Sichuan Dry-fried Green Beans and Tofu
Posted By :
June 10, 2012
Difficulty Level: Easy
Preparation Time: 25 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 2 with rice as meal, 4 as part of larger spread
If you have ever ordered dry-fried green beans at a good Chinese restaurant, you know how delicious they can be, but I bet you don’t know what’s in them! The dish is typically full of yummy brown stuff, and for years, I wondered just what it was. I knew there was garlic and ginger in there, but I didn’t think that could account for all of it. It turns out the answer is Sichuan preserved vegetable, which is a pickled mustard tuber that you ?nd canned at a good Asian grocery. It is better to buy the chunk style and chop it yourself; if you buy it pre-shredded, you’ll want to rinse off some of the salt. The taste is somewhat like that of kimchi, and I ?nd it rather addictive. On page 338 you’ll ?nd another way to use this treasure, to make an Indian Sichuan pickle. I’ve added tofu and a few mushrooms to the traditional green bean dish, which makes it into a one-dish supper for two or a hearty part of a larger dinner for four. Don’t be scared off by the quantity of oil in this recipe, and please don’t stint on it when frying the green beans. Most of it is drained off before the dish is completed.
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 pound ?rm or extra-?rm tofu, thoroughly patted dry, cut into 3⁄4-inch cubes
1 pound green beans, trimmed and cut in half if long, rinsed and thoroughly dried (to avoid spattering)
1 cup thinly sliced white mushrooms or shiitake mushrooms caps
1⁄3 cup ?nely chopped Sichuan preserved vegetable
1-inch piece fresh ginger, ?nely chopped or grated
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons soy sauce (use a wheat-free version for gluten-free)
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
2 teaspoons sugar
1⁄4 teaspoon kosher salt
1. Heat a wok or large skillet over the highest heat. Pour in 2 tablespoons of the oil, and when it is shimmering, add the tofu and stir-fry until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Transfer the tofu to a plate with a slotted spoon.
2. In the same pan, heat the remaining 4 tablespoons oil and, when the oil is shimmering, add the green beans. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the green beans are somewhat shriveled and developing black spots in many places. Depending on the heat of your stove, this may take anywhere from 4 to 10 minutes. Add the mushrooms and stir-fry for 1 minute more. Turn off the heat and drain the green beans and mushrooms in a colander, leaving about 1 tablespoon oil in the pan.
3. Return the pan to the heat. Cook the Sichuan preserved vegetable, ginger, and garlic for 30 seconds, until very fragrant. Return the green beans, mushrooms, and tofu to the pan and toss to combine.
4. Whisk together the soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, and salt, and pour over the green beans. Toss to coat, cook for 30 seconds more, and serve immediately.
This recipe appears in Michael Natkin's Herbivoracious, A Flavor Revolution with 150 Vibrant and Original Vegetarian Recipes.