This Chinese Garlic Green Beans recipe is packed with sweet, salty, and savory flavor! The green beans are flash-fried so they're slightly caramelized, crisp, and golden outside but soft and tender inside. This recipe has all the flavor of the classic take-out dish, but you get to control the amount of sugar and salt that goes in.
Most people look at me like I have three heads when I tell them I don’t eat Chinese food.
It’s not that I don’t enjoy it; I love it! I'm a sucker for savory/sweet foods swimming in sauce. And fried rice. And noodles. What I really mean when I say that I don’t eat Chinese food is that I don’t eat it at restaurants.
A while back I discovered that I’m very sensitive to MSG, which is a common addition at restaurants. (A serious case of head fog and lethargy always chase me after I have something that contains it!)
And also, I have a pretty good inkling that those saucy dishes contain waaaaaay more sugar and salt than I’m comfortable eating in one sitting.
So instead, I get my fix at home.
Green beans done up like this really are something special. When I make this recipe, I’m hard-pressed not to eat the entire dish of it myself and just call it dinner.
With a delicious balance of sweet, salty, and savory flavors, Chinese Garlic Green Beans make the perfect side dish for any number of meals. Serve them with jasmine rice and Maple Glazed Chicken for a weeknight meal that's ready in under 30 minutes and sure to be everyone's new favorite!
Chinese Garlic Green Beans Recipe
This recipe is paleo and gluten free for a healthy take on this classic dish.
It's also an easy recipe to make vegan, just use 1 tablespoon maple syrup or agave nectar instead of honey.
And for the low carb version, use ½ tablespoon of keto friendly sweetener instead of honey, such as monk fruit/allulose blend.
Ingredients for Healthy Chinese Garlic Green Beans
- Avocado oil
- Fresh green beans
- Coconut aminos or tamari sauce
- Rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar
- Crushed red pepper flakes
- Sesame seeds
How to Make This Chinese Garlic Green Beans Recipe
Start by prepping the ingredients. Trim off the stem ends of the green beans.
Slice up an onion.
Peel and thinly slice the garlic and grate the ginger. These two ingredients lend so much flavor to this Chinese Garlic Green Beans recipe!
Heat the oil in a large skillet and add all ingredients (except the sesame seeds).
Cover the skillet and cook for a bit, and then uncover it and let the beans brown a little.
Sprinkle on the sesame seeds and serve them up!
How to Store Chinese Garlic Green Beans
Store Chinese Garlic Green Beans in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Tips for Making Chinese Garlic Green Beans
- Look for the freshest green beans you can find and buy them local if they're in season. Check your local farmers' market!
- Use chicken stock instead of water to bump up the flavor in this recipe.
- To make this dish vegan, use maple syrup or agave nectar instead of honey.
- For the low carb version, use ½ tablespoon of keto friendly sweetener instead of honey, such as monk fruit/allulose blend.
Chinese Garlic Green Beans FAQs
How Long Will Fresh Green Beans Last?
Store fresh green beans in an open plastic bag in the crisper drawer in the fridge for up to 1 week.
How Do You Reheat Green Beans?
You can reheat green beans on the stovetop or in the microwave.
To reheat green beans on the stovetop, put them in a skillet over medium-low heat. Cook until they're warm throughout, stirring occasionally.
To reheat green beans in the microwave, put them in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 45 seconds, stir, and microwave longer if they're still not warm throughout.
Why Are My Green Beans Rubbery?
There are two common culprits causing rubbery green beans: 1) the green beans were harvested past their prime, or 2) the green beans weren't cooked long enough.
To make sure your beans have the best flavor and texture, look for fresh beans that are local if they're in season. Farmers' markets are a great place to find them!
Also, be sure to follow the cooking instructions in the recipe to make sure your beans aren't undercooked. Or overcooked for that matter, because no one likes mushy green beans either.
More Green Bean Recipes
- Green Beans with Garlic and Golden Raisins
- Garlicky Cast Iron Green Beans
- Spring Mix and Roasted Green Bean Salad with Creamy Maple-Miso Dressing
- Instant Pot Green Bean Casserole
- Middle Eastern Spiced Green Beans with Olive Oil and Tomato (Loubieh bil Zayt)
Chinese Garlic Green Beans Recipe
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil
- 1 pound fresh green beans stems trimmed
- 1 medium onion halved and thinly sliced
- 4 large cloves garlic thinly sliced
- ½ tablespoon fresh grated ginger
- 2 tablespoons coconut aminos or tamari sauce
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes more or less to taste
- ¾ cup water
- 1 teaspoon sesame seeds for topping
- Heat the oil in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add all ingredients except the sesame seeds, and stir.
- Cover the skillet and cook until the beans are almost tender, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Uncover the skillet and continue cooking until the liquid has evaporated off and the beans are caramelized in spots, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle the sesame seeds on top.
- Boost the Flavor: Use chicken stock instead of water to bump up the flavor in this recipe.
- Vegan Version: To make this dish vegan, use maple syrup or agave nectar instead of honey.
- Low Carb Version: For the low carb version, use ½ tablespoon of keto friendly sweetener instead of honey, such as monk fruit/allulose blend.
This post was first published on An Edible Mosaic on January 19, 2018. I updated it with more information on July 9, 2021.