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Sichuan Green Beans and a Blog Update

March 11, 2011

Things have been a bit quiet around here, at least you haven’t been hearing much from me.  I apologize for being behind on visiting with all of you and in responding to your comments here.  I assure you there’s plenty going on behind the scenes and I expect to return to a more frequent posting schedule when all the work is done.  What is going on?

Aside from normal life busy-ness, I’m excited to say that next week will mark my first blog anniversaryon St. Patrick’s Day to be exact.  And while I don’t have plans for a big party (oh, I might have a giveaway for you), I’ve been working on moving to my own domain.  For normal people, this would be easy.  Alas, for a tech-dummy like me, it’s been quite a task.  I’m embarrassed to admit that the “new” site has been on maintenance mode for almost as long as I’ve been blogging.  It just kept getting placed lower on my priorities list (until very recently).

The good news is that I have been working hard the last couple of weeks and that I’m getting great help.  I’m finding, however, that some of the changes I want are requiring manual implementation.  Hard when you have over 100 posts.  That said, I’m not planning major changes, the layout remains essentially the same but I’m trying to make the site a bit cleaner and more navigation-friendly.  As a couple of friends mentioned on Twitter, our site work is never “finished”, so very true.

I’m still not certain whether the new site will be ready by next week but it will happen very soon! If I’m lucky enough to have you as a subscriber now, I hope that you will follow me to my new home (or update your links, hint, hint).  🙂

In the meantime, I’ll share with you what has quickly risen to the top of my weeknight dish list.  I was craving Chinese food this week but since we’ve been traveling and dining out more than usual lately, I wanted to prepare it myself at home.   I was having a particularly strong craving for stir-fried green beans and decided to go with an America’s Test Kitchen recipe.

This version may be non-traditional but the finished dish is spot on.  The green beans were (virtually) dry-fried to get some charring on the skin and the minimal sauce coating the ground meat was spicy and fragrant.  I might add that I used ground turkey instead of pork but there is absolutely no loss of flavor, just unwanted fat. Served with freshly cooked steamed rice, this was comforting and satisfying.  I had not planned on sharing this with you at all but I’m glad for the impromptu photo session after preparing this for the first time.  1.) I’ve prepared this dish twice this week so that makes it worthy of sharing and 2.) I left my cooking notes at the office for the pasta dish I did plan to share with you so that will have to wait.  I think you will enjoy this, though.

Sichuan Green Beans

from America’s Test Kitchen

  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon dry sherry (I used Xaoxing rice wine)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon corn starch
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 pound green beans, stem ends snapped off and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1/4 pound ground pork (I used about 1/3 pound of ground turkey)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 3 scallions, sliced thinly (I omitted since I didn’t have any)
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • I served with sambal oelek (optional, pictured above)

Stir together all the ingredients from the soy sauce to dry mustard.  Set aside.

In a wok or large skillet, heat oil over high heat until just smoking.  Add the green beans and stir-fry for a few minutes until you they are crisp-tender, about 5-6 minutes.  Stir frequently until you get some charring on some of the beans.  Remove from pan and set aside.

Reduce your heat to medium-high and add ground meat to the pan.  Cook for a couple of minutes or until no pink remains in the meat.  Add the garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant, about half a minute.  Add beans then the sauce and stir until the latter has thickened, just a few seconds.  Transfer to a serving bowl and add the scallions (if using ) and sesame oil.  Serve or hot rice.

43 Comments leave one →
  1. March 11, 2011 12:50 PM

    This looks so delicious – a great spicy way to add some more vegetables. I am definitely trying this recipe. Thanks and good luck with the move.

  2. March 11, 2011 12:54 PM

    OMG. I love green beans but THIS? This is on another level. I am saving this since it looks just so amazing. I can just smell the spices from the screen! Looking forward to seeing your next anniversary post. Enjoy the weekend.

  3. March 11, 2011 1:03 PM

    Looks fantastic.

