It's almost Chinese New Year Dear Reader! And if you want to celebrate it or just want the tastiest green bean recipe then please give these quick Chinese Green Beans a try. Green beans are paired with a flavoursome pork mince and taste just like they came from a Chinese restaurant! This is a pushy recipe Dear Reader!
Chinese green beans are very easy to make. In fact they're one of the easiest one pan dishes that are perfect for dinner as they have both vegetables and protein. I love this because I usually have everything in my pantry to make this and the pork mince in the freezer. All you really need are the beans and you're 20 minutes away from eating a restaurant style or takeout style Chinese dish!
Tips For Making Chinese Green Beans
1 - You can use green beans or snake beans. Snake beans or yardlong beans are slightly more gnarled and not as smooth as green beans. And as the name suggests they very long, sometimes close to 40cms/16inches in length. They don't tend to have tops and tails when sold so they are easy to cut up and prepare.
2 - I shallow fry these green beans but some restaurants deep fry them so that they wrinkle up. It's up to you but I prefer to use less oil if there isn't a discernible difference.
3 - I fry the green beans in two lots to ensure that they're cooked evenly and so the pan isn't too crowded.
4 - Chinese green beans are usually served with pork mince but feel free to switch up and use whatever mince that you like.
Shaoxing wine and dark soy sauce
5 - Dark soy sauce is mainly used to give the pork a dark colour. If you can't access this, replace the quantity with light soy sauce. I recommend using dark soy sauce sparingly as it really colours food dark and too much can impact the flavour of the dish.
6 - Usually this is a dish that is dry fried without a lot of sauce. However if you like it saucy feel free to double the marinade and thicken it with 1 teaspoon cornflour/fine cornstarch mixed with 2 teaspoons of water at the end.
7 - This dish freezes well and develops in flavour on the second or third day!
Dear Reader I don't think we've caught up properly as so much has been going on. Don't you think it feels like much later in the year than the end of January? So I got my COVID booster in early January - we both got Moderna and Mr NQN got his a couple of weeks before mine. I was fine for the first 24 hours but then ended up feeling very tired after that (I realise everyone is different and I'm not giving medical advice, just sharing what happened with me). I also had very bad nasal congestion which made me wonder if I had actually contracted COVID somehow. The only reason I figured it wasn't COVID was that the next morning after 12 hours I was a different person and felt amazing (but still I used up a precious RAT test just in case).
When I was sick for that short period Mr NQN didn't know what to do. I would describe Mr NQN as a lone wolf who somehow got himself a wife. He doesn't quite know what people need or want and he isn't naturally a carer. Not one cup of tea was made or water brought nor did he ever offer to buy food or heat it up. I still had to get up and make lunch and dinner even though I just wanted to lie in bed. I was too tired to get cross with him but the next morning when I was feeling better I told him that he had to step up his game.
"You didn't even offer to make me a single cup of tea!" I exclaimed. He thought about it, probably remembering the cups of tea that I had brought him and the checking in on his wellbeing. I could see his mind working and turning around the memories. "Ok so cups of tea," he muttered to himself, perhaps inserting this card into the memory bank of what humans do under the file "Wolf wife". I think he felt a bit embarrassed by it, although whether this translates into actions next time I'm sick I'm not sure!
So tell me Dear Reader, do you like Chinese green beans? Are you a natural carer?
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Chinese Green Beans With Pork
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by 3 readers
An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Serves: 4 with rice
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons dark soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons Shaoxing cooking wine
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
- 200g/7ozs. pork mince
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
- 400g/14ozs. green beans or snake beans, cut into bite sized pieces
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
- Red chilli, sliced
Step 1 - In a bowl mix the two soy sauces, Shaoxing cooking wine, sugar and ginger. Place the mince in a bowl and mix with salt, sugar and pepper and then tip half of the sauce into the pork and massage into the mince distributing it. Set aside.
Step 2 -Heat a wok or frypan on medium high heat. Add oil and fry the beans in two lots to keep them crisp and hot. Cook for 4-5 minutes until you get the texture that you like and sprinkle lightly with salt. You don't want these beans to be overly crisp or crunchy but really you do you with the texture of the beans (I usually just test one out to see if it's done). Remove from the pan.
Cooking until most of the sauce has absorbed
Step 3 -Add a little more oil and fry the garlic for 30 seconds or so. Add the pork and fry making sure to break it up into small bits. Once the pork is cooked add the remaining sauce on top of the mince and saute for a minute until there's just a little bit of sauce left. Add the green beans back into the frypan and toss and then scoop onto a serving plate. Add extra chilli if desired.