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a wok filled with beautifully brown glass fettuccine noodles, tender slivers of pork and garden fresh green beans

Takeout Style Pork and Green Bean Stir-Fry w/Glass Noodles

This quick and delicious pork stir-fry recipe uses basic ingredients and is especially great for those nights when you need to make a grocery run but just don’t have it in you. As with most stir-fry recipes, you can substitute just about any type of pork (ground, shoulder, loin, or butt) and any vegetables you happen to have on hand (like carrots, zucchini, cabbage, etc.). In this case, I opted for thin slices of pork shoulder and velveted it for 20 minutes (to make it super tender like takeout) along with fresh green beans straight out of the garden that get blistered with scallions, garlic, and ginger. Next a quick deglazing of the wok with a little Shaoxing wine to get that extra-tasty “wok hei” flavor before chewy glass noodles and an umami-rich brown sauce is added and everything is tossed together to make a really tasty noodle dish. Cooking Chinese food at home isn’t difficult, you just need a few pantry staples and a couple of techniques to help you get the best results. 

For anyone who may be new to stir-frying at home, we’ve included step-by-step recipe photos at the end of the post.

What are Mung Bean Noodles (a.k.a Glass Noodles, Bean Thread Noodles, Cellophane Noodles) and How Do You Cook them?

Mung bean noodles are chewy delicious noodles that are really satiating to eat. They’re highly absorbent which means whatever sauce you’re adding to a dish will get absorbed nicely into the noodles leaving them full of flavor. To cook mung bean noodles, all you need to do is bring water to a boil, turn off the heat, immerse the mung bean noodles into the hot water and allow them to steep until tender with some bite (about 4 minutes). Rinse the noodles under cold running water to stop them from cooking, strain, and use as the recipe indicates.

You may also be wondering if rice noodles and mung bean noodles (aka glass noodles or cellophane noodles) are the same things. In fact, they’re not the same noodles at all. Here are a few key differences and characteristics of these two popular noodle varieties used often in Chinese cooking. 

  • Mung Bean Vermicelli or Fettuccine noodles are gluten-free and made from the starch of mung beans. When cooked, they’re clear (or shiny and glass-like) in appearance. These noodles are very absorbent and when cooked, their texture is pleasingly chewy and springy. They’re offered in a variety of shapes and sizes, but the two most common are vermicelli (thinner than angel hair pasta) and fettuccini (flat and still much thinner than Italian fettuccine). The vermicelli mung bean thread noodles are often used in fried spring roll filling. 
  • Rice Vermicelli or Fettuccine, etc. noodles are gluten-free and made from rice starch and water. When cooked they’re mostly opaque and they’re highly absorbent. These noodles have less springiness than mung bean noodles and are often used for famous Chinese dishes like Singapore Mei Fun. 
  • Sweet Potato glass noodles are gluten-free noodles made from sweet potato starch and are thicker and chewier than mung bean noodles. This noodle is often used in Sichuan cuisine and also Korean cuisine. 

What’s the Easiest Way to Thinly Slice Meats for Chinese Stir-Fry Dishes?

It goes without saying that using a sharp knife or Chinese cleaver to slice stir-fry meats makes the task of getting thin similar-sized pieces of meat much easier. Meat can be slippery when it’s fresh making it harder to slice and if your knife is also dull, it becomes even more difficult. You can easily remedy this by placing the meat in the freezer for 20 minutes or so to firm up before slicing it which keeps it from sliding around and allows you to make more precise slices. 

How to Cook Chinese Food at Home — Techniques + Tips for Making Better Stir-Fry at Home

If you’ve ever made stir fry or another type of Chinese food at home and been disappointed with the results you’re not alone. As with any cuisine, there are certain techniques that make up the foundation for getting the best (and most consistent) results like what you’d expect from your favorite restaurant or from a local when traveling abroad. We’ve outlined a few common mistakes people make when cooking Chinese food at home (particularly when stir-frying) and how to avoid them.

