The stir-fried Chinese long bean with chili paste is a quick dinner stir-fry that I constantly go back, for two simple reasons:
1) The ingredients are always readily available at a grocery store/supermarket, there’s no seasonality to it .
2) it’s very appetite-opening (Xià Fàn), with the fermented broad bean paste and soy sauce and all the other amazing Chinese spices.
This is a Sichuan dish, so you can for certain order it at a Sichuan restaurant. But here is a rule of thumb I have about ordering Sichuan dishes at restaurants: only order the ones that are difficult to make at home, coz that’s the point of dining out, isn’t it? 😉
With this one, it’s simple enough. And nothing beats a plate of piping hot, crispy and umami stir-fried long bean with a simple bowl of steaming rice.
Stir-fried Long Bean with Chili Paste
Long Bean (or string bean, both works) – about 500g (1 lb), clean thoroughly and cut into index-finger length pieces.
Dried Sichuan Chili Pepper – about 4 pieces, seeds removed if you prefer less spicy.
Soy Sauce – 1 teaspoon
Garlic – 1 clove, minced
Canola Oil (or any neutral oil, not EVOO) – 1/2 cup
1. In a wok, heat up ½ cup of oil until you feel the heat when place your palm over the wok.
2. Drain and pat dry the cleaned long beans (string beans) and place them into the wok. Let it fry for about 3~5 minutes, or until the skin is wrinkled. We’re trying to bring the crispy texture of the beans here.
3. Once the beans are crispy, turn off the heat. Drain and remove the beans from the wok. Pour out the oil (you can reserve and use it next time), only save a tablespoonful or so in the wok.
4. Turn the heat up to medium high, place the chili bean paste. We’re going to “stir fry out the red oil”, for about 1 minute, then add minced garlic, chili pepper and . Stir-fry until fragrant, for about 30 seconds. Don’t burn the garlic.
5. Bring the beans back into the pot. Stir-fry until every part of the beans is well-coated with the sauce. Turn the heat off. Add a little bit of soy sauce.