Five-Spice Green Beans

By: Todd Porter and Diane Cu

Cooking up Asian-themed recipes is a staple in our kitchen. There hardly goes a day when we don't have a meal that has some type of Asian-inspired flavors and spices. These dishes are second nature to us; from the techniques to the ingredients, it all comes rather easy to us.

Unfortunately, we have friends who are so intimidated by Asian recipes that they would rather go out to eat than to even try cooking. Perhaps it's the thought of exotic spices and ingredients that keeps them from whipping up even the simplest recipes. But it's definitely understandable when there are recipes that require a long list of unfamiliar ingredients, spices and cooking tools.

One of our goals is to always create Asian recipes for the novice cook. Starting from a simple recipe, the cook can continue to be encouraged to pursue the more extensive Asian recipes. All it takes is some quality five-spice powder to make a simple green bean dish Asian-inspired.

We prepare our favorite fresh vegetable, like green beans, and quickly stir-fry it in a pan with this five-spice powder, instantly transforming a bland dish into an amazing side with just one tablespoon. These five-spice green beans are quick, wonderfully healthy and accessible for the novice cook.

All it really takes is some encouragement, fresh quality ingredients and a great bottle of spice. From there, the Asian food world will start to open up in your kitchen. Fingers crossed, our friends will get excited and start making us Asian meals!

Five-Spice Green Beans Recipe
Ingredients:
  • about 1 pound fresh green beans, cleaned and ends trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • about 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 medium garlic clove, finely minced
  • about half an onion, sliced (yellow or red)
  • 1 tablespoon five-spice powder

1. In a saucepan, heat oil, then add the garlic and onions. Cook onions and garlic until fragrant and slightly brown.

2. Add green beans and cook for about 2 minutes until almost tender. If the pan is too dry, add about one to two tablespoons water. Then add five-spice powder, and stir well into green beans. Cook for about another minute or until green beans are tender.

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