Green beans (or string beans 四季豆) are in season right now. They are fresh, cheap, and nutritious. Amongst heaps of different ways of cooking them all over the world, I really like the Chinese way. There’s a popular Chinese dish, Fried String Beans (乾扁四季豆) that uses a unique way of preparing green beans. It’s quite simple, just deep fry the beans to bring out their natural sweetness before using them to stir fry with any other ingredients you like. Believe or not, you won’t taste this heavenly sweetness of green beans, if you blanch them in boiling water. It’s worth trying.
- 350 gm green beans
- 100 ground pork
- 1/2 tsp minced garlic
- 1 tsp XO sauce (or to taste), available at Asian grocery stores
- a handful of snow cabbage (雪菜salted vegetable) , available at Asian grocery stores
- 2 tsp light soy sauce
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp cornflour
- 1 Tbsp water
- a pinch of white pepper
- 1/3 tsp salt
- A pinch of sugar
- Soak snow cabbage in water for 20 minutes. Rinse and drain well. Chop into small pieces. Wash green beans thoroughly and remove ends. Pat dry with kitchen towel. Marinate ground pork for 15 minutes.
- Heat oil in wok or frying pan over medium heat. The oil should just cover the green beans. Test the oil with a little piece of green bean. If bubbles arise, the oil is ready. Deep fry the green beans in hot oil until tender. Place on kitchen papers to absorb excess oil.
- Drain hot oil into a container and retain about 1 to 2 tablespoons of oil in wok. Add marinated pork and stir fry until cooked through. Set aside.
- Heat oil to sauté and quickly stir fry snow cabbage until aromatic. Toss in minced pork and green beans. Sprinkle with salt, sugar (and cooking wine if desired) to taste. Lastly, add XO sauce. Dish up.
- Make sure that no water should be with any green beans before adding into the hot oil to deep fry.
- The used oil could be recycled for stir-frying with meat or seasoning for steamed fish.
- Adding some water and cornflour to minced pork would make the texture of meat taste smoother after stir-frying.