“The traditional Nonya recipe for this dish calls for kangkong or water spinach. As here in England we do not usually have access to good-quality fresh Asian vegetables, I substitute French/green beans,” explains chef Elizabeth Haigh.

“Although I am fond of kangkong, I think this dish is actually better made with the beans because of their crunchy texture. It is also more affordable. If you want to make this vegetarian/vegan just omit the dried shrimps, belachan and pork floss.”

Spicy green beans
Spicy green beans (Kris Kirkham/PA)
Spicy green beans
Print Recipe
Nutrition Facts
Spicy green beans with chilli and garlic
Amount Per Serving
Calories 225 Calories from Fat 117
% Daily Value*
Fat 13g20%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Cholesterol 141mg47%
Sodium 458mg20%
Potassium 393mg11%
Carbohydrates 19g6%
Fiber 5g21%
Sugar 7g8%
Protein 13g26%
Vitamin A 1261IU25%
Vitamin C 19mg23%
Calcium 114mg11%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Spicy green beans with chilli and garlic

A spicy side dish for two
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time12 mins
Total Time27 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Singaporean
Servings: 2
Calories: 225kcal


  • Blender or food processor
  • Wok


  • 1 tbsp dried shrimp
  • 6 dried red chillies
  • 3 garlic cloves peeled
  • 2 banana shallots peeled
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • 2 tsp belachan (fermented shrimp paste)
  • 250 g green beans trimmed and cut into 1.5cm pieces
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp pork floss (rousong), optional
  • Salt


  • Soak the dried shrimps and chillies in warm water for at least 10 minutes or up to one hour, then drain. If you don’t want the dish to be too spicy, remove the seeds from the chillies, then place them in a blender with the soaked shrimps, garlic and shallots. Blend together to make a rough paste.
  • Heat the oil in a wok over a medium heat. Add the chilli-shrimp paste and stir-fry until aromatic, then add the belachan and stir for a couple more minutes to cook the paste out.
  • Turn up the heat slightly, add the green beans and give it all a good stir. Stir-fry for a couple of minutes. Add the water to help ‘steam-cook’ the beans and season with salt, then turn the heat down and continue cooking for four to five minutes or until the beans are tender (no more than seven minutes in total).
  • Serve immediately with pork floss sprinkled on top, if using.


Calories: 225kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 141mg | Sodium: 458mg | Potassium: 393mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 1261IU | Vitamin C: 19mg | Calcium: 114mg | Iron: 3mg

Makan: Recipes From The Heart Of Singapore by Elizabeth Haigh is published by Bloomsbury Absolute. Photography Kris Kirkham.

Makan: Recipes from the Heart of Singapore
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Haigh, Elizabeth (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

Last update on 2021-06-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


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