Sichuan Longbean Stir Fry with Ground Pork

East Asia



For 4 Servings

1 Bunch Longbeans
150g Minced Pork
5 Star Anise
1Tbsp Sichuan Peppercorns
240g Salt for Pickling
5g Salt
40g Rock Sugar
5g White Sugar
1 Head Garlic, whole
2 Cloves Garlic, Sliced
10g Ginger, minced
150g Fresh Chilies
8 Dried Chilies
1.5L Water
1.5 Tbsp Soy Sauce
1.5Tbsp Shaoxing Wine
1/4tsp White Pepper


Pickled longbeans can be found in your local Chinese grocery store, but making them is easy, so I'll be doing that here.

To a pickling jar or 2L mason jar, add 5 Star Anise, 1Tbsp Sichuan Peppercorns, 30g of unpeeled garlic cloves, 240g of salt, 40g of rock sugar (regular sugar should work fine), and 150g of red Thai chillies.
Twist a bunch of longbeans into the jar so they spiral tightly inside, then pour in 1.5L of water.
Cover, and let them pickle for 10 days, or until most of the bubbling has subsided.
The bubbles shouldn't be enough to break your jar, but just to be safe, burp the lid once every day.

Once your pickles are ready, it's time to stir fry them.
Marinate 150g of ground pork in a bowl with 5ml each of Shaoxing wine and soy sauce, as well as a few cracks of white pepper.
You can also use ground chicken, tofu, or seitan, if you don't eat pork. It's mainly there for texture.

Prep the longbeans by removing them from the jar, giving them a quick rinse to remove extra saltiness, and chopping them into 5mm segments, discarding the end caps.

Now get a wok extra hot, add 45ml of oil, cut the heat, and add a tablespoon of sichuan peppercorns.
Fry those until fragrant, then remove them, reserving the oil in the wok. It will now have been infused with the flavor of the peppercorns and we won't have to run the risk of accidentally biting into one.
Do the same with a tablespoon of minced ginger and sliced dried chillies – turn the heat back to medium high, add the ginger and chillies, let them get fragrant (you'll probably start sneezing at this point, so have a tissue box handy), and remove them.
Finally add 3 sliced cloves of garlic, and 10 sliced pickled chillies. Let those get fragrant, then add the ground pork.
Fry the pork until golden, chopping it apart into small granules as it cooks. We want the size to generally match the size of the longbeans.
Add 15ml of Shaoxing wine, and continue to stir fry until it's mostly evaporated.
Add in the longbeans, 5g of salt, 5g of sugar, and 15ml of soy sauce.
Stir fry over high heat for 2-3min until the soy sauce has mostly evaporated and concentrated into a coating on the beans and pork.
Serve hot. Goes great with rice to soak up all that flavor.

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