Stir-Fried Szechuan Green Beans & Shiitake Mushrooms

Tested & Perfected Recipes

You’ll be amazed at how authentic these Szechuan green beans taste — plus, they’re so easy to make.

szechuan green beans

Too often meat takes center stage at the dinner table and vegetables are left with mere supporting roles. Or at least that’s how it is my house. Dinnertime is hectic and sometimes it’s not until I’m calling everyone to the table that I realize “Ahh, I forgot to make something green!” At which point, frozen peas or broccoli are rushed into the microwave.  Sometimes it’s good to mix things up a bit and give vegetables the spotlight, and this Szechuan green beans do just that. I’d put it up against any Chinese restaurant — plus it’s easy to make.

What you’ll need to make Stir-Fried Szechuan Green Beans & Shiitake Mushrooms

ingredients 

As with any stir-fry, the key to success is to have all your ingredients ready and prepped before you start cooking. You don’t want to get stuck mincing a garlic clove while your ginger burns in the pan.

How to make Stir-Fried Szechuan Green Beans & Shiitake Mushrooms

Szechuan string beans 18

Begin by preparing the sauce. Combine the soy sauce, water, dry sherry, sesame oil, sugar, corn starch, red pepper flakes and dry mustard in a small bowl and set aside.

sauce

Next, heat a few tablespoons of vegetable oil in a large nonstick pan until very hot. You’ll know it’s ready when it starts to shimmer. Add the beans and stir-fry until tender, puckered and browned.

Szechuan string beans 21

This is what you’re going for…

After cooking

Transfer the green beans to a plate, then add the shiitake mushrooms to the pan. Cook for a few minutes until slightly browned.

Szechuan string beans 12a 

Add the minced ginger and garlic and stir until just fragrant.

Szechuan string beans 13a 

Finally, add the beans back to the pan with the sauce. Toss to coat while the sauce thickens.

Szechuan string beans 14a

That’s all there is to it. Technically, this dish serves four but my husband and I can polish off the whole thing easily. You could serve it as a side dish to any simply broiled fish or meat, or as a vegetarian main course with rice or noodles.

This recipe was inspired by More Best Recipes (from the editors of Cook’s Illustrated).

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Stir-Fried Szechuan Green Beans & Shiitake Mushrooms

You’ll be amazed at how authentic these Szechuan green beans taste — plus, they’re so easy to make.

Servings: 4 as a side dish

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce (use gluten-free if needed)
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons dry sherry
  • 1/2 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
  • Vegetable oil
  • 1 pound green beans, ends trimmed
  • 7 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, whisk the soy sauce, water, dry sherry, sesame oil, sugar, cornstarch, red pepper flakes and mustard together. Set aside.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over high heat until very hot and shimmering. Add the beans and cook, stirring frequently, until tender, puckered and browned, about 7-10 minutes (cooking time will depend on the size of the beans). Transfer beans to large plate.
  3. Add 1 teaspoon oil to pan. Add shiitake mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3-4 minutes until slightly browned. Reduce heat to medium, then add the garlic and ginger and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 20 seconds. Return the beans to the pan and add the sauce. Toss and cook until the sauce is slightly thickened and the vegetables are evenly coated, about 10 seconds. Transfer to serving dish and serve immediately.
  4. Note: This recipe works best with thinner green beans (but not the super thin French haricots verts). If your beans seem really long, thick or a bit tough, cut them in half so they cook evenly (there may be just a few in the bunch that you need to cut). Also, be sure beans are dry, otherwise oil will splatter.

Gluten-Free Adaptable Note

To the best of my knowledge, all of the ingredients used in this recipe are gluten-free or widely available in gluten-free versions. There is hidden gluten in many foods; if you're following a gluten-free diet or cooking for someone with gluten allergies, always read the labels of your ingredients to verify that they are gluten-free.

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Reviews & Comments

  • Excellent. I didn’t have any mushrooms but made it plain, still delicious.

    • — rose perper on September 12, 2019
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  • Made this last night, such a hit!! My husband loved it!

    • — Naureen on March 13, 2019
    • Reply
  • This is a very good recipe. Turned out perfectly. Sauce is yummy.

    • — Josephine on February 3, 2019
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  • This is one of the first recipes I tried from Once Upon a Chef and it is one I go back to time and time again. Whenever I see fresh green beans on sale I pick some up and also some shiitake mushrooms—everything else need for the recipe is already in my pantry 😊

    • — Denise Glennon on March 6, 2018
    • Reply
  • I think my son would love this. I only have frozen green beans on hand. Would that work? Thaw first? Thanks!

    • — Leslie on December 14, 2017
    • Reply
    • Hi Leslie, I think you’d get the best results with fresh green beans but, frozen ones can be used. You can cook them straight from the freezer. Hope you son enjoys!

      • — Jenn on December 14, 2017
      • Reply
      • Thank you!

        • — Leslie on December 14, 2017
        • Reply
  • These green beans were delicious! I never would have thought to prepare green beans this way! Thank you again for the quality and breadth of your recipes. As a busy mom with two kids under two, we are in a stage of life where it is really hard to go out to eat. Now that I have found your blog, your recipes make it exciting to eat at home. I actually prefer eating at home now to eating out!

    • — Julie on November 16, 2017
    • Reply
    • 😊

      • — Jenn on November 16, 2017
      • Reply
  • This looks delicious. Do dry Shiitake mushrooms have more flavor? Would this sauce taste good over green beans that have been blanched the night before & refrigerated. Will cook the mushrooms
    garlic & ginger & return the warmed beans to the pan & add the sauce.

