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Dry Stir-Fried Green Beans



Dry stirfried green beans on a white plate.
Photo by Lizzie Mayson

One of my favorite ways to eat green beans is this Sichuan-style dish. It is punchy in flavor thanks to the chile and garlic. The green beans for this dish are typically deep-fried first, but I like to keep it simple and blister them in a hot wok or frying pan. Dry stir-frying also means no liquid, such as water, is added, so the flavor of the beans is not diluted and they retain a little bite, as well as a crispy texture from the slightly charred exterior.

This recipe was excerpted from ‘Have You Eaten?’ by Verna Gao. Buy the full book on Amazon.

Recipe information

  • Total Time

    15 minutes

  • Yield

    Serves 2


3 Tbsp. cooking oil of choice, plus extra if needed
1 lb. green beans, trimmed
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 green onion, finely chopped
1 bird’s eye chile, or to taste
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. sugar
Pinch of MSG, optional


  1. Step 1

    Heat the cooking oil in a large frying pan or wok on high heat until very hot. Add the green beans and cook for 4-5 minutes, until the beans blister on one side. Turn the beans over and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Try not to move the beans around too much during cooking; they should be slightly wrinkled and softened. Using a slotted spoon, remove the beans from the pan.

    Step 2

    In the same pan, add a little more oil if it’s a bit dry. Turn the heat down slightly; add the garlic, green onion, and chili; and cook until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes, taking care not to burn the garlic.

    Step 3

    Toss the beans back in and add the salt, sugar, and MSG, if using, and mix thoroughly. Check the seasoning and add more to taste, if needed.

Have You Eaten-COVER.jpg
Excerpted from Have You Eaten? Reprinted by permission of DK, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. Copyright © 2023 by Verna Gao. Buy the full book from Amazon or Penguin Random House.
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