These Chinese Green Beans Recipe are made with trimmed green beans, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and sugar.
Chinese green beans are also commonly used in Southeast Asian cooking, particularly in Thai and Vietnamese dishes. They are sometimes referred to as "yardlong beans" or "snake beans" due to their long, narrow shape, which can grow up to 3 feet in length.
Chinese green beans are a good source of fiber, as well as vitamins A, C, and K. They also contain minerals such as calcium, iron, and potassium. Because they are low in calories and high in nutrients, Chinese green beans are often used in vegetarian and vegan dishes as a source of protein and other essential nutrients.
When selecting Chinese green beans, look for beans that are firm, brightly colored, and free of blemishes or signs of decay. To prepare Chinese green beans, trim off the ends and any tough or stringy parts, and then cut or chop the beans as desired for your recipe. They can be stir-fried, sautéed, boiled, steamed, or blanched, depending on the dish you are making.
The first time I tried these green beans were in Beijing in the summer of 2013. We were sitting on a sound table with the traditional Chinese Lazy Susan, and the green beans rolled around to me. I served myself on a plate and took a bite out of that crispy spicy deliciousness. They are traditionally made with Sichuan Peppercorns and dried chili peppers.
- What are Chinese Green Beans?
- Why are Chinese Green Beans so great?
- Chinese Green Beans Recipe Ingredients
- How to make Chinese Green Beans
- What to serve with Chinese Green Beans
- Chinese Green Beans Recipe Variations
- How to store Chinese Green Beans
- Chinese Green Beans Recipe Top tips
- Chinese Green Beans Recipe
- Food safety
What are Chinese Green Beans?
Chinese green beans, also known as long beans, are a type of vegetable commonly used in Chinese cuisine. They are similar in appearance to regular green beans, but longer and thinner. Chinese green beans have a slightly chewy texture and a slightly sweet, earthy flavor that is similar to regular green beans, but more intense.
Chinese green beans are often stir-fried or braised in Chinese dishes and are a popular side dish in Chinese cuisine. They can also be used in soups, stews, and salads. When cooking Chinese green beans, it's important not to overcook them, as they can become mushy and lose their texture. They are best cooked quickly over high heat, which helps to retain their crispiness and flavor.
Why are Chinese Green Beans so great?
- Flavor: Chinese green beans have a unique flavor that is slightly sweet and earthy. They are more intense in flavor than regular green beans, which makes them a great ingredient for adding depth to a dish.
- Texture: Chinese green beans have a slightly chewy texture that adds a satisfying crunch to a dish. They hold up well when cooked and do not become mushy, which makes them ideal for stir-frying and sautéing.
- Versatility: Chinese green beans can be used in a variety of dishes, from stir-fries and salads to soups and stews. They pair well with a range of flavors and ingredients, including garlic, ginger, soy sauce, and chili peppers.
- Nutritional value: Chinese green beans are a good source of fiber, vitamins A and C, and potassium. They are also low in calories, making them a healthy addition to a balanced diet.
- Availability: Chinese green beans are widely available in supermarkets and Asian grocery stores, making them easy to find and incorporate into your cooking.
Chinese Green Beans Recipe Ingredients
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make this. The exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
- Green beans
- Vegetable oil
- Sesame seeds
- Sesame oil
- Soy sauce
- Rice vinegar
- White sugar
- Red pepper flakes
See recipe card for quantities.
How to make Chinese Green Beans
Start by heating up the vegetable oil in a large skillet or wok on medium high heat. Throw in the green beans and cook for 5 minutes
Add the garlic and ginger and toss frequently for 8 minutes.
Mix the sauce together in a bowl and stir well. Pour in the sauce and cook for another 4-6 minutes until the green beans are on the softer side, but not too soft.
Garnish with sesame seeds.
Hint: Mix the sauce before you start cooking the green beans.
What to serve with Chinese Green Beans
- Stir-fry dishes: Chinese green beans are a classic ingredient in stir-fry dishes. Serve them alongside stir-fried chicken, beef, pork, or baby corn stir fry for a delicious and balanced meal.
- Rice dishes: Chinese green beans can be served alongside rice dishes, such as fried rice, steamed rice, or rice noodles. They add a nice crunchy texture and a touch of sweetness to these dishes.
- Noodle dishes: Chinese green beans also pair well with noodle dishes, such as lo mein or chow mein. They can be stir-fried with the noodles and other ingredients for a flavorful and satisfying meal.
- Meat dishes: Chinese green beans can be served alongside meat dishes, such as grilled or roasted chicken, beef, or pork. They add a healthy and tasty side dish to these meals.
