Wonderfully tender-crisp and well seasoned, these Chinese green beans are one of my favorite side dishes.
I really like green beans. They are tasty and nutritious. Simple boiled green beans, liberally salted, are wonderful. I also love spicy green beans. When tender-crisp, rather than limp and lifeless, green beans are like a salty, spicy snack.
The secret to delicious Chinese green beans is sautéing them until tender-crisp and not a second longer. The tasty sauce – garlic, ginger, soy sauce and honey – is super flavorful.
The ingredients you’ll need
You’ll only need a few simple ingredients to make this tasty side dish. The exact measurements are included in the recipe card below. Here’s an overview of what you’ll need:
Avocado oil: This neutral-tasting oil has a high smoke point, making it ideal for cooking.
Fresh green beans: I haven’t tried making this recipe with frozen beans, but I suspect that fresh is the way to go in terms of flavor and texture.
Minced garlic: Mince it yourself, or use the stuff that comes in a jar.
Minced fresh ginger: I usually buy it already minced. But you can grate it by yourself, of course. It’s just that I’m lazy. 😉
Soy sauce: I use reduced-sodium soy sauce in most of my recipes. I find that traditional soy sauce is too salty. Obviously, you can also use a gluten-free alternative.
Honey: Just a little to balance out the other flavors. It doesn’t make the dish taste sweet.
Sesame oil and sesame seeds: These are used to finish the dish after it’s cooked.
How to make Chinese green beans
It’s so easy! Scroll down to the recipe card for the detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps:
Stir-fry the beans in some avocado oil.
Add the garlic and ginger and cook briefly.
Next, add the soy sauce and the honey.
Add the water. Cover and steam until the beans are tender-crisp. This should take about 2 minutes. Make sure to not overcook the beans.
Off heat, drizzle the dish with the sesame oil and sprinkle with the sesame seeds.
Should I parboil the green beans?
Some green bean recipes will instruct you to parboil the beans prior to sautéing them.
Frankly, I lack the patience for that. I much prefer the method of simply adding a small amount of water to the pan after sautéing the green beans.
One-step cooking is always better than two-step cooking, and washing one pot is preferable to washing two!
How to serve Chinese green beans?
You don’t really have to serve them with an Asian-style main dish. They are quite versatile and go well with any meat or fish.
I often serve them with grilled chicken breast. They are also very nice alongside fried eggs, for a tasty and filling meatless meal.
What about leftovers?
You can keep the leftovers in the fridge, in an airtight container, for 3-4 days. Reheat them in the microwave on 50% power. Sometimes I just snack on them cold – they are surprisingly good that way!
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Chinese Green Beans
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil
- 1 lb. green beans, ends trimmed
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
- 2 tablespoons light soy sauce (or use a gluten-free alternative and add salt as needed)
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add the green beans. Stir-fry for 2 minutes.
- Add the garlic and ginger. Stir-fry 1 more minute.
- Add the soy sauce and honey. Stir-fry 2 more minutes
- Add the water. Cover and steam until tender-crisp, about 2 minutes.
- Turn the heat off. Drizzle the Chinese green beans with sesame oil, garnish with sesame seeds and serve.