Gok Wan’s Green Bean Stir Fry and Healthy Fried Rice

We’ve been watching a BBC cooking series online in which British fashion consultant and stylist Gok Wan delves into his Chinese heritage to demonstrate how much nicer Chinese takeaway can be when it’s not actually takeaway but cooked at home. It helps of course that he grew up with a Dad – known as Poppa Wan – who has run a multitude of Chinese restaurants, in which Gok worked from the age of five.

What really sucked us in was the prospect of cooking our own succulent Chinese BBQ pork, which is far and away my favourite takeaway dish, whether it’s on its own or in a short soup.  However it was also hard to go past  his perfect fried rice and a tasty looking bean dish, so we did them all. Our plans for a Chinese dinner at home had the additional benefit – it forced us to hunt out a local Asian supermarket for the right sort of dried shrimp.  We were like kids in a lolly shop as we marvelled over the super cheap prices of the herbs and spices, and debated whether to buy a new wok and chopping cleaver. We’ll certainly be going back to this find – and I suspect we’ll also be cooking some more of Gok and Poppa Wan’s gorgeous dishes (I have my eye on the Peking Duck already). The recipe for Gok’s fantastic bean dish follows after the jump, along with his healthy fried rice – I’ll post the pork recipe separately.

Gok’s Green Bean Stir Fry

As with most Chinese wok dishes, the time here lies in the prep – cooking takes mere minutes.

  • handful of dried shrimp
  • handful of blanched unsalted peanuts
  • enough green beans for two
  • shallots – cut into 3cm lengths – white and green sections separate.
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped finely
  • 1 red chilli – finely sliced with seeds removed
  • 2 inches ginger, matchsticked
  • small tin water chestnuts, drained
  • splash of Shao Hsing cooking wine
  • splash fish sauce
  • 1/2 tsp light soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • splash sesame oil


  1. Reconstitute the dried shrimp by covering them with boiling water and leave to steep.
  2. Boil peanuts for 1-2 minutes to get that proper Chinese texture.
  3. Finely slice the ginger into matchsticks, finely chop the garlic, slice and deseed the chilli.
  4. Chop the green onion into 3 cm lengths – keep the white part of the stem separate from the green.
  5. chop the beans into equal lengths – about 3cm.
  6. Wok On!
  7. Stir fry the garlic and chilli, then throw in the spring onion.
  8. Drain and add the shrimp, peanuts and water chestnuts.
  9. Add the green beans and stir fry until they’re a bit browned … you don’t want to lose the crunch.
  10. Push the vegies up the sides of your wok as far as they will go.
  11. Slurp in some Shao Hsing cooking wine, and a splash of fish sauce.
  12. Add light soy sauce, and combine before bringing the veggies back down into the mix.
  13. Add the matchsticked ginger, and sprinkle with a tiny bit of sugar to balance the flavours.
  14. Dribble a little sesame oil over the top, and voila! A side dish good enough to stand alone!

Gok’s Healthy Fried Rice

This only works with rice you’ve thrown in the fridge … fresh-made rice is just too sticky and it makes the dish gluggy. 

  • Ground-nut oil (we use peanut)
  • 300g cooked long grain rice, chilled.
  • 2 spring onions, trimmed and sliced
  • 7 water chestnuts, sliced
  • 2 -3 eggs, beaten
  • 50g tin anchovies, drained and roughly chopped
  • 75g frozen peas
  • Chinese chilli oil
  • 2 lap chong (chinese sausages), thinly sliced on the diagonal
  • 1/2 – 1.5 tbs light soy sauce (to taste)
  • lettuce leaves, to serve
  1. Heat a wok until medium-hot and add a dash of oil. Fry the sausage quickly on either side until coloured all over, with the white parts turning pink. Remove and set aside.
  2. Season the beaten eggs with salt and pepper.
  3. Add 1 tbsp of oil to the hot wok and pour in the beaten egg. Scramble the eggs, scraping the bits that are sticking to the wok. Aim for a well-cooked through scrambled egg, separating into pieces.
  4. Once cooked through add the rice, scraping the bottom of the wok and tossing the rice as you heat it through. Once the rice is hot add in the remaining ingredients, except for the sausage.
  5. Continue to cook over a medium heat, tossing and mixing.
  6. Once the anchovies are beginning to melt into the hot rice, taste and season with pepper and a pinch of salt.
  7. Continue to stir fry for 3-4 minutes.
  8. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding more soy if necessary.
  9. Serve the fried wife with the Chinese sausage on the side to scatter over. Drizzle with a little chilli oil, serving extra on the side, and wrap spoonfuls of the rice in lettuce leaves to eat.

~ by swalloworspit on June 11, 2012.

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