Green beans have had a rough time in North America. For generations, they have had the misfortune of being over-cooked and served bland and mushy. That’s not the case with this dish. The oil-blanching seals in the moisture and freshness, and the quick dry-frying adds that special wok “aroma.” I also like to use Chinese Yard Long Beans for this recipe. Choose smaller or younger beans that have a lighter shade of green and are more flexible.
Makes 4 servings
¼ cup Homemade Rich Broth (page 49) or canned chicken broth
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 teaspoon minced garlic
2 teaspoon chili garlic sauce
¼ teaspoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons sugar
½ teaspoon salt
2 cups vegetable oil
¾ pound green beans, ends trimmed and cut into 2-inch lengths
½ teaspoon cornstarch dissolved in 1 teaspoon water
To make the sauce, combine the ingredients in a bowl and stir until well mixed.
Pour the oil into a 2-quart saucepan and heat to 350 degrees over medium-high heat. Carefully slip the green beans into the oil and cook, stirring continuously, until they are wrinkled, about 1 minute. With a slotted spoon or wire skimmer, transfer the beans to paper towels to drain. Reserve the oil.
Heat a stir-fry pan over high heat until hot. Add 2 teaspoons of the reserved oil, swirling to coat the sides. Add the green beans and sauce and stir-fry until sauce boils. Add the cornstarch solution and cook until sauce thickens.
Transfer to a serving plate and serve.