Double-cooked yardlong beans

Serves 6

I always order this in my local Sichuan restaurant in Bethnal Green Road in east London, Gourmet San. It's a great accompaniment to meat or fish. The yardlong bean is also known as the long-podded cowpea, asparagus bean, snake bean, or Chinese long bean – but if you can't find yardlong beans then just use green beans. You can buy the preserved mustard cabbage in vacuum packs in Chinese supermarkets.

1kg yardlong beans or French beans, trimmed
150g minced pork belly
2tbsp light soy sauce
1tbsp Shaoxing rice wine or sherry
tbsp roasted sesame oil
Vegetable or corn oil for deep frying
5tbsp finely chopped preserved mustard cabbage
3 spring onions, shredded on the angle
6-8 dried red chillies
1tsp caster sugar

Cut the beans on the slant into rough 5cm pieces. Put the minced pork into a bowl and mix with 1 teaspoon of the soy sauce, 1 teaspoon of the rice wine and the same of sesame oil and mix well.

Pre-heat about 8cm of oil to 160-180C in a large thick-bottomed saucepan, electric deep-fat fryer or a heavy wok. Cook the beans in 3 or 4 batches for 3-4 minutes until they are tender and just beginning to colour. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain.

Transfer a couple of tablespoons of the oil to a wok or large frying pan and cook the minced pork and the chillies on a high heat, stirring every so often to separate the pieces of meat.

Add the preserved mustard cabbage and spring onions and stir over a high heat for about 15-20 seconds. Add the beans with the remaining soy sauce, rice wine, sugar and a tablespoon of water and stir well. Serve immediately.

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