Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Szechuan Green Beans

I was in the mood for something green and had some fresh frozen green beans that I had prepared and blanched myself. I took the Asian route and turned to one of my new spices that was just delivered recently. I decided to try and recreate the Chinese dish that uses long beans but with green beans, which are readily accessible. I have tested this recipe a few times now and each time I love it more. If you don't have Szechuan peppercorns don't worry. Among my first tests I had used crushed red pepper flakes and quite honestly that brought more heat to the dish than the Szechuan pepper did. Szechuan pepper has a heat but what you get above and beyond the heat is the floral taste. These are not real Szechuan peppercorns as they cannot be imported into this country from what I have learned but the commercial ones you find with that name are wonderful. You can turn the heat up or down as you like it with this simple vegetable dish and you don't have to prepare an elaborate Asian style dinner either. This dish makes a great side that will perk up a simply cooked chicken or beef. I hope you enjoy.

Szechuan Green Beans


2 cups green beans, trimmed
1 tsp. canola oil
2 Tbsp. shallots, diced
1/2 tsp. crushed Szechuan peppercorns or crushed red pepper flakes
1 1/2 Tbsp. oyster sauce
1 tsp. low sodium soy sauce
1 tsp. sesame oil
1 tsp. sesame seeds

Begin by bringing a large pot of water to the boil to blanch the green beans. When the water comes to a boil add the green beans and let simmer for about 2 minutes. Remove to ice water or rinse under cold water in a colander to stop the cooking.

In a large saute pan on medium high heat saute the shallots and pepper in the canola oil. Add the green beans, oyster sauce and soy sauce. Stir well to combine and continue to saute about 2 to 3 minutes longer while stirring constantly. Add the sesame oil and seeds and stir to coat. The green beans will be crisp tender.

Nutrition Facts
4 Servings
Amount Per Serving
Calories 47.1
Total Fat 2.7 g
Saturated Fat 0.3 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.0 g
Monounsaturated Fat 1.3 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 92.5 mg
Potassium 140.5 mg
Total Carbohydrate 5.3 g
Dietary Fiber 2.0 g
Sugars 0.0 g
Protein 1.4 g

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