Chef Hetty McKinnon's Green Beans with Black Bean Sauce


  • Vegetable oil
  • 9 ounces green beans, trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon toasted white sesame seeds
  • Sea salt and black pepper, if needed

Homemade black bean sauce

  • 1/2 cup fermented black beans
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon red chile flakes
  • 2 tablespoons Shaoxing rice wine
  • 2 teaspoons tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil


  1. For the black bean sauce, place the beans in a colander and rinse under cold running water. Drain well. Tip the beans into a small bowl and mash with the back of a fork or spoon to form a rough paste. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.

  2. Place a wok or large frying pan over high heat. When hot, add a good drizzle of oil and swirl the wok or pan to coat the surface. Add the green beans and cook for about 2 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons of black bean sauce, along with about 3 tablespoons of water, and toss for another 1-2 minutes, until the beans are bright green and tender-crisp. Taste and season with sea salt and black pepper if necessary—you could add more black bean sauce if you wish. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds and serve with rice.


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