    • Diane, dried mushrooms do have a lot of flavor, if you’d prefer to use them. (You would need to soak them in water to reconstitute them.) And yes, I think you could cook the beans in advance and then reheat in the pan with the sauce. Enjoy!

  • This is an excellent recipe! My husband made it tonight as written and said it was the best vegetable dish he’s ever made. Thank you!

  • I’m prepping these right now and will cook them when my husband gets home. There’s no mention of what to do with garlic. Slice, mince, dice, chop, smash, leave whole? I can’t wait to try them!

    • Renee, sorry it’s not more clear! The garlic should be minced. Hope you enjoy!

      • Thanks, we MORE than enjoyed them! I minced after looking at the first photo. Another of your fantastic recipes that will be in our regular rotation. Tonight we’re having your Pasta e Fagioli. It’s delicious and a perfect cold weather comfort food. I started prepping it this morning. Honestly, half of our meals have one or more recipes from you. Thanks!

  • Can this be made with frozen green beans?

    • Polly, while I think you’d get the best results with fresh green beans, frozen ones can be used in a pinch!

  • How long can I keep Sherry and how should I store it? Are there other Once Upon a Chef recipes that call for this ingredient. This recipe looks delicious but I don’t have Sherry. I would be willing to purchase a bottle to use, if I knew it would be able to be used for other recipes.

    • Danielle, There are a several recipes on the site that call for sherry; a couple of which are Beef with broccoli and Oven Baby Back Ribs. For cooking purposes, you can probably keep a bottle for up to a year. Store sherry in a cool, dark place (the fridge is okay too), preferably upright to minimize the contact area with the air inside the bottle.

  • Excellent recipe! My 2 year old loved these so much she kept asking for more! The rest of the family thought these were delicious as well. Will definitely be making these again!

  • Was looking for low calorie stir fry for veggies. Came across this recipe. I used frozen mixed veggies and added a couple others….it was delicious!!! I know I need to eat more veggies but plain is blah….will never lose this recipe!!

  • Wow! Cooked this last night and it was delicious. Had to sub rice wine for the sherry, don’t have any sherry in the house, but it was still gorgeous. Thanks for the recipe, I shall definitely be making it again. Even my confirmed veggie hating partner liked it!

  • Is there any substitute for dry sherry? As I don’t consume alcohol.

    • Hi Sadaf, Unfortunately, there is no good non-alcoholic substitute for dry sherry. Sorry!

      • I do not appreciate your negativity. You must realize some people don’t have bad habits like drinking alcohol. Thank you.

        • You realize the alcohol cooks down, right?
          She was being honest, not negative. Not all recipes have to cater to people who abstain. It’s not a slight.

        • I don’t think Jennifer has a negative bone in her body. She is an excellent food blogger and very gracious if you ever had a chance to meet her in person. She was simply stating, in her opinion, there are no good substitutes. There was no negativity intended, I am sure. Simply leave out the product if you must stay away from such a ‘bad habit’.

          • — Stacy on October 17, 2018
          • Reply
  • Mm! This was scrumptious. I just served it up with dinner. I love how the mushrooms soak up the sauce. Thank you!

  • This is the only dish that my family will eat with green beans and if green beans aren’t available I substitute broccoli or asparagus. I serve along side with steak and white rice.

  • I substituted the sherry for xiao xing cooking wine. Mine ended up coming out really salty, so I added a lot more sugar to balance out the taste. The result was flavorful and fantastic! I might tweak it a little more next time, like using less oil. But thanks for the recipe!

  • I have personal issues with measuring quantities 😉 I kind of just wing everything and say, “ohh well that looks like a cup…”

    That being said, I tried as best to follow the measurements of the recipe, but regardless of that, the flavors are all there! My husband was so surprised at how closely a similar dish at our favorite Chinese restaurant , he ate up the whole thing praising himself for choosing me as his wife LOL

    The only thing I had to change was the sherry. I didn’t want to have to go to the supermarket when I had everything else–so i read somewhere that you can replace it with some kind of acidic juice, diluted with water. Not sure how much it changed the flavor, but it still tasted great.

  • Delicious, did not change a thing!

  • I love stir-fried beans you can get at Asian restaurants, so I had to try this. It is delicious! I made last night as a side dish to grilled teriyaki chicken. I did not have shitake mushrooms, so I had to sub cremini’s but other than that I stuck to the recipe. The sauce is so good so I served over white rice so it would not be wasted. Will definitely make again!

  • Hmmm… dinner side maybe? I think I have all that stuff. Except the sherry. Can’t keep sherry around my house for too long.

    Just kidding. Maybe.

    But I really must try this.

  • This is a nice alternative to my usual green beans and almonds dish.

  • Totally as good, if not better, than the take out stir fried green beans that I love from my local Chinese restaurant. Gotta love being able to control the quality of the ingredients – yum!

  • Found this last week and made it twice over the weekend. We loved it. Made once w/ green beans and the second time w/ asparagus and it was awesome. We love anything w/ mushrooms and have been trying to incorporate more green w/ dinner so I easily identified w/ this blog. This was an easy recipe which I appreciate. Thanks for something we’ll make again and again! So glad to have found this site.

  • Looks great! I’ve never added dry mustard to my stir fry…can’t wait to try it

  • Wow!! This looks great. Love szechuan.

  • Super healthy and easy to make. Thanks!

  • wow! this looks really good:) i have always love the combo of grean bean and mushrooms for stir fry! thank you for sharing this.

  • Can’t wait to try this. Your roasted green bean recipe with the fresh lemon and pine nuts is now one of our family favorites.

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