If you're like me and your pantry is full of your favorite condiments from the Asian market, this is the side dish to make! With fresh ginger, garlic, sesame oil and your choice of a spicy component, these Asian Green Beans will be a recipe everyone loves!
I'm not one of those people who loves to shop for clothes, shoes or makeup. I've never been that girl, and I probably never will be. When I need to treat myself, I head to a fancy grocery store that I've never been to before. I will drive for up to 2 hours to find a new place to buy fun groceries.
I'm lucky enough to live near tons of Asian markets, and I find myself in H-mart and 99 Ranch weekly. In fact, as I write this, I realize it has completely replaced all other places that I used to shop at, with the exception of Trader Joe's for the snacks.
The food and ingredients at an Asian market are just fresher and better! I should mention that the prices on produce are lower, but I don't exactly save money when I shop there. This is because I have a little problem with buying too many other things when I'm there. However, if you stick to your list, you will be so happy to find fresher and cheaper produce! And meat; and spices; and treats!
If you'll indulge me, I will admit that I am positively addicted to the hot bar and pre-made dishes at H-mart (I never leave without kimbap, injeolmi and dumplings for my kids). I lose myself in the ramen aisle, and my cart is full of black sesame powder (to make a mochi cake), mochiko, and pickled radishes. The last time I went to H-mart (yesterday, haha), I walked away with a sushi rolling mat, a rectangular pan for making rolled omelets, and so many types of mushrooms, it is a bit embarrassing. So, personally, I spend more money shopping there, but that's because I use grocery shopping as therapy; my problem, not yours.
My love for Asian markets is so big, and I hope that more than anything, this recipe makes you want to try one, if you've never been before. This Asian green beans recipe requires some basic flavor components that we all know and love from Asia: fresh garlic, fresh ginger and sesame oil. This combination of ingredients is positively heavenly.
However, we are going to add one more thing, but I am going to give you freedom here. I believe this recipe needs a small amount of heat and spice, but I'm going to let you choose how you want to add it. More details on that later!
How to Make Asian Green Beans
I want you to grab the freshest hand of ginger and use the back of a spoon to peel the skin off. Go ahead and peel the entire hand, break it up a bit, and store the leftovers in the freezer. Anytime you need fresh ginger (like for my Moroccan Chickpea Stew), it is ready to grate right from the freezer!
Also, you can grab a head of garlic or a bag of already peeled garlic from the Asian market. I don't like garlic that has been already been chopped and stored in oil (it's just not as potent), but already peeled is okay with me!
We need something spicy to make these Asian green beans sing! Personally, I am hooked on gochugaru, which is coarsely ground Korean pepper flakes. It's red, and I always have a jar for adding extra to ramen. I really love My Korean Kitchen's post on exactly what gochugaru is. However, if you're not willing to find it, you can use cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes, sriracha, finely diced Thai chiles, or even Szechuan peppercorns.
You also need toasted sesame oil, a neutral oil, salt, pepper, and a bag of fresh green beans! If you're one of those people that washes all produce when you get home from the grocery store and store it in the fridge to use another day, you're in luck! The beans need to be 100% dry before cooking.
- Fresh Green Beans. We need one pound of fresh green beans for this Asian green beans recipe. Go ahead and wash them and remove the stems. Do not substitute frozen green beans for this recipe, because we will be frying the beans. The frozen beans will release their water and spatter so much in the oil, so fresh only, please! You can also buy Chinese long beans for this recipe, and chop them into 4-5 inch pieces. They will cook faster because Chinese long beans are thinner, so reduce the fry time to 3-4 minutes.
- Neutral Oil. We need ¼ cup of neutral oil to flash-fry the green beans in. This can be canola oil, vegetable oil, grapeseed oil or avocado oil. Anything without a strong flavor. Do not use olive oil or coconut oil, because their flavor will overpower the dish.
- Sesame Oil. Toasted sesame oil is very potent and strong, so we only need 1 ½ tablespoons of it. My favorite brand is this one by Ottogi.
