This is a great side dish to pair with an Asian meal – I recently served it alongside Chinese Red Cooked Chicken . The fact that it includes protein in the way of minced meat means it’s quite a substantial side dish and can take care of both the vegetable element of the meal as well as doubleing up as another main, which is handy if you’re feeding a hungry crowd. Traditionally the mince meat used is pork, which I love, but my family don’t so I often substitute minced lamb or beef which also work well. It’s also traditional to keep the meat to a minimum but I tend to veer away from that too and add much more as it’s so darn delicious. You can really make this as spicy or as mild as you like. I personally like it to have quite a kick but when I make it for the family I drop the heat level right down with no ill effect. The main key to this dish is to have your wok or pan screaming hot. You want the beans to shrivel and get some dark spots on them and the mince too should be well caramelised. As with most stir fries make sure you have all your ingredients prepped and ready to go before you start cooking.
Ingredients – Serves 4-6 as part of a shared meal
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine – you can substitute with dry sherry
1 teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon corn flour
¼ teaspoon ground white pepper
1 heaped tablespoon chilli bean paste – available from Asian grocers or substitute with any other Asian style chilli sauce. You can add less or leave it out if you prefer
¼ teaspoon dry mustard
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
500g green beans, ends trimmed, cut into 2 inch pieces
350g minced pork, you can use lamb or beef if you prefer
3 cloves of garlic, finely minced or pressed through a garlic press
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1½ teaspoons toasted sesame oil
In a small bowl, stir together soy sauce, rice wine, sugar, corn flour, white pepper, chilli sauce, mustard and water until sugar dissolves. Set aside.
Heat a wok or large skillet over high heat and when it’s very hot add the oil, swirl the oil around and add the beans. Cook stirring frequently until crisp tender. The skins will shrivel a little and be blackened in spots – reduce heat to medium high if beans darken too quickly. Transfer beans to a plate.
Reduce heat to medium high and add the mince. Cook breaking it into small pieces, until no pink remains. Add garlic and ginger and cook stirring frequently until fragrant and the meat has been well browned. Stir sauce to recombine and return the beans to the pan along with the sauce. Toss and cook until the sauce has thickened. Taste for seasoning and add salt if it needs it – this will depend largely on the chilli sauce used and the intensity of the soy sauce. Remove pan from the heat and stir in the sesame oil. Serve immediately.