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Cold Garlic and Soy Green Beans

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Enjoy Cold Garlic and Soy Green Beans as a side dish, appetizer, or snack. No matter how you choose to serve these freshly flavored green beans, you’re going to love how unique and delicious they are!

A white plate is topped with a large serving of marinated garlic and soy green beans.

You know what I go crazy for during hot summer days? Cold food! Not any cold food, though – I’m talking about food that’s specifically meant to be eaten cold. There’s so much more to life than ice cream and cold fruits, too. Cold Garlic and Soy Green Beans are the BEST summertime snack or side when you want something savory, not sweet.

My mom made this side for us all the time when we were growing up. It was one of our favorites and we’d always ask for weekly repeats! That’s how you know it’s good – when kids are asking for more veggies on their plates. With green beans this fresh and flavor packed, it’s not a hard task to dig in and enjoy them!

I always make sure to blanch the beans just enough that they don’t get soggy and soft. I’m very particular about crisp beans, just like I am with my broccoli. This is still a great simple and yet so flavorful side dish to have on a hot day! Serve them crisp and cool, and enjoy.

A fork and knife are placed next to a large serving of garlic and soy green beans on a white plate.

What You’ll Need:

  • Green Beans – Make sure they’re nice and fresh! You’ll want them to be totally green with no dark spots and pretty firm to the touch.
  • Soy Sauce – I use a low sodium soy sauce to keep the beans from being too salty. Coconut aminos or tamari also work as a gluten free option.
  • Garlic – Use fresh garlic for this recipe for the best flavor.
  • Sesame Oil – The slightly nutty flavor that sesame oil has does wonders for the overall flavor of this simple dish. Don’t substitute it with any other oil!
  • Sugar – White granulated sugar is best here. It helps to balance the other bold ingredients while also adding a subtle touch of sweetness.
An oval shaped white plate is topped with a pile of marinated green beans.

How to Make Cold Garlic and Soy Green Beans

For more detailed instructions, scroll to the bottom of this post.

Blanch the beans. Blanch the green beans in a pot of boiling water for about 4-5 minutes and no longer. Toss them into an ice bath immediately after.

Combine the ingredients. Once drained, toss the green beans in a zip-top bag with the other ingredients. Shake it up!

Marinate. Let the beans cool and marinate in the fridge for an hour. Give them a toss, then marinate for an additional hour.

Enjoy! Give the beans a final toss just before serving. Enjoy them nice and cold!

Tongs, soy sauce, and utensils are placed next to a serving of green beans.

Common Questions

Can I marinate the green beans for longer? I don’t recommend letting the green beans sit in the marinade for over 2 hours. At 2 hours, the beans adapt the flavors but maintain their crisp consistency. If you leave them for longer, you risk the beans losing that desired crunch.

Can I use frozen green beans? Only use fresh green beans for this recipe! Frozen or canned green beans will NOT yield the same results as fresh.

A close up of a white plate that is has a large serving of garlic and soy green beans.

Add some vibrant color to your plate with more of my favorite veggie side dishes!

Broccoli Salad

Za’atar Cucumber Tomato Salad

Sticky Korean-Style Cauliflower

Pistachio Pesto Brussels Sprouts

Cold Garlic and Soy Green Beans

A quick and easy side dish that has great flavors!
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 5 minutes
Servings: 4
Author: Julie Chiou
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Ingredients 

  • 1 pound fresh green beans
  • cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • ½ tablespoon granulated sugar

The default measuring system for this website is US Customary. Unit conversions are provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. While we strive to provide accurate unit conversions, please be aware that there may be some discrepancies.

Instructions

  • In a large pot of boiling water, blanch the green beans for 4-5 minutes, no longer, and then throw them in an ice bath to stop the cooking. Ice bath meaning a large bowl of water with ice in it.
  • Drain the beans and water.
  • In a large ziploc bag, put in all the ingredients, zip it tightly and shake it all around until all beans are covered.
  • Let cool in the fridge for 1 hour then toss them around again in the bag and cool for another hour.
  • Toss the beans around prior to serving.
  • Enjoy cold.

NUTRITION FACTS

Serving: 1 serving | Calories: 88 kcal | Carbohydrates: 12 g | Protein: 4 g | Fat: 4 g | Saturated Fat: 1 g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2 g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1 g | Sodium: 772 mg | Potassium: 326 mg | Fiber: 3 g | Sugar: 5 g

This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Asian
Keyword: side dish ideas
Recipe Rating




Jkf

Wednesday 13th of January 2021

These are fantastic! I made them to have with ham sandwiches on Christmas day. Please don't wait until summer to make them. There was leftover marinade that was so tasty, we added it to some sour cream with a little horseradish and it made a tasty dip. I also used a container to avoid using plastic bag, like another person mentioned.

Geraldine

Friday 24th of July 2020

Oh my gosh, I am a very OLD cook with years of experience all over the world in a kitchen. A dear North American friend I met in. Jamaica fifty years ago sent me your site. WO W , love your recipes for vegan and Vegetarin foods. You may be assured I will share this good luck with many. I. Closed my bakery in. Spain years ago, hence....plenty of time to enjoy your recipes. Cheers, Geraldine in. Spain

Zoë

Monday 23rd of September 2019

I love this recipe so much! I just made a whole batch ahead to snack on over the week. I make it in a Tupperware container rather than a ziplock bag to save on plastic waste ?

Wayne

Thursday 9th of May 2019

My question was for the Asian string bean marinade.

Wayne

Thursday 9th of May 2019

Greetings from New York

Your recipe sounds great.

Quick question.

Is it toasted sesame seed oil or not toasted?

Thank you.

Julie Wampler

Saturday 11th of May 2019

It doesn't matter which. Whichever one you have on hand is great! My preference, if it matters, is toasted.