Sunday, March 17, 2013

Szechuan Green Beans ala San Francisco's "Yank Sing" Restaurant

In 2003, Ruth and I did our second “West Coast Wine Crawl.”  

We flew into San Francisco, spent a few days there, then went North to wine country.  

We stayed at a great bed and breakfast, toured Napa and Sonoma, then drank our way down the coastal highwayall the way to L.A.  

I really recommend this coastal route.  There is so much to see and do along the way.  We especially enjoyed visiting  San Francisco again and made it a point to visit our favorite Dim Sum restaurant, Yank Sing.  

Founded by Alice Chan in 1958, her son Henry started wrapping dumplings at age 9 and moved the business to 49 Stevenson in 1974 where it became an instant financial district favorite.

We had been to that location on a previous trip, but by 2003 they had opened a new location in the “upscale” Rincon Center, so we decided to give it a try.  It was as good as we had remembered.

What I was really glad to find out was that they had started bottling their delicious chile pepper sauce that they serve at the restaurant.  It is hot, spicy, savory and adds a wonderful flavor to any Szechuan dish, and especially to one of my favorite dishes, Szechuan Green Beans.  Yank Sing’s chile pepper sauce is available by mail order, and anybody that loves Szechuan food should definitely order a jar! They also make an XO sauce and hot chile oil.  Details at


1 pound green beans, trimmed and rinsed
3 tablespoons peanut oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon Yank Sing Chili Sauce (or other Szechaun-style chile sauce)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons mirin (sweet cooking wine)
1 tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar
toasted sesame seeds (optional)


Heat 2 tablespoons of the peanut oil in a wok or other large skillet over medium high heat. Cook green beans 2 – 3 minutes or until the beans start to brown and crisp slightly. Transfer to a plate.  In the same pan that you cooked the beans, heat the remaining peanut oil and stir in remaining ingredients. Cook for 30 seconds (being careful not to burn the garlic.) Return beans to the pan and continue cooking 3 – 4 minutes or until the beans have softened slightly but are still crisp.  Place the beans on a serving platter and sprinkle with a few toasted sesame seeds if desired.   Serve hot.

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