This is an easy dish that, once you’ve soaked the rice noodles, needs less than 30 minutes to prepare and cook. If you're going to work in the morning, soak the noodles in cool water before you leave, and they will be ready by the time you get home.
Long beans are also known as snake beans. Rice noodles, aka rice sticks, come in different widths; for this dish, get the ones that are about 2mm (less than ⅛in) wide, which are sometimes labelled pad thai noodles.
Put the rice noodles in a bowl and add hot water to cover by about 2.5cm (1in). Leave to soak for about 30 minutes, or until pliable. If soaking them for longer, cover them with cool water.
Put the minced pork in a bowl and add the soy sauce, fish sauce, sugar and white pepper. Mix well, then set aside while preparing the other ingredients.
Halve the shallots, then thinly slice them. Roughly chop the garlic. Cut the chillies into thin rounds, shaking out and discarding the seeds as you go. Cut the long beans into 5mm (¼in) pieces. Put the oyster sauce in a bowl and add about 80ml (¼ cup and 4tsp) of hot water. Stir until the oyster sauce has dissolved.
Drain the noodles in a colander.
Place a wok over a high flame. When the wok is hot, add 15ml (1tbsp) of cooking oil. Swirl the wok to coat it with the oil, then add the long beans. Stir-fry constantly over a high flame for about 30 seconds, then transfer the long beans to a bowl.
Place the wok (no need to wash it) back over the flame and add 15ml (1tbsp) of oil. When the oil is hot, add the shallots and garlic and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Add the minced chillies and stir-fry for 30 seconds.
Add the pork and use the wok spatula to crumble the meat into small pieces. Put the long beans back into the wok and stir-fry the ingredients until the pork starts to lose its pink colour.
Add the noodles, then pour the oyster sauce/water mixture into the wok and use long chopsticks and the wok spatula to lift and mix the ingredients so they are combined well. Lower the heat and cover the wok with the lid. Simmer for about three minutes, frequently mixing the ingredients. When it’s ready, most of the liquid will have been absorbed into the noodles and the mixture will be moist; if not, add a little more water. Taste the ingredients and correct the seasonings, if necessary.
Turn off the flame and mix in the basil leaves, which will wilt in the heat.
Transfer the ingredients to a serving dish (or two or three dinner plates) and serve with small dishes holding the lime wedges, chilli flakes, sugar and fish sauce with minced chillies. Let each diner season the noodles as they wish.