Ginger Beef with Peppers and Bok Choy

1 lb (450 g) flank steak cut to 1/2-inch thick strips
1/3 cup cornstarch

Marinade
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon ginger, finely grated
1 tablespoon peanut oil (or vegetable oil)
1/2 teaspoon salt

Sauce
1/3 cup broth (beef, chicken, or vegetable)
3 tablespoons Shaoxing wine
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons Chinkiang vinegar
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons cumin powder
1 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes
1 tablespoon cornstarch

Beef and stir-fry
1/3 cup peanut oil
3 green onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 thumb ginger, sliced
1 bell pepper, sliced
2 baby bok choy, quartered

Beat the egg in a medium-sized bowl. Add the sliced beef, vegetable oil, and salt. Mix well and let marinate for 15 to 20 minutes while preparing the other ingredients.

Combine everything for the sauce in a big bowl and mix well.

When you’re ready to cook, add the cornstarch. Stir to coat the beef, until it forms an uneven coating with a little dry cornstarch left unattached.

Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet (or a cast iron paover medium-high heat until hot. Add the beef and spread it into a single layer in the skillet. Separate the beef pieces with a pair of tongs or chopsticks.

Cook without touching the beef for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the bottom turns golden. Flip to brown the other side, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the beef to a big plate and remove the pan from the stove. Let cool for 2 to 3 minutes.

Place the pan back onto the stove and turn to medium heat. You should still have 1 to 2 tablespoons of oil in the pan. If not, add more.

Add the green onion, ginger, and garlic. Stir a few times to release the fragrance.
Add the bell pepper and baby bok choy. Stir and cook for 1 minute.

Stir the sauce again to dissolve the cornstarch completely. Pour into the pan. Stir and cook until it thickens a bit.
Add back the beef pieces. Stir to coat the beef with sauce.

Transfer everything to a plate immediately and garnish with roasted sesame seeds, if using.

Serve hot over steamed rice as a main dish.

Pork Chops with Salted Plums

2 bone-in pork chops (1 1/4- to 1 1/2-inch thick, about 1 1/2 pounds total)
Kosher salt and ground pepper
1 pound medium plums, pitted and sliced
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup unseasoned rice wine vinegar or fresh lime juice, plus more as needed
1/2 teaspoon fish sauce (optional)
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 cup fresh mint leaves
Olive oil, for drizzling

Season pork with salt and pepper; set aside.

Combine the plums and onion in a medium bowl along with vinegar and fish sauce, if using. Season with salt and pepper and try a plum; they should be relatively tangy and salty. Add more vinegar or salt, if needed, and set aside.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork chops and cook, without moving, until well browned on one side, 4 to 6 minutes. Flip chops and cook until well browned on the other side, another 3 to 5 minutes.

Transfer pork chops to a cutting board to rest. Add plum and onion mixture to the skillet and remove from heat. Give everything a toss, just to deglaze the skillet and scrape up any of those browned bits, slightly wilting the onion and letting some of those plum juices run free.

Slice pork chops to your desired thickness and transfer to a large serving platter. Scatter with plum mixture, top with mint and give everything a drizzle of olive oil before serving.

Grilled Zucchini with Fresh Mozzarella

3 zucchini (about 1 pound), cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch slices
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt
Fresh-ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/2 pound salted fresh mozzarella, cut into thick slices

Light the grill or heat the broiler. In a large glass or stainless-steel bowl, toss the zucchini with 1 tablespoon of the oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Grill or broil the zucchini, turning once, until tender and golden, about 5 minutes per side. Put the zucchini back in the bowl.

Toss the zucchini with 1/2 tablespoon of the oil, 1/8 teaspoon salt, the vinegar, garlic, and parsley. Let cool.

Put the mozzarella slices on a serving plate, fanning them out to form a circle. Drizzle them with the remaining 1/2 tablespoon oil and sprinkle them with a pinch of pepper. Fold the zucchini slices in half and tuck them between the pieces of cheese.

Grilled Apricots (or Plums, Peaches, or Pears) with Burrata, Country Ham, and Arugula

1 1/4 pounds apricots, halved and pitted
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 small head radicchio, cored and thinly sliced
5 ounces baby arugula
1/2 pound burrata cheese, shredded
4 ounces shaved country ham 1 tablespoon aged balsamic vinegar

Light a grill or preheat a grill pan. Brush the apricots with oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill over high heat, cut sides down, just until lightly charred, 5 minutes. Let cool.

