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Stir-Fried Szechuan Green Beans & Shiitake Mushrooms

4.5 stars based on 7 votes

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 dish does just that. I’d put it up against any Chinese restaurant — plus it’s easy to make.


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.

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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.

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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.

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This is what you’re going for…

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

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

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

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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).

Stir-Fried Szechuan Green Beans & Shiitake Mushrooms

Servings: 4 as a side dish


  • 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


  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.

Reviews & Comments

  • 5 stars

    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 on August 16, 2016 Reply
    • 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!

      - Jenn on August 17, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    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!

    - Aviva Goldfarb on March 11, 2016 Reply
  • 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 on January 11, 2016 Reply
    • Renee, sorry it’s not more clear! The garlic should be minced. Hope you enjoy!

      - Jenn on January 12, 2016 Reply
      • 5 stars

        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!

        - Renee B on January 12, 2016 Reply
  • Can this be made with frozen green beans?

    - Polly on January 8, 2016 Reply
    • Polly, while I think you’d get the best results with fresh green beans, frozen ones can be used in a pinch!

      - Jenn on January 8, 2016 Reply
  • 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 on January 8, 2016 Reply
    • 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.

      - Jenn on January 8, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    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!

    - Andrea on July 8, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    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!!

    - martyr on October 13, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    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!

    - Andrea on June 26, 2014 Reply
  • Is there any substitute for dry sherry? As I don’t consume alcohol.

    - Sadaf on March 10, 2014 Reply
    • Hi Sadaf, Unfortunately, there is no good non-alcoholic substitute for dry sherry. Sorry!

      - Jenn on March 12, 2014 Reply
      • 1 stars

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

        - Alexis on April 8, 2016 Reply
        • 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.

          - Virginia on July 20, 2016 Reply
  • Mm! This was scrumptious. I just served it up with dinner. I love how the mushrooms soak up the sauce. Thank you!

    - Kahht on April 28, 2013 Reply
  • 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.

    - Ashley N on March 9, 2013 Reply
  • 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!

    - Van on January 1, 2013 Reply
  • 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.

    - Christy on November 8, 2012 Reply
  • Delicious, did not change a thing!

    - Anne Pagano on October 2, 2012 Reply
  • 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!

    - Amber R on May 17, 2012 Reply
  • 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.

    - Brecken on March 8, 2012 Reply
  • This is a nice alternative to my usual green beans and almonds dish.

    - Kyle on March 6, 2012 Reply
  • 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!

    - Angela on March 5, 2012 Reply
  • 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.

    - Jena on March 5, 2012 Reply
  • Looks great! I’ve never added dry mustard to my stir fry…can’t wait to try it

    - Elizabeth on March 2, 2012 Reply
  • Wow!! This looks great. Love szechuan.

    - Megan on March 1, 2012 Reply
  • Super healthy and easy to make. Thanks!

    - Sandy on March 1, 2012 Reply
  • wow! this looks really good:) i have always love the combo of grean bean and mushrooms for stir fry! thank you for sharing this.

    - blackbookkitchendiaries on March 15, 2011 Reply
  • 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.

    - Danita on March 10, 2011 Reply

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