Chinese Style Garlic Green Beans
These crispy green beans are loaded with garlic flavor. It’s a popular dish at Chinese restaurants, which you can make in your own home.
We’ve been obsessed with garlic green beans recently. After our most recent taste of them from the famous Din Tai Fung, I found myself taking a closer examination of the dish.
When green beans are stir fried, they are quite crispy and maintain their bright green color, much like the garlic green bean dish served at restaurants. However the restaurant version is also wrinkly, which is an indication that they are being fried. A popular Sichuan Chinese bean dish utilizes the dry fry method, where beans are cooked until wrinkly and wilted in a shallow amount of oil. Usually the dry fried beans are soft and tender and turn a yellow green color because they are cooked so long. The one we’ve been eating at restaurants though, are still a vibrant green.
Here’s a photo from the ones at DTF:
After several test rounds, I finally achieved ones I thought to be as tasty as the ones at Din Tai Fung and other Chinese restaurants.
Luckily for me, I had my new OXO Stainless Steel Pro Wok to work with. I received this wok from OXO for review and I’m so excited by it. Growing up in a Chinese household, my mom used her wok for practically everything. Stir-frying, steaming, deep-frying, sautéing. It’s unique shape and depth makes it so versatile.
When we moved into our new home, I replaced all our cheap college cookware with brand new, high-quality ones. I broke out our stainless steel pots and pans that were a wedding gift, purchased a few dutch ovens, etc. The one thing I wasn’t able to find a good replacement for was my wok. Most Asian markets carry woks that cost about $10. They work, but they don’t last long. I’ve been wanting to invest in a good wok but I couldn’t find one. Until now.
The wok arrived shiny and new. So shiny that it kept reflecting all the surfaces I tried to take pictures of it on. There’s a bunch of features listed on the box, but the ones that interested me most were:
- Heat-radiant aluminum core fused between two layers of stainless steel ensures even cooking from every side
- Durable, scratch-resistant materials are oven safe up to 430°F
- Lifetime warranty
While trying to recreate the ultimate garlic green beans, I used this wok for just about everything. I used them for boiling the beans, stir-frying, steaming and shallow dry frying.
Once I was done, it was time for the moment of truth. I’ve had a big issue with some stainless steel pots and pans where, once they are used, they are extremely hard to clean. If I cook at too high of a temperature they can develop brown spots, or if I overcook something it sticks on, etc. And after one use, my shiny pan is no longer shiny. But with this pan, none of those issues!
Here is the wok after I was done cooking. Still shiny and new looking.
I had some garlic stuck to the pan and it washed right off. Everything washed off. And frying with the pan didn’t cause the edges to develop brown spots like my other set of stainless steel pans. When I cleaned my pan after all those uses, it looked nearly as new as when I first took it out of the box. Sure the inside of the pan shows some indication of use, but it still looks great.
I’m really excited for this pan and especially the lifetime warranty. If you’re in the market for a good wok, I’d definitely look into the OXO one.
Now back to these beans. They are slightly more complicated than the traditional stir fry, but it’s worth the effort. I’ve also included a version that is a little healthier. Mr. K and I devoured all the test runs, and he declared the final version as good as the ones from Din Tai Fung.
- 1 lb green beans washed, trimmed, and cut to half their length
- 6 cloves of garlic minced
- 1/2 -1 tsp salt
- vegetable oil for frying
- ice for water bath
All images and content are © Kirbie's Cravings.
Blanch the Green Beans (optional)
To preserve the color of the beans for the final dish you will want to blanch the beans. If you aren't worried about the color you can skip this step.
In a large bowl, fill with ice and add water to the ice. Add water to your wok, enough to cover all the beans. Bring water in wok to a boil and add green beans. Cook for 30 seconds and immediately remove and put into the ice bath to stop the cooking process.
Fry the Green Beans
Remove water from wok if you blanched the green beans. Add a shallow amount of oil to the wok, about 1/4 inch deep. Once oil is hot, add green beans and fry for about 1 minute, or until the skin just starts to wrinkle. Careful to not over-fry or the beans will lose their crispness.
Remove green beans and put them on a plate lined with paper towels to soak up some of the oil. Drain all but 1 tbsp of the oil out of wok and place wok back on the stove.
When wok is hot, add in garlic and cook on high heat until the aroma of garlic comes out and it begins to brown. Add green beans back in and stir fry with garlic. Season with salt. Cook until beans are cooked to desired doneness and have incorporated the garlic flavor (about 1-2 minutes). Eat while hot.
If you choose to, start by blanching the green beans as described in step 1 otherwise you can skip this step.
Add 1 tablespoon of oil to the wok. Once heated, add green beans. Stir fry them for a few minutes at high heat.
Add about 1/4 cup of water to the wok, cover it with lid, and steam the beans until they are almost cooked. Remove cover. Add about 3 tbsp of oil and continue cooking until beans start to wrinkle.
Remove beans and place on a plate lined with paper towels to soak up excess oil. Drain all but 1 tbsp of the oil out of the wok and place wok back on the stove. Move onto step 4.
Please note, as indicated above, I received a wok from OXO for review. My opinions remain my own.