It can be tough to get kids, along with some picky grownups, to eat string beans. But char the colorful veggie in a hot skillet, toss it with ground pork in a sweet and savory sauce and watch the beans disappear — maybe even before the dish makes it onto the table.

This tasty stir-fry is super simple and quick — it will take longer to boil or steam the rice it’s served alongside than to cook the meat and beans. I used homemade teriyaki sauce to make it gluten-free, but it’s perfectly acceptable to substitute bottled sauce. Red pepper flakes add a touch of heat, cutting the sweetness of the sauce. Don’t forget the pickled jalapenos for a crunchy finish.

TERIYAKI PORK STIR-FRY

For pork

1 pound ground pork

2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon peanut or vegetable oil

2-3 large handfuls thin green beans (about 12 to 16 ounces)

Crushed red pepper flakes

Sesame seeds, for garnish

Sliced pickled jalapenos, for garnish

Cooked white or brown rice, for serving

For sauce

½ cup gluten-free soy sauce (such as La Choy)

2 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons maple syrup

1-inch knob fresh ginger, peeled and finely minced

Pinch red pepper flakes

1-2 tablespoons water, or more to taste

A few drops of toasted sesame oil

2 teaspoons cornstarch

Brown ground pork and garlic in large nonstick skillet over medium heat, stirring often, until meat is no longer pink. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then remove from pan to bowl and wipe pan clean with a paper towel.

Heat oil in pan, then add beans and stir-fry until tender and slightly charred, 4-5 minutes. Add meat back in pan and season with a pinch or two of chili flakes.

Make teriyaki sauce by stirring together soy sauce, honey, maple syrup, ginger, a pinch of red pepper flakes and 1 or 2 tablespoons of water. Taste and adjust seasoning to make it sweeter or spicier by adding more water, pepper flakes, maple syrup or honey. Add a few drops of sesame oil, then whisk in cornstarch.

Add half the teriyaki sauce to the pan with meat and beans, tossing to combine. Add more if you like a saucy stir fry.

Serve immediately, spooned over cooked rice. Garnish with sesame seeds and sliced pickled jalapeno.

Serves 4.

Tribune Wire

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