Spicy Stir-Fried Thai Green Beans

Green Beans In Wok
James Baigrie
Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Total: 20 mins
Servings: 2 to 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
354 Calories
3g Fat
63g Carbs
21g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2 to 4
Amount per serving
Calories 354
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 3g 4%
Saturated Fat 1g 3%
Cholesterol 18mg 6%
Sodium 1338mg 58%
Total Carbohydrate 63g 23%
Dietary Fiber 20g 70%
Protein 21g
Calcium 201mg 15%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This spicy green bean recipe is simple to make and addictively good. Similar to Chinese stir-fried green beans, this Thai version makes a wonderful side dish or you can enjoy it on its own for lunch or as a light dinner. Note that this recipe is not vegetarian. When making this recipe, don't be shy with the chilies and serve it with plenty of plain steamed rice to balance out the intense saltiness and spiciness.


  • For the Stir-Fry:
  • 4 to 4 1/2 cups fresh green beans
  • 2 to 3 strips bacon
  • 1 shallot (or 1/4 cup purple onion, finely chopped)
  • 4 cloves garlic (finely chopped or minced)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried crushed chili
  • Optional: 1 red bell pepper (chopped up into small pieces)
  • For the Stir-Fry Sauce:
  • 1/2 teaspoon shrimp paste
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons dark soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce (plus more to taste)
  • 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar

Steps to Make It

  1. Combine the stir-fry sauce ingredients together in a cup, stirring well to dissolve the sugar. Set aside.

  2. Fry the bacon in a wok or large frying pan until medium-done. Remove from heat and pour off half the fat.

  3. While letting the bacon cool, prepare the beans by snipping off the ends and cutting them into 2- to 3-inch lengths. Prepare the other ingredients.

  4. Remove bacon and cut it into small pieces. We follow the Asian method here by using a pair of clean scissors–makes the job quick and easy!

  5. With half the bacon fat still in the wok/pan, place over medium-high heat. Add the bacon pieces, shallot/onion, and garlic, plus 1 to 2 tablespoons water—just enough to get a good sizzle. Stir-fry until garlic is fragrant (1 minute).

  6. Add the beans, plus the red pepper (if using) and chili. If needed, also add a little more water to keep the ingredients frying nicely (1 to 2 tablespoons). Stir-fry 2 to 3 minutes.

  7. Add the stir-fry sauce, stirring well, then cover with a lid and let cook 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  8. For this dish, it is best if the beans are chewy rather than soft. Try one—if it's not tender enough, continue stir-frying another 1 to 2 minutes.

  9. Taste-test the stir-fry for flavor, keeping in mind that this dish should taste primarily salty and spicy (the saltiness is balanced out when served with plain rice). We usually add 1 more tablespoon fish sauce as well as another sprinkling of fresh or dried chili. If it's too salty for your taste, add a squeeze of lime juice.

  10. Serve with plenty of plain rice and ENJOY the strong flavors of this dish!


  • This dish pairs beautifully with a crisp, clean lager, especially if you've made it spicy-salty.