I absolutely love the texture of these deep-fried string beans, my must-order vegetable dish when I dine out at Chinese restaurants. The wrinkly string bean is the result of deep-frying the beans in hot oil, and then stir-frying with dried red chilies, dried shrimp, and ground pork. The taste structure is complex—aromatic, savory, with a tint of spiciness from the dried red chilies. This dish complements other meat and seafood dishes served at a traditional multi-course Chinese meal.
Serves 2 as part of a multi-course meal
- 8 oz (250 g) string beans/french beans
- Oil, for deep-frying
- Pinch of salt
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- One 1/2 in (1.25 cm) piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
- 2 oz (50 g) ground pork
- 1 heaping tablespoon dried shrimp, rinsed and coarsely chopped
- 6 dried red finger-length chilies, deseeded and cut into halves
- 1/4 teaspoon chicken bouillon powder
- 1 teaspoon Chinese rice wine or sherry
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon sugar
- Clean the string beans thoroughly with cold water and trim the tips. Pat dry with paper towels and set aside.
- Heat 2 to 3 inches (5 to 7.5 cm) of the oil in a wok or stockpot to 350°F (175°C) for deep-frying. Gently drop the string beans into the oil. As soon as the skin of the string beans becomes wrinkly, remove them with a strainer or slotted spoon, draining the excess oil by laying the string beans on a dish lined with paper towels. Season with a pinch of salt.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a wok or skillet over high heat. Add the garlic and ginger, and stir- fry to a light brown before adding the ground pork, dried shrimp, and dried red chilies. Stir the ingredients a few times until aromatic, and then follow with the string beans.
- Add all the ingredients in the Seasonings and stir continuously until all the ingredients are well combined. Dish out and serve immediately with steamed rice.
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