Fresh Green Beans with spicy coconut milk, ginger & lime sauce

Fresh Beans with a spicy coconut milk, ginger & lime sauce

This dish was so easy to make, and really well received from today’s “sous chef” Mark. The only negatives I’ll give it is that I wish I’d cut the tofu into cubes, instead of trying out those wide, thin strips. However, the flavor was awesome, so pick your favorite tofu shape and take it from there! Since we have such an abundance of beans at the moment, I wanted to make something other than the traditional garlic laden side dish this veggie has become synonymous with. Coconut milk with spicy pepper, ginger and lime were perfection paired with fresh beans, crispy tofu, rice noodles and toasted cashews. Okay, random aside: I know this recipe is officially good because I got hungry all over again just typing this up!

Beans are one of the vegetables that were the most surprising to learn about as I started my farm apprenticeship journey. Before working on a farm, I only saw them as black beans, pinto or green... and that was pretty much it! These are the sad facts about my bean ignorance. There are more varieties than I could have ever imagined, and the best part is that not all of them have to be grown on trellises (aka pole beans)... bush beans are a major plus. The bush bean varieties we grow are Provider, Royal Burgundy & Roc D’Or, primarily for the colors in addition to the awesome taste between them. We sow two rows per bed about 18” apart, about one or two inches between seeds. Growing beans is one of my personal favorites because it is such a fast crop to grow, meaning it outcompetes even most weeds. After three or four harvests, that succession (we usually do two per season but definitely want to up that count next year) is done, particularly since we don’t take any preventative measures for bean beetles. If anyone has any ideas that don’t involve using manufactured chemicals to control these pests, please let me know because I’d love to extend the harvest on this productive crop!

Back to the recipe! Looking for a new way to enjoy a summer staple? Try out this sweet and spicy green bean recipe with coconut milk, garlic, ginger & lime. It’ll be a switch up from the standard side of green beans you see literally everywhere. You know the one, with butter and garlic in an uninspired pile to the side of your main course. Plus, it’s summer, the very best time to enjoy coconut and lime complements to any meal, at least in my opinion.

Here’s the source for the original recipe. The edited version is below!

fresh beans


    • 1 (14- to 16-oz) package firm tofu

    • 2 tablespoons soy sauce

    • 3 tablespoons coconut oil

    • 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic

    • 1 tablespoon finely chopped peeled fresh ginger (or the dried spice if that’s all you have)

    • 1/2 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes (or your favorite spicy pepper instead!)

    • 1 lb green beans, trimmed and cut into 2-inch-long pieces

    • 1 teaspoon salt

    • 1 (14- to 15-oz) can unsweetened coconut milk

    • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

    • 1/3 cup chopped salted roasted cashews

    • Accompaniment: rice noodles or rice


    1. Cube the tofu into small one inch size pieces. Put 1 tablespoon soy sauce in a wide shallow dish, then add tofu, turning to coat, and let stand 10 minutes.

    2. Heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over high heat until hot but not smoking, then add tofu in 1 layer and cook, turning over once, until tofu is browned, about 6 minutes total. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a large plate, reserving oil in skillet.

    3. Add garlic, ginger (if fresh, if dried add it with the coconut milk), and red pepper flakes to skillet and sauté, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add beans, bell pepper, and salt and sauté, stirring, 1 minute.

    4. Stir in coconut milk (add dried ginger here if that’s what you’re using) and remaining tablespoon soy sauce and bring to a boil. Boil uncovered, until beans are tender, about 6 minutes. Transfer vegetables using a slotted spoon to plate with tofu.

    5. Simmer sauce until thickened slightly and reduced to about 3/4 cup, about 2 minutes. Stir in lime juice and pour sauce over vegetables and tofu. Sprinkle with cashews.

Danielle KeeterComment