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Chinese Dry-Fried Green Beans

Beautifully blistered and glistening with a just-enough slick of spicy, savory, garlicky oil, these Chinese restaurant-style dry-fried green beans are a scene-stealing side that’s ready in a flash.


dry fried green beans in a skillet with red chillies and garlic cloves

Because We Can’t Order Take Out EVERY Night.

Our Sichuan-style (also spelled Szechuan) green beans recipe is inspired by the deliciously blistered Chinese-style green beans that are included in every take-out order we place, because they’re just too good. Ultra-flavorful, usually pretty spicy and super garlicky, too, we just had to figure out how to how to fry green beans at home the way that our favorite Chinese restaurant does. Turns out, the secret to getting that uniquely crispy, chewy texture is a stir-frying technique called “dry-frying”.

dry fried green beans in a skillet with dried chillies and sliced garlic cloves

Don’t Fear the Dry-Fry!

If you’ve mastered the stir-fry—or, if not “mastered” it, at least tried it a few times—you’ll be pretty comfortable with dry-frying. Dry-fried green beans are probably the most well-known dish—at least in the U.S.—that is made using this unique, Sichuan-style cooking technique. Taking a moment to get a handle on this simple skill will ensure that your Chinese-style green beans come out blistered and beautiful. Dry-frying is:

  • Quick, but not TOO quick. The dry-fry is a technique that intentionally dries out the food that’s being cooked—in this case to make our spicy green beans recipe. Stir frying the green beans in hot oil causes them to release moisture and take on a crisp-chewy texture.
  • Oily, yes, but not greasy. We love the rich, nutty flavor of toasted sesame oil, but plain vegetable oil has a much higher smoke point, so there will be less smoke in your house when making a stir-fry like this. You can use either for this dish, OR split the difference and use a little of each—flavor from the sesame oil, and a raised smoke point thanks to the vegetable oil. Win-win!
  • Admittedly, kind of splatter-y. So keep the kids far away from the stove. Hot oil + kids = so many tears, and SO much mom guilt.

Sichuan? Szechuan?—Please Explain.

Broadly speaking, when you see the word Sichuan or Szechuan being used to describe a dish, you can expect some degree of spicy heat. Sichuan (this spelling is used interchangeably with “Szechuan” as both are just English-language phonetic spellings of the Chinese character for this part of China: 四川) is a province in southwestern China that is well-known for its agricultural bounty, and especially associated with its famous red peppercorns (hua jiao). We like to work with those unusual peppercorns sometimes—who doesn’t love a fun new ingredient?—but for this dry-fried green beans recipe we’ve opted to approximate their heat with the easier-to-find heat of regular old red pepper flakes. Our Dan Dan noodle recipe is another great Sichuan dish to make at home.

ingredients for Chinese dried fried green beans garlic, peppers, sesame oil, soy sauce

How To Make Dry-Fried Green Beans

Our riff on this Chinese green bean stir-fry recipe is all about simplicity. A lot of dry-fried green bean recipes call for you to first fry the Asian-style green beans in a lot of oil, then drain the oil and quickly cook the blistered beans with lots of garlic, chili peppers and soy sauce. But, seriously, who has the time to deal with draining super-hot oil and making that kind of mess? We’ve streamlined the journey from fresh green beans to dry-fried green beans, and they’re still gorgeously, crisp and super delicious. Here’s how to make Chinese-style green beans using those newly-minted dry-fry skills:

  1. Wash & trim your green beans. Any green bean will work fine for this stir fry—haricot verts, string beans or even Chinese-style long (also knowns as yard-long) beans.
  2. Get your oil good and hot! Medium-high heat.
  3. When it’s hot and glistening, add your green beans. Keep them moving around in the pan until they’re blistered and crispy.
  4. Add everything else to the pan and give it all a quick stir-fry to infuse the garlic and chilies into the oil.
  5. Serve!
charred green beans in a skillet
green beans, thinly sliced garlic cloves and dried red chillies in a skillet
dry fried green beans in a skillet with raw garlic slices and dried red chillies
dry fried green beans with dried red chillies and garlic in a skillet with sauce

Tools You’ll Need:

Other Quick & Easy Asian-Inspired Recipes To Try Tonight!

So, Did You Give Dry-Fry a Try?

It’s so good, right? Snap a photo of your Chinese-style dry-fried green beans and maybe even a video of the beautiful people you shared them with. Tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper. Happy eating!

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Chinese Dry-Fried Green Beans

  • Serves: 4
  • Prep Time:  5 min
  • Cook Time:  10 min
  • Calories: 101


  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil or vegetable oil
  • 12 ounces green beans, trimmed
  • 6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 12 dried chili peppers or 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil is glistening, add the green beans and cook, stirring often, until they are blistered, but remain slightly crunchy, about 8 minutes.

  2. Add the garlic, chili peppers, soy sauce and sugar to the pan. Cook, stirring, until garlic is fragrant and liquid is bubbling, about 1 minute longer. Serve warm.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories101
  • Protein2 g
  • Carbohydrates9 g
  • Total Fat1 g
  • Dietary Fiber2 g
  • Cholesterol0 mg
  • sodium241 mg
  • Total Sugars4 g

Chinese Dry-Fried Green Beans

Questions & Reviews

Join the discussion below.

  • Gerry

    Can you use frozen green beans (thawed)?


  • Jenn

    These were so good! I could easily eat the whole pan!

    Thanks Jenn!