  1. Use the right ingredients. If you’re serious about cooking Chinese food at home, a well-stocked Asian pantry is necessary. You can buy just about anything online, but you’ll find it cheaper at your local Asian grocery store. You can start with just the basics which include Shaoxing wine, soy sauce, light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, oyster sauce, hoisin sauce, fish sauce, Chinese black vinegar (Chinkiang or Zhenjiang vinegar), rice wine vinegar, toasted sesame oil, corn starch (or bean starch), sesame seeds, scallions, white pepper, ginger, and garlic. And for cooking Sichuan food (or another region-specific Chinese cuisine, you’ll need to add a handful of ingredients to this list that we’ll get into in another post.
  2. Use a wok or comparable cooking vessel with a large surface area that allows for fast and quick high-heat cooking. I used to have a 14-inch flat-bottomed carbon-steel wok before living in China and for most people, this size and shape are most convenient because you don’t have to purchase a wok ring (necessary for round-bottomed woks to fit onto a western-style burner). This wok served me well in both my tiny NYC kitchen and way more spacious Brooklyn kitchen. But I’ve since invested in a traditional 16-inch wok with a round bottom because it allows for more even heat distribution, cooking larger quantities, and less food getting accidentally tossed over the sides while moving everything around. If you have the space (including for storage) I highly recommend this style and size. Plus, you can do a lot more than just stir-fry in a wok (like fry chicken, or cannoli shells). The longer you have the wok and take care of it, the more seasoned it becomes, and the better the food tastes (just like with cast-iron cooking). 
  3. Don’t overcrowd the wok with too many ingredients at one time. As mentioned above, depending on the size of your wok (or skillet, sauté pan, etc.), you may need to cook ingredients in batches so that the temperature of the wok has a chance to recover after each addition and maintain a more consistent high heat throughout. Adding too many ingredients all at once without the proper space and high heat often results in overcooked meats and vegetables and occasionally not being able to get your sauce the right consistency (or both). 
  4. Have all of your ingredients chopped thinly, measured, whisked, and ready to go before you start cooking. It goes without saying that one of the best things about cooking Chinese food at home is that it’s fast and ready in just minutes. This means you need to have all of your ingredients sitting on the sideline waiting to be added as soon as the recipe indicates. You can also line up the ingredients in the order they should be added to the wok which makes it even easier.
  5. “Velvet” meats before you cook them. Velveting is a Chinese marinating technique used to create tender flavorful slices of chicken, pork, beef, and even sometimes shrimp. Velveting the protein creates a barrier between the meat and the hot wok which safeguards it to retain both moisture and enhance the texture. In some cases (for instance, the baking soda method) this process also tenderizes the meat from the inside out, but with this type of velveting, the meat needs to be rinsed well before moving on to flavoring it with sauces or additional spices.  There are 3 main ways to velvet proteins:
    • oil + cornstarch method
    • baking soda method
    • egg white + cornstarch method 
  6. When called for, use a cornstarch slurry to thicken sauces and make the dish glossy. Have you ever wondered why your stir fry isn’t glossy and silky like at your favorite restaurant? It’s probably because you’re not adding a corn starch slurry to your sauce. When you add the slurry to the wok and allow it to slightly thicken up, it binds all of those delicious flavors from your seasonings into a glossy coating that covers your stir fry. And you get to decide how thick or thin you want the sauce.

Take-Out Style Pork and Green Bean Stir-Fry w/Glass Noodles Ingredients 

If you don’t happen to have fresh green beans, you can use any variety of vegetables you have on hand like carrots, zucchini, or even bell peppers. If you want to make this a spicy pork noodle dish (it’s delicious), add a few whole chilis to the wok along with the ginger, garlic, and scallions. 

