This Sesame Ginger Green Bean Salad is easy and almost completely make-ahead. Throw it together at the last minute - and then, expect rave reviews!
It's your choice.... serve this delicious Sesame Ginger Green Bean Salad cold or at room temperature for a beautifully vibrant, fresh salad that's perfect for picnics, pot lucks and parties. You can also serve it warm as a wonderful side for grilled or roasted entrees. One thing that's not your choice, however, is leftovers. Don't expect any!
A wonderful make-ahead salad
If you're a frequent flyer here at The Café, you probably already know I'm a big fan of recipes that can be prepped in advance. It makes serving family meals, as well as entertaining, so much less stressful if there's minimal last-minute fussing.
This Asian-inspired green bean salad recipe is definitely a high achiever in the make-ahead category. Once it's prepped, the salad will come together in less than 5 minutes, just before serving. See the Café Tips below for just how to prep this salad in advance.
What are Haricot Verts?
Actually, this whole green bean salad recipe probably takes less than 15 minutes total time, especially if you use the long, thin green beans known as haricot vert (they require virtually no trimming). Haricot vert sounds kind of fancy (or maybe strange), but it's simply "green beans" in French.
In France, the green beans are longer and thinner than most of the varieties we grow here in the States. Haricot verts are becoming more and more common here though, and I frequently pick up a big bag of these tender green beans at Costco or Sam's Club. They only take 4-5 minutes to cook and that can be done early in the day. Then stash the beans in the fridge. Right before your meal, they just need to be warmed, and you're good to go.
The secret's in the glaze!
The dressing for this green bean salad, (really more of a glaze), is super simple, just combine a splash of oil, fresh, minced ginger, honey, soy sauce, sesame oil and a small squirt of Siracha or chili garlic sauce.
For a pretty presentation and a bit of crunch, I added a handful of sesame seeds, both light, and dark. You can purchase a mix of sesame seeds at lots of larger grocery stores these days as well as chili garlic sauce. Often they're called tuxedo sesame seeds. If you can't find black sesame seeds or the combination, feel free to substitute all light-colored seeds.
Don't omit the peas!
Although they're snubbed a bit in the title (Sesame Ginger Green Bean Salad), don't leave the peas out! They add a sweet touch plus lots of fun texture and eye appeal. Since frozen peas are blanched before freezing, I simply allow them to thaw before combining with the beans before serving.
That's about it! So whether you're looking for an easy, fresh and healthy side to serve with grilled, roasted or pan-seared entrées or a fabulous, fun and unique salad to take to a party, picnic or potluck, we gotcha covered with this Sesame Ginger Green Bean Salad! Bon Appetit to you and yours!
Café Tips for making this Sesame Ginger Green Bean Salad
- The steps are simple and few in this recipe, but follow them carefully. The beans are blanched (briefly cooked) in boiling water then drained and "shocked" in a bowl of ice water before draining one more time. This blanching/shocking technique is what makes the beans crisp, yet tender and super delicious.
- Frozen peas are already blanched so they just need to be thawed before adding to the salad.
- I like to look for "tiny" frozen green peas for this recipe. They're bright green, sweet and look beautiful in this salad.
- To make this Sesame Ginger Green Bean Salad ahead, blanch and shock the green beans early in the day. Wrap them in a cloth or paper towel and refrigerate in a ziplock bag. Thaw the peas in the refrigerator then drain before adding to the salad. Prepare the sauce and refrigerate. Just before serving, follow the instructions below for glazing.
- I like to keep a tube of Ginger Paste in my freezer. It's basically pureed fresh ginger in a tube. It keeps for a long time in the freezer. I just pull it out and let it thaw for about 5 minutes, then squeeze out as much as I need and throw the tube back in the freezer. Ginger Paste is available at Super Targets, Publix, Super Walmarts and lots of other larger grocery stores.
- If you can't find Haricot verts (French green beans), use regular green beans. Look for the youngest, slenderest ones you can find. They will require a minute or two of extra cooking time.
- Sriracha sauce is a spicy chili sauce. You can find it in the Asian section at most larger grocery stores or online. You also could sub the same amount of chili garlic sauce.
- This is a delicious (and beautiful) side for our Honey Coriander Make-Ahead Salmon or this Korean Honey Sesame Grilled Chicken!
Thought for the day:
Oh magnify the Lord with me,
let us exalt his name together.
I sought the Lord, and he answered me;
He delivered me from all my fears.
Those who look to him are radiant;
their faces are never covered with shame.
What we're listening to for inspiration:
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This Sesame Ginger Green Bean Salad recipe was originally published in 2015. We've updated the post and photos as it's one of our favorite fresh, healthy salad recipes and is way too good to be lost in The Café archives of over 1,000 recipes. Enjoy!
- 2 pounds haricots verts or slender green beans trimmed, if using regular beans
- 1 tablespoon sunflower oil or other neutral tasting oil oil
- 1 tablespoon finely minced or grated fresh ginger
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon sriracha sauce
- 1 cup tiny frozen peas thawed
- 2 teaspoons light sesame seeds
- 2 teaspoons black sesame seeds
Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Prepare a large bowl of ice water (I do this right in my sink.) Have a large strainer ready to drain the beans.
While water is heating, prepare sauce (glaze) by combining oil, ginger, honey, soy sauce, sesame oil and Sriracha in a small bowl.
Add beans to boiling water and cook for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally (if your beans are really small and thin, only cook for 3½ minutes). Drain well and immediately plunge into the bowl of ice water (this will stop the cooking process) then drain again and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Shake strainer occasionally to remove as much water as possible.
Spread drained beans out on several thicknesses of paper toweling or a clean kitchen towel and pat to dry as much as possible. At this point, beans can be wrapped in dry paper towels, placed in a ziplock bag and refrigerated till just before serving.
When ready to serve, heat a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add sauce and stir continuously for 1-2 minutes or until sauce is bubbly and starting to thicken slightly.
Add green beans and stir gently for 2-3 minutes or until veggies are glazed and warmed through. Add peas and sprinkle with about ½ teaspoon of kosher or regular salt and a generous grind of fresh pepper. Stir again for 30 seconds. Sprinkle with light and black sesame seeds. Serve hot, cold or at room temperature.
See Café Tips above in the post for more detailed instructions and extra tips.
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