In a bowl, whisk the lemon juice with the 1/4 cup of oil and season with salt and pepper. Gently toss in the apricots, radicchio and arugula. Transfer to a platter and top with the burrata, ham and vinegar. Serve.

Pizza with Soppressata and Sweet Potato

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 large white onion, thinly sliced
1 oregano sprig, plus 1 tablespoon leaves
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup prepared mashed sweet potatoes
One 12-inch prebaked pizza crust
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella (7 ounces)
4 ounces thinly sliced soppressata, cut into thin ribbons

Preheat the oven to 450°. Set a pizza stone on the bottom of the oven (alternatively, the pizza can be baked directly on the oven rack).

In a large skillet, melt the butter in the olive oil. Add the onion and oregano sprig, cover and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes.

Add 2 tablespoons of water to the skillet and cook over moderate heat until the onion is caramelized, about 10 minutes; add a few tablespoons of water to the skillet if necessary.

Add the balsamic vinegar and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until it has evaporated, about 10 minutes. Discard the oregano sprig and season the onion with salt and pepper.

Spread the sweet potatoes over the pizza crust. Top with the mozzarella, onion and soppressata.

Scatter the oregano leaves on top. Slide the pizza onto the stone and bake for about 10 minutes, until bubbling and golden in spots. Cut into wedges and serve.

Melon-and-Peach Salad with Prosciutto and Mozzarella

One 1 1/2-pound honeydew melon—seeded, peeled and thinly sliced
1 peach, peeled and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons vin cotto or balsamic vinegar
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons chopped basil
2 tablespoons chopped marjoram
1/2 pound fresh mozzarella, chopped
8 thin slices of prosciutto (2 ounces)

In a bowl, toss the melon and peach with the oil and vin cotto; season with salt and pepper. Let stand for 5 minutes. Stir in the herbs and cheese. Transfer the salad to a platter, top with the prosciutto and serve.

Mozzarella with Summer Squash and Olive Puree

1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, chopped
1 pound fresh buffalo mozzarella, cut into wedges
1 small zucchini, very thinly sliced
1 small yellow squash, very thinly sliced
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
Flaky sea salt, freshly ground white pepper and piment d’Espelette or hot paprika, for sprinkling

In a mini processor, puree the olives. Strain the puree through a fine sieve; you should have about 1/4 cup. Spread the olive puree on plates and arrange the mozzarella wedges and zucchini and squash slices on top. Drizzle olive oil over the cheese and sprinkle with salt, white pepper and piment d’Espelette.

Persimmon and Burrata Salad with Sesame Brittle

For sesame brittle:
1/2 cup sugar
2/3 cup toasted sesame seeds
Salt

For salad:
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons minced shallot
Pepper
5 ounces baby arugula
1/2 pound burrata cheese (2 small balls), drained and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
2 firm Fuyu persimmons, cut into 3/4-inch wedges
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds

In a medium saucepan, cook the sugar over moderate heat, undisturbed, until melted and light golden, about 3 minutes. Stir in the sesame seeds and a pinch of salt and immediately scrape onto a parchment paper–lined plate. Let cool completely, then break the candy into small pieces.

In a medium bowl, whisk the olive oil with the vinegar, maple syrup and shallot; season with salt and pepper. Mound the arugula on a platter and scatter the burrata, persimmons, sesame candy and pomegranate seeds on top. Drizzle some of the dressing over the salad and serve, passing the remaining dressing at the table.

Chinese Cucumber Salad

6 cloves garlic (minced very finely, almost like a paste)
3 tablespoons oil
2 English cucumbers (or 6-8 Persian cucumbers; if you can’t find seedless cucumbers like these, just de-seed regular cucumbers)
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon MSG (optional)
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon rice vinegar

First prepare the garlic. When you’ve minced all of the garlic, set aside the equivalent of 1 clove.

Mix the oil and the rest of the garlic together, and set over medium-heat in a saucepan. Cook lightly for 2-3 minutes. Some foam will appear as the water in the garlic escapes. Do not let the garlic brown! This process takes about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool.

Chop the cucumbers into quarters lengthwise and then into ½-inch chunks. Transfer to a bowl. Add the garlic oil, salt, sugar, pinch of MSG if using, sesame oil, and rice vinegar. Finally, add the reserved minced raw garlic. Stir thoroughly to coat everything.

For the best results, let sit for at least 20 in the refrigerator to let flavors meld.

Thai Cucumber Salad

1 lb cucumber, cut into pieces
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 small red onion, sliced
2 tablespoons chopped roasted peanuts
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro

Dressing:
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons water
4 tablespoons Thai sweet chili sauce
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

Add salt to the cucumber, mix well and set aside in the fridge for 10-15 minutes.