PORK MARINATING (VELVETING) INGREDIENTS

  • 8 to 12 ounces pork shoulder steak, sliced into thin strips (225 to 335g)
  • 2 teaspoons Shaoxing wine (10g)*
  • 1 teaspoon oyster sauce (4g)
  • 2 teaspoons hoisin sauce (9g)
  • 2 teaspoons light soy sauce (9g)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons corn starch (5g)
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable or grapeseed oil (4g)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons water (20g)
  • a pinch or two of white pepper

STIR-FRY SAUCE INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon Shaoxing wine (place in separate bowl for deglazing the wok) (20g)*
  • 3 teaspoons dark soy sauce (12g)
  • 3/4 teaspoon sugar (3g)
  • pinch of white pepper, or to taste
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds, or to taste (optional)

FOR THE REST OF THE DISH

  • 5 1/2 ounces of mung bean noodles (bean thread noodles) (150g)
  • 3 to 4 scallions, sliced, white and green parts separated (or sub shallots) (20g)
  • 2 to 3 slices of fresh ginger 
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed 
  • 8 ounces of green beans, cut into 2-inch pieces (or sub carrots, etc.) (225g)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (for frying) (30g)
  • regular soy sauce to taste, optional to add more salinity to the dish if desired

*If you can’t find Shaoxing wine, use dry sherry in a 1:1 ratio. If you’re thinking about using mirin, it’s acceptable if that’s all you’ve got (but it really has a totally different flavor than Shaoxing wine and it’s also a bit sweet which would still taste nice in this dish). 

How to Make Take-Out Style Pork and Green Bean Stir-Fry w/Glass Noodles

Before you get started, make sure all of your ingredients are measured, sliced, chopped, and stirred. And if you need to, work in batches if your wok is smaller or you’re using a sauté pan instead which will allow you to cook everything well even if it takes a little more time. 

  1. Marinate (velvet) the pork. Add all of the pork marinating/velveting ingredients except the pork to a medium bowl and whisk to combine. Add the sliced pork and using your hands, massage the marinade into the pork until there is no liquid left in the bowl and the pork has absorbed it. Marinate for 20 minutes. 
  2. Cook the mung bean noodles. Cook the glass noodles according to packaged directions. In this case, the brand I used instructed me to add the noodles to a pot of just boiled water with the heat turned off and allow them to steep for 4 minutes. Strain and rinse with cold water until the noodles are cool, strain again if needed, and set aside. 
  3. Make the sauce. Add all of the sauce ingredients (except the Shaoxing wine to a small, stir well to combine, and set aside. Add the Shaoxing wine to another small bowl and set aside. 
  4. Cook the pork. Heat the wok over high heat until smoking, add 1 tablespoon of oil, allow the oil to heat for 5 to 10 seconds, and add the pork. Stir-fry moving the pork around the wok for about 3 minutes or until lightly browned around the edges and cooked through. Remove the pork from the wok and set aside. 
  5. Stir fry the green beans + complete the stir fry. Over high heat, add another tablespoon of oil. 
  • Add the ginger, garlic, scallions (white parts only), and green beans, and stir-fry for about 2 minutes, or until the green beans start to soften and blister.  
  • Add the Shaoxing wine drizzling it around the perimeter of the wok to deglaze the pan and continue stir-frying for 2 minutes more.
  • Add the sauce and the pork and stir-fry for about 1 minute.
  • Add the noodles and scallions (green parts), and toasted sesame seeds (if using) and toss everything until well combined, and turn off the heat. 

    6. Adjust seasonings and serve. If needed, add salt or a drizzle of regular soy sauce to taste and serve, Enjoy!

 

Looking for a Few More Delicious Dim Sum or Chinese Dishes?

If you’re looking for a few other dishes to round out your Chinese takeout-style meal, below are a few of our favorites.

Let’s get started!

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closeup of a pasta bowl filled with a wok filled with beautifully brown glass fettuccine noodles, tender slivers of pork and garden fresh green beans

Take-Out Style Pork and Green Bean Stir-Fry w/Glass Noodles


  • Author: biting at the bits
  • Total Time: 28 minutes
  • Yield: 2 to 3 servings depending on the hunger level 1x

Description

This quick and delicious pork stir-fry recipe uses basic ingredients and is especially great for those nights when you need to make a grocery run but just don’t have it in you. As with most stir-fry recipes, you can substitute just about any type of pork (ground, shoulder, loin, or butt) and any vegetables you happen to have on hand (like carrots, zucchini, cabbage, etc.). 


