Spicy Green Beans


08 Jan Spicy Green Beans

Wouldn’t you know it? The week I post my culinary resolutions, my gas range rebels. The stovetop works just fine, but the oven fluctuates wildly,  making baking a crap shoot with wheat and a roast chicken dinner  the poultry equivalent of Russian roulette.

And the real kicker? My stove’s so old a replacement thermostat is no longer available. Since I want to replace my aging 24-inch range with a 30-inch version (which requires moving cupboards in a 145-year-old kitchen with plaster and lathe walls) it’s not going to happen until spring.

Something tells me it’s gonna be a looooong winter.

While my mom has offered the use of her oven, I’m going to save my kitchen credits with her for baking and view this as a golden opportunity to try out some slow cooker or Asian recipes. Of course, all I can think about is homemade pizza, braised meats and roast chicken.

I had intended to make a roasted green bean dish, but instead, thought I’d try a spicy variation on the stove top. It was ready in less than 10 minutes. Not bad. The roasted version would have been in the oven 40 minutes so maybe this no-oven thing isn’t so bad after all.

Spicy Green Beans

Serves 2 to 4 as a side dish


  • 1 cup water
  • 1 pound green beans, trimmed
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger root, finely grated
  • 1 generous pinch dried chili flakes
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp fresh cilantro, minced


  1. In a shallow pan or wok, bring the water to a full boil. Add the beans and salt. Cover and cook 3 minutes.
  2. Add the oil, ginger, chili and sugar and cook with the lid off, tossing to coat the bean.
  3. Continue cooking and tossing for another 5 minutes or until the beans are cooked to your liking and most of the water is evaporated.
  4. Add the cilantro and toss again.
  5. Transfer to a plate and serve immediately while the beans are hot.

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  • The Diva on a Diet
    Posted at 11:18h, 08 January Reply

    As soon as I read the title, I knew I wanted this dish. Yum! I love green beans, even more so with the Asian flavors.

    So sorry about your oven woes, ugh, Charmian! Of all the seasons for it to go on the fritz. Bah! I will look forward to your slow-cooker explorations though – perhaps they’ll inspire me.
    .-= The Diva on a Diet´s last blog ..Thirsty Thursdays: Mulled Wine Edition =-.

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 13:30h, 08 January Reply

      I’m now wondering if I should have added toasted cumin… Fiddling is so easy with a simple dish.

      I take the oven’s demise as a push from The Universe. Slow cooker recipes are coming your way!

  • Robin Smart
    Posted at 19:16h, 08 January Reply

    Dear Charmian,
    Sorry about the stove. (It’s a heck of a way to get out of cleaning it.)
    I for one need fast stove top recipes, as I’m always peeling in with 20 minutes to get everyone fed and watered. So it may be a boon to me.

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 09:10h, 09 January Reply

      Fast stove top recipes will be coming your way! A few at least. So nice that my frustrations can lead to good and not evil (providing we ignore the cursing that accompanied the half-baked scones Christmas morning).

  • Cheryl Arkison
    Posted at 19:36h, 08 January Reply

    Go on kijiji or Craiglist. Our stove kicked the bucket a few months back and rather than spend money with a pending reno we went on there and found a barely used 3 year old stove for $150. Even if we only use it for a year (it will be so much longer than that) it will pay for itself.
    .-= Cheryl Arkison´s last blog ..Death By Food – Not Quite =-.

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 09:18h, 09 January Reply

      Cheryl, you are BRILLIANT. I have followed your advice and found a used gas stove. Fingers crossed they haven’t sold it and we can swing a deal. I’m already cooking on a tin can, so I’m not going to be fussy — until I get my new stove… then? Well, I’ll borrow Diva’s tiara and start barking orders like I’m the Queen of Sheba.

  • Lorraine
    Posted at 11:01h, 09 January Reply

    Charmian, I sooo empathize.

    Before Christmas my brand new oven went kaput–conveniently just as a batch of muffins finished baking.

    To make matters worse, I had volunteered–weeks before–to cook and deliver dinner to a bereaved family in our community. And my turn was the next day!

    My emergency was solved by using a neighbor’s oven. But the it took almost a week to get the repairmen over for what turned out to be a simple adjustment: Five long days without baked food. You really don’t know how much you use an oven until it’s gone.

    Okay, sore spot. Changing subject…

    Your recipe sounds brilliant: Good Lord, cilantro , cumin and ginger. Mmm–making this tonight. Wonder, however, if I can get away with frozen beans.

    Will report back.

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 21:46h, 13 January Reply

      You win. My stove is old and I didn’t have an entire dinner to deliver to a grieving family. Good thing your neighbours were neighbourly.

      You hit the nail on the head when you said, “You really don’t know how much you use an oven until it’s gone.” No truer words!

      Glad your range is fixed! Thanks for commiserating.

  • Dana McCauley
    Posted at 20:24h, 12 January Reply

    You’re the second person I know who has lost her oven in the new year – scary trend!

    I made some yummy green beans earlier this week, too. I combined rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger, garlic and sambal olek to make a vinaigrette and then I sprinkled the finished dish with sesame seeds. Yummy!
    .-= Dana McCauley´s last blog ..6 healthy foods to buy in bulk =-.

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 21:47h, 13 January Reply

      Your green beans sound wonderful! And this can be done on the stove top! Thanks for sharing your recipe.

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