Green Beans with Garlic

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Preparation info

    • Difficulty


Appears in

Homestyle Chinese Cooking

Homestyle Chinese Cooking

By Yan-Kit So

Published 1997

  • About

If it seems a lot of garlic for a pound of beans, do not be alarmed, for the Chinese way of frying the garlic in hot oil releases its aroma, which is then transmitted to the beans. The result is a special “wok fragrance” in the beans without the unpleasant odor associated with garlic. The same principle can be applied to preparing shell beans, although they should be blanched for a little longer.


  • Salt
  • 5 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 pound green beans, trimmed
  • 6 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons thin soy sauce


  • Half-fill the wok with boiling water and keep it boiling. Add 1 teaspoon salt and tablespoons of oil, which will preserve the vivid color of the beans when cooked. Add the beans and blanch for 2-4 minutes, depending on size; they should still have a bite to them. Pour into a colander and immediately rinse thoroughly under cold running water in order to retain their crisp texture. Drain.
  • Dry the wok. Reheat over a high heat until smoke rises. Add the remaining oil and swirl it around. Add the garlic, stir as it sizzles and takes on color. Add the beans and, going to the bottom of the wok with the wok scoop, flip and turn rapidly for 1-2 minutes, or until the beans are thoroughly hot. Adjust the heat, if necessary, so that the beans do not burn. Add the soy sauce, stir to mix, then remove to a serving plate, and serve hot.

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