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Top down view of sauteed green beans with fresh basil in a white patterned bowl over a soft blue background and fresh green and purple beans on the side.
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5 from 4 votes

sweet and savory sautéed green beans with basil

This quick and easy green beans recipe is packed with flavor. The aroma of fresh basil and garlic make this dish irresistible. Fresh green beans sautéed in a hot pan and finished with cooking sake, mirin, a drizzle of low sodium soy sauce, and fragrant basil. It's amazingly delicious and a bit addicting, yet super easy. Enjoy it while it’s hot or as leftovers!
prep time10 mins
cook time5 mins
total time15 mins
course: Side Dish
cuisine: Chinese, Japanese, Seasonal
keyword: basil, green beans, quick recipe, stir-fry
difficulty: easy
servings: 4 people
author: cindy chou


  • 1 teaspoon grapeseed oil (or another neutral oil with a high smoke point such as canola oil)
  • 8 ounces thin green beans (haricot verts and waxed beans work well), tips trimmed
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons cooking sake
  • 2 cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves
  • 2 teaspoons mirin
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce, low sodium


  • Heat a medium sauté pan (12-inch) on medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot, add grapeseed oil followed by green beans. Sauté by tossing green beans in the pan with tongs or chopsticks occasionally to allow even cooking.
  • When green beans are slightly charred (about 3 minutes), add sliced garlic and stir. Wait 30 seconds for garlic to become aromatic and add cooking sake to deglaze the pan. Cook until green beans are slightly tender and become brighter green (about 2 minutes).
  • Add fresh basil leaves, mirin and stir.
  • Mix in low sodium soy sauce, remove from heat immediately and transfer to a serving bowl.


GREEN BEANS VARIETY PREFERENCE: Haricot verts, also known as French green beans, are thinner and slightly shorter than green beans. I prefer using haricot verts for sautéed or stir-fried green beans because they are more tender and quicker to cook.
SUBSTITUTIONS: You can substitute mirin by using 3 teaspoons of cooking sake instead or substituting with a dry white wine and adding ½ teaspoon of granulated cane sugar with the low sodium soy sauce at the end. Make sure to use low sodium soy sauce instead of regular so the flavor of the green beans aren’t overpowered.
tried this recipe?Mention @thesoundofcooking or tag #thesoundofcooking! I'd love to see what you made.