Spicy Green Beans

This might be my new favorite treatment for vegetables. I have big plans to try it with every single vegetable out there… until then, here is the green bean version!

I love green beans because they’re so fast and easy to cook. A quick boil or steam and then they’re ready for any flavor that you want to throw at them. I like my green beans cooked just until tender, but still with a very slight crunch. Always bright green and never mushy. There’s a sweet spot between raw and fully cooked, but that’s just me.

I used Sambal Oelek (chili paste) to flavor the beans. The kind I used is made by the same brand as our beloved Sriracha Sauce (Huy Fong Foods) and is usually available at most places that sell Sriracha. They also make a similar sauce, called “chili garlic sauce” that would be equally good in this recipe. Just find some sort of crushed chili paste and you’ll be good to go.

This recipe takes about ten minutes to cook and is SUPER good!

Spicy Green Beans

Spicy Green Beans

5 from 4 votes

Spicy Green Beans

Szechuan spicy green beans are a quick and easy side dish to any Asian inspired meal.

Total Cost $2.16 recipe / $0.54 serving
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 7 minutes
Total Time 12 minutes
Servings 4


  • 1 lb. green beans $1.67
  • 1 Tbsp butter $0.11
  • 1 tsp brown sugar $0.02
  • 2 Tbsp chili paste, sambal $0.34
  • a pinch salt $0.02


  1. Snap the stem end off of each green bean and snap the longer beans in half. Place the snapped green beans in a colander and rinse well.
  2. Place the rinsed green beans in a medium pot and add enough water to just come up to the top of the green beans. Bring the pot to a boil, with a lid, and let boil for about 5 minutes or just until tender. Alternatively, you can steam the green beans if you have a steaming basket.
  3. Drain the boiled green beans. Add the butter, brown sugar, and sambal to the warm pot (with the burner turned off) and mix until combined. Add the drained green beans back to the pot and toss to coat. Add a pinch of salt and serve.

Spicy Green Beans

Step By Step Photos

snap green beans
Start by snapping the stem off of the green beans and snapping the long ones in half. Rinse the green beans well.

add water
Place the rinsed green beans in a pot and add enough water to just come up to the top of the beans.

boil beans
Bring the pot up to a boil and let it boil for about five minutes or until the green beans just become tender and bright green. You can steam them instead of boiling, if you prefer. (I used to have a steaming basket, but lost it)

drain green beans
Drain the green beans.

sambal oelek
This is the sambal that I used. As I mentioned, this brand also makes a “chili garlic paste” that looks almost identical and would work equally as well in this recipe. It just has more of a garlic flavor.

sauce ingredients
Add the butter, brown sugar, and sambal to the still warm pot – with the heat turned OFF.

sambal sauce
Let the butter melt and stir it all together.

add green beans
Add the green beans back to the pot and stir to coat. I originally used only 1 Tbsp of sambal, but then realized that I wanted more, which is why there is some on top in the photo.

spicy green beans
I could have easily eaten the whole batch, but in reality it’s probably about four small side dish sized portions.