Yes, it's time to ask you chowhounds for help with this once again. Since moving away from NYC, I've had powerful cravings for this Hunan (I think) dish served at Grand Sichuan International on Ninth Avenue; it's called, on the menu, "spicy minced pork with sour string beans." Ground pork, with scallions, spiciness, lots of (chili?) oil, and finely diced pickled yard-long beans. I've been trying for years to replicate it, sometimes using the vacuum-packed preserved beans I find in Asian markets in and around Atlanta (I live near Athens now), sometimes, in a pinch, using just regular fresh green beans. The vacuum-packed beans are fine, but just not as good as the GSI version, so now I want to make my own pickled—"sour"—yard-long beans. I have a whole bunch of fresh beans, and I'd like to pickle and maybe can them or preserve them for future use in some way. Any ideas how to do this? Should I just make them as I'd make dilly beans? Is there a more authentic method? Rice wine? The beans are crunchier than regular green beans, and I don't want to destroy that texture in processing. But the GSI dish is so wonderfully sour . . .
Also, again, I'd like to put the word out that I'm open to any hints about how to make this dish. I've come very close in my many attempts, but not quite close enough. It's a very simple dish, and it can't be *that* rare.
Here's a picture of the vacuum-packed beans I sometimes use (on the left): http://photos1.blogger.com/blogger/90... .
The ones I saw at the store (Super H Mart) today were really bleached and odd-looking, so I got fresh instead.