Recipe VIDEO above. A simplified version of the popular Szechuan Stir Fried Green Beans with Minced Pork - same flavour punch but made with everyday ingredients. Has intense flavour so you won't miss the sauciness of usual stir fries. Mix it up with rice then eaten with a spoon - forget chopsticks! Also, see here for the Japanese version of this dish. Spiciness: Mild.
Trim the tough end of the beans, then chop into 2 - 2.5cm / 4/5 - 1" pieces.
Charred Beans: Heat 1 1/2 tbsp oil in a heavy based skillet over high heat (I use cast iron) until smoking. Add beans, spread out to cover base. Leave for 1 minute. Quick stir, spread out, cook for 30 seconds. Stir, then leave for 30 seconds, then repeat once more (so 2 1/2 minutes in total cook time) until beans are charred but tender crisp (not withered and floppy). Remove into bowl.
Turn heat down to medium high, add 1 tbsp oil. Add onion, then garlic and ginger. Cook for 1 minute until edges of onion are golden.
Turn heat back up to high. Add pork and cook, breaking it up as you go. Cook for 2 minutes until the pork is cooked through, then add Sauce. Cook for 30 seconds, then add beans and stir for another 30 seconds.
Serve over rice. Garnish with slices of large red chilli (it's mild), entirely optional. To eat, mix the pork into the rice then eat it with a spoon - forget chopsticks for this one! (For a low carb, low cal option, try Cauliflower Rice)
1b. I using frozen, thaw and drain away excess water, and pat dry. If the bean is too soggy, you will struggle to get the char.1b. Also terrific with chicken, turkey and beef.2. Chopping rather than mincing garlic and ginger stop them from sticking and burning on the extremely hot skillet. Good general tip for stir fries!3. Dark soy sauce has more intense flavour than light and all purpose soy sauces. It will work fine with light and all purpose though, but you won't get the same colour on the pork. . 4. You can substitute Chinese cooking wine with dry sherry, cooking sake or Mirin. If you sub with Mirin, omit the sugar. Here are the cooking wines I use. The Pandaroo Chinese Cooking Wine is sold at Woolies, Coles, Harris Farms. I really urge you to use one of these options as cooking alcohol is key to achieve a truly restauranty quality for Asian food, especially Chinese recipes.If you can't consume alcohol, the next best option is to use low sodium chicken broth. Use 1/4 of cup. It will take an extra minute or so for the Sauce to reduce.5. Chilli Garlic Sauce is readily available in large supermarkets. It's not "blow your head off" spicy, so feel free to increase it (stick your finger in the Sauce for a taste). It can be substituted with sriracha, sambal oelak or any hot sauce that has a bit of a vinegary taste (eg Frank's) but you'll need to adjust the quantity depending on the spiciness of what you use.6. Frozen cooked white rice is a quick-meal life saver. A very Asian thing to do, all my relatives in Japan do it! Cook rice of choice as you usually do, including resting it for 10 minutes (never skip this!). While the rice is still warm, cling wrap into serving size portions, put it in plastic bags or containers, then freeze. To reheat, place in a bowl (frozen), sprinkle with water, cover with cling wrap then microwave until warm (1 serving = about 2 1/2 minutes from frozen). Let stand in microwave for 2 minutes - the extra steaming helps remoisten the rice. Serve!7. The nutritional analysis assumes 3 servings, excluding rice i.e. stir fry only. 3/4 cup of cooked white rice is 130 calories which takes the total up to 498 calories per serving. Originally published June 2014, long overdue for an update with fresh new photos and a recipe video!