Sauteed Green Beans with Potatoes (豆角煸土豆)
October 10, 2020
Sauteed Green Beans with Potatoes is a super simple and flavorful dish, yet it requires very few ingredients. This homey dish originated from Northeastern Chinese cuisine (东北菜). The dishes there are known for their large portions, robustness, and full-bodied flavors; resulting from the cold climate in Northeast China.
As the weather gets colder and colder, I will for sure be making some dishes from Northeastern Chinese cuisine. My grandparents lived in Northeastern China for many years, so their cooking also included some dishes from that region. I particularly crave those hearty stews and braised meat dishes during the cold winter, which I will share in the coming months.
Back to today’s recipe. Green beans with potatoes actually has many different versions. Some require sauteing or stir frying, while others require braising and simmering. The combination of potatoes and green beans works phenomenally well after being slowly sauteed. Potatoes and green bean’s natural flavors get further enhanced by soy sauce and garlic, resulting a savory and robust dish that goes extremely well with plain rice. In fact, I can easily down a large bowl of rice with only this dish for company.
Green beans take some time to cook through, so how do I prevent green beans from being under cooked? Blanching them first is a good way to reduce the time needed for sauteing. You definitely do not want to under-cook green beans, as they will taste raw and bitter.
Gluten Free1, Vegan
Active Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 2-4 people
- 1 lb (~450g) green beans
- 2 medium potatoes or 1 large yellow potato
- 4 garlic gloves
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt (or 1/8 teaspoon table salt)
- 2 tablespoons light soy sauce1
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- Heat a large pot of water under medium-high heat. While waiting for the water to boil, wash the green beans and remove the two ends. When the water starts boiling, add the green beans and a few drops of vegetable oil. Blanch the green beans for 2 minutes only. Take them out after two minutes. Rinse the green beans with cold water immediately and drain thoroughly. Pat dry with paper towels.
- Peel the potatoes’ skin and cut them into evenly sized long strips. Rinse the potato strips and drain thoroughly. Pat dry with paper towels.
- Mince the 4 garlic gloves. First smash the garlic gloves with a meat pounder or cleaver to quickly remove the skin. Then gently rock the chef’s knife back and forth across the pile of garlic to mince it.
- Heat a large non-stick pan or well seasoned cast iron skillet under medium heat. When the pan is getting hot, add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil, then the green beans and potato strips. Add the 1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt, stirring to combine. Use tongs to turn the green beans and potato strips often enough to cook evenly and to prevent browning. Saute the green beans and potato strips together for about 10 minutes or until both have cooked through. (Green beans will look wrinkly and will have turned to a more lush green. Potatoes will be soft to the bite.) Transfer to a plate.
- Clean the pan with water or a paper towel. Then heat the same pan under medium-high heat (you can also use a new pan or skillet like I did here). When the skillet is getting hot, add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil, followed by the minced garlic, stirring for a few seconds to release the fragrance from garlic. Add back the cooked green beans and potato strips, gently stirring them together with the minced garlic for a few seconds. Then add the 2 tablespoons of light soy sauce and 1/2 teaspoon of sugar, gently stirring and mixing for a minute. Transfer to a plate and enjoy!
- If you are gluten sensitive, make sure to use gluten-free soy sauce or tamari as most soy sauces these days by default contain gluten.