Healthy, easy, big on flavour! This stir fried green beans with caramelised pork dish is easy and a delicious Chinese dish with a hint of heat. Fantastic with a side of rice.
The green beans in this dish are juicy and tender (never mushy) and the shredded pork is rich and flavoursome.
- Pork shoulder - easy substitution: pork loin, fillet or pork leg. Pork shoulder is a little fatty which I find works brilliantly in stir fries (and the fat tastes delicious!). The key is to marinate the pork so that it is tender and flavoursome.
- Green beans - can use snake beans (aka long beans) also.
- Oyster sauce - a widely used Chinese condiment, typically made of oyster extract, salt, sugar, cornflour/starch (which helps thicken the sauce). It adds a tonne of umami (savoury) flavour to a dish. Learn more about oyster sauces and its uses in my simple Chinese broccoli with oyster sauce recipe.
- Cornstarch (cornflour) - is a simple ingredient that is used in most Chinese marinades to create that delicious glossy glaze around meats. Combined with other seasoning ingredients such as salt or soy sauce and oil, the result is velvety, tender meats. To learn more about this 'velveting technique', have a read of my beef noodle stir fry recipe where I discuss this in more detail.
- Chilli - adds a gentle heat to this dish, optional. It also adds a lovely pop of colour to the finished dish.
Cooking step by step
This stir-fried green beans dish is super easy to make, with just 10 minutes of cook time. Including marinating the meat, this dish is ready in 35 minutes from start to finish.
Like all good stir fries (particularly when some form of protein is involved), marinating the meat is what makes the meat tender, tasty and never bland!
Marinate the pork then caramelise
Alright, now let's begin. To start, thinly slice the pork into thin sticks (or shreds), about half the thickness of green beans. Best do this with a sharp knife as it makes a big difference!
Then, in a medium-sized bowl, combine shredded pork with dark soy sauce, oyster sauce, shaoxing wine, minced garlic, cornstarch, oil, sesame oil and black pepper.
Using one (clean!) hand, thoroughly mix the pork well, massaging the seasoning into the meat. Cover and marinate for at least 15 minutes in the fridge.
When ready to cook, gently fry finely chopped chilli with oil in a large non-stick frypan or a wok. Then, add marinated pork into the pan and caramelise on high heat.
I find the best way to caramelise the pork is by spreading the meat into a single layer in the pan/wok. Let it fry on high heat undisturbed for about 1 minute then flip and repeat for the other side. Finish off by stir frying until glossy and delicious. This will create amazing colour on the pork.
By now the pork should be just cooked. Remove from the pan and set aside.
I've also got a quick 1-minute how-to video for those of you who prefer to watch how this recipe is made!
Saute green beans and bring it all together
Now, time to move on to the green beans. In the same pan (no need to wash, you can if you wish to), add green beans, half a cup of water and season with salt. Put the lid on and cook on medium heat for about 3 minutes to soften and cook the beans.
After 3 minutes, most of the water should be evaporated. Remove the lid and saute the green beans for about 1 minute until tender. Add the caramelised shredded pork back into the pan (including juices). Season with black pepper.
To finish up, stir fry on high heat for about 1 to 2 minutes, allowing the green beans to take on the juices and flavour of the pork.
That's it! Simple, delicious and packed full of flavour stir fried green beans with shredded pork!
For a complete meal, serve with some freshly steamed rice.
As a main, this recipe makes enough to serve 4 people with rice.
Alternatively, you can serve this dish with other Asian dishes for a banquet/feasting style which is perfect for a crowd of 4+ people.
Feasting menu suggestion for 6 - 8 people:
- San choy bow
- Stir fried green beans with shredded pork (this recipe)
- Chinese steamed fish with ginger and spring onions I suggest steaming a whole fish to feed a crowd.
- Honey soy chicken drumsticks (oven-baked)
- Stir fried soy sauce noodles (chow mein)
- Pork and chive dumplings (can make in advance)
- Prawn (shrimp) fried rice
- Steamed rice
Useful tips and tricks
- Use a sharp knife to cut the pork into thin shreds. This is particularly useful if using pork shoulder like I have when shooting for this recipe. Fat is a little hard to cut through than meat so a sharp knife will not only speed up the cutting time, it'll make it so much easier too.
- Massage the marinade into the pork with a (clean!) hand. Will help tenderise the meat and make sure the pork is super tasty! This is one of the key techniques involved in creating velvety meats, Chinese restaurant style. For a more comprehensive understanding of the velveting technique and the art of stir frying, have a read of my beef noodle stir fry recipe.
- For optimal caramelisation of pork, spread the marinated pork into a single layer and fry on high heat undisturbed. Flip and do the same on the other side. Direct heat is key!
Good to know (FAQs)
Yes! This will speed up the cooking process and keep the beans juicy. In this recipe, the beans are more or less 'steamed' using a minimal amount of water with the lid on.
Salt whilst steam cooking! Just like cooking pasta, salting the water do wonders. It's even more delicious when mixed with flavour rich caramelised protein like this recipe.
Not really, Chinese long beans are less sweet and not as juicy as green beans. Long beans have a more mature/rich flavour profile. Nonetheless, they're both equally good to use in this recipe.
This green bean stir fry can be kept in the fridge for up to 4 days stored in airtight containers, for up to 3 months in the freezer.
Made this recipe? Let me know your thoughts or questions by dropping a note in the comments section below! I'd love to hear from you. 🙂
If you're active on Instagram, take a picture once you've made this recipe and tag me on Instagram! I'd love to see them!
Happy cooking! - Gen
Stir Fried Green Beans with Pork
- 300 g /11 ounces green beans or snake beans. Trimmed and halved
- 250 g /9 ounces pork shoulder substitute cuts: loin, fillet or leg
- 1 red chilli finely chopped (optional)
- 1 tablespoon oil neutral-tasting or olive oil
- black pepper
- ½ tablespoon oyster sauce
- ½ tablespoon dark soy sauce
- ½ tablespoon shaoxing wine
- ½ tablespoon oil neutral-tasting or olive oil
- ½ tablespoon cornstarch
- ½ teaspoon sesame oil
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- black pepper
- Cut pork into thin strips. Refer to step by step images in the blog above for guidance. You want the pork to be about half the thickness of green beans.
- To marinate the pork, combine pork and marinating ingredients. Mix well then marinate for at least 15 minutes in the fridge, covered. (note 1)
- When ready to cook, gently fry the chilli with oil in a large wok or a non-stick frypan for about 1 minute. Add marinated pork into the pan and caramelise on high heat. After about 3 minutes, transfer pork into a dish and set aside. (note 2)
- In the same pan/wok, add green beans and about ½ cup of water. Season with salt then cover with a lid and steam cook the green beans. About 3 minutes on medium heat.
- Place the pork back into the pan and season with black pepper. Stir fry on medium-high heat for a further 2 minutes.
- Serve with rice.