Spicy Pork Noodles With Green Beans

March 22, 2022
16 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom. Food stylist: Anna Billingskog. Prop stylist: Alya Hameedi.
  • Prep time 20 minutes
  • Cook time 10 minutes
  • Serves 3 to 4
Author Notes

For quicker-than-quick, delicious meals in minutes, Chinese stir-fry always delivers. The key to success, here in these Spicy Pork Noodles with Green Beans and for stir-fries in general, lies in the preparation of ingredients: Have everything ready to go before you start cooking and dinner can be on the table in about 10 minutes.

The inspiration for these noodles comes from my love of the classic Sichuan dish, green beans and pork, which can often be found on Chinese menus in a few different forms. The green beans are usually front and center, with pork playing a secondary role; this style of cooking is often found in cuisines across east Asia, where meat is added in a smaller amount to enhance the center-stage produce. Here, I speed-marinate the ground pork to give it even more flavor; add dried egg noodles, which boil up in minutes; and finish things off with a spicy stir-fry sauce to bring it all together.

The star of the stir-fry sauce is doubanjiang, a Sichuan paste made from fermented broad/fava beans (and often soybeans) plus chiles. You can also see it referred to as toban djan, tobanjiang, chili bean sauce, spicy fermented bean paste, or preserved fava bean paste. Doubanjiang is a chunky-textured umami powerhouse that can enliven any dish (you may already be familiar with its flavor as it's one of the signature players in mapo tofu). Just a small dab in your next stir-fry will transform the dish.

Dried egg noodles are a pantry staple that cook up in minutes. You can usually find them in most markets these days; if you have trouble, you can also use instant ramen noodle blocks, discarding (or repurposing) the accompanying flavor packets. Don't forget to reserve at least a cup of noodle cooking water: It will not only loosen the stir-fry sauce, but also help bind it to the noodles, pork, and green beans. If it feels a bit dry or hard to toss, feel free to add a bit more water, one tablespoon at a time.

To get the most out of your green beans, trim off the stem ends and cut them into matchstick-sized lengths. (For even faster dinner prep, pick up green beans that are already washed and trimmed.) Flash sautéing them in the pan will retain their bright green color and addictive crunch. —Hana Asbrink

What You'll Need
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Spicy Pork Noodles With Green Beans
  • 8 ounces ground pork
  • 1 tablespoon cooking wine, like Shaoxing wine, mirin, or sake
  • 1 teaspoon plus 1 tablespoon soy sauce, divided
  • 3 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small (1- to 1½-inch) piece ginger, peeled and minced
  • Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons doubanjiang (Sichuan chile bean paste)
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 2 tablespoons chile oil, plus more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons neutral oil (such as canola or vegetable), divided
  • 12 to 14 ounces green beans, washed, ends trimmed, and cut into 1½- to 2-inch pieces
  • 8 ounces dried egg noodles (such as lo mein, chow mein, or ramen noodles)
  • 1/4 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup roasted peanuts (salted or unsalted), roughly chopped
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  1. Marinate the pork: In a bowl, add the pork, cooking wine, 1 teaspoon soy sauce, garlic, and ginger. Season with freshly cracked pepper. Mix until combined.
  2. Make the sauce: In another bowl, stir together the doubanjiang, 1 tablespoon of soy sauce, oyster sauce, chile oil, and sugar.
  3. Bring a medium pot filled with water to a boil for the noodles.
  4. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of neutral oil over medium-high heat. Add the pork and spread it into a flat layer. Cook, untouched, until the bottom starts to caramelize, 3 to 4 minutes. Use a metal spatula or flat wooden spoon to flip and break up the meat. Continue cooking until the pink disappears, 1 to 2 minutes.
  5. Push the pork to one side of the skillet. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of neutral oil to the now empty side of the pan and add the green beans. Cook until bright green and still crisp, 2 to 3 minutes. Continue to break up the pork and toss with green beans together in the skillet. Lower the heat to low.
  6. Cook the noodles according to package instructions. Reserve about 1 cup of noodle cooking water, then drain the noodles in a colander. Add 1/4 cup of the reserved water to the chile sauce and mix to combine.
  7. To the skillet, add the sauce and stir everything with the spatula or spoon. Add the noodles to the skillet and toss again. Add a bit more reserved water, 1 tablespoon at a time, if the skillet starts to stick too much. Turn off the heat. Toss in the sesame oil.
  8. Divide among plates, then top with peanuts and scallions.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Yvette
  • Sylwia
  • Leila
  • Alastair
Hana is a food writer/editor based in New York.

5 Reviews

Sylwia April 8, 2023
This is one of the favorites at our house. I make it regularly. Finding the sauce was probably the most difficult step. Otherwise, the recipe is easy and super delicious! I buy fresh lo main noodles at a local H mart.
Yvette June 7, 2022
Had to make a few variations (used rice wine vinegar instead of cooking wine and used Gochujang instead of doubanjiang) and added a few extra veggies. It came up absolutely delicious - can't wait to make again.
Leila April 26, 2022
soooo easy, sooo good. Maybe I'd throw in more veggies next time - or anything in my fridge, but that was awesome.
Alastair April 22, 2022
I made this the other day for a few friends to rave reviews. It's one of the tastiest dishes I've made in a while. Perfectly savory and spicey....delicious!! Thanks so much!!
Lee March 26, 2022
This was indeed quick to put together and quite tasty. I’d probably cut the chili oil in half next time. Could be the oil I used (Laoganma), but the chili oil slightly overpowered the doubanjiang.