Chinese Green Beans


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)


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.


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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