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Blistered Wax Bean Recipe with Ponzu and Chili

Summer is here! It’s time to enjoy recipes that include flavorful, quick cooking ingredients that are fully satisfying. In other words, you can save the slow braises for colder months and focus instead on short sautés of delicate ingredients that allow you to make the most of the warmer season.

This wax bean recipe uses a short list of ingredients, many of which you’ll probably already have in your kitchen.


  • 1 lb of wax beans, yellow or green

  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced

  • 1 T vegetable oil

For the Sauce

  • 2 T Ponzu

  • 1 t sesame oil

  • 1 1/2 t sugar

  • Pinch of salt

  • 1/2 t Chili flakes

  • 1 t olive oil

  • 2 T toasted sesame seeds (for garnish)

Wax Bean Recipe Directions

  1. Wash and dry the wax beans before removing the ends and cutting them on a bias into thirds.

  2. Add all of the ingredients for the sauce in a small mixing bowl and stir to combine.

  3. Preheat a wok or large sauté pan on high heat for several minutes or until it just begins to smoke. At this point add the prepared wax beans to the pan, then follow with 1 T of vegetable oil. Toss or stir the beans in the sauté pan until they are dressed in oil, then allow to sear undisturbed for 20-30 seconds before agitating.

  4. When the beans are just barely cooked and still have a crisp center, add the sauce to the pan and toss or stir to coat the beans. Continue to cook for about 20 seconds before transferring the wax beans to a warm serving dish.

  5. Finish the beans with toasted sesame seeds.

This bean recipe makes four servings.

Quick Facts About the Wax Bean

  • This type of bean first grew in Central America and South America.

  • Numerous varieties of wax beans that developed in the 18th century and beyond have come from the Algerian bean—with this variety being the oldest known type that’s still being grown today.

  • Golden Butterwax bush beans date back to the 1800s.

  • Farmer Lee Jones remembers having to pick a certain amount of wax beans as a kid before he could go play.

Plus, as we note in our book—The Chef's Garden: A Modern Guide to Common and Unusual Vegetables with Recipes—yellow wax beans have a sweeter flavor than the green varieties. At The Chef’s Garden, you can order:

No matter which ones you order, we hope you enjoy this bean recipe—and the rest of your summer!

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