Does anyone know how to make these? I'm pretty sure they are just blanched and fried (w/garlic), but I can't seem to get it right.
I think the problem lies in that the beans are not water blanched, but rather oil blanched. The technique is called "dry frying", and is a traditional Sichuan cooking method. The oil temp is kept low to dry out the inside while cooking the outside of the food. After the dry frying you can then stir fry the food. This technique should give you the required look and texture to the food. Hope this helps.
This picture is from a menu online. Does this look like what you are trying to make?
If so, I think you're right, they're just blanched and stir-fried with garlic. Be sure you're salting the blanching water, shock them in ice water and allow them to thoroughly drain. Mince a couple of cloves of garlic, stir-fry the garlic for several seconds in a small amount of hot, almost smoking neutral oil (peanut oil would be a good choice), add the beans and stir-fry until hot. Salt to taste. The picture doesn't look like it's anything more than that, but I haven't tried them. Are you picking up other flavors?
I too have been looking for the recipe for string beans from din tai fung and although I haven't found the exact recipe, I figured more than half the battle was getting the right texture for the beans. Alas, I came across this blog which most closely resembles what we're looking for: http://userealbutter.com/2011/06/20/chinese-dry-cooked-string-beans-recipe/
The technique described there is to first wash, trim and pat dry the beans. Then they are deep fried in oil, uncrowded, 3-4 min per batch.
I know this post has been inactive for a while but I was so happy I found it that I wanted to share, as I am sure there are others searching for the same thing!