Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Beef With Chinese Green Beans

This is the popular green bean dish that you’ll frequently find at Chinese restaurant buffets. The secret to making Chinese green beans is “dry-frying” the beans for about 7 to 10 minutes - this makes them more tender. Feel free to use Chinese longbeans if they are available. Serves 3 - 4.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes


  • 3/4 pound green beans
  • 3/4 pound flank steak
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon chopped ginger
  • 2 scallions (spring onions, green onions), white parts only
  • 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon light soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable or peanut oil for stir-frying, or as needed
  • 4 – 6 dried chilis or 1/2 - 1 teaspoon chili paste, according to taste
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil, optional


Wash the green beans, drain thoroughly, and trim the ends. Cut the green beans on the diagonal into slices approximately 2 inches long.
Cut the beef across the grain into very thin strips about 2 inches long.
Chop the garlic, ginger and scallions. In a small bowl, combine the dark soy sauce, light soy sauce and sugar. Set aside.
Heat the wok on medium heat. When there is a slight whiff of smoke, add 2 tablespoons oil, drizzling the oil down the sides of the wok.
When the oil is hot, add the green beans. Stir-fry for 7 - 10 minutes, until their skins pucker and turn brown and the green beans are tender without being mushy (I find 10 minutes works very well). Remove the beans from the wok.
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in the wok on high heat, drizzling the oil down the sides of the wok. When the oil is hot, add the garlic, ginger and scallions. Stir-fry for a few seconds, then add the dried chilies or chili paste and stir-fry for a few more seconds until aromatic.
Add the beef strips to the wok. Sear briefly, and then stir-fry until the beef changes color. Splash the beef with the rice wine while cooking.
Add the green beans and the sauce. Stir in the scallions. Taste and adjust seasoning, adding black pepper to taste, and salt if desired.
Remove from the heat and add sesame oil if using. Serve hot.

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