Stir-fry chicken with green beans is an easy and healthy recipe to make. My recipe has a simple cooking hack to help you prep the green beans to stir-fry evenly. Read on for classic Cantonese-style stir fry tips. This post was updated on 10/12/2023 with minor edits for readability.
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A Favorite Chinese Restaurant Dish
Our family had a fun winter vacation and now it’s back to our usual routine with a renewed goal of being healthier in 2015 with more physical activity and healthy food choices. For that reason, I decided to make a simple, quick, and easy chicken with green bean stir fry which is one of our favorite Chinese restaurant dishes.
Whenever we go out to eat, I ask my children to pick a dish that contains vegetables and they ask for chicken with green bean stir fry. The green beans are crispy and tender, the chicken is tender and juicy, and all of it is covered with a delicious sauce. The dish is a bit too oily for my preference as I suspect the green beans are blanched in oil first. I know that there is a way to make crispy green beans without actually blanching them in oil but I couldn’t remember in which recipe or cookbook.
What I came across instead was a recipe for “Dry-Fried Green Beans with Pork” in (affiliate link) Williams-Sonoma: Food Made Fast Asian
Cantonese Style Stir Fry Basics
One of the most requested recipes by Nut Free Wok readers’ request are allergy aware stir fry recipes. There are so many permutations of meat/tofu/fish plus vegetables plus sauce, I could write a cookbook someday. But for now, it is important to point out that the correct way to make a stir fry usually has the following basic sequential steps:
- Prep your ingredients and set aside. Wash and chop vegetables, cut dense pieces like carrots small and thin so they cook quickly. Quick cooking vegetables can be cut slightly larger and added into a stir fry at a later time.
- Marinate the meat or make a sauce. Not both, otherwise the dish will be too salty.
- Use your favorite chicken cut. For this recipe, I recommend using chicken tenders for easy prep and tasty chicken. Boneless skinless chicken breast will work too but you need to cut the pieces smaller.
- Heat up a wok or large pan and when it’s hot enough to make a drop of water sizzle, add oil, and swirl to coat.
- Add aromatics such as shallots, onions, ginger, garlic, etc. and saute for 30 seconds until fragrant but not burnt
- Add meats and stir fry until no longer pink/raw on the outside.
- Add the veggies. At this point if the vegetables are delicate, parboiled, or quick cooking, then you can just add them to the stir fry and finish with a sauce.
- But if the vegetables are slow to cook, then take the meat out, add a little more oil to the pan and stir fry the vegetables with a splash of water if needed (1-2 tablespoons) until tender crisp, add the meat back in, add the sauce and stir fry until heated through and the sauce is absorbed or thickened.
Allergy Aware Substitutions
This recipe is free of peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, dairy, fish, and sesame as written.
If allergic to corn, omit cornstarch and use an equal amount of potato or tapioca starch instead.
If allergic to soy, you can make soy-free soy sauce or a soy sauce alternative. Or you could check out my list of soy-free soy sauce alternatives. People who are allergic to wheat, can opt to use a gluten-free tamari sauce.
People with a seafood allergy might try a vegan alternative to oyster sauce such as mushroom sauce. In my experience, it’s a little more watery, so you might want to reduce the water for the sauce. You can also omit the soy and oyster sauce and use 1/2 cup of chicken broth to make the sauce instead of water.
If you need product recommendations, refer to my post What’s in Nut Free Wok’s Cupboard? Allergy Aware Ingredients.
Additional Stir Fry Recipes
Since I originally shared this recipe, I have shared many other Chinese or Cantonese style stir-fries. Here are just a few that are my favorites:
- Broccoli Beef Stir Fry, Chinese Take Out Style Recipe
- Fast & Easy Chicken Stir Fry with Vegetables Recipe: New Comfort Food
- Healthy, Easy Chicken Tenderloin Stir-Fry Recipe
- Broccoli Stir Fry with Ginger and Garlic Sauce Recipe
- Asparagus Beef Stir Fry Recipe, Nut-Free & Delicious
Chicken & Green Beans Stir-fry
Stir-fry chicken with green beans is an easy and healthy recipe to make. My recipe has a simple cooking hack to help you prep the green beans to stir-fry evenly.
- 1 pound green beans 2 inch pieces
- 1 pound chicken tenders or boneless skinless breasts
- 1 tablespoon olive oil divided
- 1 tablespoon corn starch divided
- 1/2 cup room temperature water
- 2 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon oyster sauce or more soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 1/4-inch slice ginger peeled and minced
- 2 stalks scallions chopped
Fill a 4 quart (or medium) pot halfway with water and bring to a boil. While waiting for the water to boil, prepare green beans by trimming to 2 inch pieces. When the water boils, parboil the green beans for 2-4 minutes until they're bright green. Drain and set aside.
Slice chicken tenders crosswise into 1/4 inch thickness OR cut chicken breasts into 1 inch strips lengthwise, slice crosswise, and place in a mixing bowl. Add 1 teaspoon of olive oil and 1 teaspoon of cornstarch to the chicken, and mix, set aside.
Make a sauce by combining water, soy sauce, oyster sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, with remaining 2 teaspoons of cornstarch in a small bowl, set aside.
Mince garlic and ginger, set aside.
Chop scallions, set aside.
Preheat a large nonstick frying pan on medium heat (5 minutes) until a drop of water sizzles. Add the remaining 2 teaspoons of olive oil, swirl to coat pan, add garlic and ginger, stir fry for 30 seconds or until fragrant.
Add the chicken to the pan and spread the pieces out, allow the meat to sear for 1 minute and then stir fry until no longer pink on the outside (2-3 minutes).
Add scallions and green beans and stir fry for a minute.
Stir the sauce a few times and add to the stir-fry, stirring until the sauce thickens (1-2 minutes), bubbly, and everything is heated through.
Transfer to a serving bowl and serve immediately.
Cooking times may vary depending on equipment used. If you use a wok or a stainless steel pan, you can preheat and stir fry on medium high heat, but the stir fry might cook much faster, so adjust your heat and time accordingly. If for some reason, your sauce seizes up and becomes lumpy, add 1-2 tablespoons of water and keep stirring.