Chinese Green Beans

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I look for green beans on just about every Chinese restaurant menu.   Chinese green beans are flavorful, smokey, and come fresh off a hot wok.  I made this recipe recently for a big group the other night, not realizing what a hit this simple recipe would be.  Granted, your kitchen will kind of sound like a Chinese restaurant for 15 minutes and you may end up smelling a little like a line cook – but I think its worth it.

What you’ll need:

  • 2 pounds of fresh green beans
  • 4-6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • Soy sauce to taste (I would estimate about ¼ cup)
  • 1 tablespoon of sesame oil
  • 3 tablespoon of oil (I like to use shallot oil, but canola, vegetable, or sunflower oil work well)

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First, wash green beans thoroughly, and cut off tips.  In the US you can buy green beans pre-washed and cut (a little pricey, but so nice!), as prepping  a large batch can be time consuming.  But fortunately this is the only prep required and can easily be done well in advance before cooking.

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Next, pour oil into a heated pot/pan on high heat.  A case-iron wok/pot is great for Chinese cooking because you want to get the pot/pan as hot as possible.  Once oil is hot, add minced garlic and stir frequently until golden brown.  Note: you must let the garlic brown before you add the green beans.

Add in your cut green beans and toss frequently.  After a 4-5 minutes add soy sauce and sesame oil and continue to stir on high heat, letting beans slightly char.  Cook for another 3-4 minutes until beans are cooked through (go ahead and taste one like you would a piece of pasta) and then remove from heat for “al dente” green beans. You can also let cook the beans cook for an additional 3-4 more minutes for a softer texture and smokier flavor.  Serve immediately.

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