The Season's Tastiest Snack: Sriracha Green Beans

It's been a good summer for green beans in my part of the country. We've had them in salads. We've had them in soups. We've steamed them and tossed them with butter and almonds and had them alongside steaks and barbecued chicken. We've crunched them raw and shared them with the dog. But my favorite way to enjoy them is lightly steamed and then glazed with a spicy-sweet sauce that has me finding all kinds of menus to work them into and just making a batch (or three) to just have as a snack!

If you don't like sriracha, you can probably substitute a different kind of hot (or mild) sauce. Since there's the addition of honey or maple syrup (which I tend to use, but also understand it can be expensive and harder to come by), the heat in the sriracha is fairly tamed, to the point that my tween daughter will gobble these up and then lick her fingers clean!

As mentioned earlier, these can be a lovely side dish to any number of main courses, but I actually just love making a big batch along with other garden-based dishes that are great for nibbling and calling it a meal. After all, before you know it, cool winds will bring us our first frost and snow fall will be just beyond that. So now, while fresh vegetables are still center stage, why not make them the star of the show?

Sriracha Green Beans

  • 1 pound green beans, washed and trimmed
  • 2 T. soy sauce (gluten-free or regular)
  • 2 T. honey or maple syrup
  • 1 T. sriracha, plus extra to taste
  • 1 T. sesame oil
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1-2 tsp. black sesame seeds

Steam the green beans lightly, 3-5 minutes, until crisp-tender. Fill a large bowl with ice water and set aside.

While the green beans cook, whisk together the sauce by combining soy sauce, sweet chili sauce, and sriracha.

Empty the beans into a colander to drain; then quickly add them to the ice water to halt the cooking process. Drain once cool.

Heat a skillet over medium heat and add the sesame oil to it. Sauté the minced garlic for 30 seconds, or until fragrant, then add the green beans to the skillet. Mix well to coat the green beans with the oil and garlic. Add the sauce and allow to simmer for a couple minutes, uncovered, to thicken the sauce. One the desired tenderness is reached, stir so the sriracha glaze coats the green beans. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds, toss once more, and serve immediately.

  • Yields: 4 servings
  • Preparation Time: 20 minutes