Ginger, tahini, and spicy sriracha lend interesting flavor notes to this Asian-inspired fresh green beans side dish… Spicy Sesame Green Beans is a perfect side dish with your Asian-style main, and comes together in 15 minutes!
Variety’s the very spice of life, That gives it all its flavor.
— William Cowper, British poet.
My maternal grandmother, Cecil Webb, was an amazing Okie cook (her self-description), and one of many that nurtured my early love of cooking. I loved her slow-simmered fresh green beans with bacon. As my culinary tastes developed a more global flavor, my green beans followed suit. My Spicy Sesame Green Beans would probably be described as eclectic or fusion in style. They are definitely Asian-inspired, and delicious!
This dish could not be more simple. I typically use haricots verts – young thin green beans – because no snapping is required! Sesame tahini – a paste made from ground, hulled sesame seeds – is an ingredient commonly used in North African and Middle Eastern cuisine. Of course the ginger, garlic, sriracha, soy, and rice vinegar are more typically found in Asian cuisine. These ingredients when combined work really well together… While the green beans steam, the sauce ingredients are whisked together and heated. When the green beans are crisp-tender, they get tossed in this flavorful sauce, drizzled with a bit of sriracha, and sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds. Voilà, it’s ready!
Spicy Sesame Green Beans pair well with my Miso and Orange Glazed Butterflied and Roasted Chicken, Butterflied Korean Chicken, grilled teriyaki chicken, grilled pork chops with a spicy rub, and grilled ahi tuna with miso glaze. It is very versatile. It’s a great buffet/entertaining dish, as it is good either warm or at room temperature. We would probably pour a crisp, dry white wine like an unoaked chardonnay, viognier, or sauvignon blanc…
Spicy Sesame Green Beans
- 1 lb. fresh haricots verts or young green beans, rinsed and stemmed if necessary
- sea salt
- 2 tbsp. tahini
- 1 tbsp. rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp. tamari or soy sauce
- 1 tsp. fresh ginger minced
- 1/2 tsp. garlic minced
- 1 tbsp. sesame oil
- 1 tsp. sriracha (see notes)
- 2 tbsp. stock or water
- 1 tbsp. toasted sesame seeds
- Sriracha to drizzle optional
- Steam green beans until barely tender. Do NOT overcook! I steam them 8 minutes in my Oster steamer, and they come out just the way we like them.
- While the green beans steam, whisk the sauce ingredient together in a small saucepan - tahini through stock or water. Gently heat the mixture just until hot but not boiling.
- When green beans are tender, drain if necessary. With the steamer, they're not sitting in water. Sprinkle lightly with salt if desired.
- Toss the green beans with the sauce. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds, and drizzle with a bit more sriracha if desired.
- Serve immediately (warm) or at room temperature. Enjoy!
Sriracha sauce provides the heat in this recipe. Adjust according to your personal taste.
Macronutrients (approximation from MyFitnessPal.com): 132 calories; 4 g protein; 17 g carbohydrates; 9 g fat.