This stir fried green beans recipe is such an easy and flavorful side dish! Fresh green beans are stir-fried in a wok until blistered before being tossed with a Asian-style dressing — a dressing that has a little kick from ginger, red pepper flakes and soy sauce. There’s so much flavor, you might want to devour these beans over a plate of steamed rice and call it dinner! With just a few ingredients and not a lot of effort, these green beans are better than Chinese takeout!
Restaurant-style Chinese green beans
Stir-fried wok dishes are one of my favourite quick and easy to make meals. Whether it’s stir-fried broccoli (or broccolini), green beans, zucchini or a mix of seasonal vegetables, wok frying is a great way to enjoy a quick, healthy and delicious meal.
One of the most popular Chinese restaurant dishes is one featuring stir-fried green beans. Szechuan style is made with dried chilies or chili paste, however my version uses red pepper chili flakes and follows the same method which involves “dry-frying”, meaning that the beans are fried in a little oil until the skin starts to brown and blister a little. Making them extra tender and extra delicious.
Let’s take a look at the ingredients and some tips for making this recipe:
Green beans: Select fresh green beans. Freshest ingredients always taste best! Some people like to trim both ends of the bean, but it’s not necessary. I only trim the head. I also like to leave them whole, but you can also cut them at a diagonal in half.
Oils: I like to use my go-to olive oil which can also stand the heat of stir-frying (not all olive oils are meant for frying!) Alternatively, avocado oil is great choice. A little sesame oil is added for flavor.
Soy sauce: I use regular soy sauce, but feel free to substitute with tamari instead of soy sauce, for a gluten-free dish.
Aromatics: You can’t beat the flavor of fresh ginger…or garlic! Definitely not to be skipped. As for onions, shallots are my choice here, but you can also use chopped green onion.
Vinegar: Japanese rice vinegar (unseasoned) adds flavor and brings out the taste of the rest of this dish. You can find it in Asian food stores or online.
Sugar: A little unrefined sugar adds a teriyaki element and little sweetness to the sauce. Not to be missed. It’s elevates the sauce to a delicious new level.
Red pepper flakes: Adds a little kick. Use anywhere from a pinch to 1/4 teaspoon depending on how much spice you like. Alternatively, use fresh chopped chili.
Garnish: If you like, sprinkle some toasted sesame seeds on top. I like white and black for a little contrast.
What to serve with this Asian-style green bean stir-fry dish
There are plenty of main dishes that pair well with this recipe. Salmon is one of my favourites. Or as a vegetarian main you can also serve it over steamed jasmine rice. If you want to up the protein with some plant-based protein, also stir-fry some cubed tofu and double up on the sauce.
Looking for other stir-fry recipe inspiration?
Try one of these delicious dishes:
- Smoked Tofu Stir-Fry with Asparagus
- Asian-Style Beet Greens
- Zucchini Noodle Stir-Fry (Zoodles Recipe)
Asian Style Stir-Fried Green Beans
- 500 g fresh green beans, trimmed
- 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil or avocado oil, divided
- 1/2 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon ginger, grated
- 2 shallots, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup water (60 ml)
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce (or tamari)
- 1/2 teaspoon mascabado brown sugar (or coconut palm sugar)
- 1 tablespoon unseasoned rice wine vinegar (japanese)
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or less, to taste
- toasted sesame seeds, to garnish
To serve (optional):
- Steamed jasmine rice
Heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat. Add the green beans and stir-fry, stirring often, until they start to brown in places (10 minutes). Remove the green beans from the wok and set aside.
Reduce to medium, add the remaining 1/2 tablespoon olive oil and sesame oil to the wok. Add the garlic, ginger and shallot. Stir-fry for a few minutes, until the shallot softens, then add the blistered beans, plus 60 ml water. Cover and let steam 1-2 minutes until beans reach desired consistency.
Uncover, stir, and add the soy sauce, sugar, rice vinegar, red pepper flakes, and stir to combine. Transfer to a serving bowl and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve with steamed rice if desired and enjoy!
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