Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Recipe for Spicy Sichuan Style Green Beans

This tasty recipe for Spicy Sichuan Green Beans will help me use my garden beans!

Last year I planted way too many green beans and found it hard to keep them picked and eaten.  This year I planted just three short rows of green bean seeds, which gave me enough plants to produce plenty of beans.  I've only grown beans the last few years, but each year I've found some favorite recipes using them.  (If you're growing beans and need ideas, you can't go wrong with World's Easiest Garlicky Green Bean Stir Fry or Lemony Green Beans.)  The day I tested this recipe for Spicy Sichuan Green Beans I shared them with a friend and we ate every single one in about five minutes, so I think it's a safe bet that this recipe will become another favorite.

Maybe it's the third grade teacher in me coming out, but I wondered about the spelling of Sichuan.  On Chinese restaurant menus I'm more used to seeing Szechuan, but when I googled it I found that Szechuan is the postal map spelling often used in the U.S. but Sichuan is the correct English spelling for the southwestern Chinese province that's famous for spicy foods.  These beans were about as spicy as I would want them (they made your mouth burn, but in a good way.)  If you like it really hot, just add a little more red pepper flakes.

Trim the ends of one lb. of fresh green beans and cut them into halves or thirds.  This will be about 4 cups of trimmed green beans.

Mix together the soy sauce, rice vinegar, sweetener of your choice, red pepper flakes, and white pepper.  (We used 1/4 tsp. of red pepper flakes and it was just spicy enough for me.)

Prepare 2 tablespoons each of minced garlic and minced ginger root.  Juicy!

Heat a large pan, then add beans and 1/4 cup water.  Cook covered 3-5 minutes, or until beans are starting to get tender; then uncover and cook until the water has evaporated.

Add vegetable oil, minced garlic, and minced ginger and cook about about 2 minutes, stirring several times so the garlic and ginger don't burn.

Then add the soy sauce mixture and cook about 2 minutes more, until beans are coated with the sauce and some of the liquid has evaporated.  Serve hot or room temperature.


Spicy Sichuan Style Green Beans
(Makes 4 servings; recipe adapted from Easy Party Food, a special-interest publication of Sunset Magazine.)

Ingredients:
1 lb. fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into halves or thirds
2 T soy sauce (I used low-sodium)
1 T rice vinegar (not seasoned)
2 tsp. Splenda, Sugar, or granular Stevia in the Raw (use Splenda or Stevia for South Beach Diet)
1/4 - 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes (I used 1/4 tsp. and the beans were fairly hot)
1/4 tsp. white pepper (or use black pepper if you don't have white pepper)
1 T vegetable oil (I used grapeseed oil)
2 T minced garlic
2 T peeled and minced ginger root

Instructions:
Wash green beans if needed, trim the ends, and cut beans into halves or thirds if they are large.  Mix together soy sauce, rice vinegar, sweetener of your choice, red pepper flakes, and white pepper.  Mince garlic enough to make 2 T minced garlic.  Peel ginger root and mince enough to make 2 T minced ginger.

Use a large frying pan with a tight-fitting lid and heat over high heat.  When the pan is hot, add the beans and 1/4 cup water; cover and cook on medium-high heat for 3-5 minutes or until the beans are bright green and starting to get tender.  (If your beans are thin they will cook more quickly, but larger beans will probably need 5 minutes to get done.)  Remove the lid and continue to cook until the water is all evaporated.

Add the oil and minced garlic and ginger and cook about 2 minutes, stirring several times so the garlic and ginger don't burn.  Add the soy sauce mixture, let it come to a boil and cook about 2 minutes more, until the sauce thickens and coats the beans and beans are tender-crisp.  Serve hot or at room temperature.
I'm guessing leftovers could be kept overnight in the fridge and reheated the next day, but I'm not sure because when I made these there were no leftovers!


South Beach Suggestions:
If they're made with Splenda or Stevia, these beans would be a perfect side dish for any phase of the South Beach Diet, or any other type of low-glycemic eating plan.  They'd be great served with something like Low-Sugar Teriyaki Chicken or Grilled Chicken Sanpete Kabobs.

Nutritional Information?
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn't have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you.

More Tasty Ideas for Green Beans:
(Recipes from other blogs not always South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
World's Easiest Garlicky Green Bean Stir Fry from Kalyn's Kitchen
Lemony Green Beans from Kalyn's Kitchen
Braised Green Beans with Garlic, Tomatoes, Olives, and Capers from Kalyn's Kitchen
Green Bean, Tomato, and Feta Salad Oreganato from Kalyn's Kitchen
Green Bean Salad with Green Olives and Feta Cheese from Kalyn's Kitchen
Green Beans, Tomatoes, and Almonds with Sumac from eCurry
Balsamic Roasted Green Beans from Sarah's Cucina Bella
Green Beans with Sesame Dressing from Christine's Recipes
Green Beans with Leeks and Feta from Family Fresh Cooking
Sauteed Ginger-Garlic Green Beans from Food for My Family
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)

Blogger Disclosure:
Posts may include links to my affiliate account at Amazon.com, and Kalyn's Kitchen earns a few cents on the dollar if readers purchase the items I recommend, so thanks for supporting my blog when you shop at Amazon!
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66 comments:

  1. Honestly, these are spiraling up to the top of my to do list. They look so good and I love that marinade

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  2. This sounds great. One of the Chinese restaurants we go to serves a big family style side of green beans that always looks soooo good. I bit it's very similar to this recipe. Thanks so much for sharing this!