    I had to laugh reading your post because this is my 4th year of blogging and only now am I transferring my blog to word press, thesis and all that fancy stuff (I’ve had the domain for a while now). What a nightmare. And I am so clueless about this stuff. So for the longest time my husband was too busy to help (he’s a computer scientist but this is very unrelated to what he does) and so I looked into paying someone else to do it. Well suddenly he found a lot of time lol. Hopefully in a week or 2…

    • March 15, 2011 11:27 AM

      Laura, you and me both. I got the domain and Thesis software at the beginning but the process froze for several months. Now I’m rushing to get it done and I’m finding it’s more work than I had anticipated. Glad your husband is helping you–you may be done before I am! 🙂

  4. March 11, 2011 1:04 PM

    Look forward to the new site, Jean! Thanks for sharing; this recipe is making me hungry!

  5. March 11, 2011 1:11 PM

    Jean – I can’t wait to see your new site!! I am sure it will be wonderful. I am contemplating what to have for lunch and I sure wish I had this dish for lunch right now – it looks simply divine! Enjoy your weekend!! (PS – My hubby is going to call your hubby to go flying soon)

  6. March 11, 2011 1:19 PM

    Good luck with the switch! I’m sure it’ll go smoothly! And I’m loving this recipe!

  7. March 11, 2011 1:44 PM

    This is one spunky green bean recipe. I usually cook mine simply with some butter. I can’t wait to try this more interesting version.

  8. March 11, 2011 1:50 PM

    Spicy green beans is one of my favourite Chinese takeout dishes, but I know it’s not exactly the healthiest choice since it’s usually covered in oil and filled with fatty pork… love the idea of making it at home, especially with a healthier option like ground turkey!
    PS – Can’t wait to see the new site. I’m working on a redesign too, so I can totally relate to the humongous amount of work involved.

    • March 15, 2011 11:30 AM

      Isabelle, you know I didn’t miss the pork in this recipe. There was so much flavor from the sauce. I don’t think I’d prepare it any other way now. Definitely healthier. 🙂

      The redesign is ending being a lot of work. Hopefully I’ll be able to go “live” on the new site soon! 🙂

  9. March 11, 2011 4:29 PM

    This is one of my favorite dishes, loved that you featured it and that you made it twice in one week! Btw, I had a fabulous blog designer who helped me transfer all my posts (although I was more at 50 than 100). Other than some retagging I had to do, it was pretty easy and she was super helpful and nice (she held my hand through it all). Her button is on my blog if you want her info. Good luck w/ the blog transfer and congrats on your anniversary!

    • March 15, 2011 11:31 AM

      Dina, thanks so much for the recommendation. If I end up needing to go in that direction, I definitely check her out. Thanks! 🙂

  10. March 11, 2011 5:18 PM

    Good luck with finishing the new site!!!

  11. March 11, 2011 5:33 PM

    Hi Jean, I love spicy green beans, especially cold for breakfast the next day;-)
    Good luck with your blog’s new home, I am working on the same thing and will hopefully complete the process in my lifetime, lol. Have a great weekend and I am serious I would like to take you out to lunch, I will send you a FB message;-)

    • March 15, 2011 11:34 AM

      Patty, I like cold pizza for breakfast but I’ve never tried cold green beans! 🙂

      It seems there are a lot of us working on our blogs. It’s a lot of work, isn’t it? Not something you’re aware you signed up for when starting a blog. Oh well, it’s all still a lot of fun. 🙂

  12. March 11, 2011 6:33 PM

    I love the flavors of this dish. Look forward to the new site – and to your anniversary!!! It’s always a work in progress.

  13. March 11, 2011 7:33 PM

    I love spicy beans! There was a chinese place I frequented in Atlanta that had the best ones! Thanks for sharing… this will prompt me to make them myself!

  14. March 11, 2011 8:04 PM

    Sichuan green beans is one of my family’s favorite to order but thank you for sharing the recipe, we can have this at home anytime. I’ll be awaiting your new site, very exciting!

  15. March 11, 2011 8:14 PM

    I love this recipe too! It`s one of our favourites — our little island doesn`t have a Chinese take-away, so we have to make our own…and congrats on making the 1 year mark (almost)! Theresa

  16. March 11, 2011 11:03 PM

    Jean, you’re absolutely right – these Sichuan Green Beans are spot on! Whenever we go for Chinese this is always one of the dishes we order. I’d like to cook them at home, too (not as greasy) and it certainly makes a satisfying meal. Excited for you moving to your own domain – I’ve been wanting to update mine but can’t face the challenges right now. Congrats on one year – you’ve accomplished so much in that short time! Have a fun weekend – don’t spend all of it working on your blog 🙂

    • March 15, 2011 11:35 AM

      Thanks so much, Priscilla. I hope I haven’t raised too many expectations on this new site. No big changes, promise! The technical stuff is all just uphill work for me. Glad I’m not alone. 🙂

  17. March 12, 2011 7:33 AM

    Good luck with everything, I hope it all goes smoothly for you. I know what you mean about site work never being done, I feel like there are always changes I want to make too!

