Stir Fried Green Beans with Ginger and Onions

Green beans make for a healthy and easy side dish recipe when stir fried with fresh ginger and onions. Soy sauce adds depth of flavor. Great for busy weeknights!

Stir Fried Green Beans with Ginger and Onions
Elise Bauer

Do you like green beans?

I love them in stir fries, especially fresh, crisp, tender green beans.

An Easy Way to Cook Fresh Green Beans

How do you know your green beans are fresh? Break one in half. It should "snap". If it bends limply like a rubber band, it's not fresh. Only buy fresh.

This stir fry cooks up quickly, with onions, ginger, and garlic, and a sauce of sweetened soy sauce with sesame oil. It couldn't be easier!

Just make sure you are using fresh and tender beans. (Older tougher beans won't be cooked enough in the time it takes to make this stir fry.)

Stir Fried Green Beans with Ginger and Onions
Elise Bauer

Stir Fried Green Beans with Ginger and Onions

Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 7 mins
Total Time 22 mins
Servings 3 to 4 servings

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).


  • 2 to 3 tablespoons canola or peanut oil

  • 1/2 to 3/4 pound fresh, tender green beans, cut into 1 1/2- to 2-inch pieces

  • 1 small onion, sliced root to stem (about 1 cup)

  • 1 (1-inch) piece fresh gingerpeeled and cut into matchsticks

  • 1 large clove garlic, sliced very thin

  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce (use gluten-free soy sauce for gluten-free version)

  • 1 tablespoon sugar

  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

  • Pinch freshly ground black pepper


  1. Heat the oil in a wok until shimmery hot:

    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, it will sizzle.)

    Elise Bauer
  2. Add the vegetables:

    Add the green beans, onions, and ginger and toss to combine. Break up any clumps of sliced onion that might have stuck together.

    Elise Bauer

    Spread everything out in the pan and let it sear untouched for anywhere from 30 to 90 seconds. You want to get a little browning on the vegetables. Stir the vegetables and let sit for another 30 to 90 seconds.

    Elise Bauer

    Add the sliced garlic, stir again and cook for another minute.

  3. Add the soy sauce mixture:

    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.

    Elise Bauer
  4. Add the sesame oil and black pepper:

    Pour the sesame oil over the green beans and onions and sprinkle with black pepper. Toss to combine one more time.

    Elise Bauer

    The beans should still be somewhat crisp. They will cook a little more in the residual heat of the pan or serving dish.

  5. Serve the beans:

    Serve immediately or let rest and serve at room temperature.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
159 Calories
12g Fat
13g Carbs
3g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 3 to 4
Amount per serving
Calories 159
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 12g 15%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 441mg 19%
Total Carbohydrate 13g 5%
Dietary Fiber 3g 11%
Total Sugars 7g
Protein 3g
Vitamin C 9mg 47%
Calcium 45mg 3%
Iron 1mg 4%
Potassium 200mg 4%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.