Stir-fried Chinese green beans with garlic is a classic side dish in Chinese cuisine. It's very popular in restaurants, but actually so easy to make at home. By following this recipe, you will achieve crispy but tender green beans in just 15 minutes!
Chinese Green Beans as a Side Dish
Coming from a Chinese household, green beans has always been a staple dish in our family. It's easy, but yet so tasty and such a crowd-pleaser. Pair this side dish a fresh steamed bowl of rice is easily paired with any other Chinese side dish.
In today's time, it has increasingly become a popular dish thanks to restaurant such as Din Tai Fung. We visited their location in LA Westfield Century City and, of course, ordered a side of their famous green beans. It was so good we ordered a second round!
Looking for more Chinese side dish? Check out our recipes:
- Easy Chinese-Style Braised Pork Belly
- Egg Tofu with Mushroom Gravy Sauce
- Spicy and Crispy Orange Chicken
- Easy Saucy Chicken & Onions Stir-Fry
Tips and tricks
Here's a few tips to make the best stir-fried Chinese green beans with garlic:
- After washing your green beans, make sure to dry thoroughly. If you start frying your green beans when they're still wet, it will splatter burning oil dangerously.
- First, you need to dry, flash-fry your green beans. This step will ensure your green beans blister and make them crispy on the outside, while the inside will still be tender.
- Before frying, make sure your oil is hot enough. To find out, we use an old asian trick, which is to stick a chopstick in your pan. If it starts forming little bubbles around, then your oil is ready.
- Always use young, fresh green beans. If you use frozen one, you will never be able to get the same tender-crisp texture.
- Use a wok. We highly recommend using a wok if you have a gas range, as it is much easier to flash-fry and will have that "fire" taste the wok gives. We unfortunately do not have gas range at home, and used a medium pan instead.
What to do with leftover frying oil?
We personally hate wasting frying oil, so we try to re-use drying oil as much as possible. First drain you oil through a strainer to remove any burn bits or leftover food. Pour oil in sealed container and store in a cool dark place. I would re-use the oil for a month or so.
Do not ever put your oil down the drain, as it will clog your pipes. If you want to get rid of the oil, put it in a sealed container and store in the fridge until it hardens. Once the oil is hard, you can
This recipe uses simple ingredients, which makes it even easier.
- Green beans: it is important to not to use young fresh ones, as you won't be able to achieve the same texture with any other kind,
- Garlic: we love garlic so we use about half a garlic head,
- Vegetable oil: you can replace this by your favorite neutral oil (such as canola or sunflower oil),
- Sea salt,
- Sesame oil: this ingredient is optional, but we love the extra nutty taste it adds.
- Prep the green beans by trimming off the ends.
- Dry, flash-fry your green beans. In a medium pan, heat oil vegetable oil on high heat. Once oil is hot, flash-fry your green beans for 1 or 2 minutes maximum, until the skin is wrinkled. Fry in two batches if needed.
- Put green beans and oil aside. Remove green beans and set aside on drying rack to let excess oil drain off. Sift through the oil in a container to remove burn bits, and making the oil reusable.
- Stir-fry your green beans. In your medium pan on medium-high heat, put in 1 tablespoon of your used oil. Add garlic and cook until fragrant. Add the green beans and cook for 2 minutes.
- Serve and enjoy! Transfer to a serving plate and drizzle with sesame oil (optional).
Dry, flash-frying means frying in high heat temperature without any coating for a very short amount of time.
Boiling them is definitely a healthy option, however it will not result in the same tender-crisp texture we're looking for.
Stir-Fried Chinese Green Beans with Garlic
- 1 lb green beans
- 2 cups vegetable oil
- 6 cloves garlic minced
- pinch sea salt
- drizzle sesame oil optional
- Prep your greens beans by trimming the ends.
- In a medium pan, heat oil vegetable oil on high heat. Once oil is hot, flash-fry your green beans for 1 or 2 minutes maximum, until the skin is wrinkled. Fry in two batches if needed.
- Using a spider strainer, remove green beans and set aside on drying rack to let excess oil drain off. Sift through the oil in a container to remove burn bits, and making the oil reusable.
- In your medium pan on medium-high heat, put in 1 tablespoon of your used oil. Add garlic and cook until fragrant. Add the green beans and cook for 2 minutes.
- Transfer to a serving plate and drizzle with sesame oil (optional).