In the meantime, make the Dressing, by combining all the ingredients in a small sauce pan. Turn on the heat and reduce the Dressing a bit so it’s slightly thickened. Let cool.

Drain the salt water from the cucumber completely. Toss the cucumber, onion, and mix with the Dressing. Top with the peanut and cilantro, serve immediately.

RECIPE NOTES
Thai cucumber salad is best served with Thai chicken sate.

Steamed Eggplant with Lao Gan Ma (Lady Sauce)

1 pound Japanese or Chinese eggplant (450g, about 3 eggplants)
1/4 cup white vinegar
1 teaspoon Chinese dark vinegar
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
2 teaspoon oyster sauce
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1-1 1/2 tablespoons Lao Gan Ma chili sauce (or any chili sauce or chili oil of your choice)
4 cloves garlic (minced)
1 scallion (minced)
3 tablespoons vegetable oil

Prepare your steamer. If you’re not sure how to set up a steaming apparatus, check our our post on how to set up a steamer, even without special equipment. Turn the heat on low to pre-heat the water in the steamer.

Cut each eggplant crosswise into 3 equal sections, then cut each section into 8-10 bite sized strips.

Fill a large container with about 2 quarts of water and 1/4 cup white vinegar. Soak the eggplant in the vinegar water for 3 minutes. Then remove the eggplant and squeeze as much liquid out as possible. Arrange them on a heat-proof rimmed dish and carefully lower it into the steamer. Cover and turn the heat on high. Steam the eggplant for 8-10 minutes.

Now make the sauce by combining the Chinese dark vinegar, light soy sauce, oyster sauce, sugar, sesame oil, and chili sauce.
Remove the eggplant from the steamer (no need to pour out the liquid in the dish), and evenly pour the sauce over the eggplant. Top it with the minced garlic and scallions. Try to keep garlic and scallions close together in a couple tight lines to make the next step easier.

Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a small saucepan until it starts to smoke lightly, and then carefully pour it over the garlic and scallion. Serve hot or cold. If serving as a cold appetizer, you can make this dish in advance.

Cantonese Eggplant Casserole (with Pork or Chicken)

4 oz. pork (or chicken, thinly sliced; 110g)
2 tablespoons cornstarch (plus 1/2 teaspoon)
1 1/2 pounds eggplant (680g, preferably Chinese/Japanese eggplant)
1 1/2 cups canola oil for frying (350 ml, plus 1 tablespoon)
3 slices ginger (minced)
4 cloves garlic (smashed and chopped)
2 scallions green parts and white parts separated and chopped
1 oz. Chinese salted fish (30g, deboned and minced; may substitute anchovy fillets)
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon Chinese black vinegar (look for the yellow bottle labeled, “Chinkiang Vinegar”)
1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
4 teaspoons light soy sauce
1/2-3/4 cup water (depending on how hot your stove can get and how quickly the liquid cooks off)

Toss your pork (or chicken) with 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch and set aside. Wash the eggplants and dry them off with a clean kitchen towel. Trim off the ends, and cut the eggplant into 2-inch x 1/2-inch pieces. Add the eggplant pieces to a large zip top bag and toss with 2 tablespoons cornstarch until evenly coated.

Heat 1 1/2 cups canola oil in a small pot (the oil should be about 3/4-inch deep) over medium heat. To test the oil temperature, stick a bamboo or wooden chopstick in the oil. If you see a good deal of bubbles forming around the chopstick, the oil is ready for frying. Fry the eggplant in batches, cooking each batch for about 2 minutes. Drain on paper towels and set aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in your wok over medium heat. Add the ginger, garlic and the white parts of the scallions. Cook for 30 seconds, and then add the pork (or chicken) and the salted fish (or anchovies). Stir-fry until the meat is cooked through. Now add the eggplant, sugar, vinegar, dark soy sauce, light soy sauce, and the green parts of the scallion. Also add 1/2 cup water.

Turn up the heat to high and mix everything together. Because of the cornstarch used to coat the eggplant, the liquid should thicken into a sauce. Add a little more water if necessary to reach the desired sauce consistency. This dish should have some sauce, but shouldn’t be swimming in liquid. Also, remember not to cook the eggplant for too long; it shouldn’t lose its shape. Once the sauce is thickened, serve with steamed rice!