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  3. Thanks Maris. When we made them, we couldn't stop eating them!

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  4. Becki, we must have been writing at the same time. Yes, these are quite similar to some I've had in Chinese restaurants, but maybe a bit less greasy because they're only fried at the end.

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  5. HMMM... I make this sauce when i serve scallion pancakes, and I love scallion pancakes...

    My mind is reeling and these sound delicious! And as always, just love the photos

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  6. I love Sichuan style green beans. If you ever have leftover beans, you can send them my way! :)

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  7. Yum! Got to this recipe for 30 minutes too late. My green beans are already cooking with pintos and squash. I'm experimenting. :)

    Can't wait to try this next time though!

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  8. I love these out-of-the-ordinary beans, Kalyn. They look absolutely delicious!!

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  9. These look delish!!! I have some green beans in the backyard ready to be picked. This recipe would be perfect to use them up! Thx for sharing :)

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  10. I'm so happy people who have garden beans are discovering this recipe. And even if you have to buy beans, trust me, this recipe will be worth it!

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  11. Isn't it fun that the more you eat spicy food, the more tolerance you have for it? I never used to like spicy food at all (hard to believe now, but true), and now I add extra hot pepper or pepper paste to everything. These beans will go on my list to try, too. I'm bookmarking.

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  12. Lydia, I'm working on building up my tolerance!

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  13. I have to admit green beans aren't my favorite but with some of my favorite Asian flavors coating them, I'm pretty sure I'd love these!

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  14. I just made this last night as a side and it was so good! My husband loved it!

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  15. This is perfect timing - I was just looking at a bag of green beans in the fridge that I really need to cook, and wondering what I would do with them. Great flavors!

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  16. Glad people are liking this, and I think even people who aren't especially fans of green beans will like this if they like spicy flavors.

    TW, hope you will try it!

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  17. I love spicy food, and these look tremendous—and easy, always a plus. Trying ASAP! Thanks Kalyn for another great recipe.

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  18. This recipe looks fantastic! I will definitely be making this. I love the that it can be served at room temperature. Great for potlucks and BBQs.

    Thanks Kalyn!

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  19. You need some sichuan peppercorns in there, and some dried chili, to really get the flavour going!

    This is the recipe I use, although it is not South Beach friendly
    http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/sichuan_style_stir-fried_chinese_long_beans/

    But you could easily adapt your recipe to include the sichuan peppercorns. They have an almost numbing effect, which means that you can add more chili, or place around with the spiciness!

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  20. Lisa and CJ, hope you enjoy it!

    Louise, I do have Szechuan peppercorns, but I'm guessing they're not something most people have on hand. Will have to try replacing the white pepper with them next time I make this. BTW, Elise from Simply Recipes is a good friend of mine!

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  21. I thought I would not like this recipe because I absolutely detest Sichuan peppercorns. The chinese name for them translates to "numbing spice." The numbness tastes metallic like blood to me, and I find them wholly unpleasant.

    But this recipe is just Asian-inspired, so I'm going to give it a try. It looks delicious, but I'm not sure it will beat out my favorite prep: stir fried in olive oil with a little garlic, salt, and cracked pepper.

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  22. YUM! I make a similar recipe as my go-to green bean dish.

    For those of us not lucky enough to have a garden full of green beans (I'm jealous!!!), this also works shockingly well with frozen green beans. Just skip the first parts, and heat the oil and garlic in a pan. Once hot, add the frozen green beans, cook them for a bit till they get crispy and warmed through, then add the rest of the stuff.

    Now I want green beans. And it's not even 10am. I wonder how they go with coffee... ;)

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  23. These sound marvelous Kalyn! I am a huge fan of Chinese takeout. I need to do some at home versions like this!

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  24. This looks so similar to the one we get in P.F. Chang and I am getting restless to try it out. Bookmarked :)

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  25. You're right, "Sichuan" is now the correct official spelling. Schezuan and other variations where popular in the 1970s-1980s, when China was still sort of closed off. In the last 10 or 15 years the gov has really pushed pinyin (the standard Romanization of Chinese characters), so there would be standardized spellings in the English-speaking world. Just a little background since you seemed interested. :)

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  26. These remind me of several dishes we enjoyed in China! I'm excited to try making them at home. I'm passing this along to my sister too, she'll love having a taste of something familiar now that she's back living in the US.

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  27. I just love Szechuan food, so spicy and flavorful. This reminds me of a dish I used to make but haven't in a while, so thanks for posting this - terrific way to use all the fresh green beans that are in season.

