Spicy and crunchy, when it comes to green beans, it’s hard to beat serving them Szechuan-Style. These dry fried green beans will quickly become your favorite way to use this green veg. Serve it with rice and your favorite Asian-inspired main dish and dinner is served!
This is an update of a recipe that I first shared in 2013 and has long been one of my favorite ways to serve green beans. I’m updating it today with new photos and a few tips and tricks.
What’s So Special About Szechuan-Style Green Beans
Szechuan-Style Green Beans are spicy green beans that are made by dry-frying. This method of cooking fries them in a skillet or wok over high heat in a small amount of oil. The moisture evaporates from the beans, resulting in super crisp green beans that are tender and deeply browned in spots.
Traditionally this style of green beans are made using the uniquely spicy Szechuan peppercorns (“Sichuan peppercorns”) that cause a numbing sensation in your mouth, but this recipe uses easy-to-find red pepper flakes for spice. This recipe also strays from the traditional by using Hoisin sauce for added flavor.
These green beans are:
Simple Summer Sides
All this week we’re celebrating simple summer sides! It’s hot outside and beautiful produce is in-season, so I know we’re all looking for more ways to prepare those vegetables.
Follow along as I share my five current favorite summer sides that use one vegetable, pantry staples, and maybe a few herbs or aromatics to round things out. It will include:
- Sweet And Tangy Marinated Cucumbers
- Crisp Corn Fritters
- Pan-Seared Zucchini with Garlic and Basil
- Balsamic Marinated Tomatoes
- Spicy Szechuan-Style Green Beans (featured here)
- Green Beans - You can leave the green beans whole, but I love to chop these into small bite-sized pieces which gives them maximum surface area to turn golden brown and soak up flavor.
- Garlic and Ginger - Even though it takes a little time to prep these, don’t skip them - they add so much flavor.
- Hoisin Sauce - Hoisin sauce is sweet and savory. It’s a sauce that is common in Chinese cooking, and can be found in the international aisle of most grocery stores. (Kikkoman makes a great gluten-free version.)
- Rice Vinegar and Soy Sauce - These pantry staples are great for a variety of Asian and Asian-inspired recipes. Use Tamari if you need a gluten-free option.
- Toasted Sesame Oil - A little goes a long way to add savory flavor to the dish.
- Red Pepper Flakes - Use more or less for the amount of spice you prefer.
Recipes to Serve with Szechuan-Style Green Beans
- Red Curry Salmon with Coconut Brown Rice
- Honey Ginger Chicken Stir-Fry
- Thai-Style Salmon Satay with Peanut Sauce
- Instant Pot Sweet and Sour Chicken
- 20 Minute Thai Chicken Peanut Noodles
Spicy Szechuan-Style Green Beans
- Mixing Bowl
- Skillet or Wok
- 1 clove Garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoon minced Fresh Ginger
- 2 teaspoon Hoisin sauce (be sure to use gluten-free if needed)
- 2 teaspoon Rice Vinegar
- 2 teaspoon Soy Sauce (use Tamari for gluten-free)
- ½ teaspoon Toasted Sesame Oil
- 1 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes (more or less depending on your spice preference)
- 1 lb Green Beans, trimmed and cut into ½ inch pieces
- 3 tablespoon Water
- 1 tablespoon Cooking Oil (use any high-heat neutral cooking oil like grapeseed, vegetable, or avocado)
- ½ teaspoon Kosher Salt (see note)
- Whisk together garlic, ginger, Hoisin Sauce, rice vinegar, soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, and red pepper flakes. Set aside.
- Heat a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add green beans and water beans, stirring frequently, until the water cooks off and the beans are bright green.
- Add cooking oil and salt and continue cooking until beans are starting to brown in spots, 4 to 5 minutes.
- Pour sauce over green beans and continue cooking until sauce reduces slightly and green beans are coated and tender, about 2 minutes more.
- Serve immediately.
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sally @ sallys baking addiction
now THIS is how you eat green beans. wow. i'd eat a whole pound of them too. and i am one of those people... i pick and snack when i'm eating dinner alone!
Corey @ Learning Patience
yum...those look delicious! I hear ya on weird breakfast's...I've had veggie soup 3 days in a row. I eat what I crave...simple as that!
xoxo from Trinidad
Corey @ Learning Patience
Those look yummy! Hey, I have had veggie soup 3 days in a row for bfast!!!
I eat what I crave, simple as that!
xoxo from Trinidad
Smart - I think that's the way to go. I've totally seen people recommend having veggie soup for breakfast - it's sort of a savory, deconstructed smoothie!
Isabelle @ Crumb
Green beans for breakfast? Yeah, I'd totally do that. Then again, I often used to reheat leftover Chinese takeout for breakfast back when I was a singleton with weird eating habits. (Slice of chocolate cake and a side of green salad for lunch? Yes! Box of crackers for dinner? Sure! It's a wonder I didn't die of some obscure nutrient deficiency, I tell ya.)
These actually look very much like my favourite dish at a local Chinese takeout joint - I love them this way, all blistered and crunchy and spicy. Can't wait to try out this recipe!
Chocolate cake for breakfast, Isabelle? Now that's a practice I could definitely get behind....
