Wok Seared Green Beans

Wok Seared Green Beans with Toasted Sesame Seeds Recipe

Wok Seared Green Beans with Toasted Sesame Seeds Recipe

Once upon a time there was a lovely girl and her fabulous friends.  They enjoyed frequenting a nearby restaurant, Umami.  Though most of the food was just tasty, the Wok Seared Green Beans were D-LISH and made the trip completely worth it.  Sadly, Umami was replaced by a Five Guys (also tasty, but no green beans), and my quest to recreate them began.

NOTE: Almost of all of my recipes that don’t involve the exact science of baking will have approximate ingredients.  So have fun with it.  I do!  Don’t be afraid you “can’t cook”.  As my wise and charming Mom would say, “if you can read, you can cook”.  So often I just season things to taste, and I jot down approximately how much I use.  Adjust to your taste!  This freestyle way of cooking does NOT translate to baking.  Baking truly is like a home chemistry set, and amounts, times, and temperatures are very important!  But that still doesn’t make it difficult, if you can read…

Allergy Aware: This recipe is vegan, and can be gluten free if you simply use GF soy and teriyaki sauce, and check your vinegar.



1 lb. fresh green beans, cleaned and trimmed

2 T. -ish sesame oil

2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped or use a garlic press

Sauce Ingredients – 2 T. -ish of the following

soy sauce

teriyaki sauce

rice vinegar (or anything handy, balsamic might be too flavorful)

brown sugar

toasted sesame seeds to toss – to toast, simply heat in a dry pan on medium high and stir occasionally.



Blanch your green beans by taking a large pot full of lightly salted water and heating to a rolling boil.  Add green beans and cook for 3 minutes.  Strain contents with a colander and plunge in an ice bath to stop cooking.  Beans should still be bright green, not overcooked and mushy!

Heat sesame oil in a wok or large skillet over medium high heat.  When the oil starts to shimmer, saute the garlic until golden.  Add green beans.  Don’t move them!  Let them sear for a bit.

Whisk together the sauce ingredients.

Check your green beans and stir them lightly.  When you’ve reached a nice sear on them, there should still be many moments of bright green, reduce heat to medium and toss with your sauce.  Let the sauce bubble a little, the sugar will caramelize, reduce and thicken slightly, you can add a scant tsp. of cornstarch to thicken it more if you like, but I don’t bother with it.

Transfer beans and ALL the yummy sauce to a serving bowl, toss in seeds and serve.

As usual, the sauce is the best part!

As usual, the sauce is the best part!

This is really tasty with a grilled cheese sandwich (obviously not vegan or gluten free, sorry).

Grilled Cheese and Wok Seared Green Beans

Grilled Cheese and Wok Seared Green Beans


What do you enjoy them with?  Nothing, is a perfectly acceptable answer.  Don’t tell, but when Sweet Q is a work for the evening, I’ll make my whole dinner of just these green beans.  Sooooo tasty!


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