A simple dry-fried long beans and minced pork dish seasoned with umami packed Chinese olive vegetables. Flavorful, quick and goes great mixed with rice for a quick meal.
Now that Summer has come and gone in a blink of an eye and I'm finding that I am rushing to complete all the summer projects I have been meaning to complete but never had a chance to tackle this year. You ever feel like there's not enough time in the day - ever?
So lately, I have been trying my best to be in and out of the kitchen as fast as possible which makes me brainstorm about quick delicious foods my dad used to make for me as a kid. They were quick, they were delicious and they were no fuss. These types of recipes were perfect for days you want a home cooked meal when you're pressed for time - and another bowl of instant noodles wasn't going to cut it after eating it for 4 days straight. 😛
So for the upcoming blog posts, expect some simpler and somewhat traditional recipes that I grew up with. After all, Autumn is the beginning of comfort foods and whats more comforting than childhood foods? The answer is nothing - maaaaaaaaaaybe childhood foods eaten in front of the tv wrapped up in blankets, but other than that the answer is nothing. 🙂
For this dry-fried long beans recipe, most of these ingredients can be found at your local grocery store with the exception of maybe yardlong beans, chinese olive vegetables and chinese rice cooking wine which can be found at a Asian grocery store or online.
If you can't find yardlong beans (Chinese long beans), you can easily substitute this with green beans.
Chinese rice cooking wine can also be substituted with dry sherry.
White pepper cannot be substituted with black pepper, it is a totally different flavour. White pepper is much more mild in flavour compared to black pepper. If you don't have white pepper, you can omit this.
Chinese olive vegetables is a interesting umami packed condiment made from olives, mustard vegetables, oils and salt. It tastes very different than the typical olives and is also used differently. You can read more about it here.
PUTTING IT TOGETHER
If you are using Chinese long beans for this recipe, you will have to cut it up as having them whole is a bit unwieldy, unless you mastered a technique to slurp long string beans - in that case, please share!
Cut off the tips, those are woody and then chop the rest of the beans up into smaller to eat pieces.
This is a simple recipe. The only thing out of the ordinary is that you will have to remove the minced pork once it is done cooking, so you can give the beans a fresh hot wok to blister in - and so you don't overcook and burn the pork while you're working on the beans.
This is a very common method in Chinese stir fries, meats are usually cooked first, and then removed and then you cook the veggies separately and add in the meats and sauce at the very end. This gives your wok/pan chance to get hotter so you can cook your veggies evenly and quickly. It's literally 10 seconds more work and you end up dirtying 1 extra bowl (when you are moving the meat out) but if you're like me and you don't care then you can just re-use that bowl for eating! 😛
To par-boil or not to par-boil? That is the question....
I know I was pressed for time but I can't refuse a good experiment. I have heard from many sources in the past that par-boiling your beans before stir frying them keeps them greener and cooks them faster so I decided to test this theory to see if it is truly worth the extra step.
My findings? I didn't find that it kept the beans greener but I have to agree that it did cook faster - which makes sense since I already cooked it. Duh Joyce.
Would I do it in the future? Probably not and to be honest I didn't really find it added anything extraordinary. However, feel free to try it out and let me know what you prefer - maybe you'll find something I couldn't! 🙂
What is Dry-Fried?
To me, dry fried is just a fancy way of saying stir fry in a pan with REALLY hot oil. That's essentially what it is. You're using really hot oils in a pan or wok and then cooking the foods really fast on this really hot oil to cook the foods really fast. When you are dry frying, you need to work fast, keep the food moving and work with small bite sized pieces.
Usually when you dry fry something, you start off the frying by by browning some ginger and garlic to flavour the oil before adding in the veggies or meat.
See? I eat my greens - sometimes... 😛
Dry-Fried Long Beans and Minced Pork with Olive Vegetables
- 1 bundle yardlong beans (Chinese long beans)
Ground Pork Marinade
- In a medium bowl, add in the ground pork, 1 ½ tablespoons of soy sauce, white pepper, cooking wine and mix well with your hands and set aside to marinate for 15-20 minutes
- Wash the beans under cold water and cut off the ends.
- Chop the beans up into bite sized pieces, I like to cut them into 1 inch pieces. Set these aside
- Finely mince the garlic and slice the ginger and set aside
Putting it Together
- In a wok or frying pan, set the stove to medium high heat to high heat and add about 3 tablespoons of oil
- Once the oil is hot, add in the ginger and toast it until it has turned golden. (approximately 1-2 minutes)
- Add in the garlic and brown for 30 seconds
- Add in the ground pork and break it apart while cooking it. Cook it until it is fully cooked and brown (approximately 10-15 minutes)
- When the pork is done, stir in the dark soy sauce and mix well and pour out the meat into a bowl and remove the ginger slices. Set aside the meat for later.
- Re-heat the wok or frying pan on medium high to high heat with 1-2 tablespoons of oil.
- Once the oil is hot, add in the beans (be careful if your beans are wet they may splatter)
- Spread out the beans so they get as much surface area to the pan as possible. Cook for approximately 5 minutes
- Add in 1 tablespoon of soy sauce and continue to stir fry for 20 seconds
- Add in the pork and mix it with the beans
- Add in the olive vegetables and mix well
- Serve hot with a side of rice or noodles 🙂
- You can substitute green beans for yardlong beans
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