Kalyn's Kitchen

Garlicky Green Beans Stir Fry

This Garlicky Green Beans Stir Fry is a great way to cook fresh green beans and you’ll make this over and over once you try it!

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World's Easiest Garlicky Green Beans Stir Fry square photo of finished dish on plate with chopsticks

You’ve probably had stir-fried green beans at your favorite Chinese restaurant, but this Garlicky Green Beans Stir Fry has to be one of the easiest recipe around for this type of dish, only six ingredients, plus a bit of water! Beans used to be one of those vegetables I didn’t know what to do with, but all my thoughts about green beans changed after I grew beans in my garden and made fresh green beans into this stir fry. Seriously, I could eat beans every day if they were cooked like this.

Now I buy those lovely green beans at Costco regularly and have a whole section of Green Bean Recipes on the blog! But even with all those tasty options for cooking green beans, this recipe is one I make regularly. And once again, for this dish I used those principles I learned in a Chinese cooking class many years ago!

What ingredients do you need for this recipe?

Principles of Chinese Cooking:

  1. Preheat the wok (before you put the oil in.)
  2. Season the oil (with whole pieces of garlic and sometimes ginger root, which you often remove when you add the food to be cooked.)
  3. Symmetry of cut (all pieces must be cut the same size and shape.)
  4. Have all ingredients cut and sauces mixed before you cook.
  5. Use very high heat and cook fast.

World's Easiest Garlicky Green Beans Stir Fry process shots collage

How to make the recipe:

(Scroll down for complete printable recipe with nutritional informtion.)

  1. I made this when I picked the very last of the green beans from my garden. I like to trim the beans and cut them into the length I want before I wash them in the salad spinner (affiliate link), because garden veggies can be pretty dirty. In this case I cut the beans about 2 inches long. After I had trimmed them and washed them, I had just barely a pound of green beans.
  2. Cut onion into slivers and chop the garlic (or use chopped garlic from a jar, no problem.)
  3. Start by heating the wok or pan over very high heat for 1-2 minutes, then add oil and heat about 30 seconds more. (The oil should look slightly shimmery at this point.)
  4. Then add onions and garlic and stir fry for about 20-30 seconds. (In this recipe the garlic is kept in the dish, which is a slight variation from the Chinese cooking principles.)
  5. Then add the beans and a bit of salt and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring several times.
  6. Next add a tablespoon of water, cover and let the beans steam for about 5 minutes. (I peeked once to see if it needed more water, and added about a teaspoon more.)
  7. Stir in the oyster sauce or Gluten-Free Oyster Sauce (affiliate link) and stir-fry about 2 minutes more, until all the beans are well-coated with sauce.
  8. The beans should still have a slight crunch when they’re done. Serve hot and enjoy!

More Vegetable Stir-Fry Dishes

Garlic-Lover’s Vegetable Stir Fry
Green Beans with Lemon, Parmesan, and Pine Nuts 
Spicy Sichuan Style Green Beans 

Garlicky Green Beans Stir Fry

Garlicky Green Beans Stir Fry

Yield 4 servings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes

This recipe for the world's easiest Garlicky Green Beans Stir Fry is  a perfect choice for cooking fresh green beans!


  • 1 lb. fresh green beans
  • 2 T peanut oil
  • 2 T chopped garlic
  • 1/2 small yellow onion, cut in half top-to-bottom and then into slivers the same size as the beans
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 T water (plus a bit more if you check and the pan seems dry)
  • 2 T oyster sauce or gluten-free oyster sauce (see notes)


  1. Trim both ends of green beans. (I do this by taking a handful of beans, standing them up in my hand, loosely enough that they fall down to the cutting board and ends line up, trim that end, the turn over and line up the other side and trim.)
  2. Cut green beans into 2 inch lengths, wash, and spin dry in salad spinner (affiliate link) or dry with paper towels. (Purchased beans may not need washing.)
  3. Heat the wok or a heavy frying pan over high heat for 1-2 minutes, until it’s too hot to hold your hand over it.
  4. Add the oil and heat about 30 seconds more, then add the garlic and onion slivers and cook for 20-30 seconds, stirring the whole time.
  5. Add beans and salt and cook about 2 minutes, stirring several times.
  6. Then add water, cover wok, and let beans steam for 5 minutes. (I checked once to see if the pan seemed dry and added about 1 tsp. more water.)
  7. Uncover the pan and add oyster sauce, then cook 2 minutes more, stirring so all the beans are uniformly covered with the sauce.
  8. Beans should still be slightly crisp when they’re done. Serve hot.
  9. This can be kept in the refrigerator for a day or two and reheated in the microwave, but you probably won’t have any left over.


Look for Gluten-Free Oyster Sauce (affiliate link) if needed.

Recipe adapted from Cooking from the Heart: The Hmong Kitchen in America. (affiliate link)

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 171Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 740mgCarbohydrates: 8.5gFiber: 6gSugar: 9gProtein: 6g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated by the Recipe Plug-In I am using. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, since many variables affect those calculations.

If you make this recipe I'd love to hear how it turns out. Leave a star rating or share on social media with the hashtag #KALYNSKITCHEN, thanks!

World's Easiest Garlicky Green Bean Stir Fry found on KalynsKitchen.com

Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
If your store has several brands of Oyster Sauce, choose the one with the lowest amount of sugar. The gluten-free oyster sauce seems to have slightly more sugar than some brands; 12 carbs for four servings, I didn’t find a low-carb oyster sauce, but since everything else here is relatively low in net carbs this is still suitable for most low-carb diet plans (although not for Keto).

Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use Stir Fries to find more recipes like this one. Use the Recipes by Diet Type photo index pages to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.

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    51 Comments on “Garlicky Green Beans Stir Fry”

  1. I added ginger to the oil and served it with brown rice and it was tasty. Seems like mushrooms or another vegetable would be good with it, maybe cooked on the side. Any suggestions?

    • Glad you enjoyed it! I think mushrooms sound great with this. I’d cook the mushrooms first (since they release a lot of liquid), take them out of the wok or pan when that liquid is all evaporated and then add the mushrooms back in when you add the sauce.

  2. ‘Just tried the garlicky green beans stir-fry and it was great! So yummy and beans not overdone. Two things: I no longer have a wok so I used a non-stick sauté pan and it worked well. A cast iron pan should work fine too. For those of us who are vegetarian and don’t use oyster sauce, I have a plant-based “fish” sauce that I used and it couldn’t have come out better. (It contains tamari, brown rice vinegar, pineapple juice concentrate, seaweed and horseradish. Not spicy at all.) I would think soy sauce or tamari would be okay to substitute for the oyster sauce, as well.

  3. Has anyone tried Fish Sauce, instead of Oyster Sauce? I have that on hand.

    • Oyster sauce is thick and adds a thickening property to the sauce, and it’s not as strong as fish sauce and a bit sweeter. If you don’t mind a thinner sauce and want to try it, I’d start with a slightly smaller amount of fish sauce.

  4. Super easy recipe and worked so well! Thank you!

  5. I added a few dashes of Chinese Five Spice and red pepper flakes.  

  6. If you use spicy chili sauce that will be a different recipe completely, but probably still good. I'd recommend trying this recipe for Spicy Sichuan Style Green Beans if you want a spicy version.