If there was any vegetable dish that gets requested as much as any meat it is Crispy Garlic Stir Fried Green Beans. My family eats a good amount of vegetables, we just don’t eat a ton of variety in our vegetables. And you know what, we are A-ok with that. I don’t know about you, but any vegetables getting eaten is a win. I first saw this green bean dish at Din Tai Fung, and after I saw how many green beans my family ate (2 orders) I was all in on figuring out how to cook them. Turns out there a ton of different ways to cook crispy garlic green beans, with a bunch of different ingredients. I, however, wanted the most bang for the buck. I wanted a recipe with the least amount of hassle, with the fewest ingredients, that tasted as close as possible to the real thing.
In my opinion, the key to making really good stir fry green beans is actually in picking the best green beans. If you notice at Din Tai Fung, none of their green beans are wilty, none of them are actually thin, and all of them are from the middle of the bean. That makes sure they are all crispy, and that makes it much easier to show off the blistered green bean. So the most important step is when picking green beans at the grocery store, get the thick ones, because you won’t even use the thin ones. If you are a bit lazy like me, then a quick hack is to get green beans from two different grocery stores and just figure out which ones have the best green beans on average. For me, that is the Asian grocery store, but it very well good be Whole Foods or Safeway for you.
The next most important step is how you cut the beans. This is the one step that most recipes don’t put enough weight into. You really really got to cut off the ends of the beans and only use the middle of the bean. Your temptation is to keep as much of the bean as possible, but I can tell you from experience if you get a bite of a wilty green bean it just ruins it. You want them all crispy, with garlic, and crunchy. To do that you have to be super judicious with the good quality of the green bean.
Tips for making Crispy Garlic Stir Fried Green Beans
- Pick Good Green Beans – Get the thickest green beans, no wilty, thin green beans. If your grocery store only has thin green beans, then you need to go to a different grocery store for green beans.
- Middle of the bean – If you can I would for sure only use the middle of the bean. You want the thickest, crunchiest part of the bean. For me, this means that I’m using approximately 1/2 to 3/4 of the green bean.
- Garlic – You want the garlic just fried. Not too deep fried so they are black, but not fresh so that they aren’t crispy. Think apple chips if you have had them.
What to eat with green beans
- Dumplings – Din Tai Fung serves green beans with their dumplings. Need I say more.
- Shanghai Rice cakes (Nian Gao) – The crunchy green beans next to the soft and chewy soy sauce rice cakes are just awesome. Throw in some cabbage (that is what I like in mine) that has texture in the middle of crunchy and soft and this is amazing. The Woksoflife has a good, quick, and fun recipe for Stir-Fried Rice Cakes.
- Tatsuta Pork – If you are making pork chops fried or baked then this works really well with crispy garlic stir fried green beans.
Crispy Garlic Stir Fried Green Beans
- Wok or Pan
- 4 cloves Garlic
- 1 lb Green beans
- 1 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
- 2 tbsp Vegetable oil
- Get your garlic, and mince before you start washing the green beans.
- Wash and cut your green beans. Make sure to cut off the ends, and to only cook the very middle of the green beans. You want them thick and crispy.
- Transfer the cut green beans to a place where they can dry. Then pat dry them with a paper towel to dry them off. You don't want wet green beans going into a hot wok. If you put them in wet you will steam the green beans not fry them.
- Add 2 tbsp of vegetable oil to the wok and put on medium-high heat.
- When the oil is hot add your garlic that has been minced. Cook for about 1 minute, and then add your green beans. Do not add the salt yet.
- Mix vigorously for about 3 minutes. You are going to probably cook the green beans for about 5 minutes total. After the 3 minute mark, add your 1 1/2 tsp of Kosher salt 1/2 tsp at a time. After you put in 1/2 a tsp of salt make sure to mix it around before you put the next 1/2 tsp in.
- After a total of 5 minutes, get the green beans and put them in a serving plate.