This easy 5-ingredient garlic green bean stir-fry is perfect for entertaining or as a tasty side dish on any regular Tuesday night.
Get deliciously tender and juicy green beans without the need to blanch beforehand! How? Steam them quickly, then sauté - all in the same pan!
In 20 minutes (from prep to serve), whip up these impressive sautéed green beans topped with crispy, fragrant, fried garlic.
How do you pick fresh green beans?
When shopping for green beans, pick those that are vibrant green, firm, crisp and snap easily when bent. That's when you know it's fresh and well-hydrated.
Limp green beans are the ones to avoid as they're no longer as fresh. Although they're still okay to eat, just not ideal to buy.
Green beans that have turned slimy to the touch or mouldy are no good to eat - discard them! All of them!
This easy garlic green bean stir fry takes just 20 minutes from prep to serve.
And just like my tasty garlic sauteed spinach, it only needs 5 ingredients.
Quick, easy and simple.
Prepare the ingredients
To start, crush, peel and finely chop fresh garlic.
Finely chop so that there are no large chunks. This helps the garlic to fry and turn golden evenly.
Once washed, line green beans horizontally on a chopping board and align the stem ends towards one direction.
Stem ends of green beans are woody and tough so chop them off and discard them.
Tails of green beans on the other hand are tender and good to eat.
You may have to do this in 2 batches.
This is how you trim green beans!
Unlike my Chinese pork and green beans stir fry, where it's best to half the green beans so they're not too long, we're keeping them at full length for this recipe.
Why? So this sauteed garlic green beans dish looks impressive and restaurant-like. Perfect when entertaining!
Now stir fry green beans
First, add olive oil and minced garlic into a large frying pan or saute pan.
Fry the garlic over medium-low heat until golden, stirring constantly.
It's important to move the garlic continuously to ensure they fry evenly and prevent burning.
Remove about ¾ of the fried garlic into a bowl and set it aside.
Immediately add trimmed green beans, and ½ cup of water and season with salt and black pepper.
Steam cook with the lid on over high heat for about 3 minutes.
Then, remove the lid and evaporate the liquids in the pan over high heat.
The beans should be tender and very vibrant in colour by now.
Once all of the liquids have been evaporated, sautee for about 1 minute to lightly caramelise the beans.
This will add depth and extra flavour to the beans.
To serve, sprinkle the garlic green bean stir fry with reserved crispy fried garlic.
For an extra impressive-looking dish, drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil and some freshly cracked black pepper!
This garlic green bean stir fry is a great side dish that goes with pretty much anything you want!
Here are some suggestions where green beans pair well with:
- Meat dishes: steaks with creamy mushroom sauce, butter garlic pork chops or honey soy chicken thighs bake.
- Seafood dishes: honey-glazed salmon bake or simple steamed Chinese fish with ginger and spring onions (scallions).
- Pasta dishes: creamy chicken and bacon pasta bake, 15-minute garlic prawn (shrimp) pasta or lasagna.
- Rice dishes: chicken and rice bake or Chinese BBQ pork fried rice.
- Vegetarian dishes: peanut butter sesame noodle salad or eggplant parmigiana.
For more inspiration, take a browse of all my recipes.
Also works great for entertaining during the holidays such as Thanksgiving, Christmas and Lunar New Year!
Useful tips and tricks
- Prevent green beans from turning brown or dull - although perfectly fine to eat, dull or brown-ish beans just don't look as appetising. Just like any green vegetables, they turn brown once overcooked. So keep both eyes out when cooking these. As soon as they're tender, saute quickly for a light caramelisation then remove from the heat. Do not cover them with a lid in the frying pan to keep them warm (even with the heat off) - they'll turn brown!
- Remove pan from stove as soon as garlic is golden to prevent burning. Once golden, fried garlic can burn very quickly! To avoid bitter burned garlic bits, remove the pan from the fire, scoop out ¾ of the fried garlic then add green beans and water before returning it onto the stove (water will immediately cool the pan down). This may seem like a short period but that's just how quickly they can burn!
- Revive limp green beans in cold water for 1 hour or longer. They'll crisp up again! To speed things up, store it in the fridge (the icy coldness helps). However, if they've been limp for too long (we're talking days here), this might not work.
Of course! Here are some topping suggestions: sliced roasted almonds, shaved parmesan cheese or fresh lemon zest. For an Asian flare, add a teaspoon of soy sauce when sauteeing!
Green beans are cooked when they're crisp, yet tender and should bend without snapping. They should also be extra vibrant green.
Yes, but it won't taste as good as fresh green beans. Frozen green beans release a lot of moisture so pat thawed beans dry before stir-frying.
Store any leftover garlic green bean stir fry in an airtight container for up to 4 days in the fridge.
Keep in mind, that the crispy garlic topping will lose its crispness but will still taste great!
Made this recipe? Let me know your thoughts or questions by dropping a note in the comments section below.
I'd love to hear from you. 🙂
Garlic Green Bean Stir Fry
- 500 g (1 lb) green beans trimmed (note 1)
- 5 cloves garlic minced
- 1½ tablespoon olive oil
- salt and black pepper to taste
- In a large frying pan (or saute pan), add garlic and olive oil. Cook garlic over medium-low heat until golden. Remove ¾ of fried garlic into a small bowl and set aside (note 2).
- Add green beans, salt, pepper and ~½ cup water. Lid on and steam cook over high heat for 3 minutes.
- Remove the lid, allow the liquids to completely evaporate over high heat and saute until green beans are tender with a hint of sizzled brown (extra flavour). Taste and adjust for salt and pepper if desired.
- Top with reserved crispy fried garlic to serve.