This delicious spicy green bean stir-fry comes together in just minutes from a handful of ingredients. It's loaded with tender green beans and savory pork and seasoned with caramelized garlic and black beans. Keep reading for my trick to ensure the green beans retain their color.

This easy Green Bean Stir Fry recipe is loaded with tender vibrant green beans and ground pork seasoned with a delicious chili garlic black bean sauce.

Chinese Stir-Fried Green Beans

Although it’s a popular staple at Chinese-American restaurants, Stir-Fried Green Beans with Black Bean Sauce most likely originated from the Sichuan dish 豆角炒肉末 or “green beans fried with minced meat.” The original dish is made with equal parts long beans and meat along with plenty of chili peppers for a fiery kick.

Growing up in Napa, this simple stir-fry was my mom’s favorite from the local Chinese take-out joint. For me, I vacillated between the Singapore Noodles and Mongolian Beef, but what always struck me about this dish was how they managed to cook the green beans long enough to be tender, and yet they had an almost surreal green hue.

Trick for Tender yet Vibrant Green Beans

The trick restaurants use to make their green beans tender without losing their vivid color is to blanch them in oil before stir-frying them; this is a nice way of saying that they are fried. The high temperature of the oil cooks the green beans through, making them tender, before the chlorophyll has a chance to break down.

The resulting beans are vibrant green and tender without being mushy, and the wrinkled skin helps ensure you get some pork and black beans in every bite. The blanching does add an extra step, but you can do it in the same pan, so it’s not that much more effort.

With tender vivid green green beans stir-fried with pork and a chili garlic black bean sauce, this easy delicious stir-fry comes together in just minutes.

Marinate the Meat

Because this is a dry stir-fry (i.e., no sauce), the meat itself becomes the seasoning for the beans. That’s why I like to marinate it so that it has enough flavor to go around. By adding a bit of potato starch to the marinade, it gels any liquids released by the pork as it cooks ensuring every piece of meat is juicy and flavorful.

I like using ground pork for this because it’s flavor pairs so well with the earthy fermented black beans, but other ground meats will work fine. You can also use strips of meat cut to roughly the same length and thickness of the green beans. If you want to make this vegan, try using my plant-based ground meat.

The Stir-Fry

Like all stir-fries, this one comes together in a matter of minutes, which is why it’s important to have all your ingredients prepped and near your stove so you can toss them in one after the other. I get this one started off with the garlic and black beans to bring out their fragrance while boosting their umami.

I love the way the funky fermented black beans play with the savory pork and verdant green beans. If you can’t find them or don’t like them, miso, oyster sauce or soy sauce are all reasonable substitutes. If you do end up using a liquid seasoning, you’ll want to add it in at the end once you’ve added the green beans.

To add a bit of heat, I like adding a dollop of doubanjiang, which is a chili paste made with chilies fermented with fava beans, but you can substitute any Asian chili paste or leave it out altogether if you can’t take the heat.

Because the green beans are already cooked through, they go in at the very end to heat them through and marry them with the pork.

This delicious green bean stir-fry comes together in just mimnutes and yet it's loaded with tender green beans and ground pork seasoend with garlic, black beans and chili paste.

Variations of Green Bean Stir-Fry

I’ve kept this stir-fry simple, but there is a world of possibilities with this quick and easy prep. The techniques for marinating the meat and oil blanching the green beans work across a variety of flavor profiles, here are just a few ideas for how you can change things up:

  • Make it Saucy – This is a dry stir-fry but if you like your green beans saucier, just dissolve 2 teaspoons of potato starch in 1/2 cup of chicken stock and pour it over the pork before you add the green beans.
  • With Shrimp Paste – Instead of seasoning this with black beans and garlic, try swapping in some belacan (fermented shrimp paste) and shallots.
  • Curried – ditch the black beans and start the stir-fry with garlic and ginger and then add finely diced onions. When they’ve caramelized, add some cumin seeds before adding the meat. Finish the dry curry off with a sprinkle of curry powder and salt before adding the green beans.

Chinese Green Bean Stir-FryChinese Stir-Fried Green Beans Although it’s a popular staple at Chinese-American restaurants, Stir-Fried Green Beans with Black Bean Sauce most likely originated from the Sichuan dish 豆角炒肉末 or “green beans fried with minced meat.” The original dish is made with equal parts long beans and meat along with plenty of chili peppers for a fiery … Continue reading “Chinese Green Bean Stir-Fry”

Summary

  • CourseEntree
  • CuisineChinese
  • Yield4 servings
  • Cooking Time5 minutes
  • Preperation Time3 minutes
  • Total Time8 minutes

Ingredients

For Pork
200 grams
ground pork
1 tablespoon
Shaoxing wine
2 teaspoons
soy sauce
1 teaspoon
sugar
1/2 teaspoon
potato starch
For green beans
vegetable oil (for frying)
350 grams
green beans (trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces)
For Stir-fry
1 tablespoon
vegetable oil
14 grams
garlic (2 large cloves minced)
1 tablespoon
douchi (fermented black beans, finely minced)
1 teaspoon
doubanjiang (chili bean paste)
1
scallion (thinly sliced for garnish)

Steps

  1. To marinate the pork, stir the Shaoxing wine, soy sauce, sugar, and potato starch together and drizzle over the ground pork. Stir to distribute evenly, but don't over mix it (the pork should still be crumbly).
  2. Oil-blanched green beans draining on paper towels before being stir-fried with black bean sauce.
    Use paper towels to ensure the green beans don't have any water on them or they will spatter when fried. Prepare a wire rack lined with a double layer of paper towels.
  3. Oil blanching green beans before stir-frying them tenderizes them, while retaining their color.
    Add 1/4-inch of oil to a frying pan and heat over medium-high heat until the oil is shimmering.
  4. Fry the green beans in batches until they are vibrant green and tender (about 30 seconds). Transfer to the paper towel-lined rack to drain.
  5. Frying the garlic and black beans brings out their flavor.
    Drain all but 1 tablespoon of oil and add the garlic and black beans. Stir-fry until the garlic is fragrant.
  6. Fried garlic, black beans and doubanjiang (chili bean paste) for making green bean stir-fry.
    Add the doubanjiang and give it a quick stir.
  7. Add the pork, and stir-fry, using the edge of a spatula to break up the big chunks into bite-size pieces.
  8. Ground pork stir-fried with black beans, chili paste, and garlic.
    When the pork is cooked, add the green beans and toss to coat evenly.
  9. Green bean and ground pork stir-fried with black beans, garlic and chili sauce.
    Garnish with scallions and serve the green bean stir-fry with rice.