These dry-fried green beans in a chili garlic sauce can be a complete meatless meal!
Popular Buffet Item
These dry-fried green beans are a popular dish at lots of Asian buffets. If you love them you can make them at home. They’re very easy!
The reason these are such a hit is that the green beans get an intense flavor when the water “dries” out of them. That’s achieved by deep frying them and is known as dry frying. It doesn’t take tons of oil to do this either. Maybe about a half inch or so in a 10-inch deep skillet is the proper amount. Also, if you fry at the correct temperature, no food will get greasy.
Another bonus here is that the water-soluble vitamins are not lost due to the method of cooking. But the main thing is, these are simply delicious!
Control The Heat
This is another of my recipes that uses chili garlic sauce. You will find this in the Asian section of your supermarket, but if you can’t find it there, I provided a link to where you can buy it. This is also used in my Bang Bang Shrimp with Pasta recipe. It’s got a kick, but it tastes really great.
If you like things really hot then up the ante with the chili garlic sauce. I used about a teaspoon of it to approximately a pound of fresh green beans. It tasted, to me, perfectly balanced with that amount. However, I caution to start small here because you can always add more.
Use Fresh–It Matters
Obviously canned green beans are out for this and funny enough, I would stay away from frozen whole beans too. The reason is that frozen beans are first blanched so there’s a considerable amount of excess water in those. Remember, you are deep frying these and the less splatter (and burns and mess from splattering oil) the better.
If you want to eliminate some of the prep, you can buy the pre-washed, pre-stringed whole beans that come in the bags. Just make sure to dry them off well with paper towels before frying. I used bulk fresh green beans from the produce counter. I did have to trim and de-string them, but they were on sale so…
This side dish can also double as a main course. It has chopped peanuts in it so it is a complete meal if you feel like going meatless or are serving vegans or vegetarians. Obviously, if you or any family member has a peanut allergy, you don’t have to put them in. They’d taste great without them too.
Chili Garlic Dry-Fried Green Beans
- 1 lb fresh green beans trimmed and de-stringed
- 2 tbs minced fresh ginger
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 3-4 green onions scallions, chopped (reserve some for garnish)
- 1 tsp chili garlic sauce
- 1/4 cup chopped peanuts
- 1 tbs oil for stir frying
- oil for deep frying
- Heat about 1/2-inch of oil in a large skillet. The oil is the right temperature if a cube of bread browns in 30 seconds.
- Pat any excess moisture off the green beans and add them carefully to the hot oil. Stir occasionally until the beans start to brown and look crisp. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside.
- Heat a deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil and when it begins to shimmer, add the ginger, garlic and chili garlic sauce; stir to combine.
- Add the green beans, most of the green onion and the peanuts. Toss to combine and heat the green beans through.
- Serve immediately and top with remaining chopped green onion.
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