Stir Fried Green Beans with Ginger and Onions

This recipe results in green beans that still have a bit of crunch to them. If you want your beans more cooked, blanch them first for a minute or two in boiling water, then rinse with cold water to stop the cooking, then pat dry with paper towels before putting the beans in the hot pan and oil. Because of the quick cooking time, this recipe is best done with fresh beans (the ones that snap as you break them in half).

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 7 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 3-4 as a side dish


  • 2 to 3 Tbsp canola or other high smoke point oil
  • 1/2 pound to 3/4 pound of fresh, tender, crisp green beans, cut into 1 1/2 to 2 inch pieces
  • 1 small yellow or white onion, sliced root to stem (see how to slice an onion), about 1 cup of sliced onion
  • 1 ounce of fresh ginger, peeled and cut into matchsticks (see how to peel and cut ginger)
  • 1 large garlic clove, sliced very thin
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce (use gluten-free soy sauce for gluten-free version)
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • A generous pinch of freshly ground black pepper


1 Heat a wok or large frying pan over high heat on the hottest burner you have for about 90 seconds. Add the vegetable oil and let it heat up until shimmery. (Toss a sliver of onion into the oil when you think it's hot. If the oil is hot enough, the onion will sizzle.)

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2 Add the cut green beans, sliced onions and julienned ginger and toss to combine. Break up any clumps of sliced onion that might have stuck together. Spread everything out in the pan and let it sear untouched for anywhere from 30-90 seconds, you want to get a little browning on the vegetables. Stir the vegetables and let sit for another 30-90 seconds. Add the sliced garlic, stir again and cook for another minute.

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3 Mix the soy sauce and sugar together and pour into the pan. Turn off the heat and immediately toss the vegetables to combine. The sauce will start to caramelize and may burn unless you keep everything moving for a few seconds. Pour the sesame oil over the green beans and onions and sprinkle with black pepper. Toss to combine one more time. Serve immediately or let rest and serve at room temperature. The beans should still be somewhat crisp. They will cook a little more in the residual heat of the pan or serving dish.



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  • Michael gengos

    This is a great dish. Have you ever added black beans, not the black bean sauce but the canned black beans? I make this often and it’s a big hit.

  • Kalyn

    This sounds just wonderful! I am so missing my garden green beans; can’t wait to have a garden again next year.

  • Kiran @

    Love stir fry’s, especially green beans with tons of ginger. This looks divine, Elise :)

  • Julie

    Thanks for sharing this recipe! As a wife who’s husband is deployed, I’m always eating frozen foods and never enough veggies, but this is something quick and healthy I can make in a small serving! Thanks again!

  • Susan

    Oh my God, I’m in love. Can’t wait to make a dinner of this, with some rice.

  • Sharmila

    Love the crunch of green beans. This looks so delicious.

  • Emily @ Life on Food

    Green beans are my favorite veggie. We always have them the same way. I will have to try this method. Love the sesame oil idea.

  • Heidi Harring

    Elise – these were fab! Everyone loved them!

  • E. Peevie

    Made this tonight. Really, really liked it. Actually, I made two batches: one to give away, and one to keep. For the second batch, I didn’t have enough green beans, so I added some butternut squash cubes and carrot matchsticks. Great flavor, great texture.

  • Jayne

    Stirfry! We make stirfries so much at home cos it’s just quicker and easier on a work night. Coincidentally, I just posted a Chicken Snow Peas stirfry on my blog today. Cannot get enough.

  • Des

    My husband just recently told me that if he had one, green beans would be pretty low on his list of favorite vegetables. I’m betting these would change his mind. They look fantastic Elise!

  • Pal

    Delicious! I saw the recipe yesterday and went right home to have for dinner. My husband and I made this together we added prawns in the stir fry before the soy sauce yum, can’t wait to do it again. I hate to admit it but I used I used thawed frozen green beans and it worked wonderfully. I couldn’t believe how well the ginger cooked – not too strong and great flavor. thank you!

  • Debbie

    I made this last night and loved it! I used a variety of fresh beans…WOW! DELICIOUS!!!

  • Deb in Indiana

    I love this recipe — very similar to one I make often, but I never thought to add onions!

  • Lydia (The Perfect Pantry)

    I do wish I had green beans in my garden. Time to call on some friends and see if anyone has a few young beans to spare! Thanks for linking to my green bean stir-fry recipe.

  • Alison

    Anyone have any tips for adding tofu? I like cooking with tofu, but am still really a novice.

  • Caria

    Made these last week and they came out great. My CSA box came with more green beans so I’ll probably be making them once again this week.

  • Kim

    Amazing dish! I had way too many fresh green beans leftover from Thanksgiving and this is how I decided to use them up. Super easy, I had all that I needed on hand except for surprise! I used the last of my garlic the night before. I already prefer the fresh ginger in a tube; so I subbed about 1.5 tbs of prepared ginger plus a teaspoon of ginger-garlic paste I have on hand. It came together quickly and was fantastic! I served over white rice with Japanese Style Fried Tofu from the food52 website and what an amazing tasting healthy meal I made! My husband and I love meatloaf and cheeseburgers, but we couldn’t eat this meal fast enough it was so good! Most definitely will make again!

  • Famidha

    I love fresh beans and stir frying them is the best way to eat. I was looking for a new way to do it.. and this looks so yummy and easy! I dont have sesame oil, can I replace it with olive oil?

    • Elise

      Hi Famida, the toasted sesame oil adds a ton of flavor, so if you don’t have sesame oil, add a generous amount of toasted sesame seeds.