Easy Chinese Green Beans Recipe

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This recipe for Chinese-style green beans is so easy but is packed with flavor! Cooked in a cast iron skillet with soy sauce, onions and garlic then topped with sesame seeds, it’s the perfect addition to a homemade Chinese dinner!

sesame green beans in a baking dish

One of my favorite parts of this dish is just how versatile it is! From how you cook it to the spices you use, you can really customize it specifically for your family.

I’ll be the first to admit that green beans aren’t top of my list when it comes to favorite veggies. In fact, they aren’t even in the top 5. But when they’re made with caramelized onions and covered in a soy-based Asian sauce, I changed my tune quickly!

How to Make Easy Chinese Green Beans

I made my green beans in a cast iron skillet, but you really could use a regular skillet or a wok as well. I just will pretty much always reach for a cast iron skillet, because I’m convinced it adds a deeper flavor to food.

Start by trimming your fresh, long green beans. I just snap the end off with the string. It takes me a couple of minutes to trim a pound of green beans.

Then, add about a tablespoon of canola oil to your pan over medium heat.

While that’s heating up, dice a small onion. Now here’s where you can start tweaking my recipe a little. I like my onions caramelized! Like really, really caramelized almost to the point of being burnt.

Asian green beans with sesame seeds and onions

Which means that I pretty much always will put my onions in the preheated pan first. That way they get a couple minutes head start in the cooking process. If you don’t like your onions quite so well done, just wait and add them for the last 5 minutes or so of cooking.

Add your trimmed green beans to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally. I cooked mine for about 10 minutes or so. That gave me a tender, crisp green bean. If you liked yours more on the tender, soft side just cook a bit longer.

Add about 3 cloves of minced garlic for the last minute of cooking. Stir well to get it all combined in there with the onions and green beans.

Then add your soy sauce and pepper and toss to coat. I transferred mine to a serving dish and then sprinkled the sesame seeds on for the very last step.

Variations to Chinese Style Green Beans

  • You could also add ginger to the final step when you add the soy sauce. I’m not a personal fan of ginger so I left it out.
  • You can sub the canola oil for sesame oil for a deeper, more authentic Asian flavor.
  • If you only have canned green beans on-hand, I would use 2 cans of drained green beans in place of the fresh green beans. It won’t be quite the same end result, but it will still be very good and is an easy way to dress up canned green beans!
  • Feel free to use reduced-sodium soy sauce in place of the regular soy sauce as well.

Chinese green beans with sesame seeds and onions

sesame green beans in a baking dish
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5 from 1 vote

Chinese Style Green Beans

An easy side dish that's packed with flavor, Chinese style green beans are cooked with onions and garlic and then tossed in a soy sauce. Ready in under 15 minutes, it goes well with ham, pork or a homemade Chinese dinner!
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: Chinese style green beans
Servings: 4
Calories: 129kcal
Author: Natalie Dixon


  • 1 lb Fresh Green Beans trimmed
  • 1 small Onion chopped
  • 2 Tbsp Canola Oil
  • 3 cloves Garlic minced
  • 3 Tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 1/2 tsp Pepper
  • 1 Tbsp Sesame Seeds


  • In a cast iron skillet, heat the canola oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and green beans and stir occasionally to prevent them from burning. Cook for about 10-15 minutes depending on how well done you like your green beans.
  • Add the minced garlic and cook another minute or two. Be sure to stir garlic into green beans and onion. 
  • Add soy sauce and pepper and stir well. Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle with sesame seeds. 


Calories: 129kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 8g | Sodium: 762mg | Potassium: 312mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 785IU | Vitamin C: 15.8mg | Calcium: 75mg | Iron: 1.8mg

Chinese style green beans with onions and sesame seeds

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    […] Easy Chinese Green Beans: a delicious side dish that pairs perfectly with any protein! […]

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