Green beans seem almost mundane. Images of canned or frozen pre-cut and pre-cooked mushy beans might dance sadly in your head. But you haven’t tasted green beans until you’ve bought fresh ones from the farmers market, or if you’re lucky enough to have a friend with a garden who grows the best green beans on earth. These are the green beans that should not be cooked until mushy. They should barely grace boiling water with their presence, and then be stir fried quickly in a delicious sauce. It’s the life they were meant for.
Also known as string beans, these fellas are filled with Vitamins K, C, and A, along with antioxidants, cardiovascular and bone health boosters. They should not be overlooked.
We don’t eat much beef in our house, both for environmental and health reasons. But some good quality, lean grass-fed beef sliced up and stir fried with green beans? This is a reason to venture into beef-eating territory. Of course you can use chicken, fish, or tofu instead if you like. The key here is the green bean, and I’m sure it will happily share a plate with whatever protein source you choose. The sauce is pretty fantastic too, and is my go-to stir fry sauce.
Green Bean Beef (serves 3)
- 1 lb. fresh green beans, trimmed; cut into 2 inch lengths
- 1 garlic clove, finely grated or minced
- 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
- 1/2 tsp Sriracha or other Asian-style hot sauce
- 2 tsp toasted sesame oil
- 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
- 2 tsp vegetable oil
- 3/4 lb. top sirloin, cut into 1/4 inch thick strips
- salt & pepper to taste
- cilantro for garnish
1. Put a couple of inches of water in a large skillet and bring to a boil over high heat. Add salt, then drop in the cut-up green beans. Cook just for a minute, to take the raw edge off. Drain and set aside.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together the garlic, ginger, Sriracha, sesame oil, vinegar, and soy sauce. Set aside.
3. Dry the skillet and return it to the stove. Heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat until rippling and hot. Season the steak lightly with salt and pepper, then add it to the hot oil. Cook, stirring almost constantly, until the beef is just browned on all sides but not cooked through, about 2 minutes. Add the green beans and cook a minute more, stirring constantly.
4. Pour in the sauce and let it come to a bubble (this should happen pretty much instantly). Cook everything together, stirring frequently, until the sauce has thickened slightly and the meat and green beans are well coated with it, about 1 to 2 minutes. Serve garnished with cilantro.