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. In this post, I’m sharing two versions of this dish. One is more like the ones served at restaurants and the other is a healthier version you can cook daily.
We’ve been obsessed with garlic green beans recently. Our favorite version is made at the famous Din Tai Fung. After my last visit, I took a closer examination of their green beans dish.
When green beans are simply stir-fried, they are quite crispy and maintain their bright green color, much like the garlic green bean dish served at restaurants. However the skin of DTF’s beans are also slightly wrinkly, which is an indication that they are 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 technique yields beans that 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.
How to Make Restaurant Style Garlic Green Beans
- To achieve these restaurant-style garlic green beans, the beans are both fried and stir-fried.
- First, the green beans are blanched. This will preserve their bright green color.
- The beans are then lightly fried in a shallow amount of oil.
- The beans are then removed and garlic is added to the oil. Garlic is cooked until the flavor of the garlic is infused into the oil.
- Finally, the beans are added back into the wok and stir-fried with the garlic.
Healthier Garlic Green Beans
- For a healthier variation, the beans are not fried.
- Similar to the method above, the beans are first blanched to preserve their color.
- The beans are then stir-fried with a lot of garlic and a little oil. The beans are also briefly steamed so that they become tender faster.
Both variations are very flavorful. Of course, we prefer the restaurant-style but we make sure not to make this one too often since it involves frying the beans.
- 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.