Thai Basil Green Beans

Thai Basil Green Beans

Written by  The Green Coconut Saturday, 07 December 2013

Steamed Green Beans Becoming a Bore

Because of their rich green color, we don't always think about green beans as providing us with important amounts of colorful pigments like carotenoids. But they do! Recent studies have confirmed the presence of lutein, beta-carotene, violaxanthin, and neoxanthin in green beans. In some cases, the presence of these carotenoids in green beans is comparable to their presence in other carotenoid-rich vegetables like carrots and tomatoes. The only reason we don't see these carotenoids is because of the concentrated chlorophyll content of green beans and the amazing shades of green that it provides.

With most beans, you eat only the seeds, usually after they've been dried. But you can eat snap beans pod and all. Until a century ago, the pods had tough strings that cooks had to pull off before cooking (hence the name "string beans") but the snap beans you'll find in markets today are almost all stringless.

green beans - botanically a fruit

Botanically, they are a fruit because they contain seeds. In a cooking sense and in terms of how they are used in meals, tomatoes and cucumbers are vegetables. Believe it or not, there was an actual ruling on this issue in 1883 by the Supreme Court. That ruling acknowledged that tomatoes, as well as cucumbers, squashes, beans and peas are "fruits of the vine." However, in the common language of the people, they are vegetables because "they are usually served at dinner in, with, or after the soup, fish, or meats which constitute the principal part of the" meal, and they are not generally consumed as dessert, like fruits.


Serves 4

3 tablespoons Tamari
60ml vegetable Stock
1 tablespoons coconut oil
1 red asian shallot finely sliced
1 teaspoon red curry paste
3 garlic cloves finely sliced
1 small red chilli, seeds removed and sliced
500g string/green beans
20g (1/4 cup) thai basil leaves


Combine the tamari, stock and 1/4 cup of water and set aside.

Heat a wok, add the coconut oil, red curry paste, shallot, garlic and chilli and stir until fragrant. Add the string beans and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the sauce and cook tossing gently, until the beans are just tender but with still a bite. Remove from the heat and season well. Stir in half the basil and scatter the rest on top as a garnish. Serve immediately.

The Green Coconut

The Green Coconut

The Young Green Coconut
Peace, Love & Coconuts

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