Sour & hot French beans with kimchi

I can’t get enough of this sour and spicy dish

Serves 2 as a starter or 4 as a side | total time 20 minutes

Prep 10 minutes | cook time 10 minutes




  • 300g french beans, top and tailed
  • 1 heaped tbsp of Lao Gan Ma chilli oil with Black Bean  (the brand is also known as The Godmother or Angry Lady)
  • 1/2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp rice vinger (although white whine vinegar or cider vinegar will work fine)
  • Two cloves of garlic or 1 large clove, roughly chopped
  • 2 inch chunk of ginger, roughly chopped
  • 1 lemongrass stick (optional) – if you dont have this lemon / lime zest or a teaspoon of tamarind will work
  • 1 pinch of chilli flakes (optional)
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1 Spring onion, chopped for garnish


Use the recipe on the link, or if you are short of time just buy a jar. 

  • Add this to taste. I go for a large spoonful or even two.



Part one

  • Put a pan of water on to boil and season with salt.
  • Grab a pestle and mortar and grind the garlic, ginger and salt (the salt gives it the necessary friction required for grinding).
  • Pop in your lemongrass and smash it up – try not to grind the lemongrass. You still want it to keep together so its easy to remove later.
  • Add the vinegar, fish sauce and soy sauce and mix.

Part two

  • Add your beans to the boiling pan and boil for 2 minutes – i like them with a bit of bite so I wouldn’t go over 2 minutes.
  • drain and refresh with cold water to stop the cooking process and to keep the colour.

Part three

  • Heat a wok or deep frying pan to a high heat and add the black bean paste for 20 seconds – you should have enough oil here to lubricate the whole dish without the need to add more.
  • Add the sauce from your pestle and mortar and mix, it should spit a bit so be careful of your clothes and limbs
  • Add in the beans and stir fry in the sauce for a minute or two – the sauce should slightly reduce and the beans should be hot all the way through.

Part four

  • Transfer to a bowl and place the kimchi on top, stir to heat the kimchi and serve immediately .

Black bean pork stir fry with wasabi pickles

Black bean and vinegar pork loin steak, with udon, cherry tomatoes and mint with wasabi pickled red onion and cucumber

Serves 2 | time 45 mins (plus marinating time)

Prep 30 minutes | Cook 15 minutes


2 Pork loin steaks

200g Udon noodles

Handful of cherry tomatoes (different colour if possible) quartered

Good handful of mint, chopped or ripped right before garnishing

1 Spring onion sliced thinly

1 tbsp sesame seeds

The pork Marinade

1 tbsp of black beans in chilli

2 tbsp red wine vinegar

2 tbsp Soy sauce

1 tsp Sugar

2 x Garlic cloves

2 inch ginger

Wasabi Pickled Onions and cucumber

I often triple this recipe so

Half a cucumber – thinly shaved using a speed peeler

1 Red onion thinly sliced

Teaspoon of mustard seeds

100ml of Red wine vinegar

100ml of Mirin vinegar

Teaspoon sugar


1/2 teaspoon of wasabi


Part one

Put your pork in a ziplock bag and gently bash it flat with a rolling pin.

Take your ginger and garlic and smash in a pestle and mortar. Put all the marinade ingredients in the zip lock bag and leave in the fridge for at least an hour but preferably overnight.

Part two

Take the pork out of the fridge to come to room temperature.

In a colander lay the cucumber out and sat liberally using your hands to make sure all the cucumber is covered.

Toast the mustard seeds to release some fragrance and lightly crush them in your pestle and mortar. Throw them in a jar with all the other ingredients pickle ingredients and the red onion.

After the cucumber has released plenty of water (about 20/30mins) add that in the pickled jar.

Cook the noodles as per the packet Instructions then put in running cold water to stop the cooking process.

Part three

Heat a wok until very hot and empty the pork and the marinade into it and cook on a high heat for 6-7 mins turning once.

Take out and leave to rest while you prepare the rest of the dish.

Pop the tomatoes in the hot marinade for a minute before throwing in the cooked noodles. Toss frequently to coat the noodles in the sauce.

Part four

Cut the pork in thin strips – it should have a dark coating on the outside and then a bright white colour in the middle.

Plate the noodles using tongs, add in the tomatoes followed by some of the pickled onion and cucumber.

Lay the pork on top of the noodles and then garnish with spring onion, mint and sesame seeds