Stir-fried Pork with Green Beans


The Thais share their love of pork with the Chinese who, like the Thais, regard it as their ‘red meat’. Pork, having at once distinctive and delicate flavours, requires some thoughtful seasonings and appropriate accompaniments to bring out the best of its gustatory virtues, as in this recipe.

Understandably popular, this dish appears almost as often as pork does on many menus at home and in restaurants.


  • 450 g (1 lb) lean boneless pork
  • 2 tablespoons Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
  • 2 teaspoons light soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon cornflour
  • 25 g (1 oz) dried shrimp
  • 225 g (8 oz) runner beans or French beans
  • tablespoons groundnut (peanut) oil
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce or light soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 50 g (2 oz) roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped
  • handful fresh basil leaves


Cut the pork into thin slices 5 cm (2 in) long. Put the slices into a bowl and mix in 1 tablespoon of the rice wine, the soy sauce, sesame oil and cornflour. Let the mixture sit for about 20 minutes so that the pork absorbs the flavours of the marinade.

Soak the dried shrimps in warm water for 20 minutes, drain thoroughly and coarsely chop.

Trim the runner beans and, if they are long, slice them. Otherwise leave them whole. If using French beans instead, trim them but leave whole.

Heat a wok or large frying pan over high heat. Add the groundnut oil, and when it is very hot and slightly smoking, add the pork slices and pepper and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Remove the pork with a slotted spoon and drain in a stainless-steel colander set inside a bowl. Add the beans and dried shrimp to the wok and stir-fry for 1 minute. Then add the water, 1 tablespoon of the rice wine, the fish sauce and sugar and stir-fry for 4 minutes or until the beans are cooked. Return the pork to the wok or pan, add the peanuts and stir-fry for another 2 minutes. Toss in the basil leaves and give a quick stir. Serve at once on a warm platter.