All-Purpose Pork and Pickled Green Bean Stir-fry (Roumo Jiangdou)


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roumo jiangdou

If Laab Were Sichuan

As you all know, I did not grow up in Sichuan watching my mom cook dinner every night and learning her secrets for family-style, home-cooked food, and neither, for that matter, did Fongchong. Therefore, the Sichuan food I know and try to recreate here is generally restaurant dishes. Some of them are rather quick and easy, but most are not. However, we do cook quick-and-easy Sichuan food in our house, and this is one of those homey, any-night recipes I’ve learned on my own.

Roumo jiangdou, or ground meat long beans, springs from the home pickle crock of lacto-fermented vegetables, or paocai, the details of how to make I covered in my previous post. With naturally fermented long beans (or green beans) at the ready, along with pickled red Sichuan chilies and perhaps some pickled Sichuan peppercorn, as well as ground meat—pork or chicken—this simple stir-fry is made in no time.

Sichuan "laab"
This pork-and-pickle stir-fry is particularly good in lettuce cups

We serve it as is on rice or wrapped in lettuce cups for a Sichuan-style laab—though Sichuanese would never use that word. (It actually annoys me when people appropriate the name of a dish for something that’s not really that dish, but sometimes you just need some shorthand description.) If you eat Lao, Burmese or Thai laab, then you’ll get what this dish is about, even though the pork is seasoned completely differently and pickled green beans stand in for the fresh herbs. Having said that, my recipe includes one ingredient—fried whole garlic cloves—from my favorite Burmese laab recipe. I just love the big chunks of golden, sweet garlic in the mix with the tart pickles and savory pork.

Chengdu noodles zajiangmian
Sichuan frequently pairs minced pork and pickled long beans. Here they are a topping for noodles, in jiangdou zajiangmian

Roumo jiangdou also is very similar to the topping for jiangdou zajiangmian, or long bean zajiang noodles, a recipe I tackled a few months ago. So what more could you want than a quick-fix topping that works for rice, lettuce or noodles?

jiangdou zajiangmian
This is Fongchong stealing some of my jiangdou zajiangmian at a noodle joint in Chengdu

As a quick aside, Fongchong and I recently went on at great length (28 minutes to be exact) about cooking and eating Sichuan food at home in a podcast we did together for the Southern Foodways Alliance. The podcast is about how she adapted to America after being adopted by a white family in the South when she was 11 years old. Any of you who have followed us for a while will not be surprised that her biggest hurdle to happiness has been American food. If you’re interested in our story, this is the definitive telling, because Fongchong gets to speak for herself about how she has gone from shunning all American food to gradual acceptance of various American immigrant cuisines, while remaining fiercely loyal to her own cuisine.

By the way, if you don’t know the Southern Foodways Alliance, based at the University of Mississippi, it is one of the premiere food organizations in the country, both scholarly and downhome, producing “stories of the changing American South told through the foods we eat.” The folks there have won numerous James Beard awards for both their print magazine for members and their podcast, which is free to everyone. I am truly grateful to them for inviting us to be a part of their world and letting us tell our story.

roumo jiangdou
With a pickle crock this size, you always have some pickled veggies ready to go for a quick stir-fry

Now Back to the Pork and Pickles!

I actually like this dish with either pork or chicken. But it’s important that you use lacto-fermented pickles for this recipe, not vinegar pickles. Fermented pickles taste like sour versions of themselves, while a vinegar pickle would bring a whole other taste to the proceedings.

While I think of this as a home-style dish, I heard from a really interesting reader recently (actually, all my readers are interesting I’ve learned) that he made a version of this for years as a cook in Sichuan restaurants in Santa Cruz, California. David Stilley wrote me with his thoughts on paocai and this pork stir-fry, which they made with cabbage instead of green beans:

“I spent 20 years cooking at four different Sichuan restaurants in Santa Cruz and have served my fair share of Pao Cai Pork over the years. We made a brine of kosher salt and water in a soy sauce bucket and added several handfuls of Japanese chilies and a couple handfuls of Sichuan peppercorns and a bunch of ginger slices. The cabbage and carrots are pickled in pieces about 2″ square for the cabbage and diagonally sliced for the carrots. We minced it up before stir frying with ground pork, a little garlic and a splash of soy-sugar-rice wine brew we used called regular sauce. A 3:1:1 mix we used at all of the restaurants that I ever worked at. The pao cai had to ferment naturally for about a week, after which we stored the bucket in the walk-in. We used the chilies and peppercorns in the dish as well.”

