 4 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons dry sherry
- 2 tsp. sugar
- 1 tsp. cornstarch
- 1/2 tsp. black pepper
- 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
- 1/2 tsp. dry mustard
- 4 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 lb green beans, trimmed (you can halve them or leave them long)
- 2 tsp. sesame oil
- 4 ounces shitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
- 5 garlic cloves, peeled minced
- 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced
- 3 scallions, white and light green portions thinly sliced
- Cook the noodles according to the package instructions. Drain and set aside.
- Meanwhile, make the sauce. In a small bowl combine the soy sauce and the next seven ingredients (through the water), stirring until everything is well combined. Set aside.
- Cook the green beans. Heat the vegetable oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the green beans and cook, stirring frequently, about 5-8 minutes or until they have started to shrivel and blacken in some places. Work in batches, if necessary, to give the green beans enough room in the pan. Transfer the green beans to a large plate and set aside.
- Return your the skillet to the heat and warm the sesame oil. Add the sliced mushrooms and cook, stirring frequently, for about 2 minutes. Add the minced garlic and ginger and cook for 1 minute, stirring continuously.
- Give the sauce a quick stir to recombine everything and then add it to the skillet along with the green beans, noodles and sliced scallions. Toss and cook until the ingredients are well coated and the sauced has thickened slightly, about 1 minute. Remove the skillet from the heat. Serve immediately.
- Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container for 1-2 days.
1. You can substitute white wine for the sherry.