Chinese Long Beans with Pickled Chili (剁椒炒豇豆 Duo Jiao Chao Jiang Dou)
October 9, 2021  Print
Our Chinese long beans (also known as yardlong beans and asparagus beans) are nearing the end of their season. So this is likely my last Chinese long bean post for 2021. They lasted quite a long time compare to our Chinese cucumber and Luffa plants. We will definitely grow more next summer now that we know how easy it is to grow them (see previous post for a picture of yardlong beans in our garden).
Today’s recipe, Chinese Long Beans with Pickled Chili, is a very homey dish from Southern China. The ingredients are quite simple. You can also use other green beans instead. But the dish does heavily depend on the pickled chili you use. This dish is usually served as a side dish that goes with rice, noodles, and porridge. If you use a spicier type of pickled chili to make this recipe, you can easily down a bowl of rice with just a moderate amount of this dish as an accompaniment.
Many households in Southern China make their own pickled chili (剁椒) in large quantities and use it for the entire year. It’s especially a local staple item in Hu Nan, Hu Bei, and Gui Zhou provinces. The pickled chili is easy to make, requiring mainly fresh hot chili peppers, salt, and distilled hard liquor. I do plan to make my own pickled chili next year after I grow more hot chili peppers in my garden beds. And I will write a post about it to share what works for me. For now, the store-bought pickled chili will have to do.
There are quite a few different brands of pickled chili in the market, at least in the US. Some are spicier. Some are saltier. Some are crispier. I’ve tried a couple. Lao Gan Ma (老干妈) brand pickled chili is probably the most widely available one in Asian grocery stores. It has pretty good heat but it’s also quite salty. So if you use Lao Gan Ma’s pickled chili, you do not need to add any salt for this recipe. But feel free to explore and find the pickled chili that you like the most and let me know how it goes!
Gluten Free, Low Carb
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 2-4 people
- 1/2 lb (~225 g ) Chinese long beans 1
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 or 2 tablespoons pickled chili (剁椒) 2
- 1/4 lb (~110 g) ground beef, pork, or chicken (optional)
- salt to taste
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon water
- Wash and chop the Chinese long beans into small pieces. Peel and mince the garlic.
- Heat a skillet or wok under medium-high heat. When the skillet or wok gets hot, add the 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil, followed by the minced garlic. Stir the garlic for a few seconds, then add the pickled chili, stirring to mix.
- When the pickled chili become fragrant after a few seconds, add the 1/4 lb of ground beef, mixing well with the pickled chili and garlic, about 15 seconds. Lastly, add the chopped Chinese long beans, stirring and tossing until the color of the Chinese long beans changes to a darker and more mature green. Add 1 tablespoon of water and stir to mix. Cover the lid for about half a minute to further soften the green bean pieces.
- Remove the lid and add salt to taste. Transfer to a plate and enjoy either warm or cold.
- You can find Chinese long beans (also known as yardlong beans and asparagus beans) in most Asian grocery stores. You can also use other types green beans instead. French haricots verts (French green beans) work especially well.
- The amount depends on the degree of spiciness of your pickled chili. I’ve tried a few different brands. For example, Lao Gan Mao’s pickled chili (老干妈风味糟辣剁椒) is on the spicy and salty side. Other ones, like 红翻天 (Hong Fan Tian) and 坛坛香 (Tan Tan Xiang) brands, are not as spicy and salty. It’s really a personal preference.
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