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Pictorial: Sichuan Style Dry-Fried String Beans


hzrt8w
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Xiao hzrt --- This green bean dish is one that never fails to please. The first recipe I had did not ask for deep frying, so the texture was not the same, but the flavor was great.

After that, I always did it the traditional way -- deep-frying.

I've never tried the shallow pan frying as you did in this recipe, but one time when I was making it for someone who had to keep his fat intake to almost zero, I boiled the beans, then broiled them, right under the flame with a spray of Pam, and got the blistered look. They weren't bad.

Today I was having green beans for dinner (Western style) and I decided to boil them, then let the pan dry out. I sprayed the beans with Pam and let them brown with a little turning.

TaDa! They looked blistered and since I'm on South Beach Diet, it means that I can do the Dry-fry bean dish and not feel guilty!

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I went to the local Asian store yesterday in search of ingredients to make more of these wonderful dishes but was unsuccessful in finding the Sichuan preserved vegetables. Can you tell me if they are frozen or dried?

I have tried on a couple of occasions asking for help in the store but few of the staff speak English and I forgot to print out the photo! :sad:

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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I went to the local Asian store yesterday in search of ingredients to make more of these wonderful dishes but was unsuccessful in finding the  Sichuan preserved vegetables.  Can you tell me if they are frozen or dried?

They are never frozen. Some packages are sold refrigerated and some just dried.

If the staff speak and read Chinese, show this to them. They will most likely recognize it:

榨菜

(Sichuan preserved vegetable)

W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"
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I went to the local Asian store yesterday in search of ingredients to make more of these wonderful dishes but was unsuccessful in finding the  Sichuan preserved vegetables.  Can you tell me if they are frozen or dried?

They are never frozen. Some packages are sold refrigerated and some just dried.

If the staff speak and read Chinese, show this to them. They will most likely recognize it:

榨菜

(Sichuan preserved vegetable)

Many thanks. I will let you know if this works but probably won't be able to get back there for a couple of weeks.

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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The Sichuanese preserved vegetable used in this dish is not usually zha cai (榨菜), but another one called ya cai 芽菜. Ya cai is preserved mustard greens rather than preserved mustard tuber (zha cai), so it looks very dark and crinkly. In Sichuan you can buy it in small sachets. I can't find it in London, but Tianjin preserved vegetable (天津冬菜) is a fairly good substitute. You usually need to rinse it first to get rid of excess saltiness, and then squeeze it dry before frying. But look out for real Sichuanese ya cai - it's delicious!

Fuchsia

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The Sichuanese preserved vegetable used in this dish is not usually zha cai (榨菜), but another one called ya cai 芽菜. Ya cai is preserved mustard greens rather than preserved mustard tuber (zha cai), so it looks very dark and crinkly. In Sichuan you can buy it in small sachets. I can't find it in London, but Tianjin preserved vegetable (天津冬菜) is a fairly good substitute. You usually need to rinse it first to get rid of excess saltiness, and then squeeze it dry before frying. But look out for real Sichuanese ya cai - it's delicious!

Fuchsia

Fuchsia -- Do you mean THIS pickled mustard green?: (Scroll down)

http://www.foodsubs.com/Pickles.html

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I went to the local Asian store yesterday in search of ingredients to make more of these wonderful dishes but was unsuccessful in finding the  Sichuan preserved vegetables.  Can you tell me if they are frozen or dried?

They are never frozen. Some packages are sold refrigerated and some just dried.

If the staff speak and read Chinese, show this to them. They will most likely recognize it:

榨菜

(Sichuan preserved vegetable)

Many thanks. I will let you know if this works but probably won't be able to get back there for a couple of weeks.

The Sichuan vegetable can come in cans, too. Try this link and scroll down to rows 6&7. Look for 'White Rabbit' brand. Even tho it is in a can, it doesn't seem any different than the ones I get in those big jars on the floor in Chinese groceries.

http://www.goldencountry.com/china.aspx

Here is a good picture of the Tianjin Preserved Vegetable that Fuchsia mentioned. It comes in these earthenware jars.

http://www.wingyipstore.co.uk/product-099937.html

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....