Fresh Peach Ricotta Cake

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
Pinch salt
3 large eggs at room temperature
2 cup white sugar
1 cup ricotta cheese full-fat recommended
3 large peaches peeled or not, as you like
For topping:
Flaked almonds
Brown sugar
Pinch salt

Garnish:
Icing/Confectioners’ sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 350F with rack in the centre of the oven. Grease a 9 or 10-inch springform pan and line the bottom with a round of parchment paper. Set aside. *A 9-inch springform is the best option, if you have that size.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

Prepare the peaches by peeling, if desired, then cutting 2 of the peaches into cubes and then cut the 3rd peach into slices. Set aside.

In a large bowl with an electric mixer or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the eggs with the white sugar until light in colour and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the ricotta and mix in. Add the flour mixture and mix until combined.

Using a spatula, gently fold in the 2 cubed peaches until combined well with the batter. Spoon the batter into prepared pan and smooth the top. Arrange the sliced peaches on the top of the batter. Scatter some flaked almonds on top, then sprinkle with a bit of brown sugar and and pinch of salt.

Bake in preheated oven as follows: for a 9-inch springform pan, bake for 75-80 minutes. For a 10-inch springform, baking time will be shorter, about 60-65 minutes. In all cases, cake should have pulled away from the sides of the pan and the top should be evenly golden. You can test centre with a skewer to be sure it is cooked in the middle.

Allow cake to cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then run a knife around the outside and carefully remove the outside ring from the springform pan. Allow to cool completely before removing from the pan base.

Penne with Smoked Chicken, Zucchini, and Green Beans

1 pound penne rigate
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 pound young green beans, cut into 1 1/2-inch lengths and blanched until al dente
1/2 pound zucchini, cut into 1 1/2 -by-1/3-inch sticks
2 shallots, thinly sliced 1 pound boneless smoked chicken breast—skinned, trimmed of fat and shredded
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
Salt
2 tablespoons minced parsley

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the penne until al dente, about 12 minutes. Drain the pasta, reserving about 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid.

Meanwhile, in a small nonreactive saucepan, combine the mascarpone and sherry vinegar. Cook over low heat until melted; keep warm.

Heat the olive oil in a large non-reactive skillet. Add the green beans and zucchini and sauté until tender and lightly browned. Stir in the shallots and cook until softened. Add the smoked chicken and crushed red pepper, season with salt and cook just until warmed through.

In a large bowl, toss the pasta with the vegetables and the mascarpone sauce; add some of the reserved cooking liquid if the pasta seems dry. Sprinkle with the parsley and serve.

String Bean Chicken

1 lb (450 g) boneless skinless chicken breast (or thighs), sliced to 1/4” (5mm) thickness

Marinade
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine (or dry sherry)
2 teaspoons cornstarch

Sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons Shaoxing wine (or dry sherry)
2 tablespoons fermented black beans (or black bean sauce)
1/3 cup chicken stock
4 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch

Stir fry
2 tablespoons peanut oil (or vegetable oil)
1 lb (450 g) green beans , cut to 1” (2.5 cm) long pieces
3 cloves garlic , chopped
2 teaspoons ginger , minced
2 green onions , chopped

Combine the chicken and all the marinade ingredients in a big bowl. Stir to mix well. Let marinate for 15 minutes while preparing the other ingredients.

Combine all the sauce ingredients in a medium-sized bowl. Stir to mix well.

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Spread the chicken in the skillet in a single layer. Sear until the bottom turns golden without moving it, 1 minute or so. Stir and flip to cook the other side, until golden, another minute or so. Transfer the cooked chicken pieces to a big plate and set aside.

Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil and the green beans. Turn to medium heat. Sear the green beans, stirring and flipping occasionally, until the surface is browned and the texture turns tender, 10 minutes or so (*Footnote 1). Reduce to medium-low heat if the pan starts to smoke too much.

Turn to medium-high heat again. Add the garlic, ginger, and onion. Drizzle with a bit more oil (or chicken stock), 2 tablespoons or so. Stir and cook for a minute to release the fragrance.

Add the chicken back into the skillet. Stir the sauce again to thoroughly dissolve the cornstarch and pour it into the pan. Stir a few times until the sauce thickens and coats the ingredients. Immediately transfer everything to a big plate.

Serve hot over steamed rice as a main dish.

Notes
Slowly searing the beans generates the best result. But if you’re in a hurry, you can sear the green beans for 2 minutes, add 1/4 cup chicken stock (or water), then cover to steam. Cook until the green beans turn tender or reach your desired texture, 2 to 3 minutes.