  18. March 12, 2011 8:16 AM

    Congrats on the upcoming blogiversary Jean and new home for your site. You are way more courageous than I making the shift! We are here all crazed about perfectly charred, fried, sauteed green beans and yours look spot on as you said. Love it and the recipe (minus the pork of course for me:).

    • March 15, 2011 11:36 AM

      Hi Shulie! I used ground turkey in this recipe and I was very happy with it. Wouldn’t even bother cooking it with pork next time. It was flavorful enough. 🙂

  19. March 12, 2011 10:52 AM

    Congratulations on the upcoming launch of your new site. And also for sharing this delicious bean recipe…yum!

  20. March 12, 2011 12:11 PM

    Good luck on switching over to your own domain! It’s exciting but it sounds like a ton of work. I look forward to seeing it. In the meantime, this looks like a delicious dish!

  21. March 12, 2011 1:00 PM

    Congrats! I can’t wait to read your upcoming posts. This green bean dish looks and sounds so good.
    Thanks for such a lovely blog!

  22. gingerbreadbagels permalink
    March 12, 2011 8:40 PM

    I love green beans but wow these just look AMAZING. So flavorful looking! I need to try these out. 🙂
    Congrats on the new site!

  23. March 13, 2011 12:09 AM

    Oh Jean,
    I love this. I am on a vegan cleanse right now, but I think I will try this with some tempeh instead of the turkey. Good luck with the move and Happy Anniversary. You know I think you’re the bees knees, right?

    • March 15, 2011 11:38 AM

      Aw, Sabrina, you’re so sweet! Thank you! The move is pretty challenging but I’m determined to get it done! 🙂

  24. March 13, 2011 1:24 PM

    Good luck with the new site! It is a lot of work, and it never seems to be done.

  25. March 13, 2011 6:20 PM

    These green beans look really good. Good luck with the new site. I know it’s always more work than you thinik.

  26. March 13, 2011 8:27 PM

    Happy Anniversary! And this recipe is a maker for sure…looking forward to new look

  27. March 13, 2011 9:07 PM

    Congratulations on the (soon to happen) move. I still don’t have my own domain either and sure I don’t have time to deal with it now so you deserve a big congrats. I’m looking forward to see the result.

  28. March 14, 2011 6:23 AM

    I love green beans and usually fix them the same way each time; this is a new and exciting recipe, that I will try soon, thanks~

  29. March 14, 2011 4:00 PM

    I love green beans. (like enjoy them as snack, candy and at every meal love). Unfortunately I don’t often think to do anything with them other than to steam them. Thanks for the inspiration.

  30. March 15, 2011 12:08 AM

    This is one of the Chinese dishes that I’ve ALWAYS wanted to cook, but didn’t bother to search online. WOW, what a coincidence to find this recipe when I ran into your website! Yours looks fantastic and I really hope I can make it nicely like you did. You seem to live in SF – there is a very popular and good sichuan restaurant in San Mateo, which serves great green beans!

  31. Bridget permalink
    March 18, 2011 9:43 AM

    Is there a way we can increase the recipe to make it with a pound or more of turkey, but without increasing the soy sauce? Trying to keep the sodium down..


    • March 18, 2011 9:48 AM

      Bridget, it’s definitely worth a try. if you’re not using low-sodium soy sauce yet, you can sub for the regular kind. Otherwise, I might just use more of the other “sauce” ingredients to make up for some of the flavor loss. I think you can’t go really go wrong. Good luck! 🙂

  32. March 20, 2011 6:46 PM

    I tried this last night and both my hubby and I really enjoyed it, it’s simple and delish. He said to put this in the keeper binder! Thanks for a great recipe!

    • March 21, 2011 9:59 PM

      Donna, thanks so much for trying the green beans. I’m so glad that you and your husband liked it. It’s quickly become a favorite around here, too. Thanks so much for telling me. 🙂


  1. Szechuan Green Beans « Collard Courier

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