Spicy Stir-Fried Thai Green Beans

Green Beans In Wok
Spicy Stir-Fried Green Beans. James Baigrie
  • 20 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins,
  • Cook: 10 mins
  • Yield: serves 2 to 4
Ratings

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 you can enjoy it on its own for lunch or as a light dinner. Note that this recipe is not vegetarian. When making this recipe, don't be shy with the chilies and serve it with plenty of plain steamed rice to balance out the intense saltiness and spiciness.

What You'll Need

  • For the Stir-Fry:
  • 4 to 4 1/2 cups fresh green beans
  • 2 to 3 strips bacon
  • 1 shallot (or 1/4 cup purple onion, finely chopped)
  • 4 cloves garlic (finely chopped or minced)
  • 1/2 tsp. dried crushed chili
  • Optional: 1 red bell pepper (chopped up into small pieces)
  • For the 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

How to Make It

  1. Combine the stir-fry sauce ingredients together in a cup, stirring well to dissolve the sugar. Set aside.
  2. Fry the bacon in a wok or large frying pan until medium-done. Remove from heat and pour off 1/2 the fat.
  3. While letting the bacon cool, prepare the beans by snipping off the ends and cutting them into 2 to 3 inch lengths. Prepare the other ingredients.
  4. 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!).
  1. 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 to 2 Tbsp. water - just enough to get a good sizzle. Stir-fry until garlic is fragrant (1 minute).
  2. 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 to 3 minutes.
  3. Add the stir-fry sauce, stirring well, then cover with a lid and let cook 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. 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 to 2 minutes.
  5. 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. If it's too salty for your taste, add a squeeze of lime juice.
  6. 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).