I used to travel for work frequently and I got into a real routine of ordering Chinese takeout when I was almost back to my apartment, timing the call so the food would arrive soon after I did. After cooking on the road for long stretches of time, it was so nice to do absolutely nothing! My regular go-to order was dry-sautéed string beans with brown rice on the side and spicy pork-and-ginger dumplings doused in red chile oil. This stir-fry combines all of those flavors and demonstrates the small victory of how to properly stir-fry,which is to say: Don’t crowd your pan and don’t be afraid of high heat.
SERVES 4 AS A SIDE DISH, 2 AS A MAIN COURSE
1/4 cup [60 ml] neutral oil, such as canola, grapeseed, or safflower
1 lb [455 g] string beans, tipped, tailed, and
oz [115 g] ground pork
2 Tbsp minced peeled fresh ginger
1 fresh red or green chile (such as a jalapeño or a serrano),stemmed, seeded, and minced, or 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
2 tsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp chicken stock, white wine, or water Kosher salt Freshly ground black pepper Cooked brown or white rice for serving
In the largest skillet you have (at least 12 in [30 cm] in diameter) over high heat, warm 2 Tbsp of the oil. Let it get nice and hot (it will smile). Add the string beans and cook,stirring, until they’re charred in spots and just tender, about5 minutes. Transfer the beans to a bowl and set aside.
Add the remaining 2 Tbsp oil to the pan, along with the pork, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the pork loses its rawness and is on its way to being browned, 2 to 3 minutes.Add the ginger and chile and cook, stirring, until the pork is browned and a little bit crisp, about 5 minutes.
Return the string beans to the skillet and drizzle over the soy sauce and chicken stock. Cook, stirring, just until everything is nicely combined and the liquid is mostly evaporated, a couple of minutes. Season the beans to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately, next to or on top of rice.
Stir-fry ASPARAGUS WITH GINGER AND RED CHILEand finish the dish with a handful each of torn basil leaves(preferably Thai basil) and roughly chopped salted peanuts. Also try stir-frying SNOW PEAS, SNAP PEAS,AND ENGLISH PEAS together with some minced shallots or green garlic—all so green!
Stir-fry SHREDDED BRUSSELS SPROUTS with lots of garlic and finish with a splash of fish sauce and a spoonful of minced pickled chile peppers.
Stir-fry fresh CORN KERNELS with ginger and finish with chopped fresh cilantro.