This green bean salad is so easy, and almost completely make ahead. Just throw it together at the last minute and expect rave reviews!
Such a dilemma! I couldn’t decide what to call this delicious veggie combination…
Honey Ginger Green Beans? Asian Green Beans and Peas? Honey Sesame Green Bean Salad? Sesame Ginger Green Beans? Peas and Green Beans – Asian Style? Green Bean Salad with Sesame and Ginger? Utterly Addictive Asian Green Bean? What do you think?
The problem is that they all describe this super simple, delicious, make-ahead side or salad. Oh yeah, that’s part of my predicament too! This Sesame Ginger Green Bean Salad is wonderful served at room temperature as a salad, but also makes a fabulous side, served hot, with grilled or roasted pork, chicken, shrimp, etc. I served it for a healthy lunch recently with pan-seared salmon – very yummy! So, should I call it a salad or a side? See what I mean?
These Asian-inspired green beans are definitely high achievers in the make-ahead category
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. These Asian-inspired green beans are definitely high achievers in the make-ahead category, leaving less than 5 minutes of preparation at serving time.
Actually the whole 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 sauce, really more of a glaze, for my beans is just a matter of stirring together a splash of oil, fresh, minced ginger, honey, soy sauce, sesame oil and a touch of Siracha sauce, for a bit of heat. For a pretty presentation and a bit of crunch, I added a handful of sesame seeds, both light and dark. Black sesame seeds are sometimes a little harder to find, so feel free to substitute all light-colored – the black are really just for a fun appearance!
With a name like Sesame Ginger Green Bean Salad, I feel like the poor peas might feel like second class citizens.
Although they’re snubbed a bit in the title, don’t leave them out! They add a sweet touch and 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 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 picnic or potluck, we gotcha covered! Whatever you decide to call it, everyone else will be calling it delicious, for sure. Bon Appetit to you and yours!
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- 2 lbs. haricots verts or slender green beans trimmed
- 1 tablespoons sunflower 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
- 2-3 teaspoons light sesame seeds
- 2-3 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 3 1/2 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.
- 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 1/2 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 or at room temperature.