Green China Restaurant

Spicy Szechuan Green Beans

Introduction

When it comes to delicious, flavorful, and easy-to-make side dishes, Spicy Szechuan Green Beans are a top contender. This dish, inspired by the bold and fiery flavors of Szechuan cuisine, brings together fresh green beans and a tantalizing mix of spices that will leave your taste buds tingling. Perfect for pairing with a variety of main courses or enjoying on their own, Spicy Szechuan Green Beans are a versatile and nutritious addition to any meal.

Spicy Szechuan Green Beans

Prep Time:

15 mins

Cook Time:

10 mins

Total Time:

25 mins

Servings:

2

Spicy Szechuan Green Beans

Origins of Szechuan Cuisine

What is Szechuan Cuisine?

Szechuan cuisine, originating from the Sichuan province in southwestern China, is renowned for its bold and spicy flavors. This regional cuisine is characterized by the liberal use of garlic, chili peppers, and the unique Sichuan peppercorn. The Sichuan peppercorn, known for its numbing effect on the tongue, adds a distinctive kick to many dishes, making Szechuan cuisine a favorite among spice lovers.

The Popularity of Szechuan Green Beans

Among the many dishes that Szechuan cuisine offers, Szechuan green beans have gained international popularity. This dish typically features stir-fried green beans cooked with ground pork, garlic, ginger, and a spicy sauce made from soy sauce, chili paste, and sometimes a hint of sugar. The result is a savory, slightly sweet, and spicy dish that perfectly complements the crisp texture of the green beans.

Spicy Szechuan Green Beans

Ingredients for Spicy Szechuan Green Beans

Main Ingredients

  • Green Beans: Fresh, crisp green beans are the star of this dish. They should be trimmed and washed thoroughly before cooking.
  • Ground Pork (optional): Adding ground pork is traditional, but it can be omitted for a vegetarian version.
  • Garlic: Fresh garlic cloves, minced, add a depth of flavor.
  • Ginger: Fresh ginger, minced, provides a warm, spicy undertone.

Sauce Ingredients

  • Soy Sauce: Provides a salty, umami base for the sauce.
  • Chili Paste: Adds the necessary heat. Adjust the quantity based on your spice tolerance.
  • Sugar: Balances the spiciness with a touch of sweetness.
  • Sichuan Peppercorns: These unique peppercorns add a numbing, citrusy flavor.
  • Rice Vinegar: Adds a bit of acidity to balance the flavors.

Optional Garnishes

  • Green Onions: Chopped green onions add a fresh, sharp flavor.
  • Sesame Seeds: Toasted sesame seeds add a nutty crunch.
  • Crushed Peanuts: For added texture and flavor.
Spicy Szechuan Green Beans

Cooking Instructions

Step-by-Step Guide

  1. Prepare the Green Beans: Trim the ends of the green beans and wash them thoroughly. Blanch the beans in boiling water for 2-3 minutes until they are bright green and tender-crisp. Immediately transfer them to an ice bath to stop the cooking process.
  2. Prepare the Sauce: In a small bowl, mix together soy sauce, chili paste, sugar, and rice vinegar. Adjust the amount of chili paste based on your preferred level of spiciness.
  3. Toast the Sichuan Peppercorns: In a dry skillet, toast the Sichuan peppercorns over medium heat until fragrant. Once cooled, grind them into a coarse powder using a mortar and pestle or spice grinder.
  4. Stir-fry the Aromatics: In a large skillet or wok, heat a small amount of oil over medium-high heat. Add the minced garlic and ginger, and stir-fry for about 30 seconds until fragrant.
  5. Cook the Pork (optional): If using ground pork, add it to the skillet and cook until browned and cooked through.
  6. Add the Green Beans: Add the blanched green beans to the skillet and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes until they are heated through and slightly charred.
  7. Combine Everything: Pour the sauce over the green beans and toss to coat evenly. Sprinkle the ground Sichuan peppercorns over the top and mix well.
  8. Garnish and Serve: Transfer the green beans to a serving dish and garnish with chopped green onions, toasted sesame seeds, and crushed peanuts if desired. Serve hot.
Spicy Szechuan Green Beans

Nutritional Information

Here is a nutritional breakdown of Spicy Szechuan Green Beans per serving (assuming 4 servings total):

Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 2
Calories 73
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 3g3%
Saturated Fat 0g2%
Sodium 911mg40%
Total Carbohydrate 11g4%
Dietary Fiber 4g15%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 3g7%
Vitamin C 20mg22%
Calcium 52mg4%
Iron 2mg9%
Potassium 303mg6%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000-calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. The amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

Spicy Szechuan Green Beans

Health Benefits of Green Beans

Rich in Nutrients

Green beans are low in calories but high in several key nutrients, including vitamin C, vitamin K, and dietary fiber. They also provide a good amount of folate, which is important for DNA synthesis and repair.

High in Antioxidants

Green beans contain various antioxidants, including flavonoids and polyphenols, which help protect your cells from damage caused by free radicals. These antioxidants have anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce the risk of chronic diseases.

Supports Heart Health

The fiber in green beans can help lower cholesterol levels, reducing the risk of heart disease. Additionally, the potassium content in green beans helps regulate blood pressure, further supporting cardiovascular health.

Promotes Digestive Health

Dietary fiber is essential for healthy digestion, and green beans are a great source of it. Fiber adds bulk to your stool and promotes regular bowel movements, helping prevent constipation and other digestive issues.

Supports Bone Health

Vitamin K, found in green beans, plays a crucial role in bone health. It helps with the formation of proteins involved in bone mineralization and can help improve bone density, reducing the risk of fractures.

Spicy Szechuan Green Beans

Variations and Serving Suggestions

Vegetarian and Vegan Options

To make this dish vegetarian or vegan, simply omit the ground pork. You can add more vegetables, such as bell peppers, mushrooms, or snap peas, to make the dish more substantial. Tofu or tempeh can also be added for extra protein.

Pairing with Main Dishes

Spicy Szechuan Green Beans can be paired with a variety of main dishes. They go well with grilled chicken, beef stir-fry, or even a simple bowl of steamed rice. For a complete meal, serve them alongside other Chinese dishes like fried rice or dumplings.

Adjusting the Spice Level

If you prefer a milder version of this dish, reduce the amount of chili paste and Sichuan peppercorns. Conversely, if you love spicy food, feel free to increase these ingredients or add some dried red chilies for an extra kick.

Making Ahead and Storage

This dish is best enjoyed fresh, but it can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator for up to three days. To reheat, simply stir-fry the green beans in a hot skillet for a few minutes until heated through. Avoid microwaving, as it can make the beans soggy.

Conclusion

Spicy Szechuan Green Beans are a delightful and nutritious dish that brings the vibrant flavors of Szechuan cuisine to your table. With its combination of fresh green beans, aromatic spices, and a spicy kick, this dish is sure to become a favorite in your household. Whether you’re serving it as a side dish or enjoying it on its own, Spicy Szechuan Green Beans are a delicious way to incorporate more vegetables into your diet while savoring the bold flavors of Chinese cuisine.

Enjoy experimenting with this recipe and making it your own. Whether you stick to the traditional version or add your twist, Spicy Szechuan Green Beans are sure to please your palate and impress your guests. Happy cooking!

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