sichuan green beansrating:
2 tbsp dried shrimps
veg oil for deep frying
450g french beans, topped and tailed
2 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 tsp sichuan or black peppercorns, crushed (do use sichuan if you can - they're glorious)
2.5cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
2 tbsp rice wine
1 tbsp sesame oil
oak dried shrimp in boiling water for 20 mins, then drain, and reserve soaking liquid. Chop shrimp finely, and set aside. Half fill heavy-bottomed saucepan with veg oil and heat until hot. Deep fry the beans for 304 mins until tender, wrinkled and lightly tinged with brown. Remove from pan, drain on kitchen paper.
place a wok or high-sided frying pan over medium heat, add 1 tbsp veg oil and heat until smoke rises. Add garlic, peppercorns, and ginger, stir fry for a few seconds, taking care not to brown them too much. Add chopped soaked shrimp and stir fry for 30 seconds more. Add salt, sugar, soy and 5 tbsp of retained shrimp water. Add beans, stirring well to ensure they are well coated with the ingredients. Continue to stir until almost all of the liquid has been absorbed, and the sauce and beans have caramelised to dark brown, almost black. Pour in rice wine and sesame oil, stir well to amagamate the flavours.
serve warm, or better cold (it says - I think I would serve it hot with noodles myself)