Szechuan Beans

Szechuan Beans

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1 pound green beans, washed, topped, and tailed
1 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons dark sesame oil
1 tablespoon whole peppercorns, preferably Szechuan
1 (1-inch) knob ginger, sliced into coins
2 garlic cloves, sliced


Line several baking sheets with dish towels and set aside. Prepare and ice-water bath in a large bowl or clean sink.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Drop the beans into the water, no more than 1 pound at a time, and return to a boil. Blanch for 1 minute.

Scoop the beans out with a spider or slotted spoon and plunge them into the ice-water bath. Continue blanching in batches. Remove the beans from the ice bath with a slotted spoon and spread on the towel-covered baking sheets. Blot dry.

To make the pickled, pack the beans vertically in a quart jar.

Combine the vinegar, water, soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, peppercorns, ginger, and garlic in a medium nonreactive saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer for 1 minute. Pour the hot brine over the beans to cover by 1/2 inch. Leave 1/2 inch of headspace between the top of the liquid and the lid.

Cool, cover and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.