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Stir-Fried Beans and Potatoes

Updated: Sep 27, 2023

Every dish I cook is special to me. Each recipe comes with a story. Stir-fried beans and potatoes is a humble but delicious dish that comes from the Northeast region of China. My family is from Jinagnan, south of the Yangtze River. This dish isn't a family heirloom but instead a recipe my paternal grandparents learned from a neighbor while living in the north during the 70s.

Though my grandparents passed away a long time ago, my dad and aunts have been enjoying this delicious dish for decades, making it a cherished family recipe. Now I'm cooking it for my family.


2 Servings

  • ½ lb green beans (string beans, french beans, pole beans)

  • 1 medium Yukon potato or peeled russet potato, ½ lb

  • 2 cloves of garlic

  • Light soy sauce

  • Dark soy sauce

  • Cornstarch

  • Vegetable oil (corn, canola, peanut, soybean)

  • Salt

  • Sugar


1. Cut potatoes into french fries size, 1 ½ -inch long. Rinse to remove starch. Drain and pat dry.

2. Wash the beans and pat dry. Snip the tip and pull off the string on one side of the slightly curved beans.

3. Break each bean in half and pull off the string on the other side.

4. Coarsely cut 2 cloves of garlic.

5. Mix 1 Tbsp light soy sauce, 1 tsp dark soy sauce, 1 tsp cornstarch, 1/3 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp sugar in a bowl. Then add 1/4 cup of water.

6. Heat 1/3 cup of oil in a wok over medium-high heat. When the oil starts to smoke, add beans. Stir frequently. You can use less oil and pan-fry the beans.

7. Fry beans for 1 to 2 minutes until the skin wrinkles. Adjust the heat to avoid burning. Remove the beans from the wok and set them aside.

8. Fry potatoes until soft but not mushy, about 2 minutes.

9. Discard most of the oil. Leave 1 Tbsp in the wok. Stir-fry garlic until fragrant. Add the fried beans and potatoes.

10. Whisk the sauce mix, and add it to the wok. Toss the beans and potatoes over medium heat until the sauce thickens.

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