Chinese Stir Fry Green Beans

Forget Chinese takeout. These vegetarian Chinese stir fry green beans are healthier, quick, easy and super tasty. 

A wickedly good addition to any meal.

stir fried chinese green beans on plate

I found a recipe in a Food Network Magazine and made a couple of minor tweaks like adding heat with red pepper flakes.

The aromatic coating on the stir fry green beans is made of garlic, ginger, soy, rice wine or Sherry and a little bit of sesame oil and sugar.

The Chinese-style green beans aren't quite authentic, but I think they would stand up to any green bean recipe in your favorite Chinese restaurant. We use simple ingredients that can be found in any mainstream or Asian grocery store.

As always, there are variations you can try to suit your tastes.

Healthy Cooking Method

The stir fry method used in the recipe is called dry frying as very little oil is used. In fact, I only used 2 teaspoons of oil for a pound of beans. 

Apparently, in most Chinese restaurants, these beans are deep fried in oil in order to speed up the cooking process. The healthier dry-fry method results in charring of the beans which creates tiny bubbles or puckering. 

I found that a total of 10 minutes is perfect to maintain some bite on the beans, but if you want them more charred, just increase the time they cook on the medium-high setting instead of medium.

What to serve with stir fry green beans

I love to serve these delicious green beans with maple glazed salmon, lemon butter herb baked trout , juicy pork chops, roast chicken and potatoes, vegetarian stuffed portobello mushrooms or crispy baked fish.

For an Asian food theme, serve this simple side dish with kung pao chicken, vegetable fried rice and wonton soup.

Tailor To Your Taste

Here are a few variations and substitutes for this simple dish.

  • Spice level: Make the beans as hot or mild as you like with red pepper flakes, sriracha, chili paste, chili oil or chili garlic sauce.
  • Substitute the rice wine with fortified wine or Sherry.
  • Add-ins:
    • Add chopped green onions/scallions toward the end of cooking.
    • For a meat version, add some sautéed ground pork before you add the sauce/coating.
  • Garnish: Sprinkle sesame seeds or chopped nuts on the beans for garnish.

How to make this green beans recipe

green beans, oil, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, sugar, rice wine vinegar
Ingredients: green beans, soy sauce, fresh garlic and ginger, oil, sugar, red pepper flakes, sesame oil, toasted sesame seeds (optional)
trimmed green beans in colandar
Wash and trim beans.
glaze in small bowl
Mix together sauce/coating ingredients in a small dish.
blanched beans in ice water
Dry fry beans in a bit of oil in a hot wok or skillet. Add sauce and cook another minute.
stir fried chinese green beans on plate p
Transfer beans to a serving dish and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds if desired.

Shortcuts

  • Buy green beans in a package that are pre-washed with ends trimmed. Or use the slim Costco french beans which don't need trimming (cook time will be less).
  • Use garlic and ginger frozen cubes (or from a jar) instead of fresh.

Make Ahead

  • Slightly under-cook the beans and place the finished dish in the oven on a low heat to keep warm.
  • Or make the sauce and dry fry the beans ahead of time. Just before serving, heat the pan to medium-high heat, add the sauce and sauté with beans for 2 minutes to finish the dish. I do this all the time.

Other delicious green bean recipes you might love

stir fried chinese green beans on plate
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4.96 from 21 votes

Chinese Stir Fry Green Beans

Vegetarian Chinese Stir Fry Green Beans are a wickedly good addition to any meal. Healthy, quick, easy, tasty, spicy (or not) and much better than take-out.
Prep Time7 mins
Cook Time11 mins
Total Time18 mins
Course: make ahead, Side Dish
Cuisine: Chinese
Servings: 4
Author: Cheryl

Ingredients

  • 1 pound (450 grams) fresh green beans, washed and tips removed, Note 1
  • 2 teaspoon oil avocado oil, peanut oil or vegetable oil
  • GARNISH: toasted sesame seeds (optional)

Coating/Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon regular soy sauce or low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Rice wine, Sherry or Fortified wine
  • 2 teaspoon minced garlic (or more to taste)
  • 2 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
  • ½ teaspoon white or brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon sesame oil
  • ¼ teaspoon salt (or more to taste)
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes, Note 2 or more to get the spice level you like

Instructions

  • PREPARE COATING/SAUCE: Combine all ingredients in small bowl and set aside.
  • DRY-FRY BEANS: Heat oil in a wok or skillet to medium heat. Add green beans to the hot wok and sauté for 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Increase heat to medium-high heat. Continue to sauté, stirring for 4 minutes until beans are tender crisp and charred a bit. If you like them more charred, reverse the times and cook 4 minutes on medium heat and 6 minutes on medium-high heat.
  • FINISH BEANS: Pour sauce into skillet. Stir to coat beans evenly. Sauté 1 minute more. Transfer sautéed green beans to serving platter. Top with toasted sesame seeds if desired.

Notes

  1. Green bean options (shortcut): buy green beans in a package that are pre-washed with ends trimmed. Or use the slim Costco French beans which don't need trimming (cook time will be less).
  2. Variations and substitutions
    • Heat: Make the beans as hot or mild as you like with red pepper flakes, red chili pepper, sriracha, chili paste, chili oil or chili garlic sauce.
    • Substitute rice wine fortified wine or Sherry.
    • Add-ins:
      • Add chopped green onions/scallions toward the end of cooking.
      • For a meat version, add some sautéed ground pork before you add the sauce/coating.
    • Garnish: Sprinkle sesame seeds or chopped nuts on the beans for garnish.
  3. Make Ahead
    • Slightly under-cook the beans and place the finished dish in the oven on a low heat to keep warm.
    • Or make the sauce and dry fry the beans ahead of time. Just before serving, heat the pan to medium high, add the sauce and sauté with beans for 2 minutes to finish the dish. I do this all the time.
 
Nutritional values are estimated. 

Nutrition

Calories: 66kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 406mg | Potassium: 249mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 820IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 45mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?We'd love you to rate it above under 'rate this recipe' or in the comment section below. Thanks!

This recipe, first published in Jan 2018, has now been updated.

18 Comments

  1. Just made this and sautéed some chopped chicken breast and added some Chinese Spicy Chilli Crisp sauce.
    Easy and delicious!!! Another great recipe from TKK in the K

  2. 5 stars
    These beans are so fantastic that I make them 3 times a week. The only think I add is green onions. Amazing.

    1. A dry white wine, dry sherry or fortified wine are the best substitutes. But you can also use lemon, white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar if you don’t have those. Hope that helps.

    1. If you mean long beans, I don’t see why not. They should work fine. Let me know how they turn out if you get a chance. ?

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