Crunchy Szechuan green beans

Published On: Apr 24 2012 02:00:15 PM CDT   Updated On: Jun 10 2010 04:47:07 AM CDT

These zesty beans make a great side dish or a crowd-pleasing appetizer. Adjust the amount of red pepper flakes or Chinese chili paste with garlic to suit your desire for heat.

1 tablespoon canola oil

1 pound green beans, trimmed

1/3 cup coarsely chopped onion

¼ cup hoisin sauce

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon dark (Asian) sesame oil

1 tablespoon water, or as needed

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger

1 teaspoon sugar

¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes, or 2 teaspoons Chinese chili paste with garlic, or to taste

Toasted sesame seeds for garnish

Heat the canola oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the beans and onion; cook, stirring occasionally, until the beans are crisp-tender and blackened in spots, about 5 to 10 minutes, depending on their thickness.

Meanwhile, whisk the remaining ingredients, except the sesame seeds, in a small bowl. Stir in more water as needed until the sauce has a cake-batter consistency. Set aside.

Remove the beans from the heat. Add the sauce and stir until the beans are evenly coated. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

Transfer the beans to a platter and garnish. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Advance preparation

The beans can be prepared up to 1 day in advance; cover and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature for serving.