Sauteed green bean with garlic and dried shrimp
In this article, I will explain how I prepare this quick and easy dish called sauteed green bean with garlic and dried shrimp. Green beans are a widely popular vegetable among the Malaysian Chinese, both as a home-cooked meal or enjoy it in the restaurants. It takes only less than half an hour to prepare, which is ideal for home cooks looking for a nutritious and simple dishes after a hard day’s work.
Green beans are also called string beans, French beans, and Baguio beans in English. It also has different names in Chinese. Normally it is called 豆角, but restaurants frequently use some ornamental words to uplift their status and charges at a higher price. Hence it is also termed as ‘prosperity bean’ 富贵豆 and ‘four-season bean’ 四季豆 on the menu.
There are many species of green beans. Some are longer, and others are of tiny size. Those types that are longer usually have tough, fibrous strings on the surface, which should be removed before cooking. Those smaller species, which are called 豆角苗, are more tender, which can be cooked directly without pulling off the stings. Naturally, they are sold at a higher price than the large counterpart.
The easiest way to saute green bean is prepared with only salt, garlic, and oil. Customers like to order that despite this simple dish in the restaurant, as they enjoy the tender-crisp texture and the freshness of the beans.
In this recipe, I switch up the recipe with dried shrimp, which have high umami, couple with some oyster sauce to improve the flavor. You can still taste the freshness of the beans on top of the flavor of the dry shrimp and garlic.
Let’s take a look at how to prepare the sauteed green bean with garlic and shrimp in detail.
1. Prepare the green beans for sauteing
As I mentioned before, you need to remove the inedible fibrous string of the green beans before cooking. You can remove the string by snapping one of the beans near to the end and pull lengthwise. If there is no fibrous string is pulled out from the bean, that means the beans are tender, and it is OK to skip this step.
Next, align the beans at one end and cut off the tips. Do the same for the opposite end of the beans.
Cut the beans to about five to six cm lengths. You may want to leave it uncut if you choose to use the baby size green beans.
2. Get ready the garlic and dried shrimp
Garlic plays a vital role in seasoning the beans since this is a relatively simple recipe. In this recipe, I smash and coarsely chopped five cloves of garlic for a half kg of green beans. You do not need to chop it finely as it will cause the garlic to burn while sautéing.
You can ignore the dried shrimp if you want to prepare a vegetarian dish. Otherwise, adding some dried shrimp is wonderful as it has strong umami, especially after sautéing for a while. It is up to you to decide the number of dried shrimp you need, but you can use one tablespoon per a hundred grams of green beans as the guideline.
You can get dried shrimp in most of the Chinese supermarkets if you live outside of Asia. If you live in Asia, it is available nearly at every nook and corner. Dried shrimp may contain some shells which should be washed and removed. Once it is cleaned and rinsed, soak it in water for ten minutes to rehydrate, and drain. The dried shrimp is now ready for stir-frying.
3. Saute the green beans until tender-crisp
Once you get everything required in place, stir-frying can be completed in five minutes.
Here are the steps :
1. Heat some cooking oil in a pan or wok. I strongly suggest not to use olive oil to stir-fry if you want to reproduce the authentic Asian flavor, as olive does not have a neutral taste. I lived in Asia for decades and none of the family I know using olive oil to stir-fry. It is not wrong to stir-fry with olive oil, but using oil with neutral flavor (such as peanut oil, corn oil, palm oil, etc.) is the norm for traditional Chinese cooking.
2. Saute the dried shrimp, follow by the chopped garlic after half a minute. Season the garlic and dried shrimp with some salt at the moment. Continue stir-frying the garlic and dried shrimp until aromatic.
3. Once the garlic becomes aromatic, and the dried shrimp no longer carries the ‘fishy’ smell, add the green beans to the pan and stir-fry until the beans become tender-crisp.
4. The stir-frying will take between two to five minutes, in which the green beans will become tender. This moment is when you should season the green beans.
I am using a combination of light soy sauce, oyster sauce, and cooking wine as the seasoning, although you can make your combination. Skip the oyster sauce if you are vegetarian and balance with more light soy sauce. You can also leave out the wine if you are non-alcoholic. I know some local restaurants only use salt to season, which they do it intentionally to highlight the freshness and crispiness of the beans.
5. If you are cooking over the traditional high power gas stove with a wok, you can add two or three tablespoons of water during stir-frying as the high heat will dry out the liquid seasoning quickly. High heat will generate plenty of wok aroma (wok-hei, 镬气), which is good, but it may not be practical if you use a small gas stove or induction stove at home.
6. Pick one bean to test the doneness after stir-frying for two to three minutes. Dish out immediately once the sauteed green bean is tender-crisp. The beans will potentially overcook and lost the bright green appearance if you leave them in the pan due to the latent heat.
Now it is your turn to cook
What a simple yet delicious home-cooked meal!
Sauteed green bean with garlic and shrimp are one of my favorite dishes ordered at the restaurant that I patronage regularly. Sometimes I also prepare it at home when I don’t feel like going out for dinner.
As I mentioned, there are no rules for a home-cooked meal. You can follow this recipe if you are trying it for the first time, and make changes according to your preferences.
If you like this recipe, you may also like to try another sauteed green bean recipe which I have written before. That is the French bean recipe with minced meat, Szechuan style called 干煸四季豆. I bet you will love that variation if you like this recipe.
Leave your comment and share your thought below, and I am glad to hear from you.
- Cut off the tips of the green beans at both ends.
- Cut the beans to about five to six cm lengths.
- Chopped the garlic coarsely.
- Soak the dried shrimp in water for ten minutes to rehydrate, and drain.
- Saute the chopped garlic, followed by the dried shrimp. Season with some salt.
- Add the green beans and stir-fry.
- Season the green beans with oyster sauce, rice wine, light soy sauce, and sugar.
- Dish out immediately once the sauteed green beans are tender-crisp.
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- MICHELANGELO Nonstick Frying Pan Stone with Ultra Nonstick Granite Coating, 10 Inch Frying Pan with Lid, Nonstick Skillet Pfoa Free, Non toxic Rock Pan, Induction Compatible -10 inch
- Dried shrimp - 3 oz
- Lee Kum Kee Premium Light Soy Sauce - 150ml (5.27 fl oz)
- Rice Cooking Wine (Red) - 750ml (Pack of 1) by Shaohsing
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 461Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 20mgSodium: 2111mgCarbohydrates: 42gFiber: 12gSugar: 19gProtein: 11g