When you have older, thicker string beans, this slicing method is the way to go. A little extra prep work, but the sliced beans are quick to cook and have loads of surface area to absorb flavor. My mom makes the green beans as a vegetarian side dish, but if you add a bit of meat it’s also a fantastic one-dish meal.
- 1/2 pound ground turkey (or pork)
- 1 pound green beans
- Cooking oil (avocado is my favorite)
- 1-2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 scallion, chopped (optional)
- 1-2 teaspoons butter (optional)
- Dash sesame oil (optional)
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons dry sherry (or sake, or white wine)
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 1/2 tablespoons dry sherry (or sake, or white wine)
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar (white or rice vinegar also fine)
- 4 teaspoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated or minced (optional)
- Crushed red pepper, to taste (optional)
- Rinse green beans in a colander and let dry.
- Add ground meat to a bowl. Mix in soy sauce, sherry and garlic and refrigerate until ready to cook.
- In small bowl, mix sauce ingredients (add optional ginger and/or red pepper if desired). Stir well, pressing out any lumps of cornstarch, and set aside.
- Slice string beans on a cutting board, discarding ends and slicing in thin (1/8″) slices at a steep diagonal.
- Heat two tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add scallions to oil and stir, then add green beans. Stir and cover skillet. Cook covered for a few minutes, uncovering periodically to stir. Drop the heat a bit if they are browning too quickly. Green beans turn from bright green to darker as they cook. Young beans can be cooked to crisp-tender; mature beans may need more time to lose their toughness.
- When green beans are just short of the desired tenderness, add 1 tablespoon soy sauce and stir to distribute. Taste and add more soy sauce to give a lightly salty, savory flavor. Add in a pat of butter to finish (I say optional but my mom says do it). Remove from pan. (Stop and serve here for a great side dish without meat.)
- Put empty skillet back on medium heat, add a tablespoon of cooking oil and add marinated ground meat. Use a metal spatula to break up and stir the meat as it cooks.
- When the meat is fully cooked (no longer pink), add the string beans to the pan. Before adding the prepared sauce to the skillet, give it a final stir to mix in the cornstarch that settles at the bottom. Stir well to coat the meat and string beans in the sauce. Finish with a dash of sesame oil if desired. Remove to a dish and serve with rice.
- This stir fry is endlessly versatile. Use the meat with any other sauteed vegetables, or the string beans make a great side dish on their own (no sauce needed).
- If you have young, tender green beans, you can skip the slicing and cook them whole (see my chicken and green bean stir fry), then add the ground meat as directed.
- It takes me about 15 minutes to slice a pound of green beans, and I’m slow.
Here’s a link back to the post and pictures.