Chicken and Green Beans with a Garlic Ginger Pan Sauce

Another pan sauce! Did you think I’d forgotten all about my brand new borderline-psychotic love for pan sauces? Because I haven’t. I haven’t forgotten.

Chicken and Green Beans with a Garlic Ginger Pan Sauce / Bev Cooks

One quick thing – please forgive how blurry these photos are. It was the most bizarre thing – as I shooting this recipe, a giant cave cricket with fangs and a cape appeared out of nowhere, and wanted to wrestle me. You know my deathly fear of bugs, especially cave crickets (just google image them. wait, don’t! wait, do. don’t! just do it.), so we began to wrestle in my living room, and in the midst of all the madness, his cape got caught on my camera strap, thus causing all of these final images to be extremely blurry. I blame the cave cricket colonies of yesterday, today and tomorrow.

Oh, and don’t ask me who won the match. It would embarrass the cricket.

Chicken and Green Beans with a Garlic Ginger Pan Sauce / Bev Cooks

Velveting chicken! Do you do this? You know how when you eat Chinese food in a restaurant, the chicken has this undeniable silky texture to it? And you’re like, “WHAT IS THIS DELICIOUS WIZARDRY OCCURRING IN MY MOUTH.”

It’s velveted chicken, is what it is. It’s this magical formula of cornstarch, egg white, rice vinegar and oil. You let the chicken marinate in this mix for about half an hour, then you poach it in a tiny bit of water and oil. It comes out incredibly soft and silken. And you want to pet it and call it Frank. It’s worth the extra step!

I followed Instructable’s instructional instructions for this step, but I’ll definitely include the breakdown in the recipe box. Serious Eats also has a good post on this!

In short, get velvet-y.

Chicken and Green Beans with a Garlic Ginger Pan Sauce / Bev Cooks

So, this recipe is super quick, super perfect for weeknights, and involves a CRAZY garlic ginger pan sauce that will have you howling at the moon in your underpants. I’m talking GEEEENGER. And lots of it.

Chicken and Green Beans with a Garlic Ginger Pan Sauce / Bev Cooks

Once your chicken is velveted, and you’ve poached it in water, you’ll see this grody eggy film sort of separate from it. And that’s okay! This is good. Once you remove the chicken from the water, most of that residue should be off the chicken. “And you got, the hot wax residues.” (<–Name that song.)

Then you can throw the chicken into any stir fry you’ve got going on. In this case, it’s super insano simple with green beans, a little oil, and a pinch of salt.

It’s that PAN SAUCE, man. It’s coming.

Chicken and Green Beans with a Garlic Ginger Pan Sauce / Bev Cooks

There’s the sauce! Okay, it’s sesame oil, vegetable oil, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, chicken stock, orange juice and your bleeding soul. Straightforward, but GOOD. All the pows.

You’ll cook some white jasmine rice on the side, top a small mound with chicken and green beans, then drizzle as much of that pan sauce over the dish as your heart will allow. YOU BETTER DON’T. (<–see, now the story makes sense, doesn’t it? don’t answer that.)

And one more thing – I lied about the cave cricket wrestling match. I know, I know. It’s hard not to believe that actually happened. I can be terribly convincing. But! – truth is, my kids woke from their naps earlier than expected, and all hell broke loose. So I didn’t have a chance to garnish with scallions, cilantro and lime juice. So do that part!

You can also just toss errrrthang in the skillet and serve it family-style, straight into your mouth hole.

Chicken and Green Beans with a Garlic Ginger Pan Sauce / Bev Cooks

Myyyy goodness.

Chicken and Green Beans with a Garlic Ginger Pan Sauce
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  • 1 pound of chicken breast, thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp rice vinegar
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 Tbs. cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbs. canola or vegetable oil, divided
  • 1 Tbs. vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 8 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 2-3 Tbs. freshly minced ginger root
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 Tbs. vegetable oil
  • 3 cups green beans, trimmed
  • 2 cups cooked white jasmine rice
  • lime wedges, scallions and cilantro - for garnish


  1. Let's velvet first: In a medium bowl, whisk the egg white, cornstarch, rice vinegar, salt and 1 Tbs. of the oil. Add the chicken and toss to coat. Cover and let it sit in the fridge for 30 minutes. Drain as much of the goop off as you can in a colander.
  2. Bring 2 inches of water, plus the remaining Tbs. of oil to a boil in a medium skillet. Reduce the heat to medium and add the chicken strips, one at a time. Stir so they don't stick together. After a couple of minutes, remove the chicken from the skillet and drain once more in the (cleaned!) colander. The chicken's cooked and hot and ready for your stir fry. Wasn't that glorious?
  3. In a small sauce pan, bring the vegetable and sesame oil to a medium-high heat. Add the garlic and ginger; sauté for about 30 seconds, until fragrant. Add the soy sauce, chicken stock and orange juice; let it simmer on low for about 10 minutes.
  4. In the meantime, heat the last Tbs. of vegetable oil in a medium skillet. Add the green beans and a pinch of salt. Let the beans sizzle and pop in the oil, and then add a tiny bit of water, to speed up the cooking. Add the velveted chicken to the pan and toss with the green beans. If you happen to get a few sear marks on the chicken, that's a happy thing.
  5. Serve the chicken and green beans over a mound of cooked rice, and top with the garlic ginger pan sauce. Garnish with lime wedges, scallions and cilantro! DIVE IN.

Chicken and Green Beans with a Garlic Ginger Pan Sauce / Bev Cooks

Cape and fangs sold separately.






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9 Responses to Chicken and Green Beans with a Garlic Ginger Pan Sauce

  1. Nicole George June 28, 2016 at 10:36 pm #
    SO I go on a girls trip every summer that includes the beach, lots of wine, vodka, and good food. We have a cooking competition where we all team up and make one meal each evening. This looks like a GREAT option. I feel like I would totally impress. If you had to tell me your favorite recipe, which one would it be?
  2. Alexa @ Sweet Little Kitchen June 29, 2016 at 9:40 am #
    I never knew how velveted chicken was prepared (or even what it was really called). All I knew is it's great in Chinese takeout and now I feel a little less guilty since it's just cornstarch, egg, and rice vinegar . . . Crossing my fingers for green beans in my CSA this afternoon so I can make this tonight!
  3. Jim July 10, 2016 at 7:12 am #
    I love what you guys tend to be up too. Such clever work and exposure! Keep up the good works guys I've incorporated you guys to our blogroll.
  4. Natalie September 16, 2016 at 4:53 pm #
    I didn't realize my life was missing velveted chicken. This was amazing. We thoroughly enjoyed this and will definitely be making it again soon. Which is saying something, because I get so excited about new recipes that I never make others over again. That ginger garlic pan sauce, though!
  5. Sandy November 8, 2016 at 8:59 pm #
    Ermagerd. This was fabulous! Strangely, our grocery store had no green beans, BUT they did have some amazing asparagus. Super-dee-duper!
  6. Amanda November 21, 2017 at 3:02 pm #
    This is gorgeous BEV! I love anything with Chicken in it!!
  7. Patty December 26, 2019 at 7:42 pm #
    Made the sauce using fresh clementine juice and served with seared five spice sea scallops, ramen noodles, and a mixed green salad with clementine and a sesame-soy dressing - excellent meal!


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