Pork with green beans and shiokombu

My favourite way to cook green beans is actually to oil-blanch them until wrinkled and soft, before stir-frying. Oil-blanching is a popular technique in Chinese cooking which is essentially quickly frying in very hot oil. It's slightly different from deep-frying or shallow frying and often done by stirring the ingredients through hot oil in a wok.

In this case I've cooked the green beans with pork belly, oyster sauce and a bit of shiokombu, but they're also popular in Sichuanese cuisine stir-fried with pork mince, chilli and Sichuan peppercorns (干煸四季豆), or pork mince and Chinese olives.

Shiokombu is a dried, seasoned kombu (kelp) available from Japanese grocers. In Japanese cuisine it's most often used as a seasoning for rice, but its strong umami taste is very versatile. Here I've used it to sprinkle on top of a stir-fried dish together with aonori (dried sea lettuce).

  • Cooking time



  • 300 g pork belly, skin and bones removed, cut into 2 cm pieces
  • ¾ cup vegetable oil
  • 400 g green beans, stems picked
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp Shaoxing wine
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp shiokombu, finely chopped, plus extra to serve
  • a little aonori, to serve
  • Meat marinade
  • 1 tsp cornflour
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp Shaoxing wine
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp sesame oil


  1. Combine the pork with the marinade ingredients. Cut the green beans into 5 cm pieces. Heat a wok over high heat and add the oil. Fry the green beans in the oil for around 5-10 minutes, until the beans appear dry and wrinkled. Remove the beans from the wok with a slotted spoon or tongs. Drain the oil from the wok leaving about 2 tbsp for frying the pork and allow the oil to heat until very hot.
  2. Add the pork to the hot wok and fry without stirring until well-browned on one side. Add the garlic and toss the wok for about 2 minutes until the garlic is lightly browned. Return the beans to the wok and add the oyster sauce, Shaoxing wine, sugar and shiokombu and toss to combine. Transfer to a serving plate and scatter with a little more shiokombu and some aonori.

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