Chicken and green bean stir fry

A light, simple and delicious stir fry. Not authentic, but easy, healthy and extremely versatile.


  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 1 1/4 pounds green beans
  • Cooking oil


  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons dry sherry
  • 1 clove garlic


  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar (white vinegar or rice vinegar also fine)
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce (Kikkoman is best)
  • 1 tablespoon sherry
  • 1 clove garlic


  • Dash sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
  • Crushed red pepper flakes, to taste


  1. If starting with frozen chicken breasts, set in bowl of cold water to defrost.
  2. Take end off green beans and wash.
  3. Rinse rice in several changes of water until water is mostly clear. Add fresh water for cooking and set aside.
  4. Dice chicken into bite-sized pieces (approx 1/2-inch cubes). Place diced chicken in bowl.
  5. Add marinade ingredients to chicken – soy sauce, sherry, garlic (chopped or pressed through garlic press). Stir well to distribute marinade.
  6. Refrigerate chicken.
  7. Start rice to cook before starting stir fry.
  8. Prepare stir fry sauce (note: you can double the stir fry sauce if you prefer a saucier stir fry). Add brown sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, sherry and garlic (again chopped or pressed through garlic press) in small bowl. You can also add fresh ginger if you have it.
  9. Add cornstarch and stir well, pressing out any lumps until sauce has a consistent milky brown color.
  10. Heat two tablespoons of oil in an large skillet over medium-high heat.
  11. Add green beans. If green beans don’t fit in one batch, cook half at a time. Use long tongs to turn beans over while cooking so that they do not burn.
  12. If beans are particularly thick, add two tablespoons of water to pan and cover skillet for a couple of minutes to steam-cook beans to desired tenderness. Do not overcook, as beans will go back in the pan briefly later.
  13. Remove beans from pan.
  14. Add two more tablespoons of oil to pan. Add chicken and stir to separate pieces.
  15. When chicken is cooked (turns from pink to white), add prepared stir fry sauce and stir. Sauce will quickly turn from milky light brown to glossy dark brown as it cooks.
  16. Add string beans and stir to combine. Add dash of sesame oil if desired.
  17. Remove chicken and string beans to serving dish.
  18. Serve over rice.

Serves 6.


  • If you are making ahead, cook green beans and chicken separately. Just before you are ready to eat, add chicken back to skillet with sauce, then vegetables last. This will keep everything looking pretty.
  • If sauce is too runny for your liking, mix 2 teaspoons of cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of water and add. Cook until sauce thickens.
  • If sauce is too thick, add 2 tablespoons of water and stir well.
  • If sauce is too tart for your liking, add 1 tablespoon soy sauce.
  • Sherry is a fortified wine, originally from Spain. Some are sweet and others dry. For cooking, you will normally want dry sherry. Better to buy it in the wine section of the market – cooking sherry sold in the food section is not good. Unlike regular wine, sherry will last indefinitely, so you can use it over a long time.

Here’s the link back to Easy chicken and green bean stir fry.

{ 35 comments… read them below or add one }

Antoinette 6 November 2011 at 8:14 pm

This recipe is delicious! I had to make it without the sherry (none in the house), but my husband still loved it. Thanks for sharing.


Marilyn 3 April 2012 at 11:51 am

Last week, I went to my favorite Chinese restaurant and ordered the chicken with string beans thinking not being fried it would be the better choice, but not the tastiest. Wow, was I wrong. It was so good.
I searched for a recipe that might be similar. This is it! Maybe not the exact same, but pretty darn close. Thank you Chinese Grandma


cg 7 April 2012 at 7:31 am

hi marilyn – so glad the recipe worked for you! it’s really versatile too, so you can use broccoli, bok choy, zucchini, etc. thanks for taking the time to share back!


Jill 22 July 2012 at 4:52 pm

Thanks Marilyn for sharing this awesome recipe!!! This is a perfect and delicious way to use up the surplus of green beans in my garden!


Amber G 26 July 2012 at 7:41 pm

I made this for dinner tonight. It was SO GOOD! I have to make it again tomorrow night because my kids kept going back to it, and there wasnt any left for my husband! Lol! Even my four year old gobbled it down, and he claimes to “hate food with sauce.” Thank you so much for posting this recipe! Yum! Yum! Yum! (I altered it some… I left out the sherry, used a packet of Truvia instead of the brown sugar, and used steamfresh microwave green beans patted dry with paper towels. And since the recipe said any oil could be used, I chose peanut oil to cook it. Oh and I didn’t have sesame sauce to add a splash at the end, so I sprinkled some toasted sesame seeds on it!) This recipe has been added into the weekly meal rotation!


cg 1 August 2012 at 4:19 pm

hi amber – i am so excited it worked out for you! hope your husband liked it too when he got a chance. =)


Bob R. 18 June 2013 at 2:41 pm

This is better than many of the restaurant versions of the dish I’ve had! Thank you!


cg 18 June 2013 at 8:32 pm

hi bob – you are most welcome. so glad you enjoyed it!


shawn 9 August 2013 at 6:26 pm

Made this tonight with the excess of baby French green beans from my garden
Skipped the sherry since I didn’t have any. used rice wine vinegar and raw sugar served it over tri colored quinoa for variety.
Delicious and so pretty!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
My husband (stir guy when the wok is in use) wants me to keep this recipe for future use– he inhaled it πŸ™‚


cg 10 August 2013 at 4:00 pm

hi shawn – sounds wonderful! glad you enjoyed it!


