Recipe: Spicy & Sweet(ish) Green Beans with Ground Pork

I can’t remember the first time I had this dish, but 1) it always stuck with me and 2) my family always ordered it when we went there. Tay Do Restaurant (in Houston, Texas) is where I’m referring to and Dau Que Xao Cay is the dish.

For 20(?)  years, we’ve eaten at Tay Do for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, birthdays, Tet, funerals, Christmas or general family gatherings. It has changed a little bit over the years…but not the food. Muc Rang Muoi (the best thing and you can’t find made this way anywhere else), Soup Mang Cua, Ca Kho, Canh Chua — some goodies I recommend getting if you’re ever in the neighborhood. We frequent the restaurant less now, but it has a dear place in my heart.

On Tay Do’s menu, they describe this as “string bean sauteed: mince pork sauteed with string bean in spicy sauce.” That’s why the title of my recipe says “sweet(ish),” because the hoisin sauce does add some sweetness to it. This recipe isn’t a replica or dupe, but I’d like to think that it’s pretty close, AND it’s an easy dinner + leftovers for lunch!

green beans and ground pork vietnamese

Recipe: Spicy & Sweet(ish) Green Beans with Ground Pork


  • 8 to 12 oz of French green beans, cut into 1.5/2 inch pieces
    • For Texans, I usually get them from HEB in the bagged veg section
  • 1 lb of ground pork
  • 3 gloves of garlic
  • cooked white rice

Sauce Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1(ish) tsp cornstarch
  • a splash of fish sauce
  • pepper
  • salt

Make sauce:

  1. Combine all sauce ingredients in a bowl, mix and season to taste! Leave aside.

Cook green beans:

  1. Fill a medium stock pot with water and heat to a roaring boil.
  2. Make sure to season your water with salt!
  3. To be disputed: do you or do you not cut the tips off your green beans? If you do, now is the time. Then, cut your green beans into bite sized pieces — this could mean cutting your green beans in halves or thirds.
  4. When your water comes to a boil, throw in your green beans for about 2 minutes. You don’t need a long time because they will cook further with the meat, and I PERSONALLY like a good crunch to mine.
  5. After 2 minutes, dump the green beans into a colander. I don’t think you need an ice water bath, but you can do that method if you so choose. A good cold water rinse will do. Set aside.

***AT SOME POINT before you cook your meat, cook your rice! Follow the directions on the packaging…or get a rice cooker for stress-free rice cooking!***

Brown Your Meat…and The Rest

  1. Peel and dice your garlic cloves. Set aside.
  2. You’ll need a heavy bottom pot/pan on the stove with medium-high heat.
  3. Pour in some neutral oil, but for the most part, your ground pork will render fat, so you don’t need your pot to be TOO oily. (Am I good at directions guys??)
  4.  Drop your garlic into the pot, let it cook for a hot second and then add your ground pork in a nice even layer in the pot.
  5. The browning meat process will take a few minutes. Don’t touch it too much, let it brown. After you flip the meat over is when you can start breaking up the ground pork into little pieces with your spatula. I personally like little bites and not big chunks of ground pork, but THIS IS YOUR SHOW.
  6. Warning: this process goes pretty quick…When the meat is browned, add half of your sauce. Stir and mix the sauce with the meat for an even coating.
  7. Now add in your green beans, give it a stir to combine meat and green beans in perfect harmony…and then drizzle the rest of your sauce and stir/mix well. This takes a couple minutes and after that, you can turn off your stove so the green beans don’t get sog.
    • Sidenote: the reason why we add cornstarch to the sauce is so that it gets thicker and will adhere better to the meat and green beans. You don’t want slippery sauce, do you?
  8. Serve a happy helping over a bed of rice (pictured).
  9. Mời!

vietnamese ground pork and green beans

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