Spicy Thai Cilantro and String Bean Stir Fry

This recipe is based on this one – a traditional Thai dish that I love.

But you know what else I love? Not having to go out of the house to get ingredients.

That’s where this dish came from…ingredients I had in the house. It ended up turning gout so well that I’m not sure I would even go back to make the original! If you don’t have fish sauce, you can use Worcestershire sauce, but the flavor won’t be exactly spot on. Definitely buy some fish sauce the next time you are at a specialty or Asian grocery store – a bottle lasts forever and is so, so useful.

Spicy Thai Cilantro and String Bean Stir Fry


1  lb. ground chicken

1/2 lb. string beans, cleaned and chopped in half or pieces

1 bell pepper, diced

1 onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, diced

3 Serrano peppers, diced

2 tbsp. fish sauce

1 tbsp. soy sauce

2 tbsp. sugar

1 tbsp. ground ginger

2 tsp. rice wine vinegar

2 tbsp. vegetable oil

large handful cilantro leaves (at least 1.5 cups), cleaned

1. Oil a large skillet or wok, and put the heat on high until the oil shimmers. Then, drop in the onion, garlic, chiles, and bell pepper.

2. In about 10 minutes, or when the veggies are fragrant and starting to soften, add in the string beans, ginger, fish sauce, sugar, and soy sauce. Let it cook for 10 minutes more, or until the string beans have softened in some parts and charred in others. The fish sauce will be stinky – don’t worry, it really calms down once it reduces and the flavor will be savory and salty, not at all fishy. 

3. Add the rice vinegar and cilantro. Taste the sauce and see if it needs more sour, salty, or sweet. Adjust accordingly.

4. Add the chicken and cook for 5 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. Taste for seasonings

You may need a little splash of Sriracha to get it to that really tear inducing heat level.

5. Serve

I still love gai pad krapow , but wow…this might give it a run for its money. The string beans are juicy and slightly charred. The bell peppers are sweet and soft, and the chiles add a light, citrusy heat. The fish sauce really adds that deep umami flavor that that food has – not at. The tang of the rice wine vinegar, salt of the soy, and sugar compete the fully rounded taste. The chicken is bursting with fresh cilantro flavor and is light enough to eat for lunch. It isn’t overly salty or spicy, especially if you eat it with rice noodles. This would also be great with broccoli or a few cherry tomatoes. I can’t think of anything this wouldn’t be great with – it is healthy, it is tasty, and it is so easy to make.

I am so glad that I didn’t want to go out of the house for groceries.