Szechuan cuisine refers to the hot, spicy dishes of the Szechuan province in southwestern China. Ground beef, chicken, turkey, or crumbled tofu can be substituted for the pork.
2 t cornstarch or arrowroot powder
1 T soy sauce
1 T hoisin sauce, mirin, or dry sherry
1 t cider vinegar
1 T vegetable oil, such as peanut or sesame
1-lb green beans, trimmed and sliced diagonally into 2-inch lengths
2 t finely minced fresh ginger
2 t finely minced garlic
1/2 – 1 t hot red pepper flakes, or to taste
1/2-lb ground pork
1. In a small bowl, combine all the sauce ingredients. Make sure the cornstarch is completely dissolved. Set aside.
2. In a wok or large skillet, heat the oil over moderately high heat for about a minute. Add the green beans and stir-fry for about 4 or 5 minutes–the beans should be tender-crisp and lightly charred in spots. Remove the green beans with a slotted spoon and set aside.
3. Add the garlic and ginger to the pan, cook, stirring, for 30 seconds, then add the pepper flakes and pork. Cook until the meat loses its pink color, stirring to crumble, about 3 to 4 minutes. Drain off excess fat from the pan, if desired.
4. Stir the reserved sauce once more to recombine, then add it to the meat. Cook the mixture, stirring, for a few minutes until the sauce thickens. Fold in the reserved green beans, and heat through. Serve over rice.