21 June 2012

Long Beans with Pork (乾扁四季豆) and Ma'po Tofu (麻婆豆腐)

Last night I made long beans with pork and mapo tofu to use up some pork left over from the bean sauce noodles.  I needed some chili oil for the tofu, so Seyoung made some in the microwave, check out the colour!

The last time I made long beans was in Singapore, this time I made them a bit differently.  The ground pork is seasoned with black bean and chili (as well as the other usual suspects).  The beans themselves are seasoned only by a little garlic in the oil, and by the juices and flavours from the meat.

Long beans are usually between 30 - 90 cm in length and are different from the green beans in Western cooking, but I imagine green beans could be substitued in the recipe.  The recipe below is adapted from a recipe found here: http://www.nibbledish.com/people/rachel/recipes/minced-pork-and-long-beans-stir-fry


Minced Pork and Long Beans

Serves 2-4,
500g long beans, rinsed and cut into 2-inch lengths
250g minced pork
2 tbsp fermented black bean
1tsp rice wine
2 tsp mushroom soya sauce
1 tsp light soya sauce
finely ground white pepper
2 tbsp sesame oil
1 tsp dried chili
2 tsp corn starch
1 large clove of garlic, finely minced/grated
cooking oil

  1. Wash and cut the long beans into 2-inch lengths, then set aside.
  2. Put black bean in a small bowl and add rice wine, mash the beans with the wine and let sit for 5-10 minutes.
  3. In a bowl, combine together the pork, mashed black beans, both types of soya sauce, chili, white pepper and half the sesame oil. Mix well with a fork until thoroughly combined.
  4. Add cron starch to the pork-mixture, and mix well again, making sure it is evenly distributed. Set this aside for about 5-10 minutes.
  5. In wok, heat about 2-3 tbsp of oil on high until smoking, then add in your garlic. Fry for about 10-20 seconds until fragrant (the heat will be very strong so be careful it doesn't burn), then add the pork in. Using a ladle/spatula, keep the pork moving around, being sure to break up the chunks. The trick to stir-frying is to just keep everything moving all the time.
  6. Stir-fry the pork until most of the pink is gone add in the long beans. Reduce the heat to medium, and keep stirring the mixture for another 5-8 minutes, or until the beans are cooked through and tender, but still have a nice crunch to them.
  7. Take the pan off the heat, and stir through the remaining sesame oil, and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Transfer to a warm plate, and serve with steamed rice.

 For the Mapo Tofu I adapted one from here:

The recipe calls for garlic chives, which can be hard to find here, so I substitued green onion and garlic.  I chopped the green and white parts of the onion separately and added the white part and the garlic to the cooking oil for the pork.  I added the green part of the onion during the final cooking stage.

The recipe also lists the Sichuan peppercorns as optional, but really they are an important part of this dish.  Sichuan pepper has an interesting mouth-numbing effect and an odd citrus flavour that offsets the fire from the chili without killing it.  Some people don't like it, but it's a very different spice, you really have to try it at least once.  Hot and sour soup should really have sichuan pepper in it, although most places make it without.

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