Szechuan Green Beans make a very interesting Chinese dish – better than take out!
I find Chinese food is a great way to mix up wintry recipes with heavy vegetables like squash, beets, potatoes etc.
The Lunar New Year comes at just the right time – late January. I made a couple of Chinese inspired meals and the stir fries and rice were a welcome change!
This dish is full of flavour. There is not a lot of runny sauce if you drain the ground pork. It was actually a wlecome change since so many of the other dishes on the menu had sauces.
You could increase the amount of pork if you want to make the dish closer to a main dish. I increased the pork and left the sauce amounts as indicated in the recipe and it was totally flavourful. So you can adjust the pork amount to suit your taste.
Here are the other dishes I served with this one.
Wine Pairing for Schezuan Green Beans
Pairing wine with the sweetness of Chinese food can be tricky. My go to is a Gewurztraminer wine. Alsace France sets the standard for Gewurztraminer. They tend to be off dry with good acidity and vry aromatic. Ontario makes a decent one as well but quite a softer style than the Alsation. Give Pelee Islands Gewurztraminer a try if you are inclined. Gewurztraminer is a very specific taste however and may not be for all palates. It does pair with Chinese or Thai foods because it is off dry and a good one will have a nice sugar/acid balance so it is not cloying.
Other choices would be a Riesling for the same reason that they are usually just off dry with balancing acid and fruitiness that would complement the lemon sauce.
Chardonnay would typically be too dry but a wine that is described as aromatic and rich should be fruity enough to stand up to the sauce. Something like Hob Nob Chardonnay could work with this dish too.
Szechuan Green Beans
- 2 Tbsps soy sauce
- 2 Tbsps water
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- 1/4 tsp white pepper
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/4 tsp dry mustard
- 2 Tbsps vegetable oil
- 1 lb green beans trimmed and cut in 2" pieces
- 1/2 lb ground pork See note 1.
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 Tbsp ginger minced
- 3 green onions optional
- 1 tsp sesame oil optional
- Mix all the sauce ingedients in a jar and shake well. Set aside.
- Heat vegetable oil, over high heat, in a large non-stick skillet until smoking. Add the beans and cook until tender-crisp and blackened in spots. Stir frequently so they don't burn. This may take 5-8 minutes. If beans appear to be burning reduce the heat.
- Transfer beans to a plate. Reduce heat to medium high. Add the pork to the skillet and fry, breaking pork into small uniform pieces. Cook 3-4 minutes until pork is no longer pink. Add the ginger and garlic and cook 1 minute. Drain off any excess fat or liquid from the pork.
- Shake the sauce to recombine, add the beans to the skillet with the pork. Add the sauce and cook a minute or so till sauce is slightly thickened.
- Serve garnished with green beans and sesame oil if desired.