These Chinese Baked String Beans are full of sweet and spicy flavors that meld together in an easy, no-fuss recipe. With just a few basic ingredients and one pan, you’ll have crispy string beans on your table in no time!
Quick poll– are they string beans or green beans? Maybe we should all just compromise on “green string beans.” Frankly, though, they taste the same no matter what you call them, kind of like how “a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”
What does matter is how you prepare said beans. At home we used to always have them sautéed with a garlicky soy sauce dressing and scallions. Then my mom started steaming them, while her sister mixes them with sautéed mushrooms and onions. But then I have to stand there and watch the string beans or stir the other vegetables, and it was a rushed Friday afternoon when I didn’t have time for that.
Instead, I did what I always do in those situations and threw them into the oven (thank goodness no one was already using it). Wham. Bam. Done. I’m telling you, easy prep dishes like baked string beans are a lifesaver. You can get work done, maybe a quick workout to get the blood flowing, and not feel stressed that you didn’t cook for dinner. Now, repeat after me.
When in doubt, bake it out.
This is my mantra. Use it whenever you need a reminder that you’ll be ok even if you don’t know how to make something or need to multitask. It even applies for those situations that have you itching for a good procrasti-baking session. I can tell you from personal experience that somehow stress melts away as soon as you crank up the oven. It’s like magic.
As are these Chinese baked string beans. They taste like the ones you buy from the Chinese place nearby, minus all the MSG. I know it might be hard to accept the change, but just try it once this way and I think you’ll come around.
It all began with a splash of this and a sprinkle of that. Mostly because it’s almost spring break and Pesach (Passover), so I’ve been trying to limit the groceries I buy. Case in point– this week is looking like defrosted soup from a month or so ago, the last few eggs in the carton, canned salmon, and a small batch of baked string beans to get in my daily dose of greens.
Simple, fast, minimal ingredients. Regardless how I say it, the message is the same, you’ll just have to try it yourself to fully understand.
I’m sure there are more ways to convince you. Maybe I could tell you about the barely charred edges that reach optimal crisp level. Or I could describe the spicy/sweet flavor combination that’s about to explode in your mouth. I could really say a lot of things, however I need to get back to that work I was talking about earlier.
If you try this recipe, I’d love your feedback. Leave a comment below, save it on Pinterest, or tag #lensesandlentils on Instagram so that I can see your creations!
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1½ tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp honey
- ½ tsp chili powder
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- black pepper to taste
- 1 lb string beans, washed and trimmed
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Whisk together the first 6 ingredients, then taste and add black pepper as needed. Toss to coat the string beans.
- Lay out in a single layer on an unlined baking sheet.* Bake for 20-25 minutes, broiling for 1-2 minutes at the end.
- Let cool completely before storing in the fridge.