This spicy green bean recipe is simple to make and addictively-good. Similar to Chinese stir-fried green beans, this Thai version makes a wonderful side dish - or enjoy it on its own for lunch or a light dinner. Note that this recipe is not vegetarian (I am working on a vegetarian version of it, so stay posted!). When making this recipe, don't be shy with the chilies, and be sure to serve it with plenty of plain steamed rice in order to balance out the intense saltiness and spice of this very flavorful dish.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
- SERVES 2-4 as a Side Dish
- 4 to 4 1/2 cups fresh green beans
- 2-3 strips bacon
- 1 shallot OR 1/4 cup purple onion, finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped or minced
- 1-2 red chili, thinly sliced, OR 1/2 tsp. dried crushed chili
- optional: 1 red bell pepper, chopped up into small pieces
- STIR-FRY SAUCE:
- 1/2 tsp. shrimp paste
- 3 Tbsp. soy sauce
- 2 tsp. dark soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp. fish sauce (plus more to taste)
- 1/2 Tbsp. brown sugar
Combine stir-fry sauce ingredients together in a cup, stirring well to dissolve the sugar. Set aside.
Fry the bacon in a wok or large frying pan until medium-done. Remove from heat and pour off 1/2 the fat.
While letting the bacon cool, prepare the beans by snipping off the ends and cutting them into 2 to 3-inch lengths. Also prepare other ingredients.
Remove bacon and cut it into small pieces (I follow the Asian method here by using a pair of clean scissors - makes the job quick & easy!).
With 1/2 the bacon fat still in the wok/pan, place over medium-high heat. Add the bacon pieces, shallot/onion and garlic, plus 1-2 Tbps. water - just enough to get a good sizzle. Stir-fry until garlic is fragrant (1 minute).
Add the beans, plus the red pepper (if using) and chili. If needed, also add a little more water to keep the ingredients frying nicely (1-2 Tbsp.). Stir-fry 2-3 minutes.
Add the stir-fry sauce, stirring well, then cover with a lid and let cook 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally.
For this dish, it is best if the beans are chewy rather than soft. Try one - if not tender enough, continue stir-frying another 1-2 minutes.
Taste-test the stir-fry for flavor, keeping in mind that this dish should taste primarily salty and spicy (the saltiness is balanced out when served with plain rice). I usually add 1 more Tbsp. fish sauce, as well as another sprinkling of fresh or dried chili, as I like mine quite salty and spicy. If it's too salty for your taste, add a squeeze of lime juice.
Serve with plenty of plain rice and ENJOY the strong flavors of this dish! (Note: Pairs beautifully with a crisp, clean lager, especially if you've made it spicy-salty).