This recipe from Bowls by America’s Test Kitchen combines green beans, ground pork and water chestnuts, bathed in a mouth-numbing Sichuan sauce and served over rice. Cook’s note: I used radishes instead of water chestnuts, white rice instead of brown and orange and pineapple pieces instead of mandarin oranges.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Make sure the peppercorns and red pepper flakes don’t contain colour or anti-caking agents. Use tamari instead of soy sauce and check to make sure that the sesame oil, water chestnuts and mandarin oranges are additive-free.

Cook the beans

Add the pork and cook

Add the water chestnuts (I used radishes instead) and sauce

Sichuan stir-fry bowl


1 tsp (5 ml) Sichuan peppercorns

3 tbsp (45 ml) water

2 tbsp (30 ml) soy sauce

1 tsp (5 ml) sugar

1 tsp (5 ml) sesame oil

½ tsp (2.5 ml) cornstarch

1 tsp (5 ml) vegetable oil

12 oz (340 g) green beans, trimmed and halved crosswise

4 oz (113 g) ground pork

3 garlic cloves, minced

¼ to ½ tsp (1.25 ml to 2.5 ml) red pepper flakes

1 (8 oz/125 ml) can sliced water chestnuts, drained

2 cups cooked brown rice, warm

¼ cup (60 ml) fresh cilantro leaves

Mandarin orange segments (optional)


Process Sichuan peppercorns in spice grinder until coarsely ground, about 30 seconds. Whisk ground peppercorns, water, soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil and cornstarch together in bowl; set aside. Heat vegetable oil in 12-inch (30-cm) non-stick skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add green beans and cook, stirring frequently, until green beans are shrivelled and blackened in spots, 6 to 8 minutes.

Add pork and cook, breaking up meat with wooden spoon until no pink remains, about 2 minutes. Stir in garlic and pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Whisk sauce to recombine then add to skillet along with water chestnuts and cook, stirring constantly, until sauce is thickened, about 15 seconds.

Divide rice among individual serving bowls, then top with green bean and pork mixture and sprinkle with cilantro and mandarin oranges, if using. Serves 2.

From Bowls, by America’s Test Kitchen