Family Recipe: Garlic & Green Beans!

August 9, 2005



One fantastic dinner is spread out on the table before Mr. R., Miss A. and Lauren. Enough food for twice their number. But the trio doesn’t even notice the extensive preparation as they are absorbed in the company of each other.



And if he didn’t yell “Cut!” when he did, I thought I was going to die!

MR. R.

I’m fairly certain he did that on purpose.

Laughs all around.


This movie just gets more insane every day.

Lauren sits back and smiles contentedly.


Let’s just hope it earns us all an insane amount of money.

The conversation continues, the food gets cold. But it doesn’t matter to Caryn because unbeknownst to anyone in the room, she has snuck out.


Caryn stands before the mini-bar fridge in her room. She has emptied out the tiny bottles and chocolate bars and replaced it with some of her own groceries.

A bag of green beans ages gracefully on the middle rack, but Caryn selects it anyway. She snags a head of garlic that also looks like it has seen better days.

Hot oil heats in a wok, rigged up to a hot plate. Caryn sets about cleaning the green beans. She is hungry and tired. She has big plans for these beans.


Most of the cast and crew on this movie are asleep. Caryn, however, is cleaning up the vast mess that was left for her. She periodically grabs one of her green beans, now transformed into a salty, garlicy creation.

Mr. R. enters wearing a plush hotel bathrobe tied loosely at his waist and drying his wet hair with a small towel. A green bean hangs from Caryn’s mouth when she spots him. She quickly munches it up.


I thought you went to bed.

MR. R.

Nah, just in the shower. What are you doing here so late?

She pauses in her work and contemplates his question.


Mr. R., I really think I need some time off. When we get to Ohio tomorrow, I’d like to take two days for myself.

The seasoned actor lowers the towel from his head with the precise amount of concern.

MR. R.

Um, sure. Take whatever you need.



The pair stands in silence for a moment. Caryn considers the pile of dishes still on the table.


Okay, good night.

She grabs her green beans and answers his previous question by a quick exit to her room.

Uncle Barry’s Garlic & Green Beans

My Uncle Barry, born and raised in China, is one of the best cooks I know. He has many perfected dishes in his repertoire, but he is always willing to experiment. This dish is one of the most requested at family dinners. Use a wok as a frying pan if you have it.

1-2 lbs. of green beans

3 tsp. finely chopped garlic

vegetable oil


1. Remove the tips and strings of green beans.

2. Soak the green beans in water for about two minutes and drain off the water.

3. Heat enough oil to cover beans until very hot. Deep fry the green beans until there are wrinkles (about 3 to 5 minutes).

4. Remove the beans from frying pan and drain off oil from pan.

5. Add garlic to pan and roast for 30 seconds. Add green beans and salt.

6. Let garlic and green beans sit for about 2 minutes (over low heat, to get the garlic flavor). Serve.

13 thoughts on “Family Recipe: Garlic & Green Beans!

  1. tara

    Yay, you’re back! I adore fried and sautéed green beans. I frequently pan roast them over high heat in a similar fashion, letting them get blistered and brown. I will definitely try your method.

  2. leannwoo

    Just like the ones I make and LOVE. Now I need to go to the store and get some green beans. :)

    You had me worried, it had been so long between pages. I am glad that Caryn took some time off. She has been working too hard. Mr. A needs to give her a raise.

  3. keiko

    Hi Caryn – I’m glad you are back. I love to cook green beans like you do, we have fine beans and dwarf beans here in the UK – they look very similar but fine beans taste nicer…

  4. Gracianne

    Caryn, I was really missing tour stories! Great recipe too, I have fresh green beans from my parent’s garden, I think they will go through the oil tonight.

  5. Brandon

    We eat these beans just about once a week (subbing olive oil for the vegetable oil) at our house, but my husband’s family claims them firmly for Spain–Galicia to be exact. We don’t soak them however; I’m curious, do you know how this adds to the process?

  6. Amber

    Yum! I was just wondering if you used regular green beans or the long snake variety ? I suppose both would be lovely. A Chinese friend of mine prepares snake beans this way and they are delicious.

  7. caryn

    Wow! Such a warm reception in returning to blogland! Thank you!

    To answer the questions: Brandon, I really have no idea what soaking the green beans for 2 minutes does. Maybe Barry can respond with his answer? Amber, I use regular green beans, but they were longer than usual. I’m sure the snake beans would be great, but I would cook them for a shorter period because the snake beans are a little thinner, no? Just my thoughts.

    Yes, Moira, Uncle Barry has many other great recipes. I only have a few of them…but will be seeking more!


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