Sour & hot French beans with kimchi

I can’t get enough of this sour and spicy dish

Serves 2 as a starter or 4 as a side | total time 20 minutes

Prep 10 minutes | cook time 10 minutes




  • 300g french beans, top and tailed
  • 1 heaped tbsp of Lao Gan Ma chilli oil with Black Bean  (the brand is also known as The Godmother or Angry Lady)
  • 1/2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp rice vinger (although white whine vinegar or cider vinegar will work fine)
  • Two cloves of garlic or 1 large clove, roughly chopped
  • 2 inch chunk of ginger, roughly chopped
  • 1 lemongrass stick (optional) – if you dont have this lemon / lime zest or a teaspoon of tamarind will work
  • 1 pinch of chilli flakes (optional)
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1 Spring onion, chopped for garnish


Use the recipe on the link, or if you are short of time just buy a jar. 

  • Add this to taste. I go for a large spoonful or even two.



Part one

  • Put a pan of water on to boil and season with salt.
  • Grab a pestle and mortar and grind the garlic, ginger and salt (the salt gives it the necessary friction required for grinding).
  • Pop in your lemongrass and smash it up – try not to grind the lemongrass. You still want it to keep together so its easy to remove later.
  • Add the vinegar, fish sauce and soy sauce and mix.

Part two

  • Add your beans to the boiling pan and boil for 2 minutes – i like them with a bit of bite so I wouldn’t go over 2 minutes.
  • drain and refresh with cold water to stop the cooking process and to keep the colour.

Part three

  • Heat a wok or deep frying pan to a high heat and add the black bean paste for 20 seconds – you should have enough oil here to lubricate the whole dish without the need to add more.
  • Add the sauce from your pestle and mortar and mix, it should spit a bit so be careful of your clothes and limbs
  • Add in the beans and stir fry in the sauce for a minute or two – the sauce should slightly reduce and the beans should be hot all the way through.

Part four

  • Transfer to a bowl and place the kimchi on top, stir to heat the kimchi and serve immediately .