Bento filler: French green beans with carrot and ginger


Fresh green beans are available year round, but their real season in the northern hemisphere is the summer to early fall. I count crispy green beans among one of my favorite vegetables, so I enthusiastically eat as much as possible.

There are several kinds of green beans - large and fat, flat and broad, and so on. These are skinny little haricots verts or French beans. They can be rather expensive, so I like to cook them as minimally as possible. Here they are paired with julienned fresh ginger and carrot, stir fried then steam-cooked in a frying pan. The ginger adds some heat and the carrots add sweetness. They are cooked in less than 5 minutes, though allow some extra time to cut the ginger and carrot. You can use fatter green beans if you can’t get haricot verts - allow for a couple more minutes of cooking time.

This is great hot or cold, so it’s a very good bento vegetable dish. It will hold in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days, so if you buy a big bag of green beans at the market it’s worthwhile to make a batch of this.

Recipe: French green beans with carrot and ginger

  • 2 large handfuls of fresh thin green beans
  • 1 small piece of fresh ginger (to result in about 1 tsp. julienned)
  • 1/4 carrot (to result in 2 Tbs. julienned or grated)
  • 1/2 Tbs. light olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 1 Tbs. mirin
  • 1 Tbs. soy sauce

Cut the tough stem end of the green beans off, and cut the beans into two or three pieces diagonally.

Peel and finely julienne (or chop) the ginger.

Peel and finely julienne the carrot. You can also grate it in long strips with a grater or vegetable slicer/mandoline (see essential equipment).

Heat up a frying pan and add the oil. Add the ginger and stir a minute. Add the carrot and green beans. Add all the seasonings. Put on a lid and let it steam cook for about 3 minutes.

Open the lid and stir around over high heat until any moisture has evaporated away. Cool before packing into a bento box.

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Just tried it tonight!

I just tired this out as a side dish along with miso glazed salmon and rice, instead of filler and it came out great. I was looking for a quick, fresh veggie side and this fit perfectly (we love green beans). It was a bit salty and the carrots came out darker than I’d have liked but I think it’s ok for my first time trying it (I’m not used to cooking in general, let alone things that have a possibility of burning!). My mom loved it (she’s a salt fiend so the oversuse didn’t bother her) and says to thank you!

Really great recipe, now I have a new (more fun) way of making green beans! Thanks!

My husband is a bit of a

My husband is a bit of a green bean fiend, and he came home with a bag of green beans from the market this week - just in time to try this recipe! I made both this and your asparagus recipe today to put into my bentos this week, but I don’t think they’re going to last! I thought the seasoning was perfect. Thanks for all your work - I constantly rely on this site for all my bento-side-dish needs, and it never disappoints.

I just made this today from

I just made this today from green beans fresh from the garden and it was excellent. My family enjoyed it as well.

It's cooling right now.


I just made this and it is cooling right now. Had a small bite, it was way too hot and kinda burn myself….lol. I will have it tonight at dinner along with the carrot kinpira (made earlier) and the salted chicken. (it is salting in the colander and a little bit of water drained off already). Am looking forward to tonight’s dinner.

This was great!

I made this supposedly as a side dish for dinner today, but ended up eating eat all of it by myself... Probably not a good thing, but I was starving and it was delicious, haha. Thanks for the recipe as always. (:

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