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