The farmers’ market is going full blast now and every week new fruits and vegetables show up in abundance. In addition to all the beautiful Spring greens and strawberries cherries and green beans appeared last week and I couldn’t resist buying a big bag of each of them. The cherries were good but will be much sweeter in another week or two of warm weather and the green beans were tender and delicious. I usually saute them with some bacon and chopped onion (I like them so much I could eat a bowl full for breakfast) but decided to make an entree instead by adding minced pork and a spicy sauce and doing a little stir fry.
I love Chinese food and it’s just about the only take-out food I buy when I’m short on time (other than a very rare small Papa John’s fresh tomato and cheese pizza). Many popular Chinese dishes are easy to make at home, and with just a little prep work and the right ingredients in the pantry, you can create many of your own favorites. The stir-fry sauce in this recipe is delicious and works with almost any combination of veggies – eggplant and baby bok choy are two of my favorites. Stir fry a sweet onion with zucchini slices, add a few tablespoons of sauce, then serve with grilled chicken or pork. Delicious!
This popular take-out dish is native to the Szechuan Province of China. The green beans are “dry-fried,” a Szechuan cooking technique that makes the beans very tender and keeps their fresh flavor and color. The beans are wok fried on high heat with very little oil until they start to blister.
Seasoned minced pork is then stir-fried with green onions until it is no longer pink.
The green beans and sauce are added to the pork and stir-fried until hot and the sauce thickens.
- ½ lb. ground pork
- 2 teaspoons rice wine
- ¼ teaspoon peppercorns (szechuan if you have them) freshly ground
- ¼ cup chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon spicy garlic black bean sauce
- 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
- 1-1/2 tablespoons garlic chili sauce
- 1-1/2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 1 lb. fresh green beans, trimmed and cut in half if desired
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and minced
- 4 green onions, sliced
- ¼ cup white sesame seeds, lightly toasted
- In a small bowl toss the pork with 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of rice wine and the ground pepper. Marinate at room temperature while assembling the rest of the ingredients.
- In a separate bowl combine the remaining tablespoon of soy sauce, the remaining tablespoon of rice wine, the stock, spicy bean sauce, hoisin, chili garlic sauce, sugar, sesame oil and cornstarch. Set aside.
- Heat a wok or large frying pan over medium-high heat and add the oil.
- When the oil is hot add the beans and stir fry them for 10 minutes, or until they begin to brown and blister. Remove the beans from the pan using a slotted spoon and pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the oil. Return the pan to the heat and add the pork, garlic and ginger. Stir fry for about 3 minutes, or until there is no longer any pink color to the pork. Add the green onions and cook 1 minute. Add the reserved sauce and green beans and mix well. The sauce will begin to thicken and glaze the pork and beans.
- To serve, garnish with sliced green onions and sesame seeds.
- Serve with steamed rice or pan fried noodles.
This recipe can be easily doubled and works well with Chinese long beans, haricots verts, or green beans. Serve with steamed rice and fresh fruit for a easy and delicious summer meal.