Buttermilk Cucumber Salad

2 cups thinly sliced cucumbers (from 1 large English cucumber or 3 mini, peeled fully or in stripes if desired)
3 tablespoons thinly sliced shallot rings (from 1 shallot)
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup full-fat Greek yogurt
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup torn or chopped fresh tender herbs, such as dill, tarragon, basil, parsley or dill
INSTRUCTIONS

Transfer the cucumbers and shallots to a colander, sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt, and toss to combine. Set aside to drain for at least 15 minutes or up to 1 hour.
Stir together the yogurt and buttermilk in a medium bowl. Taste and season with with salt and pepper, then stir in the cucumbers, shallots, and herbs.

Lao Hu Cai (Cucumber Tiger Salad)

3 Persian or mini seedless cucumbers
3 medium scallions, thinly sliced on the diagonal
1 medium jalapeño, finely chopped (seeded first if desired)
1 bunch cilantro, tough stems trimmed, leaves and tender stems cut into 1-inch lengths
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
2 teaspoons vegetable or toasted sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed

Cut the cucumbers in half lengthwise, then cut again in half crosswise. Cut into pieces lengthwise into thin strips. Place in a large bowl.

Add the scallions, jalapeño, and cilantro and toss gently with your hands. Add the vinegar, oil, and salt, and toss once more. Taste and season with more salt as needed.

Shaved Fennel and Cucumber Salad

1/2 cup pitted, torn Castelvetrano olives
1/2 cup cubed feta cheese
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large fennel bulb with fronds
Freshly ground black pepper
Kosher salt
3 Persian or mini seedless cucumbers
Finely grated zest of 1 large lemon
Juice of 1 large lemon

Stir the olives, feta, and 3 tablespoons of the olive oil together in a medium bowl. Season with black pepper. Finely chop 1/4 cup fennel fronds from the fennel bulb and stir into the olives and feta.

Trim the fennel bulb. Using a mandoline or very sharp knife, shave the fennel and cucumbers lengthwise into very thin slices. Toss the fennel, cucumbers, and lemon zest and juice together in a medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper as needed.

To serve, plate the fennel-cucumber mixture in alternating layers with the feta-olive mixture so you get a little of everything in each bite.

Blistered Cucumbers with Spiced Seeds

4 Persian or mini seedless cucumbers
1 teaspoon white sesame seeds
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon olive oil

Cut the cucumbers in half lengthwise. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and set aside.

Toast the sesame seeds in a cast iron skillet over medium heat until lightly golden brown, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl. Add the cumin and coriander to the skillet and toast until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a spice grinder or mortar and pestle and grind until the seeds are just cracked. Transfer to the bowl of sesame seeds and add the red pepper flakes.

Wipe out the skillet and pat the cucumbers dry. Heat the oil in the skillet over high heat until shimmering. Add the cucumbers cut side down, and cook until browned, about 4 minutes.

Transfer to a cutting board, cut each piece in half lengthwise, then serve with the spicy seeds for dunking or sprinkling over.

Stir-Fried Green Beans

For the pork & marinade:
8 ounces ground pork (225g, can substitute ground chicken or beef)
1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons ginger (minced)
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch

For the rest of the dish:
3 tablespoons oil (divided)
1 pound green beans (450g, chopped to ½-inch pieces)
2 tablespoons garlic (minced)
1/2 red bell pepper (diced finely)
4 red chilies (chopped, optional)
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt (a pinch, or to taste)
2 tablespoons water

Combine the ground meat with all the marinade ingredients. Stir until any standing liquid has been absorbed by the meat. Marinate for 15-20 minutes.

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a wok over medium heat. Add the chopped green beans. Stir and spread the beans into a single layer. Cook for 30 seconds. Then stir and repeat the spreading step several times until the green beans are slightly charred, wilted, and cooked through. Turn the heat lower if needed to avoid burning. It takes about 5-8 minutes to cook the green beans this way. (To speed up the cooking, add a few drops of water each you stir, to create some steam.) Transfer the cooked green beans to a dish and set aside.

Now add 1 tablespoon oil to the wok, with the heat turned up to high. Add the ground meat and brown it. Don’t stir too much; give the meat a chance to brown and crisp. Once the meat has browned, reduce the heat to medium.

Next, add the garlic, bell pepper and chilies. Stir-fry for 1 minute. Add in the cooked green beans, 1/4 teaspoon sugar, r, 1 teaspoon sesame oil, 1 tablespoon light soy sauce, ¼ teaspoon ground white pepper, a pinch of salt (to taste), and 2 tablespoons water. With the heat all the way up on high, stir-fry for a final 10-15 seconds and serve.