Easy Hot & Sour Hunan Green Beans
懒人版 酸豆角炒肉末

Hot and sour Hunan green beans, The Rice Lover's take on pickled long beans with ground pork
Hot and sour Hunan green beans, The Rice Lover's take on pickled long beans with ground pork

I love pickles in the summer time. They’re crisp and refreshing and really whet your appetite. Everything tastes better with pickles! My Hot and Sour Hunan Green Beans are an homage to a classic dish from Hunan. Diced pickled long beans with ground pork 酸豆角炒肉末 (suān dòu jiǎo chǎo ròu mò) are an unforgettable flavor from my childhood. Although it’s been 20 years since my friend’s grandmother made this dish for us, the crunchy, savory, spicy, tart flavor is unforgettable.

豆角 (dòu jiǎo) Chinese long beans (aka asparagus beans) are similar to green beans, which can be substituted in this recipe. The traditional Hunan version uses pickled long beans, lacto-fermented pickles that many Chinese families make at home. I’ve eliminated the fermentation process for this easy stir fry that comes together in under 15 minutes.

Ingredients: Hot & Sour Hunan Green Beans

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Chinese long beans (aka yard-long beans) cut into 1/8-inch segments
Finely diced long beans (or green beans) — aim for about 1/8″

This is a super straightforward stir fry of long beans with ground pork. For aromatics, we only need garlic, ginger, and fresh chilies (red or green). As with many Hunan dishes, we use fresh chili peppers for a bright, spicy flavor. I also added 剁椒 (duò jiāo) Chinese pickled red pepper relish for color and extra-authentic flavor. I finish with a drizzle of chili oil (or substitute oil from a jar of Laoganma chili crisp).

To replicate the tart crunch of pickled long beans, I use a good dose of plain distilled white vinegar. I like my Hunan green beans quite hot and quite sour, but this dish is easily customized to your own taste.

Instructions: Hot & Sour Hunan Green Beans

Saute ground pork with aromatics
Saute ground pork or beef with aromatics

To start, I used a method similar to my Sichuan dry-fried green beans. By blanching the finely diced green beans in salted water for 30 seconds, we can reduce cooking time and improve flavor absorption. We then stir fry ground pork / beef in a wok on medium-low heat (280°F = 5.0 on my Duxtop induction) until the fat renders out and the meat is golden brown. Add the garlic, ginger, and fresh chilies, continue stir frying until fragrant.

Turn up the heat to medium-high (340°F = 6.5 on the Duxtop). Add in the blanched green beans, and keep tossing until the excess moisture has cooked off and the long beans are cooked through. Because we blanched them first, the beans stay crunchy and bright green. At this point, we can add all the seasonings to the pan: vinegar, pickled red peppers, salt, a splash of light soy sauce, and sugar. Give everything a few good tosses to evenly combine, taste for seasonings, and adjust as desired.

Saute long bean or green bean segments, then add seasoning

Wine Pairing

Leon Beyer Pinot Gris 2016, serve at 43-46°F / 6-8°C
Dr. Loosen Urziger Wurzgarten Kabinett 2019, serve at 43-46°F / 6-8°C
Robert Weil Estate Riesling Spatlese 2015, serve at 43-46°F / 6-8°C

For spicy, tart dishes like hot and sour Hunan green beans, I like a white wine with some residual sugar. Two great choices are off-dry riesling or rich pinot gris. The sugar helps contrast the acid in the food. Look for minerality to give it some structure.

Pinot gris is the French name for the same grape as pinot grigio. The pinot gris of Alsace tend be fuller-bodied and richer than most pinot grigios on the market. Look for a rich golden-yellow color, a good indication of a wine with some body. I love pinot gris with spicy, sour, or rich foods, and Alsatian pinot gris is particularly good with pork.

Alternatively, I would turn to Germany for riesling with some residual sugar. A late harvest Spätlese riesling or an off-dry Kabinett would pair well with the heat of this dish and stand up to the acid. Of the two, the the spätlese will be richer and sweeter because late-harvest grapes contain more sugar. It would be perfect alongside a cured meat like 腊肉 (là ròu). If the other dishes in the meal are lighter or more vegetable-forward, I would try the Kabinett.

Did you try this dish?

Please let us know what you thought in the comments below, and share your results #thericelover on Instagram!

These Hunan green beans are a classic 下饭菜 (xià fàn cài) — a super flavorful dish that’s great over rice (literal translation “dish for downing rice”). They are also phenomenal atop a bowl of congee, mixed with noodles, or as a relish served with my savory chickpea flour pancakes. No matter what you’re eating, the brightness, spice, and crunch will instantly perk up any meal!

Hunan hot and sour green beans
Hot and sour Hunan green beans, The Rice Lover's take on pickled long beans with ground pork

Hot and Sour Hunan Green Beans 酸豆角炒肉末

Hot and sour green beans are a crunchy, spicy, bright, and super flavorful side dish from Hunan, China. They're guaranteed to whet your appetite; eat them with white rice, as a topping for noodles, or as a relish with savory pancakes. Traditionally the dish is made with Chinese long beans 长豆角, but it works just as well with regular green beans!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Chinese
Servings 4
Calories 185 kcal



  • 12 oz long beans or green beans 长豆角或四季豆,350克
  • 6 oz ground pork or ground beef 碎猪肉,150克
  • 2 fresh hot chilies red or green, minced (to taste) 青红辣椒,适量,切碎
  • 2 tsp minced garlic 2颗大蒜,切碎
  • 1 tsp minced ginger 2克姜,切碎
  • 2 Tbsp distilled white vinegar to taste 白醋,30克
  • tsp light soy sauce 生抽酱油,8克
  • 2 Tbsp pickled red pepper relish optional 剁椒,2汤勺
  • 1 Tbsp neutral cooking oil like avocado or canola 菜油,10克
  • ¼ tsp salt to taste 食用盐,2克
  • tsp sugar 白糖,2克
  • 1 tsp chili oil optional 辣椒油,5可


  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil, adding ~1 tsp of salt per quart of water. Chop long beans or green beans into 1/8" segments. Blanch green bean segments in the salted water for 30 seconds. Set aside.
  • Heat stir fry pan to medium heat (280°F) and add the oil. Saute ground pork, breaking it up into small pieces, until the meat is cooked through and the fat has rendered. Add in aromatics (garlic, ginger, fresh chilies) and saute until fragrant.
  • Add in blanched green beans, tossing continuously, until cooked through but still crisp, 3-5 minutes. Add vinegar, soy sauce, pepper relish, chili oil, sugar, and salt to taste. Toss until thoroughly combined.


As written, this dish is an authentic level of sour and spicy. If you’re not the biggest fan of spice, feel free to omit the chili oil and reduce the amount of fresh and pickled peppers.
These Hot & Sour Hunan Green Beans are somewhere between a relish and a side dish. They’re meant to be eaten as a topping over other foods like rice, congee, or pancakes.
Keyword green beans, Hunan

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