Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Green Bean Salad With Soy-Glazed Almonds

Green Bean Salad With Soy-Glazed Almonds
T. Susan Chang for NPR /

I've seen a number of versions of this salad floating around over the years. I make mine with a lot of green elements and very sticky-sweet, salty nuts, which play up the crisp-tender texture of the beans. The nuts tend to drift to the bottom of the bowl, so scatter them on top at the last minute. Even so, there will be some at the bottom for people to fight over afterward.

Makes 4 to 6 servings as a side salad

Green Beans

1 pound slender green beans



Trim the stem ends of the green beans (you can leave the pointed tips). Halve the longer ones if you wish.

Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. While the water's heating, fill a large bowl with ice water (using at least a dozen cubes of ice). Once the water boils, add the beans and cook briefly: 1 or 2 minutes for tiny haricots, 4 or 5 for bigger beans. Don't walk away. Drain the beans quickly. Then shock them by dumping them in the ice water, agitating them briefly until they are quite cool (about a minute). Then drain again and set aside. They can be refrigerated in a tightly sealed plastic bag for several hours with no loss of color or texture. If you do refrigerate, first dry them extra-thoroughly on a dish towel.


1 cup whole almonds

1 teaspoon vegetable oil (any kind except olive oil)

1/4 cup soy sauce

1-1/2 tablespoons sugar

Heat a small, heavy skillet over a high flame. Reduce to medium heat and add the almonds. Toast briefly — no more than 5 minutes — until the nuts take on a little color and begin to release their aroma. Transfer to a plate to cool.

Add the oil, soy sauce and sugar to the same small skillet and bring to a boil. Reduce until syrupy, about 3 minutes. Add the almonds and stir to coat thoroughly until they're sticky and completely glazed. Transfer to a chopping board to cool. They'll stick together, but that's fine. Chop roughly.


1 3/4-inch chunk of ginger, peeled and minced

1 large garlic clove, peeled and minced

1 tablespoon corn or canola oil

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

1 teaspoon soy sauce

3 small or 2 medium scallions, finely sliced on the diagonal (use both white and green parts)

1/2 cup chopped cilantro

If you have a mortar and pestle, use it to pound the minced garlic and ginger to a paste. Otherwise, mince them together as finely as you can, and press hard with the side of your broadest chef's knife until you get something close to a paste. Transfer to a large bowl and whisk in the oil, vinegar, soy sauce and scallions. (You can hold the dressing in the refrigerator at this point for up to a day.) Toss in the blanched beans and the cilantro, scatter in the nuts and serve at room temperature.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit