Pork loves sweet, snappy counterparts—think pulled pork and cole slaw, or pork chops with sautéed apples. Maybe that's why pork and beans are such a classic Chinese combination. In this version, I use sliced marinated pork loin stir-fried very quickly with some blanched green beans, all flavored with ginger, garlic, and a simple marinade. It comes together in just about the same time that it takes to steam a batch of rice, making this a perfect weeknight meal.
Why this recipe works:
- A simple marinade with salt, soy sauce, wine, sugar, oil, and cornstarch helps the meat stay tender, juicy, and flavorful, with improved browning characteristics.
- Blanching the beans in advance and stir-frying in batches helps maximize heat and flavor in the wok.
- 1/2 pound pork loin, sliced into strips less then a quarter inch thick
- Kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon Shaoxing wine
- 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon plus 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
- 12 ounces string beans, ends trimmed
- One (1/4-inch) slice of fresh ginger
- 4 medium cloves garlic, finely minced (about 4 teaspoons)
- Steamed white rice for serving
Place the pork in a large bowl. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt, sugar, ground white pepper, Shaoxing wine, soy sauce, 1 teaspoon oil, and cornstarch. Mix well and transfer to refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring 4 cups of salted water to a boil in a wok over high heat. Add the string beans and cook for 1 minute. Remove the strain beans to a colander and rinse under cold running water until cooled. Allow excess water to drain while pork marinates. Dry wok with paper towels.
When ready to cook, heat 2 tablespoons of oil in the wok over high heat until smoking. Add the ginger. Cook for 30 seconds and then remove and discard the ginger. Add the pork and spread it out with in a single layer. Cook without moving until lightly browned, about 1 minute. Continue to cook, stirring, until almost cooked through, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
Heat remaining tablespoon oil over high heat until smoking. Shake off any excess water from the string beans and add them to the wok. Season lightly with salt and cook, stirring, until tender, about 1 minute. Return pork to the wok and add the minced garlic. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Transfer to a serving platter immediately and serve with white rice.