This is a simple version of Szechuan green beans that omits the sugar but keeps the taste. This recipe gets its heat from Sambal Oelek, a simple Asian chilli sauce made from ground chillies. It’s super-spicy, so use it sparingly, especially if you aren’t a fan of spicy food! You can find it in the Asian food section of most grocery stores, or order it online. If you can’t find Sambal Oelek, use another chilli sauce, but make sure that it doesn’t contain any added sugar.
If fresh green beans are out of season, you can use good-quality whole frozen green beans instead. They don’t turn out as crispy, but they’re still tasty.
- 1 bunch green beans (about 4 cups), washed and ends trimmed
- 1 Tbsp peanut oil
- 1 Tbsp chopped garlic
- 1 Tbsp chopped ginger
- 1 Tbsp soy sauce
- 1-2 tsp Sambal Oelek (chilli sauce) (adjust to taste)
- In a wok or large frying pan, heat the peanut oil and stir-fry the green beans on medium-high heat until they are tender and the skins start to brown (see photo), about 6-8 minutes.
- Add garlic and ginger and stir fry 2 minutes more.
- Add Sambal Oelek and soy sauce and stir-fry one minute more. Adjust the amount of Sambal Oelek to taste – if you don’t like spicy food you could omit it altogether, or add it gradually. The Sambal Oelek gives off chilli fumes when you add it to the pan, so turn on your range hood, stand back, and try not to breathe it in! You’ve been warned!
|Sugar-free Szechuan green beans||Serves 2