The Sichuan vegetable  can come in cans, too. Try this link and scroll down to rows 6&7. Look for 'White Rabbit' brand. Even tho it is in a can, it doesn't seem any different than the ones I get in those big jars on the floor in Chinese groceries.

http://www.goldencountry.com/china.aspx

Here is a good picture of the Tianjin Preserved Vegetable that Fuchsia mentioned. It comes in these earthenware jars.

http://www.wingyipstore.co.uk/product-099937.html

Thank you. I think with all this help I should score on my next visit. I will post to give the results.

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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Jo-mel

I can't see ya cai pictured there - I think the picture is of pickled mustard greens (known in Sichuan as suan cai, Hunan as pao cai), which are preserved in brine. Sichuan ya cai is a dry preserve - the leaves are rubbed with salt and spices. So they are moist but not actually wet, and they look much darker than pickled mustard greens. Confusingly, the Hunanese call this type of preserve suan cai!

Fuchsia

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Jo-mel

I can't see ya cai pictured there - I think the picture is of pickled mustard greens (known in Sichuan as suan cai, Hunan as pao cai), which are preserved in brine. Sichuan ya cai is a dry preserve - the leaves are rubbed with salt and spices. So they are moist but not actually wet, and they look much darker than pickled mustard greens. Confusingly, the Hunanese call this type of preserve suan cai!

Fuchsia

Got it!

Something like the texture of Tianjin preserved vegetable or Red-in-Snow.

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I'm not a big fan of string beans due their raw "green" bean after taste, similar to uncooked sprout beans. If cooked in order to lose that unplesant taste, they became mushy and discolored.

Actually, I was never fond of string beans, however, I made this recipe and it changed my mind about string beans! Great recipe, Ah Leung!

Edited by KateC (log)
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  • 2 months later...

Supplemental:

This classical recipe is really wonderful. There is some magic about the combination. I don't know if it is the chili bean sauce, or if it is the onion/garlic, or if it is the Sichuan preserved vegetable, or if it is from the bits of browned meat. The combination of these produces a wonder taste.

I made the Sichuan string beans again. This time I used minced chicken, and onion instead of shallot. Otherwise it is the same basic recipe.

gallery_19795_2805_52653.jpg

Here is a whole pan-ful.

gallery_19795_2805_9454.jpg

More "meat to string bean" ratio this time.

W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"
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Made stir-fried "Sichuan dow jie" last week. Instead of using Sichuan preserved vegetable, I used chili radish from the jar, toban sauce and Sichuan peppercorns. As hubby is very much a carnivor, I stir-fried sliced beef and added that to the top of the beans instead of mixing it in. I've got to learn how to use the flash properly for pictures. :sad: The beef looked more "velvetized" in real life. I deep fried the green beans, but I don't think I'd do that again - too greasy.

gallery_13838_1972_6154.jpg

Dejah

www.hillmanweb.com

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[...] I deep fried the green beans, but I don't think I'd do that again - too greasy.

Too greasy? Compared to steamed fatty pork spareribs, braising pork belly, steamed laap cheung over rice, deep-fried egg rolls? :unsure::laugh::laugh:

W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"
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  • 2 years later...

Also made this one over the weekend. I used "long beans" and cooked it less than recommended for the string beans (but still until blistery). It was very delicious and the best version I've eaten after trying this dish in many places. I double the amount of chilli for some kick!

The zha choi (榨菜) I bought came in a tin from brand "Great Wall". Inside the tin was three whole of the stems (bulbs?). The tin was dry and contained no liquid. I only used part of the smallest one.

I'm hoping I can keep the remaining zha choi OK for a week in a plastic 'sandwich' bag in the fridge?

I didn't remove the chilli powder it was coated in as it wasn't too hot and the zha choi wasn't salty enough to need soaking.

It seems similar to kim chi (but drier as it's not in a liquid bath) and it should keep ok?

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The zha choi (榨菜) I bought came in a tin from brand "Great Wall". Inside the tin was three whole of the stems (bulbs?). The tin was dry and contained no liquid. I only used part of the smallest one.

I'm hoping I can keep the remaining zha choi OK for a week in a plastic 'sandwich' bag in the fridge?

I didn't remove the chilli powder it was coated in as it wasn't too hot and the zha choi wasn't salty enough to need soaking.

It seems similar to kim chi (but drier as it's not in a liquid bath) and it should keep ok?

You can keep zha choi in a plastic container for months without any ill effects.

Dejah

www.hillmanweb.com

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