[Photograph: Robyn Lee] Note: Yard-long beans are slightly starchier and more robust than standard American green beans. You can find them year-round in Asian supermarkets. If unavailable, the second choice is dark green French beans (sometimes labeled haricôts verts). Regular...
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Dry frying, a technique unique to Sichuan cuisine, can be accomplished one of two ways. The general idea is to cook your main ingredient—whether it's a protein or a vegetable—in a relatively large amount of moderately hot oil without any kind of batter or protective coating. As it cooks, the intense heat drives off interior moisture, thereby concentrating its flavor. Simultaneously, the exterior becomes desiccated (hence "dry"-frying) and browned.