So there’s lots of interesting things here, and they are all in line with my recipes for both paocai and pork stir-fried with paocai. Later he added this enticing tidbit:

“We pickled cabbage and carrots for pao cai that were also served with the bo bing (made by pressing two pieces of dough together with sesame oil in between so they can separate easily after being rolled out very thin and grilled. They puff into a balloon and you pop it between your hands and then separate them).”

Unfortunately, I cannot provide a recipe for this bread, which sounds divine. But it’s interesting to know that they served paocai pork with bread. There’s yet another use for this all-purpose pork-and-pickle dish!

Sichuan pickled green beans pao cai
A dedicated green bean and chili pickle jar
Sichuan erjingtiao chilies
Dried erjingtiao chilies (before and after) plump up nicely in the pickle jar

To make pickled peppers, or paojiao, Sichuanease normally use fresh erjingtiao chilies. But since we don’t have any chilies resembling those in the U.S., I pickle dried erjingtiao and use those. They reconstitute and plump up nicely in the pickle jar, making them more than acceptable for cooking, if not quite as soft-skinned as a fresh one would be. I also use the smaller Sichuan dried chilies in the pickle jar, all of which we sell at The Mala Market.

Roumo jiangdou also really benefits from a few pickled Sichuan peppercorns, direct from the pickle jar. The pickling mellows them out just enough to where you can eat them whole, so you get the flavor without the numbing knock-out.

roumo jiangdou prep
The mise en place includes pickled chilies, finely chopped pickled green beans, whole fried garlic cloves and a simple sauce. Not pictured are pickled Sichuan peppercorns.
roumo jiangdou
This version is made with ground chicken. You may have to add a little chicken stock during the stir-fry to keep it moist.
roumo jiangdou
This roumo jiangdou is made with the traditional pork

All-Purpose Pork and Pickled Green Bean Stir-fry (Roumo Jiangdou)

By: Taylor Holliday | The Mala Market | Inspiration & Ingredients for Sichuan Cooking


  • 3 tablespoons Chinese light soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese dark soy sauce
  • 1 pound ground pork (or chicken)
  • 1 head of garlic, separated, peeled and large cloves halved lengthwise
  • ½ pound pickled green beans or yardlong beans, cut in ½-inch lengths
  • 2 to 3 pickled chilies, sliced fewer if chilies are extra hot
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons pickled red or green Sichuan peppercorns or sub with a bit of ground Sichuan pepper


  • Mix sauce in a small bowl, including the light soy sauce, wine, sugar and dark soy sauce. Cut the ground pork into fine mince by running a knife through it vertically and horizontally a few times.
  • Heat wok over a medium flame until hot and add about 4 tablespoons of canola or peanut oil, or enough to cover the garlic cloves. When oil is moderately hot, add garlic and fry, stirring frequently, until light golden brown. Remove and drain on paper towel.
  • Remove all but 1 tablespoon oil from the wok, and reheat over a high flame. Add the minced meat and stir-fry, vigorously breaking the meat into small crumbles. Cook until the pork is cooked through and most of the liquid from the meat has cooked off.
  • Add the green beans, chilies, Sichuan peppercorns and the fried garlic cloves to the pork and mix well. Add the sauce and stir-fry until all is blended and hot. If you are using chicken and the meat seems dry, splash in some chicken stock to moisten it. Serve with rice and/or lettuce cups.

Tried this recipe?

About Taylor Holliday

The Mala Market all began when Taylor, a former journalist, created this blog as a place to document her adventures learning to cook Sichuan food for Fongchong, her recently adopted 11-year-old daughter. They discovered through the years that the secret to making food that tastes like it would in China is using the same ingredients that are used in China. The mother-daughter team eventually began visiting Sichuan’s factories and farms together and, in 2016, opened The Mala Market, America’s source for Sichuan heritage brands and Chinese pantry essentials.

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  1. I can find the recipe for pickled peppers but not the pickled peppercorns called for in this recipe. Nor can I find a product that matches. Please advise

    1. Hi, Emilia, thanks for reading. Sorry for the late response, hope this still helps anyone else wondering the same question. As mentioned in the recipe above, just add a couple handfuls of Sichuan pepper to your paocai jar and pickle as usual. Let us know what you think if you try!

  2. I am going to try this recipe tomorrow. I love the pickled cow peas and we have them in our pickle jar along with the bigger red chilis, baby ginger, and peppercorns. I love green beans but wanted to see what else I could eat with the pickled cow peas and this recipe popped up!