Easy Chinese stir-fry with green beans and ground beef. Packed with flavors and a crowd favorite, and only takes less than 15 minutes of cooking time.
Green beans and ground beef stir-fry is one of my family’s favorite dishes to enjoy green beans. This dish is really easy to prepare once you finish gathering and preparing all the ingredients. Once you start cooking, it will come together in under 15 minutes.
This dish is very forgiving with the ingredients. You can use either fresh green beans or frozen green beans, and you will end up with the same lovely dish.
You can also substitute the ground beef with ground pork, ground chicken, or ground turkey to suit your family’s preference. And if you are planning to go with a meatless dish, you can even use crumbled firm or extra-firm tofu to substitute for ground meat.
What are the ingredients for this green beans stir-fry dish?
The main two ingredients will be green beans and ground beef.
For the aromatics, we will need garlic, onion, and red chilies. I use regular yellow onion, but feel free to sub with red onion or even shallots. For red chilies, instead of Fresno chilies, you can use cayenne or bird-eyes for a spicier dish, or bell pepper for a super mild version.
For the sauce, we will use Shaoxing wine, soy sauce, oyster sauce, kecap manis (Indonesian sweet soy sauce), tomato ketchup, sugar, and ground pepper.
Shaoxing wine is a Chinese cooking wine. The most suggested substitution is dry sherry, but if you stock other Asian cooking wine, such as Japanese sake, or Chinese white rice wine (mi jiu), those would actually work better.
Kecap manis is Indonesian sweet soy sauce. I find that the best substitute would be an equal mixture of soy sauce and coconut palm sugar. So 1 tbsp kecap manis = 1⁄2 tablespoon soy sauce + 1⁄2 tablespoon coconut palm sugar.
Since this is a Chinese dish, I prefer using Chinese light soy sauce. My favorite light soy sauce is Pearl River Bridge or Kimlan. Feel free to use any soy sauce, though I highly suggest choosing a reduced-sodium option if possible.
And finally, we will need a tapioca starch slurry, which is a mixture of tapioca starch and water. We will use this to thicken the sauce at the end of our cooking time. You can also use cornstarch if you wish.
How to cook green beans and ground beef stir-fry
First, heat oil in a wok over medium-high and sauté garlic and onion until the onion starts to wilt. Then add red chilies and stir for 30 seconds.
Next, add ground beef and stir until the meat is no longer pink.
Then, add all the sauce ingredients (Shaoxing wine, soy sauce, oyster sauce, kecap manis, tomato ketchup, sugar, and ground pepper), and mix well.
Next, add green beans and mix. Cover the wok with a lid, and cook until the green beans are al-dente. About 5 minutes if using fresh green beans, and about 8 minutes if using frozen green beans.
Finally, thicken the sauce by adding tapioca starch slurry and stir until the sauce is thick.
Turn off the heat and transfer to a serving plate to serve with some steamed white rice.
Green Beans and Ground Beef Stir Fry
- 2 tablespoon oil
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 3 red chilies (or 1 red bell pepper), seeded and sliced
- 450 gram (1 pound) ground beef
- 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
- 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
- 2 tablespoon oyster sauce
- 3 tablespoon sweet soy sauce (Indonesian: kecap manis)
- 4 tablespoon ketchup (Indonesian: saus tomat)
- 2 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground pepper
- 450 gram (1 pound) baby green beans, trimmed and cut into halves
- salt, to taste
- tapioca starch solution (1 tablespoon tapioca starch + 2 tablespoon water)
- Heat oil in a wok over medium-high and sauté garlic and onion until the onion starts to wilt. Then add red chilies/red bell pepper and stir for 30 seconds.
- Add ground beef and stir until the meat is no longer pink.
- Add all the sauce ingredients (Shaoxing wine, soy sauce, oyster sauce, kecap manis, tomato ketchup, sugar, and ground pepper), and mix well.
- Add green beans and mix. Cover the wok with a lid, and cook until the green beans are al-dente. About 5 minutes if using fresh green beans, and about 8 minutes if using frozen green beans.
- Adjust salt and pepper as needed. Then thicken the sauce by adding tapioca starch slurry and stir until the sauce is thick.
- Turn off heat, transfer to a serving plate and serve with steamed white rice.