Ingredients

Scale

PORK MARINATING (VELVETING) INGREDIENTS

  • 8 to 12 ounces pork shoulder steak, sliced into thin strips (225 to 335g)
  • 2 teaspoons Shaoxing wine (10g)*
  • 1 teaspoon oyster sauce (4g)
  • 2 teaspoons hoisin sauce (9g)
  • 2 teaspoons light soy sauce (9g)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons corn starch (5g)
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable or grapeseed oil (4g)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons water (20g)
  • a pinch or two of white pepper

STIR-FRY SAUCE INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon Shaoxing wine (place in separate bowl for deglazing the wok) (20g)*
  • 3 teaspoons dark soy sauce (12g)
  • 3/4 teaspoon sugar (3g)
  • pinch of white pepper, or to taste
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds, or to taste (optional)

FOR THE REST OF THE DISH

  • 5 1/2 ounces of mung bean noodles (bean thread noodles) (150g)
  • 3 to 4 scallions, sliced, white and green parts separated (or sub shallots) (20g)
  • 2 to 3 slices of fresh ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 8 ounces of green beans, cut into 2-inch pieces (or sub carrots, etc.) (225g)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (for frying) (30g)
  • regular soy sauce to taste, optional to add more salinity to the dish if desired

*If you can’t find Shaoxing wine, use dry sherry in a 1:1 ratio. If you’re thinking about using mirin, it’s acceptable if that’s all you’ve got (but it really has a totally different flavor than Shaoxing wine and it’s also a bit sweet which would still taste nice in this dish). 


Instructions

  1. Marinate (velvet) the pork. Add all of the pork marinating/velveting ingredients except the pork to a medium bowl and whisk to combine. Add the sliced pork and using your hands, massage the marinade into the pork until there is no liquid left in the bowl and the pork has absorbed it. Marinate for 20 minutes. 
  2. Cook the noodles. Cook the glass noodles according to packaged directions. In this case, the brand I used instructed me to add the noodles to a pot of just boiled water with the heat turned off and allow them to steep for 4 minutes. Strain and rinse with cold water until the noodles are cool, strain again if needed, and set aside. 
  3. Make the sauce. Add all of the sauce ingredients (except the Shaoxing wine to a small, stir well to combine, and set aside. Add the Shaoxing wine to another small bowl and set aside. 
  4. Cook the pork. Heat the wok over high heat until smoking, add 1 tablespoon of oil, allow the oil to heat for 5 to 10 seconds, and add the pork. Stir-fry moving the pork around the wok for about 3 minutes or until lightly browned around the edges and cooked through. Remove the pork from the wok and set aside. 
  5. Stir fry the green beans + complete the stir fry. Over high heat, add another tablespoon of oil. 
  • Add the ginger, garlic, scallions (white parts only), and green beans, and stir-fry for about 2 minutes, or until the green beans start to soften and blister.  
  • Add the Shaoxing wine drizzling it around the perimeter of the wok to deglaze the pan and continue stir-frying for 2 minutes more.
  • Add the sauce and the pork and stir-fry for about 1 minute.
  • Add the noodles and scallions (green parts), and toasted sesame seeds (if using) and toss everything until well combined, and turn off the heat. 

    6. Adjust seasonings and serve. If needed, add salt or a drizzle of regular soy sauce to taste and serve, Enjoy!

Notes

  • If you want to make this a spicy pork noodle dish, simply add a few dried, whole peppers to the wok at the same time you add the aromatics (garlic, ginger, scallions).
  • This recipe can easily feed more people if you’re serving other dishes to accompany it (like potstickers, dumplings, egg drop soup, or even a big salad). 
  • See main post for additional tips and techniques for how to make really great stir-fry at home.
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8 minutes
  • Category: Dim Sum + Dumplings
  • Method: Wok Stir-Fry
  • Cuisine: Chinese

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1/3 to 1/2 recipe

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Take-Out Style Pork and Green Bean Stir-Fry w/Mung Bean Noodles recipe step-by-step photos

 

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