Knowing how to cook is an invaluable part of having a healthy lifestyle. Not just because home cooked meals are much healthier than eating out, but also (and perhaps more importantly) because it really helps you understand what goes into the food you are eating.
I mean, I can go on and on about how much saturated fat is in cakes and biscuits but nothing quite gets the message across like seeing blocks of butter going into your cake batter. And then a couple more into the icing.….
For me, working in a Chinese restaurant took this one step further. I was absolutely fascinated during the first couple of months waitressing at my local Chinese. I loved the way that everything was cooked to order but was on the table in 5 minutes. Even the hot plates were heated methodically, popped onto the burner as soon as the meal started cooking, so that they were just the right temperature once it was ready.
It was impressive, the efficiency of the kitchen.
But one of the reasons why it was so quick to cook was because the meat wasn’t actually stir fried. Instead, it’s first cooked in oil, because the high temperature means that it’s super fast, the fat content making it moist and tasty.
So is the case with these Sichuan Green Beans. If you’ve ever wondered how restaurants can get such a nice crunchy texture, it’s because they beans are deep fried in oil before stir frying. Tasty, but not as healthy as you might have thought hey?
For my homemade version, I wanted to recreate the texture without the deep frying step. Instead, I popped them in the oven to crisp up. It’s not quite as crunchy and a little more timely, but well worth the effort and the calories you’re saving too! And it’s a hit in our family, with no shortage of flavour from addition of the chilli and pork.
If you’re looking for a different and tasty way to have your beans, give this Sichuan Green Beans recipe a go!
Here’s the Recipe:
- 200g Green Beans
- 1 Tablespoon Cooking Oil
- 2 Slices Ginger
- 5 Cloves Garlic, chopped
- 80g Pork Mince (I Used Sausage Meat)
- 1 Tablespoon Rice Wine
- 1 Tablespoon Light Soy Sauce
- 1 Tablespoon Chilli Powder
- 1 Teaspoon Sesame Oil
- Pinch Of Salt
- Sugar, To Taste
- Chicken Stock Powder, To Taste.
- Prepare the green beans. Wash and dry the beans with a paper towel. Place the beans in a single layer on a baking tray and pop into a 180 degreeC preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, turning halfway. The beans are done when you can start to see coloured spots on them.
- In a wok or fry pan, heat oil, then add garlic and ginger and cook, stirring, until aromatic, about 1 minute. Add the pork mince and continue stirring and breaking up the mince until cooked through.
- Stir through the beans and the remaining ingredients, until well mixed and hot. Serve with Rice.
- To reduce cooking time, you can first partially cook the beans in the microwave for 3 minutes before baking. Alternatively, if you don't mind the texture so much, then you can just blanch them and stir fry.