Sichuan-style green beans with pork mince

There are manyvariations of this classic Chinese dish. I remember it being the best meal I had in a long stopover at Hong Kong airport (probably the best meal I’ve had at any airport!). That one had more garlic and a hint of chili, this is milder with a kick from the ginger.

Based on Barbara Tropp’s recipe in The Modern Art of Chinese Cooking.
Prep time 15 mins, cook 10 mins Serves 3-4.

2   tbsp small dried prawns, soaked in hot water for 10 minutes, drained
I used a few shelled green prawns in one variation

40  gm piece of ginger, peeled and finely chopped

30   gm Tianjin preserved vegetables (pickled cabbage, available in most Asian food stores.

Peanut oil, for deep-frying

700 gm green beans, trimmed

1   tbsp white sugar

60   ml (1/4 cup) chicken stock

100   gm minced pork

1   tbsp Chinese black vinegar

1 tsp sesame oil

1   green onion, finely chopped Steamed rice, to serve

Combine prawns and ginger in a food proces­sor, pulse until coarsely chopped, add preserved vegetables and pulse until just combined.

Heat peanut oil in a wok or deep-fryer to 200C, add half the beans and fry for 2 minutes or until wrinkled, transfer to an absorbent paper-lined plate and repeat with remaining beans.

 Combine sugar, stock and % tsp salt. Heat a wok over high heat, add 21/2 tbsp peanut oil, add prawn mixture and pork and stir-fry for 2 minutes or until fragrant. Add stock mixture, bring to a simmer, add beans and toss to com­bine. Stir through vinegar, sesame oil and green onion and adjust seasoning to taste.

Place beans on a large platter and serve immediately with steamed rice.

There are many variations of this classic Chinese dish, this one works well.