Chicken and Green Bean Stir-Fry with Coconut-Curry Sauce

A few years ago I received the book The Best 30-Minute Recipe as a gift.  My favorite thing in this book is their “Create-Your-Own Stir-Fry” recipe.  It’s basically a formula of how much meat or other protein and how many vegetables to use, by weight.  Then there are 5 different stir-fry sauces to choose from.  So you get to build your stir-fry inspired by what ingredients you have on hand or what’s fresh in the market.  There are also a handful of “fully built” recipes using this formula and some of the sauces.  I have made this stir-fry a number of times, with different meats, veggies and sauces.

In the Wok

In the Wok

This time I was inspired by some leftover coconut milk.  The Coconut-Curry Sauce was the perfect use for it.  I immediately knew I wanted to use chicken, and green beans sounded good too. Since this was a Thai-inspired sauce, I also included red bell peppers and a little basil.  The end result was delicious!  Flavorful, but not too spicy and the veggies were cooked perfectly.

Feel free to play around with the meats and veggies with this recipe.  If you don’t like bell peppers, use something else!  One note about the coconut milk:  my coconut milk was really thick (almost like a paste).  I ended up using a half cup of coconut milk and a half cup of chicken broth and it worked out great.  If you use light coconut milk you probably won’t have this problem.

Chicken and Green Bean Stir-Fry with Coconut-Curry Sauce

(printable recipe)

Coconut-Curry Sauce:

  • 1 cup coconut milk (or ½ cup coconut milk and ½ cup chicken broth if the milk is very thick)
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1-2 teaspoons red curry paste
  • 1 teaspoon light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch


  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 12 ounces green beans
  • 1 large red bell pepper, about a half pound
  • ½ red onion, about a quarter pound
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil

1. Mix the Coconut-Curry Sauce ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.

2. Cut the chicken breast into bite-sized pieces.  Toss with the soy sauce.  Set aside while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

Cut Veggies

Cut Veggies

3. Clean and trim the green beans.  Cut them into pieces about 1½ inches long.  Thinly slice the red bell pepper, and cut each slice in half.  Thinly slice the red onion.  Keep the vegetables separated as they will cook at different times.

4. Heat 2 teaspoons of the oil in a large skillet or wok over high heat.  When the oil is just smoking, add the chicken.  Cook and stir until cooked through and lightly browned.  Transfer chicken to a clean bowl.  Wipe out the pan.

5. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil to the pan and return it to high heat.  Add the green beans to the pan, along with a ¼ cup of water.  Cover and steam over high heat for 2 minutes.  Remove the lid.  Add the red bell peppers and red onions to the pan.  Cook, stirring often, until crisp-tender, 3 to 5 minutes.  Adjust the heat if the veggies are cooking too quickly or too slowly.

6.  Clear the center of the pan and add the remaining teaspoon of oil, the garlic, and the ginger.  Cook, stirring constantly, for about 30 seconds or until fragrant.  Stir in the cooked chicken.  Give the Coconut-Curry Sauce a stir and add it to the pan.  Bring the sauce to a simmer and cook until it has thickened, 1 to 2 minutes.  Add the sliced basil and give everything a good stir to coat it with the sauce.  Serve with white rice.

Serves 4


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