Monday, November 3, 2014

Thanksgiving Green Beans with Chinese Flavors

By Phyllis Louise Harris
November 2014

I have never been fond of green bean casserole with canned soup and canned onions. But green beans are a good vegetable choice with the other rich foods at Thanksgiving and here is a recipe that makes the beans a real standout….plus everyone loves them!

For 6 – 8 servings start with 1 pound of fresh green beans that are available at most markets in November. Remove the ends, wash and boil them in water to cover until they are just tender – 5 – 8 minutes. Strain them and plunge them into ice water to stop the cooking and refresh their wonderful bright green color. Drain the beans and pat dry with paper towels. Set beans in a large bowl or refrigerator container.

In a small bowl slowly combine 2 teaspoons of dry mustard powder with 1½ teaspoons cold water, adding the water ½ teaspoon at a time and slowly mixing with the dry mustard. After the last water has been absorbed by the powder you should have a very potent mustard paste. If the aroma is not strong it means you have added the water too quickly. Throw out the paste and try again. Once you have a very aromatic paste add 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon sugar, 1 tablespoon Chinese light soy sauce, 1½ tablespoons distilled white vinegar and 1 tablespoon sesame oil. Stir together and taste the sauce by dipping one green bean into it. The tangy mustard sauce on the mellow green bean provides just the right flavor contrasts to go with other Thanksgiving staples. Add 1 tablespoon finely shredded ginger to the beans and toss with the mustard sauce. Cover and refrigerate up to six hours. It will keep longer but the mustard will start to dull the bright green color of the beans. Serve cold or at room temperature. It is also travels well if you are the one designated to bring vegetables. You can also double this recipe. If you need larger quantities, mix the mustard dressing in batches of double amounts until you have the amount you need. Mixing too much dry mustard at once makes it more difficult to achieve the desired potency.

This is recipe along with more than 160 others can be found in Asian Flavors: Changing the Tastes of Minnesota since 1875 at your local bookstores or at It is filled with wonderful recipes that will brighten your family dinners. It was also the basis for the EMMY award winning TV show on tpt “Asian Flavors.” Have a happy holiday!



Read more about Asian food in Minnesota and try more than 160 recipes in Asian Flavors: Changing the Tastes of Minnesota since 1875, now in bookstores and on

Buy online:  Asian Flavors: Changing the Tastes of Minnesota since 1875  

Watch the EMMY® award winning “Asian Flavors” television show based on the book on tpt MN. Check local TV listings for broadcast times or view the show streaming online at: