Asian-Style Stir Fried Green Beans

Green Beans 3 (1 of 1)

[Update 11/23/2014 – Made a batch of these green beans for a Friendsgiving gathering today, and figured there was no time like the present to update the pictures in this post, which is now 2 years old. Not re-writing the post itself though…that’s WAY too ambitious for a Sunday.]

Guys, studying for the bar sucks. I’ve been at it in earnest for about a week now, and not only do I have unbelievable neck/back cricks from hunching over my notes all day, I’m starting to have dreams about the law. It’s not a fun time. Nobody should wake up in a panic over the rules of civil procedure.

Green Beans 2 (1 of 1)

With the 12-hours-a-day study regime I’ve put myself on, my eating habits have taken a serious dive. Rocky Road ice cream for breakfast, cold leftover Chinese for lunch, and cheese for dinner. Mmm, fats, carbs, and no vegetables. Brain food!

After a few days of chronic stomach unhappiness, I finally gave in and carved out some time to cook a semi-nutritious lunch for myself. Thanks to the 45-hour power outage we had last weekend our fridge is basically empty, but I managed to find a frozen green beans in the back of the freezer. Hello, Asian-style stir fry.

Green Beans 1 (1 of 1)

Growing up, I loved it when my mom made stir fried green beans for dinner. The slightly burnt, super garlicky, crunchy/soggy pieces at the bottom were my favorite — my dad and I would fight over those.  These green beans don’t taste exactly like my mom’s, but are easy to make, tasty, and perfect in a pinch. Eaten with some brown rice, kimchi, and chunks of Asian roast pork (recipe forthcoming…maybe), they were just what I needed to face down the rest of my day holed up with my notes.

Asian-Style Stir Fried Green Beans
Recipe type: Side Dish
  • 1 bag frozen green beans, thawed and drained (Obviously, fresh would be better. But if you're short on time, the frozen stuff is great.)
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • ½ tbsp sesame oil
  1. In a large bowl, mix soy sauce, ½ tbsp garlic, pepper flakes, and brown sugar. Stir until sugar is dissolved and mixture is uniform.
  2. Add drained/dried green beans, and toss to coat in sauce
  3. Heat sesame oil in a pan/wok on medium-high heat. When tiny bubbles start to form in the oil, add remaining minced garlic and cook until fragrant.
  4. Pour green beans/sauce into the heated, oiled pan. Using a spatula, spread green beans out in a more or less even layer in the pan. Cover, and let cook for about 3-5 minutes.
  5. Stir/toss green beans to avoid burning, then cover and cook for another 3-5 minutes, until your green beans get soft and you start seeing browned bits at the tips.
  6. Enjoy immediately, over a bowl of rice.


  1. says

    I love this green bean recipe! My mom use to make something like this but its been so many years, I totally forgot about them. Thanks for bringing back this recipe and sharing it! Now I need to go get some beans!

    • justputzing says

      Yeah, green beans are such an unassuming vegetable, I feel like they get forgotten sometimes. They’re so delicious though!

  2. Tim Powell says

    I’ve made these at least 5 times this year. I now cheat a bit and toss the coated green beans on a sheet pan and broil at 400. Just don’t forget to coat the pan in cooking spray or veg. oil first! They come out great and don’t require as much hands on (not sure this works for frozen, but works great for fresh). I served them last night with Ga Kho-Vietnamese Caramelized Spicy Chicken (link: Outstanding! Thank you.

  3. Cheryl says

    Thanks for sharing this recipe! Made it tonight, using fresh green beans & omitting the red pepper flakes, & it was so good! The whole family loved this recipe! Thanks again!

  4. says

    Tina, Thank you for your recipe, will make for tonight.

    Good luck with the bar exam, my daughter took it this summer. I get what you are going through. Keep breathing!

    • justputzing says

      Thanks, Karen! Thankfully, this post is a few years old so I can tell you that I did, in fact, pass the bar exam :) Best of luck to your daughter!!!

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