Garlic Ginger Green Beans are the perfect side dish for any meal! Full of color, flavor, and texture, it’s sure to please even the pickiest palates!
Green beans are one of those less-revered vegetables that really should get more airtime. Maybe it’s because many of us grew up eating gray, overcooked green beans from a can. (The ones for school lunch were the worst!) Maybe it’s because most of us have outgrown the classic green bean casserole with cream of mushroom soup and crispy onion strings from a can on top. Whatever the case, it’s time for a new take on green beans. One that leaves the beans a vibrant green and adds interesting flavors like ginger and garlic (and a bunch of bacon, because bacon makes everything better :))
I have often shied away from making fresh green beans because I thought they were kind of labor-intensive. You have to cut off the ends, and I used to do it one bean at a time. Then recently I finally got smart and figured out a better way! You grab a handful of beans and line them all up in your hand. Hold your hand over a cutting board so that the beans are vertical. Loosen your hand a little and let them fall so that the ends of the beans hit the cutting board. This will get all your ends to line up, even though your beans are different lengths. Then grasp them tightly again, turn them on their side, and cut all the ends off at once. Then flip the handful over, and do the same thing for the other end. (You’ll have to loosen your hand to let the ends of the beans fall to the cutting board and even up again). Hopefully that made sense!
Anyhow, this recipe requires you to boil the beans for just a minute to help them soften up just a wee bit before you add them to your pan. It has the added bonus of making the beans bright green. After that minute, you’ll just drain the beans and let them hang out while you get the other stuff ready.
For the recipe, you can fry your bacon in a pan, or cook it in the microwave. If you fry it in a pan, save a little of the grease for cooking the onions, garlic, and ginger. If you cook it in the microwave, no worries! You can just use olive oil for your onions, garlic, and ginger.
At the end, you’re going to make a quick glaze of sugar and soy sauce. This really finishes off the beans and brings out their bright flavor.
These beans are the perfect side dish for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, or any other occasion. I hope you’ll give them a try!
This recipe adapted from Caramelized Green Beans in the book, Our Best Bites: Mormon Moms in the Kitchen.
- 6 oz. bacon
- About 1 pound of fresh green beans
- 2 Tbsp. sugar
- 2 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce
- 1/2 red onion, sliced
- 3-4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
- 1 Tbsp. freshly minced ginger (or 1 tsp. ginger powder)
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1/2 tsp. kosher salt (to taste)
- freshly ground pepper (to taste)
- Prepare a pot of boiling water on the stove. Meanwhile, trim the ends of the beans and break or cut the beans in half.
- Add the beans to the pot of boiling water. Blanch them for one minute, then drain in a colander.
- Fry your bacon in a large skillet or cook in the microwave according the microwave directions on your package of bacon.
- When your bacon has reached desired level of doneness (more or less crispy), remove from the pan. Drain and let cool a little, then crumble.
- Discard all but 1 Tbsp. bacon grease. Add 1 Tbsp. olive oil to the same pan and increase the heat to medium-high.
- When the grease is hot, add the onions, ginger, and garlic. Stir frequently until the onions begin to soften.
- Add the drained green beans to the pan and stir fry another 2-3 minutes until beans are tender-crisp.
- Add the sugar and soy sauce and stir for another 2-3 minutes.
- Add the crumbled bacon and stir. Taste and see if it needs any more salt.
- Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle with freshly-ground black pepper if desired.
For more great sides, try these! (Then scroll down to pin the image for this post)