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  28. these look great and healthy too! i had this dish in restaurants and they sometime deep fry the beans. tasty as well but definitely not so healthy. thanks for the recipe!

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  29. I sauteed diced asparagus in the Sichuan sauce and oh my gosh, it became an instant favorite. I'm a spice queen, so I doubled the red pepper and absolutely loved it.

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  30. Thanks to everyone who is commenting on this. I'm traveling so I haven't been able to respond too much but I'm enjoying reading the comments on my phone!

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  31. I made this tonight and the family loved it. It was a little to spicey for me, Ill reduce the red pepper flakes to 1/8 next time, but will certainly make it again. Used some of the extra sauce on the pork

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  32. No matter how you spell it, it looks delicious!

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  33. I love green beans and am always stumped on how to change them up. This dish looks so so delicious. I love spicy!

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  34. I am definitely trying this over the weekend. My mom grows string beans and she said to me the other day that she's started harvesting some while others need a tiny more time. I'm not exactly sure how mine would be different from when using green beans (or if they are just the same with string beans) but I will try this recipe out with the not so spicy version. :) Thanks! :)

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  35. Roxanne, those red pepper flakes are pretty powerful! Glad you liked it.

    Barbara, thanks!

    Aggie, go for the full amount of red pepper if you like spicy. I admit I'm a bit of a wimp.

    Jenn, green beans/string beans; they're the same thing.

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  36. I am in love with green beans! These look fabulous!

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  37. Lauren, I wasn't crazy about beans until I started growing them, but now I love them!

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  38. My husbands been making a version of this for as long as I can remember but I don't think he's ever added ginger. Something new to try!

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  39. Oh yes, do try it with the ginger! So good.

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  40. Hi Kalyn,

    These green beans were delicious. I felt like I was having a special treat! Couldn't find my hot pepper flakes so I used Asian hot chili oil which worked just fine. Thanks again for something yummy to add to my rew SB repertoire.

    Libby

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  41. Libby, what a great idea to use hot chili oil. So glad you enjoyed it!

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  42. I bought green beans with no idea on what to do with them. Luickily the next day this recipe showed up. This was so good! We make a lot of your recipes. Thanks!!

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  43. Glad you like it and I love to hear that you're enjoying the recipes.

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  44. Kalyn,

    I made this last night and the dish was a hit! Thanks for the delish recipe!

    Cheers!
    Bala.

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  45. Bala, so glad you enjoyed it.

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  46. I love this recipe. A great idea for making green beans. I think this would also be a great idea too if you added some chicken, beef, or tofu to make a great stir-fry.

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  47. Jennifer, I agree that it would make a good main dish.

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  48. those look so good... I miss eating those spicy beans which are usually so greasy in Chinese restaurants... these would be perfect.

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  49. Green beans are great even when raw. Thanks for the recipe to mix things up a little bit.

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  50. LostPast, agreed! I do like these better than the strictly fried ones.

    Telebrands, I like to nibble on raw ones when I'm cooking them!

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  51. Made this tonight and it was so delicious! Thanks for sharing this recipe!

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  52. Shelley, so glad you enjoyed it.

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  53. I tried these this past Friday - I. Am. In. LOVE! They were AMAZING! Thank you so, so, so much for sharing!! :D

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  54. Katie, so glad you enjoyed them. When we tested the recipe Jake and I could not stop eating them!

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  55. It's me again! I am coming back to this page so often that I felt like I needed to leave another comment. Hah! One of these days I might just print out the recipe...though I'm surprised I don't have it memorized by now! :D

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  56. These are fabulous, and so easy. In fact, I'm literally eating them all while standing at the kitchen counter.. Thanks again.
    Dee

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  57. Dee, my pleasure! And they are so healthy, eat as many as you'd like.

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  58. Ingredient list says 2 T ginger, yet the recipe instructions say 1 T ginger. Which is correct?

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  59. Shoshana, thanks for catching that! It should be 2 T ginger, although you could get by with less. Will fix it right now.

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  60. Really yummy and easy to make! They were wonderful hot, and also quite tasty as a cold salad the next day. These are definitely going to be a staple at my house. Thank you for sharing! :)

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  61. Made these for Christmas dinner. Very good flavor. This is very similar to what is known here in China as "“Dry Cooked String Beans” or (Gan Bian Si Ji Dou).

    Next time, I will probably thinly slice the garlic and ginger (versus mincing).

    I recommend adding 1 teaspoon of sesame oil right at the end. Stir to coat. This is a "good" oil and a little bit goes a long way. It just helps finish the flavor.

    (Also, the traditional way to serve this is to top with minced pork. I think you could use ground pork if you didn't want to mince it. Approximately 2 oz. sprinkle on top before serving. I've had it with and without meat here and while the pork adds another level of flavor, it's not necessary.)

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  62. Thanks for all that information about the traditional way to make these!

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  63. Just made these to go along with sushi & they were very yummy. I doubled the sauce. My husband loved them!

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  64. These were delicious. I made them without the sweetener or the red pepper flakes and they were still wonderful and EASY.

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  65. Brenda, so glad you liked them!

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