top of page

Asian Style Stir fried Pork & Green Beans

It is with a greater frequency that I find myself yearning for foods that I have eaten throughout my childhood or during my years in Australia and Singapore.

My mother assures me that such is the case for all people as we grow older. Now don't get me wrong,  I am still a good many years away from the geriatric ward but some evenings I cannot but help wish, that I was back at the food court (an embellished term for hawker center)  in Ang Mo Kio or Bishan  (in Singapore) enjoying a large plate of green beans stir-fried with ground pork and other such humble delights.

Since Singapore (and Australia) remain a 24 hour flight & an ouchie-to-our-pocket away, its best I whip up my hearts yearnings in my own kitchen.

A word about dried shrimp or shrimp paste; it is one of those authentic condiments that makes the difference between 'real' v/s Americanized Chinese cooking. Some version of dried shrimp is widely used in Chinese, Indonesian, Malaysian and Thai cooking and is easily found in Asian markets.

When you first open the  package or the bottle, it smells  of old fish -which it is. It is called balachan  in Singapore & Malaysia and the amazing thing about dried shrimp & shrimp paste (which is never eaten raw) is that once it's cooked, it does what anchovy paste does for Italian cooking. The flavors and odors mellow &  give a wonderful,  salty, complex undertone, umami to the dish.

Since I'm out of dried shrimp I am going to use the one thing I always keep at hand in the fridge - shrimp paste with soy bean oil.  I think it's going to turn out just as well!

Give this a go on a weeknight when you're on the run.



Recipe for

Asian Style Stir-fried Pork & Green Beans

Shopping list: 1-1/2 lb green beans

6 oz ground pork

1/2 red pepper

4 stalks green onions

1 'Thai' fresh red chilly

3 cloves garlic

1/2 " fresh ginger root

2 tbs dried shrimp (soaked in water)


1 tbs shrimp paste in soy bean oil

Marinade for meat:

1/4 tsp sugar 

1/4 tsp salt

1 tbs soy sauce

3 cloves garlic

1/2 " fresh ginger root

 1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper Sauce:

2 tbs oyster sauce

1 tbs dark soy sauce

1 tsp sugar

1  tsp cornstarch

2/3 cup chicken stock or water

1/2 tsp  sriracha or hot chili sauce 

3 tbs vegetable oil 


Green beans - Steam green beans till they are a crisp tender ( no more than 3/4 cooked) using a steam bag or in the microwave or on stove top in boiling water.

Ginger - Scrape the skin off the ginger root with a knife and thinly slice half the knob and finely chop the other half.

Garlic -  separate cloves from a bulb. finely chop half the cloves and finely slice the other half.

'Thai' red chilly - Cut the top off the red chilly and discard. Cut into 1/4" circles and set aside. 

Green Onions - Wash and slice the green onions diagonally.

Red Pepper - Quarter a red pepper and slice into thin strips.


Pour the oil into a heavy bottomed pan or wok.

Heat the oil till fuming. Add the chopped garlic, ginger and chilly.

Stir for a minute and immediately add the shrimp paste or drained dried shrimp, stirring vigorously for a minute.

Add the ground meat, green onions and the red pepper. Continue to sauté on high heat till the meat changes color & lightly browns about 5 minutes.

Add the green beans and sauté till the green beans are almost cooked. This may take approx. 10-15 minutes. Some of the green beans will show bruising.

Add the sauce to the green beans & stir vigorously on high heat for approx. 5 minutes.

At this point the sauce should be the thickness of heavy cream, should stick to the beans and the green beans should be perfectly cooked - crisp, tender & not wilted.

Taste & adjust seasonings.

Serve immediately with steamed rice.




bottom of page