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This quick and easy Chinese garlic green beans recipe uses a few ingredients to achieve maximum flavor and a perfect texture! The green beans are pan fried until blistered and tender, then stir fried with garlic and ginger to lend a great aroma. Serve this as a side dish to complete your dinner or over steamed rice as a light lunch. {Vegan, Gluten-Free adaptable}

Chinese garlic green beans served on a platter

Chinese garlic green beans is a simplified version of Sichuan dry fried green beans. This recipe is vegan and uses basic pantry ingredients to create a mouthwatering and satisfying side. 

Perfect green beans, no wok and deep-frying required

If you’ve ever ordered this dish in a restaurant, you must have wondered how to get those perfectly charred and blistered green beans. 

Chinese garlic green beans use a cooking technique called Gan Bian (干煸), which directly translated means “dry fried”. It is similar to shallow frying, as it uses much less oil to cook the ingredients, but achieves a result similar to deep fried food.

In this case, the green beans are pan fried with oil until they are perfectly charred and blistered. They’re then stir fried with aromatics and a touch of soy sauce to create a bold flavor.

Chinese garlic green beans close up

How to make garlic green beans

Cooking garlic green beans is super easy.

  1. Cook the green beans in the large pan and stir to coat well with oil
  2. Flip the green beans occasionally, taking out the ones that are charred
  3. Once the green beans are cooked, fry the garlic and ginger
  4. Return the cooked green beans to the pan, drizzle in the seasonings and stir it together

That’s it! 

To spice it up a little, you can sprinkle some chili flakes or add a splash of chili oil. I used a high quality peanut oil to add nutty flavor to the dish. If you use a neutral oil such as vegetable oil or avocado oil, you can add a splash of toasted sesame oil or sesame seeds at the end of the cooking.   

How to make Chinese garlic green beans step-by-step Chinese garlic green beans close up

Thoroughly pat the green beans dry before cooking

This is very important. You will need a very hot pan for this dish. Make sure the green beans are dried thoroughly so you won’t get crazy oil splatter.

How to blister the green beans with less oil

To make the perfect green beans, make sure the pan is heated until very hot. Once you add the green beans, do not stir them too often so they will have enough time to char. 

You can fry the green beans in small batches. But I found it’s easiest to cook everything in one big heavy skillet. When you cook all the green beans together, you’ll find that some of them char quickly. You should remove the charred green beans from the skillet to prevent overcooking.

When the green beans are charred but still feel slightly tough inside, you should take them out. Because you will return them to the pan later and cook them with soy sauce. The green beans will be properly cooked by then – just softened yet still crisp.

Chinese Garlic Green Beans

How to serve garlic green beans

These garlic green beans are so flavorful that you can serve them by themselves or over steamed rice. It makes a perfect side dish or a part of a multi-dish meal. I also love to top it on the rice and add a marinated egg to make a quick lunch. They freeze and reheat well, so you can use them for meal prep too.

Here are some dishes to serve with garlic green beans

  • Soy Sauce Fried Rice (酱油炒饭)
  • Chinese Corn Soup (鸡蛋玉米羹)
  • Sichuan Shrimp Stir Fry
  • Beef Lo Mein
  • Vegetarian Mapo Tofu

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This quick and easy Chinese garlic green beans recipe uses a few ingredients to achieve maximum flavor and a perfect texture! The green beans are pan fried until blistered and tender, then stir fried with garlic and ginger to lend a great aroma. Serve this as a side dish to complete your dinner or over steamed rice as a light lunch. {Vegan, Gluten-Free adaptable}

Chinese Garlic Green Beans

This quick and easy Chinese garlic green beans recipe uses a few ingredients to achieve maximum flavor and a perfect texture! The green beans are pan fried until blistered and tender, then stir fried with garlic and ginger to lend a great aroma. Serve this as a side dish to complete your dinner or over steamed rice as a light lunch. {Vegan, Gluten-Free adaptable}

To make the dish gluten-free, use tamari to replace soy sauce, and use dry sherry or chicken broth to replace Shaoxing wine.

Author: Maggie Zhu

Course: Side

Cuisine: Chinese

Keyword: homestyle, restaurant-style

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 12 minutes

Total Time: 22 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 lb (450 g) green beans , tough ends removed
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons peanut oil (or vegetable)
  • 6 cloves garlic , minced
  • 1 thumb minced ginger
  • 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine (or dry sherry, or chicken broth)
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Chinese chili flakes (for garnish) (Optional)

Instructions

  • Thoroughly pat the green beans dry with paper towels to prevent oil splatter.

  • Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Turn to medium heat and add the green beans. Toss to coat well with the oil. Spread out the green beans as much as possible with minimal overlap and sprinkle with the salt. Let cook without touching for 2 to 3 minutes, until the bottom starts to blister and turn golden. Remove any green beans that have blistered and charred on one side and transfer them to a big plate. Keep cooking the rest of the green beans, flipping occasionally and taking out the ones that are blistered. The whole process should take about 6 to 8 minutes.

  • If your pan looks dry, add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. Otherwise, directly add the garlic and ginger to the pan. Stir and cook for a few minutes to release fragrance. Add back all the cooked green beans and stir to mix a few times.

  • Pour in the Shaoxing wine and soy sauce and sprinkle with salt. Stir immediately to mix everything well. Taste the green beans. Adjust seasoning by adding more salt or soy sauce, if needed.

  • Transfer everything to a big plate. Sprinkle with chili flakes, if using. Serve hot as a side dish.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 serving , Calories: 169 kcal , Carbohydrates: 11.6 g , Protein: 2.5 g , Fat: 13.7 g , Saturated Fat: 2.3 g , Sodium: 406 mg , Potassium: 261 mg , Fiber: 4 g , Sugar: 2.7 g , Calcium: 51 mg , Iron: 1 mg