Long beans with mince is a quick and easy side dish referred to in Mandarin as 下饭菜 (xia fan cai). It basically means a dish that is intended for the obliteration of plain rice. This is one of my husband’s favourite dishes. It is so intensely flavourful and the tiny bits of bean and mince are perfect for mixing together with rice. The treatment of the dish is pretty standard Sichuan style, with the ginger/garlic/spring onion trifecta and chilli bean sauce.
I used OmniMeat in this recipe, but any minced vegan protein will do. Just adjust your cooking time to suit the vegan protein you are using.
I like to cook the beans separately prior to mixing it with the sauce. Cooking the beans first over medium heat prevents them from burning and me having to use too much oil. Then when it gets to the sauce part, I can turn the heat up to high and give it a good proper stir fry. Having the garlic spend less time in the pan also gives it a stronger flavour at the end.
In Chinese cooking, it is common practice to add a slight amount of sugar to bring out the flavour of the food. This is called 提鲜 (ti xian) which vaguely translates to “increase umami”. I have no idea how and why it works so I’m not even gon try to explain. But, if you are not so keen on sugar, feel free to leave it out as it is not entirely essential to the recipe.
If you are looking for the other Sichuan beans recipe, have a look at Sichuan Sauteed Green Beans (干煸四季豆).