VEGAN Spicy Asian Green Beans - recipe

back from xintang, and what do i crave ? why, more chinese food, of course ! but this time, i'm home and have total control over the ingredients. omnomnom. you see, in china, you don't really have much control over what you are eating. except of course, unless you decide to pack your suitcase full of energy bars and packaged tuna ( read : hipsters guide to surviving china ) but even so, it would be hard to live off the shit for weeks at a time. you see, authentic chinese food is a lot different than the likes of panda express and pf changs. even with the best intentions, its near impossible to avoid excess sodium and msg. it kinda just is what it is. and while i have successfully navigated the culinary minefields of southern china to find a turbo tasty menu, it is more often than not still bad for the waistline.

anyway, yea, so, when i was trying to think of what to make for grub the other day ... my mind kept wandering back to this spicy green bean dish that i had at a dim sum house in honk kong just over a year ago. it was that memorable. super spicy green beans with crumbled ground pork on top. i never tried to make anything like it before, but i figured, what the hell ? and coincidentally, i still had a packet of leftover fake "meat" kikin' it in the fridge from when i made the VEGAN bolognese dish that could totally serve as the crumbly topping. perfecto.

now, full disclaimer here : i had no clue what i was doing when i whipped this up. in fact, i had no intention of posting it on the site, but it ended up looking so good and tasting so delicious that i couldn't resist. so i recommend taking this ingredient list as a general guideline. for example : when it came to the spice level, i started with the red pepper flake and then just kept adding whatever i had lying around til it got to a heat level that i was happy with. that said, four different kinds of spice/sauce miiiiiiiight not be necessary. just play with it and you can't go wrong.

my ingredients :
  • green beans, cleaned
  • 1 pckg ground "meat" as pictured above
  • 4-5 cloves crushed garlic
  • whole scallion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons red chili sauce
  • 1 tablespoon tradejoe's general tsao stir fry sauce
  • dash of soy sauce
  • red pepper flake to taste
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • green onion as garnish
i started by heating the peanut and sesame oils in a wok and adding the garlic/scallions. once properly sweated, i added the green beans. i continued to cook, uncovered, until the beans were almost tender, stirring regularly. then i added the "meatless" ground and 1 tablespoon general tsao stir fry sauce. after stirring it all up, and heating the "meat" thoroughly, i started the taste testing. first thing i added was a tablespoon of red chili sauce and the dash of soy sauce/rice wine vinegar. it wasn't hot enough, so i added more chili sauce and red pepper flake. i also added the salt/pepper at the end, to taste. there really isn't a wrong way to do it ... so long as you taste after each addition to make sure you keep it within your spice level. and definitely be sure to sprinkle the green onion on top, it totally makes the dish ! and there you go ... enjoy ! 

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