Thai-style Green Bean Salad


Preparation info

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The Thais enjoy a native plant called winged bean. It is a delicately flavoured vegetable that has a hint of asparagus. The beans are bright green and have a decorative frill on each side, hence their name. A popular way to enjoy them in Thailand is to blanch them, toss them in an aromatic dressing and serve them as a salad. The Thais combine these beans with prawns and chicken; I have made a vegetarian version of this tasty dish. If winged beans are unavailable, you can substitute runner beans or French beans.


  • 450 g (1 lb) winged beans, or runner beans, trimmed and sliced if long, otherwise whole, or French beans, trimmed
  • 2 small fresh red or green Thai chillies, seeded and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 200 ml (7 fl oz) tinned coconut milk
  • 3 tablespoons finely sliced shallots


  • 3 tablespoons roasted peanuts, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons desiccated coconut, roasted for 3 minutes in a hot oven


Blanch the beans in salted boiling water for 3 minutes. Drain and plunge them immediately in cold water. Then drain thoroughly and set aside.

Combine the chillies, sugar, lime juice, light soy sauce and coconut milk in a bowl and mix well. Toss the blanched beans and shallots with this mixture. Garnish with the peanuts and roasted desiccated coconut and serve.