Cravings you say??
These would go great with your roasted salmon which we have all the time!
Easy there Neuf - you're the only one around here with that particular brand of cravings. 😉 I hadn't thought to make them with that salmon, but I'm so doing that this week - awesome idea.
Oh my word Jess these green beans sound amazing. I love green beans to begin with but have never made them like this! Must try soon.
It's so different than any other way I've made them Ashley - seriously addictive!
Claire @ Claire K Creations
I totally count that as a meal! I can be pretty bad on my own too. Probably the best alone meal I do is throwing a chicken breast in the oven coated with soy sauce and sesame seeds. I eat it with rice and sometimes some veges. So so very easy but it's actually really tasty.
That actually sounds delicious, Claire, and healthy too!
Katie (The Muffin Myth)
Totally. When I'm home alone my eating regresses into crackers for most meals. It may be related to the fact that when I'm home alone I try to watch as many archived episodes of Grey's Anatomy and Girls as I possibly can. And while I'm always picking up after Paul when he's home, when I'm home alone the house explodes with my stuff and massive kitchen mess (recipe testing, yes).
These beans look great. At this time of year the green beans available to me come from very very far away, so it'd be a bit of a splurge. I wonder how they'd turn out with frozen beans? Probably not nearly as crunchy, but every bit as flavourful?
Oh, Katie - I totally have TV marathons when Frank's out of town - I save up all the shows that I know he doesn't like and then devour them when I'm alone! I think you're right about using frozen beans. They might not have the nice crunch, but I would say it's still worth trying even with frozen beans.
Your dad made them and now they are my favorite meal. Love them. I even saw Rachel and Banti gobble them up last night.
Awesome! I'm so glad you guys liked them - it's always a big "win" if Rach will eat them!
ginger and scotch
Perhaps because my husband doesn't eat a lot of greens, I feel that I overcompensate when he's not home. I will boil napa cabbage or bokchoy and eat enough to feed an army!
I made these with sweet and sour meatballs for dinner and they are amazing!! Thanks for posting!
Lindsay - so glad you liked them. Sweet and sour meatballs?! Yum!
Cassie | Bake Your Day
Oh gosh, I am so with you. I often eat popcorn for a meal by myself, or buttered noodles or a bag of Brussels sprouts. I will totally eat a whole dish of these!
Yum, these sound incredible!
And Jess, I'm so glad you commented on my blog and I discovered yours -- both my parents grew up in Thailand (my mom as an ex-pat, daughter of missionaries), so it's fascinating to see your life in Bangkok.
Anjali - that's amazing! I have friends whose parents grew up here and they have amazing stories about what it was like. Bangkok is so modern now, but it has changed so much. I love your blog!
1. These look awesome and are SO going on my menu for next week.
2. I definitely don't cook when I'm alone. the closest I get is heating up some tomato soup (Hubster's not a fan) and grilling a cheese quesadilla. I usually throw in a salad too.
I love szechuan anything. This looks like a great recipe and I love your site!
I eat similarly when alone. Often just focusing in on one ingredient that I was craving. This was my dinner the other week...just a bowl of super healthy spinach dip along with some not so healthy (but could've been worse) pretzel crisps. https://foodrefuge.blogspot.com/2013/01/this-dip-is-light-fresh-healthy-and.html
Mmmm, spinach dip would be something I would crave too. I am so happy I found your site and that Broccoli with Sumac Marinade - I just got my hands on some sumac and have been looking for ways to use it!
I am 100% making these over the weekend, 1) to celebrate the Chinese New Year and 2) because holy yum. Can't wait!
Enjoy, Claire! They're one of my absolute favorites!
I just made these for dinner. Absolutely delicious! I wanted to lick the pan. 🙂
Cynthia - I'm so glad to hear it! Thanks so much for taking a minute to check back in and let me know what you thought!
I made these last week and you were NOT kidding. They're awesome!!
So glad you liked them, Heather! Frank was out of town when I tested the recipe, so he's been asking for them - I think we'll be having them again this weekend!
Wow! Just finished these a few minutes ago.. delicious! I was a little hesitant to have a dinner of green beans but it was amazing. Yum yum yum. This will definitely be a staple for me in the future.
So glad to hear you liked them, Patrick!!! Over rice they certainly strike me as a great meal - vegetarian and pretty healthy, to boot.
Hi Jess, my son and I had a lovely outdoor lunch at a Chinese place and I had the beans. I was sure I could make something similar, and perhaps less oily. Thanks for the recipe. I will give it a try! I enjoyed reading your blog. My best from Shirlington VA!
Lelee - when I've had this dish out it does always seem to have a lot of oil, but it's so unnecessary - there's so much flavor in this recipe! I hope this is close to the one you tried. We love this dish. And I am so happy to get your note from Shirlington - I absolutely love Shirlington. My husband and I just discovered the Signature theater right before we moved away from DC and I miss all the unique shows they did there! Thanks so much for reading.
Is the sunflower oil absolutely necessary? I don't keep that in the house, but all the other ingredients are staples.
Hi Heather - any cooking oil that works with high heat will be just fine (canola or vegetable oil, for example)!