Shauna 9 September 2013 at 6:13 pm

The whole house smells like a restaurant! This is even better than the version I ordered for lunch once a week from a restaurant near my office years ago. I did add the fresh ginger and a diced red Chile pepper for color (and a little heat) and its a hit with everyone in the house! I will never have to buy store-bought sauce again either. Didn’t think I would like the Sherry, but it works!


cg 11 September 2013 at 1:43 am

hi shauna – so fantastic! i am glad it worked out for you. you are awesome for sharing back!


Sharon 30 September 2013 at 12:10 pm

This recipe is definitely a keeper! My family inhaled it! Awesome, and easy!


cg 1 October 2013 at 11:57 pm

hi sharon – love hearing your success story! thanks for sharing. =)


Billy Boy 30 December 2014 at 4:39 pm

Just finished making and eating this exquisite meal and felt compelled to thank you for sharing this recipe. Incredibly delicious. I made it with Asian noodles and extra sauce. My only regret is to my local Chinese Restaurant who will not be seeing much of us if all your recipes are equally as good. Thank you!


cg 14 January 2015 at 4:56 pm

hi billy boy – you are so awesome for sharing back! i am happy you enjoyed it!


ph 4 January 2015 at 6:32 pm

This is my first time cooking by using a recipe. Being an Indian, we usually dont have the ingredients at home. I went to a nearby store, googled ‘stir fry beans’ in my cell phone and got all staff needed. I never thought that it will turn out to be so delicious. My family loved it. Now I am cooking it at least twice in a week.

I agree with Billy Boy. Bye bye Chinese Restaurant.

Thank you!


cg 14 January 2015 at 4:48 pm

hi ph – i am so thrilled you and your family loved it! thanks so much for sharing back.


Barb. 29 January 2015 at 10:50 am

I made it completely as stated except I had less chicken so I added diced red pepper and water chestnuts and doubled the sauce recipe. I did have sherry and fresh ginger. We loved it. Will make again. I do many Chinese dishes. I made hot and sour soup and
authentic stir fried rice to go with this dinner. Thanks


cg 3 February 2015 at 9:56 am

hi barb – your dinner sounds amazing! thank you for sharing back.


Mary 17 March 2015 at 5:03 am

This was delish!!! I cut it in half because it’s just my hubby and me. Next time I will not cut the sauce in half because that’s what makes this dish. I added mushrooms and thinly sliced carrots. Water in place of Sherry and it was still amazing. Thank you Chinese Grama…..this goes into the “will make over and over again” file.


cg 25 March 2015 at 12:07 pm

thanks mary, so glad you and your hubby enjoyed it! thanks for sharing – i agree most people wouldn’t say no to more sauce. =)


Beverly Muccular 6 April 2015 at 11:58 am

I tried out the recipe it was awesome I’m going to cook it again today it was so good this will go down in my recipe book thank you grandma!


cg 10 April 2015 at 10:56 am

hi beverly – two days in a row…you are awesome! so glad you enjoyed the recipe. i am happy to be in your recipe book! πŸ™‚


bfrd 26 December 2015 at 6:55 pm

Made this tonight… I used canned “whole green beans”, pre-minced garlic, rice vinegar in place of sherry, and mistakenly used a little too much sesame oil. Despite these changes the end product was still really good, especially for how simple it was to make.

With all that said, I do not recommend the canned green beans as they started out too soft and salty to cook without turning into mush, but if that’s what you’ve got to work with don’t worry, it’s still great. I will be getting sherry and fresh green beans when I try this next which will be soon.



Hailey 29 May 2016 at 3:41 pm

I just want to say that I am so grateful for this recipe. Every other homemade Chinese dish I’ve attempted has ended in disaster, except this one! I follow the recipe to a T (I ended up deviating once to add to the sauce, ultimately screwing up the ratios and it didn’t turn out so great, lol) I use fresh ginger, and it turns out wonderfully every time. My beau loves it…one of his favorite meals I make! Thanks for the keeper, I’ve made it at least 10 times, now.


cg 19 June 2016 at 10:49 pm

hi hailey – so happy the dish has found a home with you and your beau! i love how it tastes good and feels good too. =)


Mary Jane 29 July 2016 at 4:59 pm

This sounds so good making it this weekend


cheryl 19 December 2016 at 3:10 pm

this recipe is delicious. you will not be disappointed it is like real take out food. i am going to make it regularly.


Easterisaturtle 2 January 2018 at 2:38 pm

Sounds delicious! I’m trying to start off the new year without extra carbs and sugar – any ideas if I leave out the brown sugar and cornstarch? Would it still be good?


cg 2 January 2018 at 3:44 pm

you can leave them out! but cut the vinegar down – maybe just 1/2 teaspoon to start – since you won’t have the balance of the sugar. no cornstarch is fine, your sauce will just be runny instead of thicker. good luck!


Easterisaturtle 3 January 2018 at 7:39 am

Thank you can’t wait to try! Also can I marinate overnight?


cg 4 January 2018 at 1:35 pm

hi easterisaturtle – yes, you can most definitely marinate overnight. good luck, hope you love it!


Jo 29 April 2018 at 5:40 pm

My favorite Chinese Restaurant just closed. This was my favorite dish and the knowing waiter always greeted us with “Chicken and Green Beans, extra sauce?” I can’t wait to try this recipe. Thanks.


cg 24 May 2018 at 10:35 pm

hi jo – i hope this fills the void for you! it is so disappointing when a favorite place closes and you can no longer get the food you love. best of luck!


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