- Garlic. Three big cloves of fresh garlic, finely minced.
- Ginger. You need about 2-inches of fresh ginger that has been peeled. Use a microplane grater to grate it super fast. This is the best one.
- Red Pepper. I recommend gochugaru (the label will say:고추가루) for this recipe. Please note that this is not the same as gochujang, which is a red paste. Gochugaru is coarsely ground Korean red pepper. Here is the bag that I have in my pantry. You can also use the same amount of red pepper flakes, a heaping ¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper, ½ teaspoon Szechuan peppercorns, or 2 small bird's eye (Thai) chiles that have been thinly sliced. Use your favorite heat and you will love the results!
Wash the green beans and trim off the ends. Dry the green beans very, very well. It's best to use a salad spinner to remove all water, because water will spatter and pop in the pan.
Heat the neutral oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When you can barely hold your hand a few inches from the surface for a few seconds, it's time to add the green beans! Add them all at once and try to position them in a single layer. Cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. They will blister in places. Remove the cooked Asian green beans from the oil, and place on your serving dish.
In a small dish, add the minced garlic, grated ginger, and red pepper of choice.
Heat the sesame oil over high heat in a small pan until very hot. Try not to let it smoke, but it should be very hot. Pour it over the ginger, garlic and red pepper. It will bubble and sizzle (and smell heavenly). After 1 minute, pour this over the green beans in the serving dish, toss and serve immediately.
Yes, this particular Asian green beans recipe is vegan.
By chance, this recipe does not contain soy sauce, making it Whole30 compliant. I use salt instead of soy because I wanted to keep the green beans dry in the pan so that they fry in the oil better. If you want to serve them with a splash of soy sauce and sesame seeds, you can!
Asian Green Beans
Asian green beans with sesame oil, ginger, garlic and red pepper! So good!
- 1 pound fresh green beans
- ¼ cup neutral oil
- 1 ½ tablespoons sesame oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger root
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon gochugaru*
- Wash the green beans and trim off the ends. Dry the green beans very, very well; it might help to use a salad spinner.
- Heat the neutral oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet. When you can barely hold a hand above the oil for a few seconds, it’s time to add all of the green beans at once. Try to arrange them in a single layer. Quick-fry them, stirring occasionally for about 4-5 minutes. If the green beans are piled on top of each other, stir frequently and cook no more than 5 minutes. If you're using Chinese long beans, reduce the cooking time by 1 minute, as they're thinner.
- Remove the green beans from the oil using tongs and place them in a serving dish.
- Meanwhile, heat the sesame oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat for a few minutes. It will be very hot, but remove it before it starts to smoke.
- Place the minced garlic, grated ginger, salt and red pepper in a small dish. When the sesame oil is nearly smoking hot, pour it quickly over the garlic, ginger, salt and red pepper. It will bubble and sizzle (and smell heavenly).
- Finally, pour the hot sesame oil mixture over the green beans, toss and serve.
Fresh Green Beans: Oone pound of fresh green beans. Do not substitute frozen green beans for this recipe, because they will spatter in the oil. You can also buy Chinese long beans for this recipe, and chop them into 4-5 inch pieces. They will cook faster because Chinese long beans are thinner, so reduce the fry time by 1 minute.
Neutral Oil: This can be canola oil, vegetable oil, grapeseed oil or avocado oil. Anything without a strong flavor. Do not use olive oil or coconut oil, because their flavor will overpower the dish.
Red Pepper: I recommend gochugaru (the label will say:고추가루) for this recipe. Please note that this is not the same as gochujang, which is a paste. Gochugaru is coarsely ground Korean red pepper. Subsitutions: ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes, a heaping ¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper, ½ teaspoon Szechuan peppercorns, or 2 small bird's eye (Thai) chiles that have been thinly sliced. Use your favorite heat!
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 208Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 272mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 3gSugar: 4gProtein: 2g
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