Sauteed String Beans (Chinese Green Bean Recipe)

Sauteed String Beans (Chinese Green Bean Recipe) Recipe

Chinese-style green beans are a delicious side dish. Green beans are deep fried until the outer skin becomes slightly wilted. Once all the beans are fried, they're sautéed in garlic, chili garlic sauce, black bean sauce and soy sauce.

This may not be the healthiest way to prepare green beans, but I can’t get enough of them. The natural sweetness of the green beans balances perfectly with the saltiness from the fermented black beans. On top of that, this vegetable dish is so easy to make, it will take you less time to make it yourself than ordering take-out!


Yields: 8 servings

1-½ pounds green beans
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup canola oil (or any neutral oil)
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 teaspoons black bean sauce
1 teaspoon chili garlic sauce
½ teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons palm sugar, freshly grated
1 teaspoon sesame oil (optional)


Wash and pat dry the beans. Divide into 4 batches.

Heat the canola oil in a deep pan. Once the oil is hot, fry the beans, one batch at a time. Don't over-crowd the pan. Cook until they are golden brown. Transfer to a paper towel and sprinkle with salt. Reserve the oil for other use, leaving about 1 tablespoon in the pan. The beans should still be crisp at this point, not mushy. Trim the ends of the beans after frying them if you like.

In the same pan, re-heat the oil. Once it's hot, add the garlic. Cook until fragrant. Add the green beans, black bean and chili garlic sauce, palm sugar and soy sauce. Stir-fry for about 3 minutes. Sprinkle with black pepper.

Finish with a drizzle of sesame oil if you like.

Serve immediately.

Bon appétit!


The soy sauce brings saltiness to the dish and a nice amber brown color. My favorite soy sauce is the Da Bo De brand. It has a good flavor and is not too salty. You can find this particular sauce, at Dai Thanh Asian market on 420 S 2nd St, in downtown San Jose. I think this is one of the best "ethnic" grocery stores in the area.

You can use store-bought black bean and chili garlic sauce like the one from Lee Kum Kee. 

For more crunch, you could add slightly dry-toasted sliced almonds.

The addition of the sesame oil at the end is the perfect finishing touch to the vegetables.


Published By: Jacqueline Pham on October 26, 2010.


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