I’m certainly not going to claim that this recipe is authentic Szechuan because I’m not a Szechuan expert but I will claim that it is a deliciously spicy stir fry with a Szechuan inspired sauce!
This stir fry is super easy and packs a lot of flavor thanks to a quick sauce made with garlic chili paste, soy sauce, rice vinegar, brown sugar and sesame oil (all of my favorite players!). All of these items can usually be found in the asian section of most large grocery stores. I served this spicy pork along side a pile of steamed rice (I used half white, half brown) and I couldn’t have been more satisfied. If you’re feeling extra ambitious, chop a few more veggies and turn the rice into a pilaf or vegetable fried rice (recipe later this week).
Peanut oil will give the most authentic flavor to this recipe but if you don’t have any, plain vegetable or canola oil will do. Because high heat is required, I would not suggest olive oil which has a low smoking point. I used a large skillet rather than a wok to demonstrate that you don’t have to go out and buy special equipment to stir fry! Wok’s are great to cook with but sometimes you can make do with what you already have on hand.
This recipe is easily doubled if you have more than four mouths to feed.
szechuan pork & green beans
- 2 Tbsp. peanut or vegetable oil $0.07
- 1 inch fresh ginger $0.11
- 3 cloves garlic $0.07
- 1 lb. green beans $0.86
- 1 lb. pork roast $2.36
- 2 Tbsp garlic chili paste $0.30
- 2 Tbsp soy sauce $0.12
- 1 Tbsp brown sugar $0.03
- 2 Tbsp rice vinegar $0.09
- 1 tsp sesame oil $0.16
- Make the Szechuan sauce by combining the garlic chili paste, soy sauce, brown sugar, rice vinegar and sesame oil in a bowl (if you like a thick gooey sauce, add 1 Tbsp of corn starch to this mixture, it will thicken upon cooking). Set aside for later use.
- Wash the green beans and snap the stem end off of each. I also like to snap each bean in half so that each piece is about two inches long. Peel and mince the fresh ginger and garlic.
- Open the pork roast and cut off a one pound portion (mine was two pounds total so I just cut it in half). Tightly wrap the unused portion in plastic wrap then place in a heavy freezer bag. Label and freeze for later use. Slice the one pound portion of pork roast against the grain into thin strips. It is very important to cut 90 degrees against the grain so that the strips of pork will not be tough and hard to chew.
- Heat 2 Tbsp of oil in a wok or large skillet over high heat. When the oil looks wavy but is not smoking (turn it down if it begins to smoke), toss in the chopped garlic and ginger. Stir and cook (“stir fry”) for about one minute. Add the pork slices and stir fry until they are cooked through and no more pink juices are coming out (about 5 minutes).
- Remove the pork to a plate and add the green beans. Stir fry the green beans until they are slightly tender (about five minutes). The fat and juices from the pork will begin to brown on the bottom of the pan during this step. When the sauce is added next, it will deglaze the pan and bring up all of the flavor from the caramelized juices on the bottom of the pan.
- Return the pork strips to the pan with the green beans and add the Szechuan sauce. Continue to stir and cook until most of the moisture has evaporated from the sauce (about 1-2 minutes). Serve over a bed of hot rice! (Garnish with sesame seeds and sliced green onions if desired)
Step By Step Photos
Combine the ingredients for the sauce (chili garlic paste, soy sauce, rice vinegar, brown sugar, sesame oil) in a bowl and set aside.
Wash the green beans, snap off the end that has the stem and snap each one in half.
Peel and mince the garlic and ginger. These two were practically MADE for eachother!
This was the pork roast that I used (2 lb. total). It was the best price per pound that I could find without having to buy an ENORMOUS piece of meat. I still froze half of it for later use.
The first cut I made to divide the piece in half just happened to be “with the grain”. When you cut it open like this it is easier to see which direction the grain is running.
Cut the pork into thin slices against the grain. If you do not cut the slices against the grain you will have long pieces of connective tissue in the pork slices that will be very tough and hard to chew.
Heat the peanut or vegetable oil in a large skillet until it is very hot but not smoking. Toss in the garlic and ginger and cook for one minute. Add the pork strips and cook until they are no longer releasing pink juices.
Remove the pork from the pan and add the green beans. Stir fry the green beans just until they are slightly tender.
Return the pork to the pan along with the Szechuan sauce. Continue to cook until most of the moisture has evaporated from the sauce.
The finished product!