There are two kinds of people: those who like pickles, and those who don’t like pickles. This pickled long beans stir fry recipe is for the people who ardently love the sour vinegar-y edge of a good pickled vegetable. To the non-pickle lovers, apologies, but come back in a few days for our next post.
One of Our Favorite Hunan Dishes
Pickled Long Beans with Pork is a favorite stir-fried dish that our most beloved Hunan restaurant serves up. It has the perfect level of tongue burning chili flavor, crisped bits of ground pork, and strong, vinegary pickled long beans whose flavor is transformed into smokey pickled deliciousness by the effect of the wok’s searing heat. I’m drooling on my keyboard just thinking about it.
Now I say “beloved”—this is not an exaggeration. This Hunan restaurant is pretty magical by all accounts. It’s located off the side of a quiet road in the middle of New Jersey suburbia, and a Chinese family lives above the restaurant, growing their own herbs and veggies in old wooden boxes in the parking lot, and pickling their own salted chilies (AKA duo jiao) and long beans (AKA snake beans).
When you step inside, it’s like a wormhole to China, complete with plastic lined tables, a menu chock full of brightly lit pictures of every dish and Chinglish typos galore, and no plate of Sesame Chicken in sight.
They cook up some of our favorites like Hunan Steamed Fish with Salted Chilies and Tofu (duo jiao yu) and Cumin Lamb. Despite the obscure location, people in the area know just what a hidden treasure it is.
It’s one of our favorite pockets of town in a state chock full of weird but delightful culinary gems tucked away in plazas and strip malls, so if you ask us exactly where it is, we probably won’t tell you. But you can recreate this dish at home! 🙂
Serve with Rice or Noodles
The great thing about this pickled long beans stir fry recipe is that you can make it as a stir-fry and serve it with lots of white rice (this dish is the soulmate of a bowl of white rice). As pickle-lovers know, sometimes, there’s just something about the perfect sour, spicy pickle that can put you right again.
One quick note on ingredients: these pickled long beans can be purchased at most Asian grocery stores in a vacuum sealed package or in a jar. For those who don’t have access to such things, a homemade pickled long bean recipe is high on our list of to-do’s!
Oh, and don’t forget that you can use use any leftovers to make pickled bean noodle soup the next day!
OK, here’s how to make it.
Pickled Long Beans with Pork: Recipe Instructions
First, marinate the ground pork. Mix it with 1 tablespoon of the oil, 2 teaspoons cornstarch, 1 teaspoon soy sauce, and 1 teaspoon Shaoxing wine. Set aside while you gather your other ingredients.
Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in a wok or cast-iron skillet over high heat. Add the pork and stir-fry until cooked through and lightly crisped.
Add the ginger and allow to infuse the oil for another minute. Next, add the garlic and cook until the garlic is lightly browned.
Add the spicy bean paste along with the diced green and red bell peppers and cook until they are slightly softened.
Add the bird’s eye chilies, Chinese pickled beans, sugar, and white pepper, and cook for a few minutes to heat the long beans through. If you want an extra kick, add the chilies early on along with the ginger to really infuse the oil.
Serve your pickled long beans stir fry with plenty of white rice!