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While in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China, we decided to take the day off and just laze. We ended up seeing Pirates of The Carribean 4 in a theater in Chengdu, since we failed to find a place showing one of two commemorative movies dealing with the Sichuan earthquakes released for the 2nd anniversary of the catastrophe. Fortunately, most movie theaters in China let you choose between dubbed and subbed versions!
Regardless, we had dinner afterwards in one of the many restaurants in the mall next to our hotel. The place was called Yusty’s and consisted of a very long hall with different stations serving themed foods (seafood, sushi, desserts, noodle soups, etc.), and I ended up at the traditional vegetable dish station.

Here is what was advertised:

The dish translated roughly as “Spicy Flavor Beans” and a large pot came for 16 yuan, or $2.51. Food in China is wonderfully cheap.

What arrived looked a bit different, but was SO tasty!

Now, spicy in Sichuan means hot-as-hell on average, but this was actually very pleasant. The metal pan stayed sizzling hot and the flavors were wonderful. I loved it so much, I had to try and recreate it at home!

Spicy Flavor Beans Yusty’s style:

1/2lb green beans (I used heirloom beans from my CSA haul)
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp dark rice vinegar or balsamic vinegar
1 clove garlic
peppercorns to taste
Sichuan peppers to taste (alternatively use jalapenos)
2/3 cup water

1. Slice the peppers thinly, chop the garlic.
2. Spray a pan, preheat to medium-high heat.
3. Add garlic, peppers and peppercorns.
4. When browned, add the green beans, stir-fry briefly.

5. Add water, soy sauce and vinegar, turn heat to high and bring to a boil.
6. Lower the heat, simmer for 20 minutes stirring frequently until liquid is mostly reduced.
7. Enjoy as a side or main course!

What are some dishes you’ve encountered on your travels that you just had to recreate? Where you successful?