A classic dish that is typically served to accompany a meal, but which can also be serve as a starter (particularly if you add strips of fish or meat to the beans after cooking and before serving).
However, I am presenting this dish simply here, giving it to you as it was originally shown to me.
Spicy French BeansServes: 4
Ingredients:200g French beans, trimmed and cut at a bias (diagonally) into 3 or 4 pieces each
2 tbsp groundnut oil
4 dried chillies, cut into 2 or 3 pieces each
1/2 tsp Szechuan peppercorns
1 garlic clove, finely sliced
6 thin slices of fresh ginger
2 spring onions (white part only), cut at a bias into thin rounds
pinch of sea salt
Method:Bring a large pan of water to a boil. Add the beans and blanch for 30 seconds then drain in a colander and set aside.
Pre-heat your wok then add 1 tbsp of the oil. Add the drained beans and stir-fry over low heat for 5 minutes, or until they begin to wrinkle. Remove from the wok with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Add the remaining oil to he wok, increase the heat and stir-fry the chillies and Szechuan peppercorns until fragrant (about 90 seconds). Add the garlic, ginger and spring onions and stir-fry for a few minutes, or until they begin to soften. Return the beans to the pan and toss to combine. Season with the sea salt and serve immediately.
Below are some other classic Chinese recipes on this blog that you can use in conjunction with this recipe to produce a complete Chinese meal or banquet:
Fish and Seafood Dishes:
Stir-fried Scallops with Asparagus
Clams in Black Bean Sauce
Chinese Vegetable and Coconut Curry