When you’re at the Chinese restaurant thinking, “I could do that with way less oil…”

This is your recipe! It’s got all the best ingredients of a good Chinese-style stir fry: Green beans, sesame oil, ginger, and garlic. Your place will smell like a restaurant and sig others or roommates will wonder what’s cooking, and whether any of it’s for them.

You might be wondering why there isn’t any rice — I mean, we need grains according to our new Food Guide, right? Well, I find this so protein and veg-packed that I don’t feel like rice is needed, though you could easily serve it on the side. Save the extra calories, I say!


1 tbsp sesame oil
1 1/2 tsp freshly grated ginger
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp rice vinegar
3 tbsp soy sauce
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
3 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp starch*
2 tbsp water

1 tbsp oil
14 oz extra firm tofu block
4 tsp starch
2 c green beans, with tips chopped and halved
2 carrots, cut lengthwise
Sesame seeds, for garnish

Drain the tofu for at least 20 minutes using a tea towel, plate, and a weight (I use my cast iron skillet – but open to ideas on doing this better!). When drained, cut into 4 pieces and 1/2″ cubes for frying. Combine the sauce ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth, and set aside. On medium high heat, add 1 tbsp oil. Toss the tofu in 4 tsp of starch and fry, flipping to brown all sides. Remove.

Cook the vegetables for 3-4 minutes. Add 2 tbsp of the sauce to thicken slightly. Add the tofu and the rest of the sauce to coat for 1-2 minutes, until the tofu soaks up the sauce. Garnish with sesame seeds and serve. Serves 4.

*I use wheat starch, but if you’re gluten-free, you could use tapioca.


  • I added brussels sprouts for some extra substance, but you could really adjust this to your liking. I also tried French cut green beans for the first time, and like that they are thinner than typical green beans.
  • I wanted to make six servings worth, so I doubled the tofu and used an extra half serving of sauce and veggies…however you’ll need a bigger pan or wok to fit it all in.
  • Watch for the sauce burning at the bottom of the pan (not fun to clean!). If you notice it, add a bit more oil or water.

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