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Dry-frying or dry-searing, called gan bian in Mandarin, is a classic Chinese cooking technique. A protein or vegetable first is cooked in oil—sometimes an abundance, sometimes a small amount—until the surfaces are browned and the moisture on the exterior has been expunged. Only then are aromatics and seasonings introduced. And as they cook, they cling to the browned surfaces and the flavors concentrate. The resulting dish is more or less sauce-free yet deep and bold in taste. Green beans are a common choice for dry-frying. We season them with Sichuan peppercorns for their unique tongue-tingling heat, along with árbol chilies (or red pepper flakes) for a more direct spiciness.
tablespoons grapeseed or other neutral oil
pound green beans, trimmed and halved on the diagonal
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