Grilled Green Beans with Chile-Soy Sauce

This recipe was originally published casual in my run of zines. You can read more about the project and also see what other projects I've have as well.

I’m happiest when cooking over a grill, using the pizza oven, or taming the flames of a campfire. This means I’ve attempted to cook just about everything using fire. There are obvious choices, such as grilled summer sweet corn. However, I also enjoy grilling items that aren’t always a first thought when thinking about grilled food. For example, these grilled green beans. 

a close-up of grilled green beans in a chile soy sauce.

Grilled Green Beans for summer meals

Grilled green beans are great for two reasons. First, the char from the fire adds a bonus layer of flavor. Then, the cooked beans soak up the flavor of any sauce or dressing you might like to use! 

If using an oven or pizza oven, I recommend preheating a cast iron skillet before adding the green beans. The time in this intense heat must be short to keep the green beans from overcooking. Preheating the skillet will decrease cooking time! I recommend picking up a grill basket if cooking over an open flame.

No Sad Green Beans

The key to cooking these grilled green beans is the two stages of cooking. Blanching is first, which soften the green beans just slightly. Then a quick grilling to finish the cooking with a nice char. Given green beans are thin, it’s easy to overcook. 

The goal is to have a tender pod with some bite left. With too little or too much cooking, the beans will still have too much bit or be sad and textureless. 

Some of this will depend on the variety and freshness of the beans. I recommend testing the beans during blanching and grilling to find the texture you enjoy best. 

A photo of grilled cheese beans with crispy onions in a low white bowl.

A couple notes

  • Bean variety: Any fresh green bean will work, but I like to use the long runner family pods, such as romano beans for an extra beautiful presentation. 
  • Bean freshness: If your green beans are a bit older and seem limp, trim the ends and place them in a bowl of ice water. Let the beans sit for an hour, then drain and use them immediately. 

Serving Ideas

  • Tofu Bowls: I often use these green beans as the flavor component for a tofu and rice bowl with grilled or crispy tofu. If going this route, I double the sauce so there is enough to use with the tofu. 
  • Fried eggs: Green beans and eggs are a favorite combination of mine. Serve these green beans with a scoop of cooked grains and your favorite egg choice, such as poached, fried, or jammy,
  • Pizza Side: Take advantage of a hot oven or pizza oven to cook these green beans before or after baking the pizza. The green beans are excellent at room temperature, but when blanching, I recommend cooking for a little less as they will continue to cook while they rest (and back to the no-soggy beans)!  
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Grilled Green Beans with Chile-Soy Sauce

2 servings
Cooking vegetables with the help of fire has a magical element, so whenever I light the pizza oven, I always root through my garden and refrigerator to see what I can cook. Green beans have become a go-to over the years; they don’t need much to make them shine.
Green Beans
  • ½ pound green beans (trimmed)
  • 1 teaspoon sunflower oil
Chile-Soy Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sambal oelek
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 small garlic clove (minced)
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • ¼ cup crispy onions (divided)
  1. To blanch the green beans: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and prepare an ice bath. Blanch the green beans until just tender, 3-4 minutes. Transfer to the ice bath. Once cool, drain the green beans, pat dry, and toss with the sunflower oil.
  2. To make the chile-soy sauce: Place the sambal oelek, soy sauce, garlic, brown sugar, and 2 tablespoons of the crispy onions in a medium bowl. Stir to combine and set aside.
  3. To char the green beans: Preheat a pizza oven, grill, or broiler to medium-high heat along with a medium heat-safe skillet (preferably cast iron). Once hot, carefully place the green beans in the preheated skillet. Return to the heat and cook until the green beans are lightly charred—this should only take a minute or two, depending on your heat source.
  4. To serve: Immediately transfer the green beans to the bowl with the sauce. Toss to coat and let cool slightly, tossing occasionally. Transfer to a small serving platter and finish with the remaining crispy onions.

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Welcome to my little internet nook. On this site you'll find over a thousand vegetarian recipes, pantry knowledge, and more. I'm ever obsessed with food from gardening, cooking, and preserving. I hope you'll find endless inspiration on these pages and visit often. 

Virtual hugs, Erin (aka: e.l.l.a.)

a few good grain recipes

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