31, Jan 2010
Dry Sauteed Long Beans with Ground Turkey

This dish was modeled on the dry sauteed green beans found at some Chinese restaurants (e.g. Chiang’s in north Seattle), which is composed mainly of the beans and fine pieces of spicy ground pork. I looked at a few recipes (e.g. this one) but I was surprised to find that the beans weren’t as dry sauteed as I thought — the basic procedure is basically to deep fry them in oil, then dry sautee them with the pork. Instead, I wanted to use my dry charred approach (though I ended up with a second step that was not dry sauteed). So I took a few ideas from the recipes I found, but basically made up my own. I also substituted turkey for the pork, to keep it marginally healthier and long beans for the green beans, because I like them. Either should do fine. The end result came out about perfect, just what I was going for — a flavorful dish focused on the beans but complemented by flavorful meat.

One note: I’ve done the beans in the past in a nonstick skillet, which worked pretty well. This time I tried a non-nonstick pan and don’t think it worked as well. I’m still not sure the best pan for this.


Long beans cut in 2-3″ lengths, about 3 cups worth
1/2 lb ground turkey
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 green onions, chopped
chili paste, ideally with seeds (e.g. sambal olek), or sriracha otherwise
sambal olek or other chili sauce or paste
soy sauce, shao hsing wine, sugar, corn starch, vegetable oil


Combine the ground turkey with about 1 tsp salt, 1tsp pepper, and 1 tsp corn starch. Mix it with fingers and let it stand. Meanwhile, heat a 12″ nonstick skillet on medium for 2-3 minutes. Mix 1 tbsp soy, 1 tbsp shao hsing wine, 2 tsp sugar, and 1/2 tsp corn starch and set aside.

Add the long beans (no oil!) and a pinch of salt and pepper. The beans may not all fit in the pan without being piled up too much, so you may need to do this in two batches. Stir the beans occasionally for about 5 minutes, adding a little more salt and pepper as you like. The beans should start to wrinkle and shrink a little. Push the beans to one side of the skillet and add a tiny amount of soy sauce; let it burn off for a few seconds, and then stir the beans through the soy. Keep the beans moving for 2-3 more minutes, adding a little more black pepper. The beans should char a bit and continue to wrinkle and darken. Remove them from the pan.

Heat some oil in the skillet at medium-high heat. Add the turkey and brown, breaking it up with the spatula so it’s in small pieces. After 2-3 minutes, clear a space in the skillet and add some soy sauce and 1/2 to 1 tsp chili paste to taste. Let it sautee for a few seconds then mix the turkey through it. Stir the turkey only occasionally, to let it char against the bottom of the pan a little. Remove from the pan.

Turn the heat to medium and add a little oil to the pan. Add the garlic and sautee until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add about 1/3 of the soy mixture and sautee for another 30 seconds or so. Add the meat back followed by the long beans. Stir fry for a few minutes, adding the soy mixture a little at a time, along with chili paste to taste. When everything is hot and mixed thoroughly, turn off the heat. Add the green onions and mix. Serve over rice.

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