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Kalyn's Kitchen

World’s Easiest Garlicky Green Beans Stir Fry

The World’s Easiest Garlicky Green Beans Stir Fry is a great way to cook fresh green beans! And this tasty stir-fry is low-carb, low-glycemic, South Beach Diet friendly, and can be gluten-free with gluten-free oyster sauce. Use Green Beans to find more recipes like this one.

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

Beans used to be one of those plants that didn’t get too much respect from me in the garden. I found them hard to keep picked, and truthfully, sometimes I ended up with overgrown beans I had to throw away. But all my thoughts about beans changed after I made some fresh green beans into this World’s Easiest Garlicky Green Beans Stir Fry.  Seriously, I could eat beans every day if they were cooked like this.

This recipe was adapted from Cooking from the Heart: The Hmong Kitchen in America. The recipe was in the “cooking for a crowd” section of the book and made 25 servings! I only had about a pound of beans, so obviously I had to cut it down quite a bit.

You’ve probably had stir-fried green beans at your favorite Chinese restaurant, but this has to be one of the easiest recipe around for this type of dish, only six ingredients, plus a bit of water! I decided to call it “World’s Easiest” Garlicky Green Beans Stir Fry after I thought about how easy it was, although it’s just called Garlicky Green Bean Stir Fry in the book. Once again, I used the principles I learned in a Chinese cooking class many years ago!

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 Bean Stir Fry found on KalynsKitchen.com

Here’s how much I got when I picked the very last of the green beans from my garden. This year I planted bush beans (they grow on a bush instead of on vines) and they were a variety called French beans. This type was a big improvement over the beans I’ve grown in the past, because the beans grow at the top of the plant so they’re easier to keep picked. I like to trim the beans and cut them into the length I want before I wash them in the salad spinner, 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 under a pound of green beans.

Start by heating the wok or pan over very high heat for 1-2 minutes, then add oil and heat about 30 seconds more, then stir fry the onions and garlic 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.) Then add the beans and a bit of salt and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring several times.

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

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.) Stir in the oyster sauce and stir-fry about 2 minutes more, until all the beans are well-coated with sauce. The beans should still have a slight crunch when they’re done.

More Vegetable Stir-Fry Dishes

Garlic-Lover’s Vegetable Stir Fry with Eggplant, Zucchini, and Yellow Squash ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Sichuan Dry Fried Green Beans from Appetite for China
Stir-Fried Greens with Lemon, Parmesan, and Pine Nuts ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Green Bean Stir Fry from Nook and Pantry
SpicySichuan Style Green Beans ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen

World's Easiest Garlicky Green Beans Stir Fry

This World’s Easiest Garlicky Green Beans Stir Fry is  a perfect choice for cooking fresh green beans!


  • 1 lb. fresh green beans (preferably long thin “French” beans, but any type will work)
  • 2 T peanut oil
  • 2 T chopped garlic
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, cut in half top-to-bottom and then into slivers the same size as the beans (next time I’d probably just use the whole onion)
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 T water (plus a bit more if you check and the pan seems dry)
  • 2 T oyster sauce (comes in a bottle near the Asian foods in any major supermarket)


  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 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.
  9. Serve hot.
  10. 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 if needed.

Recipe adapted from Cooking from the Heart: The Hmong Kitchen in America.

All images and text ©

Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
World’s Easiest Garlicky Green Beans Stir Fry is perfect for any phase of the South Beach Diet. 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, but the total amount of 10 carbs for four servings still makes this a very low-carb dish, suitable for most low-carb diet plans.

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.

Nutritional Information?
If you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you. Or if you’re a member of Yummly, you can use the Yum button on my site to save the recipe and see the nutritional information there.

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45 comments on “World’s Easiest Garlicky Green Beans Stir Fry”

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

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

  3. 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.

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