Dry-Fried Green Beans with Pork

1 pound (450 grams) green beans, trimmed
1/4 pound (100 grams) ground pork
8 whole dried red chili peppers (preferably Sichuan or Tianjin); omit from dry-fried version
3 tablespoons yacai
2 tablespoons finely chopped scallions
1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger
1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
1 tablespoon Chinese light soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

Deep-Fried Method:
Heat wok over a high flame until starting to smoke and add enough canola or peanut oil to deep-fry. Bring oil temperature to about 350°F (175°C) and deep-fry green beans until most of them have puckered skin. Do not brown them. Remove and drain on paper towel.

Remove all but 2 tablespoons oil from the wok. Reheat until hot and add pork, breaking it up into crumbles and cooking until it starts to brown. Add dried chili peppers, yacai, scallions and ginger and continue stir-frying. Add Shaoxing wine, soy sauce and sugar and cook until the pork bits are crispy.
Add back the green beans and stir-fry until well-mixed and hot. Add the sesame oil, give a stir, and plate.

Dry-Fried Method:
Heat wok over a high flame until starting to smoke, then add 2 tablespoons oil. When hot, add green beans, stir-frying vigorously for about 2 minutes. Lower heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 6 minutes. Remove and drain on paper towel.

Remove all but 2 tablespoons oil from the wok. Reheat until hot and add pork, breaking it up into crumbles and cooking just until pink disappears. Add yacai, scallions and ginger and continue stir-frying. Add Shaoxing wine, soy sauce and sugar and cook briefly. Do not brown.

Add back green beans, mix well, and lower heat to very low setting. You should hear a slight sizzle as the mixture cooks over the next couple of hours. Stir every 10 to 15 minutes to make sure pork isn’t burning. Cook for about two hours. Add the sesame oil, give a stir, and plate.

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