- Vegetable dishes: Chinese green beans can also be paired with other vegetable dishes, such as broccoli, bok choy, or cauliflower. They add variety and color to the plate and make for a healthy and well-rounded meal.
- Green beans: Make sure to use fresh green beans.
- Ginger: Use ¼ teaspoon of ground ginger for every 1 tablespoon of fresh ginger
- Garlic: You can use fresh or garlic from a jar.
- Sesame seeds: This part is optional but gives the dish a great look. You can use everything but the bagel seasoning as well, which is what I used!
- Sesame Oil: This gives it the best taste, I wouldn't omit!
- Soy sauce: There should be twice the amount of soy sauce compared to rice vinegar.
- Rice vinegar: You could also use rice wine vinegar, shaoxing wine, or dry sherry.
- Sugar: Feel free to use white sugar or even honey if you prefer. You can use the same amount for either.
- Red pepper flakes: If you have dried chili peppers, use that instead but this is a great alternative if you can't find them. Red pepper flakes will give the beans the spice they need.
Chinese Green Beans Recipe Variations
- Garlic green beans: Heat oil in a wok or skillet and sauté minced garlic until fragrant. Add trimmed Chinese green beans and stir-fry until tender. Season with salt, pepper, and soy sauce to taste.
- Spicy green beans: Heat oil in a wok or skillet and sauté sliced red chilies until fragrant. Add trimmed Chinese green beans and stir-fry until tender. Season with salt, pepper, and a splash of vinegar to taste.
- Sesame green beans: Toast sesame seeds in a dry skillet until fragrant. Heat oil in a wok or skillet and sauté trimmed Chinese green beans until tender. Toss with the toasted sesame seeds and a splash of soy sauce.
- Sweet and sour green beans: Heat oil in a wok or skillet and sauté chopped onions until softened. Add trimmed Chinese green beans and stir-fry until tender. Toss with a mixture of sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, and cornstarch until coated and thickened.
- Five-spice green beans: Heat oil in a wok or skillet and sauté sliced ginger and garlic until fragrant. Add trimmed Chinese green beans and stir-fry until tender. Season with a mixture of five-spice powder, soy sauce, and honey to taste.
Check out this Miso Tuna to pair with these green beans.
- Wok or skillet: A wok or skillet is necessary for stir-frying the green beans. A wok is ideal, as its shape allows for high heat and easy tossing of the ingredients. If you don't have a wok, a large skillet will work as well.
- Spatula or wooden spoon: A spatula or wooden spoon is necessary for stirring and tossing the green beans as they cook. A flat spatula or wok spatula works best for stir-frying.
- Cutting board and knife: You'll need a cutting board and a sharp knife to trim the ends off the green beans and chop any other ingredients, such as garlic or ginger.
- Bowls or plates: You'll need bowls or plates to hold the prepared ingredients as you chop and cook.
- Kitchen timer: A kitchen timer or a stopwatch is helpful for timing the cooking of the green beans.
- Serving dish: You'll need a serving dish to present the finished Chinese green beans.
How to store Chinese Green Beans
- Remove any excess moisture: Before storing, make sure to pat the green beans dry with a paper towel to remove any excess moisture.
- Store in airtight container: Place the green beans in an airtight container or resealable plastic bag. Make sure to press out as much air as possible before sealing the bag or container.
- Store in the refrigerator: Store the container or bag of green beans in the refrigerator. The ideal temperature for storing green beans is between 34-38°F (1-3°C). It is recommended to store the green beans in the vegetable crisper or a section of the fridge with high humidity.
- Use within 3-4 days: Chinese green beans are best when used within 3-4 days of purchase. After this time, they may begin to lose their freshness and flavor.
Chinese Green Beans Recipe Top tips
- Blanch the green beans: Before cooking the green beans, blanch them in boiling water for a few minutes. This will help to soften them slightly and make them easier to stir-fry or sauté.
- Use high heat: Chinese cooking often requires high heat, and this is especially true for green beans. Use a wok or a large skillet and make sure it is very hot before adding the green beans. This will help to prevent the green beans from becoming soggy.
- Don't overcrowd the pan: When stir-frying or sautéing the green beans, make sure not to overcrowd the pan. This can cause the green beans to steam rather than sear, resulting in a mushy texture. Work in batches if necessary.
- Add aromatics and seasonings: Green beans pair well with aromatics like garlic, ginger, and scallions. Add these to the pan along with soy sauce, oyster sauce, or other seasonings for extra flavor.
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove