This quick and easy Szechuan pork with mushrooms and green beans is the perfect dinner to spice things up in your kitchen!
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Monterey Mushrooms. As always, all opinions are my own.
When it comes to meal planning, are you all about the adventure – or are you a creature of habit?
We’re a family divided on this issue. ? For example, my mom is a great cook, albeit not the most adventurous eater in the world – and so growing up, we had a relatively steady stream of the same meals. You know, spaghetti, tacos, shake and bake pork chops, etc. It was slightly repetitive, but also familiar and delicious.
I think by nature as an RD and food blogger, though, I’m all about trying new dishes now in my house. It’s almost an Achilles’ heel, because I end up spending quite a bit of time meal planning each week. I’ll get stumped and ask the hubby what to make, and his response is always the same – “How about one of the last 100 things you made?”
But that incessant need for variety also leads me towards developing delicious dishes – like this incredible Szechuan pork with mushrooms and green beans. It’s filling, it’s spicy, and it’s good for fueling your body.
What is Szechuan cuisine?
Szechuan cuisine (or technically, Sichuan cuisine) is a style of Chinese food from Sichuan Province. It’s traditionally flavorful and spicy, using ingredients like garlic, chili peppers, and Szechuan peppercorns. In this style of cooking, pork is the most commonly consumed meat.
How to make quick & easy Szechuan pork
Our version of Szechuan pork is a little different than some of the traditional or common recipes you’ll see out there – but I think you’ll absolutely love it.
The basic premise stays the same – you’ll cook up pork along with vegetables, toss it with flavorful aromatics, spices, and soy sauce, and then (optionally) serve it over rice.
But here are three key differences:
1) There are no Szechuan peppercorns used in this recipe.
While you can find these at most Asian specialty supermarkets, they can be a bit difficult to find in a mass market grocery store. Some people also don’t enjoy the slight mouth numbing properties that Szechuan peppercorns cause (caused by a plant component called sanshool – so interesting).
To make the recipe easy for everyone to make, I instead went with a spice blend from chili garlic sauce and crushed red pepper. You can easily adjust these ingredients to make it more or less spicy. And if you’ve got some Szechuan peppercorns at home, you can feel free to use them too!
2) You’ll use ground pork instead of whole cuts.
Most recipes you’ll see online for Szechuan pork call for pork tenderloin or pork belly. I’m switching things up a bit with ground pork. Not only is ground pork relatively inexpensive, but you don’t have to cut it up or anything – you just toss it in your sauté pan and it’s ready to cook!
3) You’ll add a secret ingredient – Let’s Blend Mushrooms.
You guys – this is seriously one of my favorite ‘cooking hack’ ingredients. Let’s Blend Mushrooms are pre-seasoned, finely chopped mushrooms that combine incredibly well with ground meat in a variety of recipes! I pretty much always keep them on hand in my fridge these days. (You can check out another great recipe with them in this post featuring leftover turkey mushroom meatballs.)
For this Szechuan pork recipe, you’ll sauté the ground pork along with your Let’s Blend classic mushrooms. Not only does it bulk up the meal, adding extra volume so you stay full – but it also adds extra umami taste!
Want to find them for this recipe? You can find a list of participating retailers on their website.
What to serve with Szechuan Pork
In this recipe, I’m going with the classic – rice. I like using brown rice as it’s a whole grain and has additional fiber.
But you can also serve this with soba noodles, rice noodles, or cauliflower rice. Or, you can make it without rice or noodles and just eat the meat-and-veggie dish solo.
Why I love this dish for active folks
This is one of those “takeout fakeout” dinners. It makes you feel like you’re eating indulgent takeout, but in a homemade version that is actually relatively good for you!
Each serving of this dish clocks in right around 450 calories. It’s got healthy carbohydrates to fuel your fitness, protein to support muscle health, and fat to keep you full. And it’s a powerhouse of different vitamins and minerals! I mean, just checkout this breakdown – you’ll see you get good amounts of many of your daily requirements:
I hope you love this Szechuan pork with mushrooms and green beans as much as I do! Don’t forget to grab Let’s Blend mushrooms at your local retailer so you’re all ready to make this ASAP.
This quick and easy take on Szechuan pork is packed with ground pork, crisp green beans, umami-packed mushrooms, and hearty rice to round out the dish – and a spicy sauce of course!
- 2 cups of instant brown rice, dry
- 3 tbsp lower-sodium soy sauce
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 tbsp sherry wine
- 1 tbsp olive oil, divided into 1/2 tbsp each
- 1 lb ground pork
- 1 pkg Let’s Blend Classic mushrooms
- 1 lb green beans, ends trimmed
- 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp ginger, minced
- 1 tsp chili garlic paste or to taste*
- ¼ tsp crushed red pepper or to taste*
- 3 green onions, diced
Prepare the instant brown rice according to package directions (you can continue with the rest of the recipe while rice is cooking). When done, set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, cornstarch, and sherry wine. Set aside.
Heat 1/2 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the ground pork and Let’s Blend mushrooms. Cook for about 7-10 minutes, until pork is cooked through (there should be no pink). Use a slotted spoon to remove pork and mushroom blend and set aside in a large bowl for now.
Leave any of the drippings from the pork in the skillet, and return to medium heat. If the pan looks too dry, add the other 1/2 tbsp of olive oil. Add the green beans and cook for approximately 2 minutes. Add the bell pepper and cook for another 4 minutes, until all vegetables are starting to get crisp-tender.
Add garlic, ginger, chili paste, and crushed red pepper and cook for another minute.
Add pork/mushroom mixture back to the pan. Stir in the soy sauce mixture and green onions. Continue cooking for another 1-2 minutes, until everything is well heated and combined. Serve over rice.
*You can adjust the amount of chili garlic paste and crushed red pepper according to your spice preference. As written is a fairly mild version with a little bit of heat.
Nutrition analysis (approximate per serving):
449 calories, 23 g fat, 7.5 g sat fat, 750 mg sodium, 40.5 g carbohydrate, 7 g fiber, 3 g sugar, 21.5 g protein, Vitamin A: 36%, Vitamin C: 99%, Calcium: 6%, Iron: 14%