Here’s my DIY recipe in last week’s issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer: sautéed green beans with diced pork. It’s a simple dish you can do in a hurry and it uses an amazing sauce that adds an appetizing flavor to the beans.
ONE OF MY BEST FINDS last year was a bottle of sauce in the condiments section of a supermarket that was simply called Wok Sauce. At first I was wary about buying it. Would it be too salty, too sweet, too spicy or too bland? Nevertheless I took the risk of buying a bottle and was soon experimenting with it in my kitchen.
It was a risk well taken, as it turns out. Such an unpretentious brand name belies the numerous uses this sauce offers. A product of Thailand, it’s made with spices, sugar, soybean oil, coriander and rice vinegar (among other ingredients) and has a mildly sweet flavor. Best of all, it has none of the dreaded MSG.
I have since used this sauce to stir fry beef, chicken, pork and vegetables—and it has always made the dish more appetizing. Better than trying to figure out the right combination of sauces, Wok Sauce is like having just the right flavor in one bottle. It has, in other words, simplified my cooking. I’ve even used it to cook ampalaya because its sweetness cuts the bitterness of the ampalaya, making it more palatable.
Here’s a dish that I’ve recently cooked using this amazing sauce: stir-fried green beans with diced pork. This is a dish you can easily cook when you’re pressed for time. And because of its appealing flavor, it may yet persuade the kids to eat their vegetables.
4 tbsp cooking oil, divided
¼ kilo diced pork
1/2 small onion, chopped
3 – 4 cloves garlic, chopped
¼ kilo green beans or sitaw, cut into 2-inch pieces
½ c Wok Sauce (see tips)
¼ c water
Heat two tablespoons of the oil in a wok or skillet to medium. Add the diced pork and sauté until pork is cooked through. Remove the pork from the pan and transfer to a clean plate. Add the remaining two tablespoons oil to the same pan. Over low heat, sauté the onions in the oil until the onions are tender, around two minutes. Add the garlic and continue sautéing until the garlic becomes light golden brown.
Stir in the green beans and season with salt. Return the diced pork to the pan. Pour in the Wok Sauce and water and stir-fry just until the beans are tender but still crisp. Transfer to a serving plate and serve while still hot. Makes 3 – 4 servings.
- Trim the beans of any stringy parts that are found on the side.
- Aside from diced pork, you can add small (peeled) shrimps. Sauté the shrimps just until they turn evenly pink in color. Add the shrimps to the green beans together with the pork.
- If desired you can enhance this by adding grated chicharon on top of the dish just before serving.
- You can find Wok Sauce in the condiments section of large supermarkets.
- The brand of the Wok Sauce I used for this recipe is Thai Heritage. It’s sold in Landmark Supermarket Makati, SM Supermarket and Rustan’s Supermarket (some branches).
- To make this dish more appealing, you can top the dish with pork floss, chicken floss or beef floss just before serving. These finely shredded pork, chicken or beef (also called mahu) are available in Chinese groceries and in some branches of Aji-Ichiban.