I love making these green beans. Not only are they easy to make, they are also incredibly addictive. This is a delicious side dish that can accompany any Chinese or Southeast Asian meal. Or, if you are looking for a quick and tasty way to incorporate more vegetables into your diet, this makes a great snack. The beans are glazed in a sweet and spicy sauce with a hint of sesame. The beautiful green and red color of the vegetables makes this dish just as appealing to the eye as it is to the stomach. The original recipe, which I found in an old vegetarian cookbook, doesn't call for red chili flakes but I like to add them for an extra kick. If you like things less spicy, simply leave them out. For a change of pace, try making this with snow peas, carrots, or even shrimp.
Spring Rolls
Kung Pao Tofu
Sesame Green Beans
Steamed White Rice


2 tablespoons sesame seeds
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon cornstarch
2 teaspoons dry mustard powder
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 cup water
1 pound green beans, washed and trimmed
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons dark sesame oil

Cooking Instructions

Toast the sesame seeds in a small pan over medium heat until lightly browned. Set aside.

Combine the soy sauce, cornstarch, dry mustard powder, honey, and red pepper flakes in a small bowl. Whisk together and set aside.

Put the water into a wok or large pan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-high and add the green beans. Simmer the beans uncovered until they are almost tender, stirring occasionally. This should take about 7-10 minutes (at that point, there should be a only small amount of water left in the pan.) Add the red bell pepper strips and continue to simmer. When all of the water has evaporated and the vegetables are tender, add the soy sauce mixture (if the water evaporates before the vegetables are cooked, just add another tablespoon or two of water to the pan and continue cooking). Toss until the vegetables are well coated, letting the sauce boil and thicken a bit. It should just take a minute or two for the sauce to thicken and the beans to be nicely glazed. Take the pan off heat. Stir in the sesame oil, sprinkle with the toasted sesame seeds and serve.

Makes 4 to 6 servings



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You can steam the green beans ahead of time until just tender and then keep them in the refrigerator until ready to use. If you do this, skip the step where you boil them in the water. Instead, add just about 2 tablespoons of water to the pan and cook the green beans and red bell pepper together over high heat until the water evaporates (about 3 minutes). Follow the remaining steps as outlined in the recipe.

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