3 tbsp vegetable oil
12 ounces green beans, ends trimmed, cut in 2 inch lengths (about 3 cups)
¼ tsp salt
¼ cup water
4 ounces ground pork (½ cup), optional
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp chopped fresh ginger
6-9 dried small hot red chiles, broken in half, or to taste (shake out seeds for less heat)
1 tbsp fermented black beans, rinsed and chopped or 2 tablespoons Tianjian (Tienstin) preserved vegetable, rinsed, squeezed dry, and chopped (optional)
1 tbsp Chinese black vinegar or balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp soy sauce
1. Set a 14 inch wok or 12 inch frying pan over high heat. When the pan is hot, add 1 tablespoon oil and rotate pan to spread the oil. Add the beans and salt. Stir fry until the beans coated with oil. Add the water. Cover and cook until beans are bright green and barely tender to bite, 1-2 minutes. Uncover and stir fry until the water evaporates and beans begin to brown, 1-2 minutes. Pour the beans into serving dish.
2. Return the pan to high heat (medium-high, if omitting pork). Add 2 tablespoons oil, pork, garlic, and ginger. Stir fry just until the pork is browned and crumbly, 1-2 minutes. (Or for vegetarian version, cook just until the garlic is soft, about 30 seconds.) Add the chiles, ginger, and fermented black beans. Stir fry until the chiles begin to brown, about 30 seconds. Add vinegar, soy sauce, and green beans; stir fry to blend. Pour into the serving dish and enjoy.