Dry Fried Green Beans – Two Ways


This has become  my go-to after work weekday meal. It’s genuinely quick and easy to make and you can have all the basic ingredients lying around your store cupboard. Every time I cook Chinese food, I wonder why I don’t do it more often. Growing up, Ireland was the place which pioneered the three in one (fried rice, chips and curry/sweet and sour sauce) as a staple of Chinese takeaway food so it got a bit of a bad reputation as stodgy junk food. Pretty much all of our restaurants were Cantonese then, although the idea of regional cooking was still a long time away. It was living in Melbourne that opened up my eyes to all the different types of Chinese food. Now Dublin is leaps and bounds ahead of what it once was, and I actually tried this dish for the first time here, in one of my favourite restaurants, M&L Szechuan.

The general method and the first sauce are adapted from the beautiful Appetite for China website. The second sauce was made as part of an impromptu dinner on New Year’s Day, when all the shops in Holland were closed, and we were working off whatever we could find around the house. It turned out really well, and just has the kind of ingredients the odds are you already have lying around. You could use any kind of hot sauce instead of sriracha really, its all about getting the balance of sweet, spicy, salty and sesame together.

1 main course portion, or two side dish portions


  • 200g green beans or fine beans
  • 1 tablespoon neutral oil
  • 3 spring onions, finely chopped white and light green bits only
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 6 dried birdseye chillis
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 1 tablespoon toasted, black or smoked sesame seeds

Sauce 1

  • 4 teaspoons black bean chili paste
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons rice wine
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce

Sauce 2

  • 4 teaspoons sriracha
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon sushi vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar


  • Trim the beans and chop into 1 inch pieces.
  • Make sure they are completely dry before frying.
  • Heat the oil over medium/high heat and add the beans.
  • Fry, stirring frequently for about 8 minutes, until the beans have some brown blistered skin and have softened.
  • Meanwhile, make the sauce by mixing the ingredients together in a bowl.
  • Remove from the heat and drain on some kitchen paper.
  • Add the ginger, chopped spring onion, garlic and birds eye chillis into the pan, and cook very carefully over low heat for 1-2 minutes until fragrant (burnt garlic is the absolute worst, I tend to alternate taking the pan on and off the heat to be extra careful as I have a gas stove).
  • Add the sauce to the pan and stir around to mix.
  • Add the beans back in and cook for 2 minutes to combine all the flavours and reduce the sauce a bit.
  • Serve immediately.
  • If you’re not a fan of overly hot things, fish the dried chilis out before eating, they are pretty fiery to eat.



2 thoughts on “Dry Fried Green Beans – Two Ways

  1. I am always a little short on vegetable side dishes to go with Asian food. Love the idea of the black bean chilli paste here, I’ve got a jar lingering in the fridge just ready for this. Nicole

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