My Asian Green Beans are crisp and bright, tossed in a sweet chili vinaigrette and some salty peanuts for an extra crunch. You can whip up these Thai green beans in a flash – the entire process takes less than 30 minutes!
In fact, even their side dishes are full of rich, contrasting spices and seasonings! And that’s exactly the case with these tantalizing Thai-inspired Asian green beans.
These aren’t your average mushy veggies just thrown on the side of the plate. Nothing about this recipe is subtle – between the aroma of the peanuts and lemongrass, the heat of chilis and ginger, and the sharp acidity of the lime, you’ll get a mouthful of flavor with each crunchy bite.
These Asian green beans give us the spice, so let’s add on the sweet and sour with my authentic Thai Lemongrass Chicken! The coconut milk makes for moist, tender chicken that you can make in your oven or Instant Pot.
INGREDIENT NOTES AND SUBSTITUTIONS
- Trimmed Green Beans – It’s easy enough to find these frozen (or canned) and pre-trimmed. However, opting for fresh and trimming just before cooking will give you all the texture and brightness you could ever want.
- Shallots – Both slightly sweet and a bit spicy, making them perfect for this dish. Onions can always be used as a substitute.
- Serrano Chilis – Use gloves when chopping and seeding these hot peppers. For a less hot option, you could use jalapeños.
- Lemongrass – A very popular aromatic herb in Thai cooking that has a distinct citrus scent and flavor. There is no real substitute for its unique, light, and delicate taste. If using fresh lemongrass, be sure to remove the tougher outer layers before grating.
- Ginger – A root with a strong, warm spiciness to it. It is very common in Asian cooking.
- Garlic – Finely grated and thrown into the vinaigrette to tie everything together.
- Roasted Peanuts – Would it be Thai without peanuts? Salted, roasted peanuts add texture and savoriness.
- Limes – We’ll use this fruit inside and out – both the juice and the zest – to add a vibrant, tangy, citrusy note to the dish.
HOW TO MAKE ASIAN GREEN BEANS
- Blanch. Boil the green beans in salted water for 3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl of ice water to cool. Drain and pat the beans dry before tossing in a large bowl with the peanuts. Set aside while making the vinaigrette.
- Stir Fry the Aromatics. Add olive oil to a skillet and stir fry the shallots and chilis over medium heat until tender. Throw in the ginger, lemongrass, and garlic, frying for another minute to bring out the strong aroma of the seasonings.
- Season the Vinaigrette. Pour the mixture into a small bowl, along with the lime zest and juice, sugar, salt, and remaining olive oil. Mix well.
- Toss and Serve. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the green beans and peanuts, tossing for an even coating. Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste, and enjoy right away!
How long are Asian green beans good in the fridge?
This dish will keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. However, the vegetables will become less crisp after being tossed in the vinaigrette and sitting in the fridge. This recipe is so quick and easy that I would recommend simply making it fresh each time!
How do you get the bitterness out of green beans?
The blanching process really works to remove the naturally grassy, bitter flavor. The bold spices that we use to season these Thai green beans also work tremendously well to counteract that natural bitterness – that balance is what this recipe is all about!
Can you freeze Asian green beans?
Absolutely! Simply reheat in a skillet when ready to eat. However, I will once again note that that crisp texture is lost when this dish is saved and reheated.
What is the difference between Chinese green beans and Thai green beans?
Thai green beans are seasoned with chilis, peanuts, sugar, lemongrass, and a handful of other spices and seasonings for a balance of sweet, salty, and spicy.
The Chinese version of this side dish, alternatively, is seasoned with soy sauce and vinegar, usually sweetened with honey, and is not as spicy.
Asian Green Beans
- 2 lbs green beans trimmed
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 4 tbsp olive oil divided
- 1 shallot finely chopped
- 1 serrano chili seeded and diced
- 1 inch piece ginger peeled finely grated (1 tbsp ginger paste)
- 2 tbsp lemongrass (See Note 1)
- 2 cloves garlic finely grated
- 1/3 cup salted roasted peanuts chopped
- 1 tsp finely grated lime zest
- 3 tbsp fresh lime juice
- 1/4 tsp sugar
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Cook green beans in a large pot of boiling, salted water for 3 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a large bowl of ice water. Allow to cool, drain and pat dry. Transfer to a large serving bowl along with the peanuts. Set aside.
- Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet over medium and cook shallot and serrano chili, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 3 minutes. Add the ginger paste, lemongrass paste, chopped garlic and cook, stirring, until very fragrant, about 1 minute. Transfer to a small bowl.
- Add lime zest, lime juice, sugar, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil into shallot mixture. Stir to combine.
- Pour vinaigrette over warm beans, tossing to coat. Season with kosher salt and fresh black pepper to taste.
- I do prefer using fresh, but, in most markets you can now find chopped garlic, grated lemongrass and ginger paste all made for you in tubes or glass jars. If using fresh, trim the tough outer layers from lemongrass and grate on a Microplane (2 tbsp lemongrass paste).
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.