Chef Chu has been a very popular celebrity chef, cooking school teacher & restaurant owner in Los Altos, CA. for over 20 years.One of my favorite recipes (of many favorites) from Chef Chu, it is found in his cookbook "Chef Chu's Distinctive Cuisine of China". I alter the recipe a little, as I don't "oil-blanch" the beans, I simply stir fry, then steam them, by covering with a lid, until just tender.
This is very good made with Chinese Long Beans, but the String Beans were exceptional in the market today so that's what I used. I'm sure you could substitute the ground pork with ground chicken or ground turkey.
I usually increase the amount of meat, serve it with steamed rice, and increase (double, or triple the seasoning ingredients depending upon the amount of sauce we want.)
Szechuan-style String Beans
6 to 8 servings as part of a traditional multi-course Chinese meal.
Serves 2 or 3 as a main course
1 tablespoon dried shrimp (can find in Asian markets, or on line)
1 pound string beans, trimmed
1 ounce ground pork (I usually use 4 ounces for a main course)
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed (I use more, and divide use)
1 teaspoon minced preserved Szechuan mustard green (I love this stuff in this dish, but it's difficult to find--- it's okay to omit.)
1 teaspoon chili paste (from a jar; it's usually labeled Chili-Garlic paste)
As mentioned, I usually double or triple these amounts depending upon how saucy I want the dish.
1 tablespoon dry sherry
2 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons chicken broth
1/4 teaspoon sugar
Soak shrimp in warm water for 5 to 10 minutes; drain and mince.
Next I brown the meat in a little vegetable oil, when it is nearly done add half of the minced garlic & the minced dried shrimp. Stir until heated through. Drain and remove to a bowl or plate.In the same pan over medium-high heat, add a tablespoon of vegetable oil until hot.
Add string beans and stir fry for a minute or four until just barely tender.
Stir in the remaining garlic, tossing & stirring until fragrant.
Cover with pan lid and allow to steam for a moment or two until crisp tender ( a bit under-done).
Add the meat/shrimp mixture to the pan of string beans, stir until combined then add the seasonings; tossing well until all is heated through.
Note: If you like a thicker sauce you can make a slurry with a little chicken broth & corn starch.
After vegetables are nearly done, stir in the additional chicken broth/cornstarch mixture a little at a time to the green beans & meat until the sauce is thickened to your liking.
Before serving taste and adjust seasonings.
If you make it, I hope you like it as much as I do.