Green beans and Thanksgiving

Stir fried green beans chinese style

Thanking you

I follow a lot of bloggers from the US and at the moment, everyone’s posting their different Thanksgiving recipes, one of which is a green bean casserole – a dish I’d never even heard of before, much less tried or tasted (but I will, promise!).

With my husband being English, and me being Chinese, we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving and I oddly feel a little left out of all this Thanksgiving cheer. I want to share; and I want to contribute; so I hope I do my new-found friends justice…

I’d like to wish all of the lovely fellow bloggers I’ve met these last six months happy holidays, and I hope you’ll accept this recipe and post in the spirit it is intended… I don’t know how to make a green bean casserole but I can make a mean stir fry, and this dish is just as traditional to Chinese people as the green bean casserole is to others.

The key to this stir fried vegetable is simplicity. Not counting the oil and water, there are only five main ingredients – green beans, sugar, salt, ginger and garlic – the most unfussy but purest way of cooking vegetables Chinese-style.

Ginger, garlic, salt and sugar with the vegetable of your choice.

It’s what Chinese people eat at home but funnily enough, it’s also what we order when we eat Chinese out. 🙂

Whenever I’ve been in a more ‘zen’ frame of mind, I make this stir fry and eat it with nothing more than a bowl of plain rice.

I’ve never tampered with this recipe. Don’t have to. Don’t want to. Really don’t need to. It’s a classic, y’know – a tradition – and there are some things you just don’t need to mess with sometimes.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

With love and thanks


Stir fried green beans cooked the way I know best.

Stir fried green beans (A side dish for 3-4)

This dish takes about five minutes to cook so you have to have everything prepared beforehand. However, it really only takes a couple of minutes getting everything ready so there’s no real hard graft required. It’s however essential that you have a saucepan or wok that has a lid because you’re going to need it!

Because it cooks so quickly, I thought I’d put a running order of the frying process so you understand how fast you need to be.


No 1 on my favourite list of vegetables to eat.

175 – 200 grams green beans, topped, tailed (I like cutting my beans on the diagonal into 2-3 cm spears as it’s how my mum always did them)

3 slices of ginger, peeled and sliced into slivers

2 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced

½ cup water mixed with ¾ teaspoon salt and 1½ sugar

1 tablespoon of vegetable oil

I got my husband to time the cooking process because it all happens so quickly. Here’s the cooking timing from the moment the oil becomes hot in your saucepan or wok…keep the heat on high!

Infusing the oil with ginger is essential!

0.00 mins: Drop your ginger slices into your hot oil and fry for 45 secs. They’ll start turning golden brown.

0.45 min: Add your sliced garlic and fry for another 30 secs.

1.15 mins: Add green beans and toss well for 15 secs so they’re all coated in oil (be careful as the oil will splutter!).

1.30 min: Add your seasoned water. Stir well (careful of the spluttering) for 10 secs and pop the lid on.

4.00 mins: Allow your beans to fry, covered, and stir maybe once or twice. if you like your beans crunchy, only fry them for 3-4 minutes. If you like them softer, give them another 30 secs to 1 min.

Pour into a dish and sprinkle with white or black pepper.

Happy thanksgiving to those who celebrate it!

11 Responses to “Green beans and Thanksgiving”
  1. yes it is strange sitting on this side of the world, watching the preparations for thanksgiving, while all here is quiet.
    I love green beans cooked like this, and it reminds me I still have some homegrown to use up that are in the freezer, result!

  2. What a fabulous recipe – I love green beans and this recipe would definitely entice my hubby to enjoy them more too!
    🙂 Mandy

  3. Patti says:

    Happy Thanksgiving to you too! I’ve come to view it not as just an American holiday but a general day of gratitude (mm..that should be every day, right?). Perfect recipe for Sunday when everyone is turkeyed out and the green been casserole is starting to look mushy and sad.

  4. LOL It’s a very very traditional american (and even canadian) home cooked family dish at the holidays 🙂 The blog “Big Flavours from a Tiny Kitchen” just posted the classic recipe today! Thanks for sharing your recipe, sounds delightful!

  5. I have green beans from our garden in the freezer and have never thought to stir fry them – have to give it a go. Have a Great Day:)

  6. TasteFood says:

    What a wonderful way to serve green beans. I love the flavors and prefer this over a casserole any day.

  7. Jay says:

    wow..sounds utterly delicious..
    first time your space..
    very interesting posts with inviting cliks..
    Am your happy follower now..;)
    do stop by mine sometime..
    Tasty Appetite

  8. Joanne says:

    This is so great!!! It’s a very nice gesture on your behalf too. Your green beans look beautiful!

  9. Love the simplicity of this menu— few ingredients paired and cooked to their optimal. A winner in our book! So lovely to have met you and we look forward to seeing more of you!

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