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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 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

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 (affiliate link). 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 I 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, for this dish I used those 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 Beans Stir Fry process shots collage

How to Make World’s Easiest Garlicky Green Beans Stir Fry:

(Scroll down for complete printable recipe.)

  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 with Eggplant, Zucchini, and Yellow Squash 
Stir-Fried Green Beans with Lemon, Parmesan, and Pine Nuts 
Spicy Sichuan Style Green Beans 

World's Easiest Garlicky Greens Bean Stir Fry

World's Easiest Garlicky Greens Bean Stir Fry

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

This recipe for 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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    47 Comments on “World’s Easiest Garlicky Green Beans Stir Fry”

  1. sounds pretty simple and awesome. I love green beans. Can I use any other spicy chilli sauce or soy sauce instead of oyster sauce?

  2. Susan, thanks for that tip!

  3. Folks if you are not happy with the beans you are growing you must try a variety called Kwintus. They are the replacement for the old Early Riser which was a huge favorite among home growers.
    They are a flat Romano type pole bean, stringless, prolific and have a wonderful meaty bean flavor.
    Cook's Garden carried them until last year-they are trying to get them again. Another source is Kitazawa Seeds in California. These are the only beans I will grow and have had wonderful luck with them for many years.

  4. Deven, glad you enjoyed it!

  5. Just got back from selling veggies at a farmers market and had leftover beans so I decided this would be a great time to try this recipe. I had to use what I had on hand so I used soy sauce. I also sliced some green zucchini and yellow squash and added them right at the end, delicious! I will definitely make these again – I'll try it with oyster sauce next time. Thanks!

  6. I think Hoisin or regular soy sauce would both work. Hope you enjoy!

  7. Kalyn, Don's allergic to shellfish, so oyster sauce is out. Do you recommend a replacement? Soy, maybe? I love fresh green beans, and this could be a new way for me.

  8. If you look under "South Beach Suggestions" (right after the printer friendly link) every recipe will tell you what phase I think it can be used for.

  9. Katlyn,

    Is this phase 1 friendly?

  10. Lorena, glad you enjoyed this as much as I did!

  11. Just made this for my boyfriend and it was absolutely delicious! I put the green beans over some white rice and threw some crunchy chow mein noodles on top. Also, we love our food spicy so I added some garlic chili paste to the oyster sauce. I absolutely love this recipe!

  12. Glad you have been enjoying the recipes. Oyster sauce is pretty versatile; you can use it to stir-fry lots of different veggies and it always turns out good! And it sounds like you're learning to cook (you did learn about the low smoke-point of olive oil from this experiment!) Thanks for commenting, always appreciate hearing from the people who are reading!

  13. Yeah, I'm pretty hapless when it comes to cooking (as you may have inferred). You're right about the sauce, but I'm a bit of a cheapskate and never have anyone else to cook for, so I don't like to buy ingredients that I'll hardly ever use. Had some soy sauce in the fridge I needed to get rid of.

    I really don't comment often enough, but I really need to thank you for your blog. I've found so much good stuff here.

  14. I would never use olive oil for stir-frying, and if you had used oyster sauce like the recipe calls for they would have been "really" good instead of "pretty" good. Glad the story had a good outcome though!

  15. Gee thanks… I nearly took down the apartment complex. O.o

    So I heated up the pan and then dropped the oil in. It bubbled for a second then burst into flames! Luckily I had the lid out already and my elementary school education to fall back on and quickly dropped the lid on the pan and removed it from the burner. Smoke alarms went off, but the crisis was averted.

    My fault, though. I used olive oil and apparently it has a lower fire point than peanut oil. But never ever am I doing that again!

    I did manage to get the beans made, though, and they were pretty good (used soy sauce instead of oyster sauce). And the yelp I made when I saw a huge fire spontaneously erupt in my pan was pretty good, too!

  16. I just discovered your blog last night and LOVE it! I made the World's Easiet Grlicky Green Beans & Sauteed Chicken w/Tarragon-Mustard Pan Sauce and it was a HIT! Tomorrow I am trying a new recipe! Thanks so much.
    A fan in Nashville

  17. Rhapsody, thanks. It's always so nice to hear that something was a hit.

  18. Hi Kalyn — made several of your dishes for Thanksgiving. All were good, but these green beans were a favorite! So easy to make too. Thanks for the recipes!

  19. Garlicky green beans would be a welcome addition to any meal!

  20. Thank you! I always make my green beans 1 of 2 ways…steamed plain or my family's favorite – Bacon Beans. Fry 6 slices bacon, remove and and chop into pieces when cool. Drain pan of all but 3 tbs. bacon grease. Sautee red onion in bacon grease, add green beans to the pan until done, toss in bacon and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve. Pretty standard stuff but oh-so-good.