To make a green bean dish tasty and healthy, the pods need to be cooked quickly. Steam preserves the nutrients and crisp texture of the beans. You can steam the beans the traditional way - on the stovetop. If you are in a hurry and every minute is precious, you can use the microwave to cook the beans.
Method 1 of 2: Cooking Beans on the Stovetop
Step 1. Prepare the green beans
Rinse the beans with warm water. Dry the pods, then cut or break off the sharp ends on both sides of each pod.
Step 2. Take a medium-sized saucepan and pour water into it so that it covers the bottom by 2.5–5 centimeters
Add a little salt to the water to enhance the taste of the dish. If you want to give the beans a specific flavor, take a few cloves ("cloves") of garlic, peel, chop and add to the water. Depending on the number of beans, you will need one to three cloves of garlic.
If you do not have a steam basket, the amount of water will have to be halved (that is, the water level in the pot should be 1.5-2.5 centimeters.)
Step 3. Place the steam basket in the saucepan
The bottom of the steam basket must not touch water. If you have poured too much water and the bottom of the basket is submerged in liquid, drain the excess water. If you don't have a steam basket, skip this step.
Step 4. Place the saucepan on the stove at maximum heat and close the lid
Wait for the water to boil.
Step 5. Place the beans in a saucepan
Reduce heat to low to simmer slowly.
Step 6. Steam the beans for three to five minutes
Four minutes after starting cooking, carefully remove one pod from the saucepan and taste. If the pod is bright green and crunches slightly, your beans are done. If the pod is still hard, continue cooking the beans for another minute or two.
If you intend to deep-fry the steamed beans, reduce the steaming time to two minutes
Step 7. Remove the beans from the saucepan
If you've cooked the beans in a steam basket, simply remove them from the saucepan and shake them over the kitchen sink to remove any water from them. If you've cooked beans without a basket, you'll need a colander. Holding the colander over the sink, flip the beans onto it: you will remove the water, and the beans will remain in the colander bowl.
Step 8. Submerge the beans in ice water to keep them bright green
Even after removing the beans from the saucepan, the pods will continue to be exposed to high temperatures. This can cause the beans to become soft and turn dirty green in color. To avoid this, fill a large bowl with cold water, toss in a few ice cubes, and transfer the beans to a bowl. After a few seconds, the beans will cool down and you can remove them from the water.
- It will be easier if you first put the beans in a colander. In this case, you can submerge a colander with beans in ice water, and then simply lift it up and let the water drain.
- This process helps maintain the vibrant color and crisp texture of the beans.
Step 9. Before serving the beans to the table, add spices and seasonings to it
Place the beans back in the saucepan, add seasonings and spices to your liking, and stir the beans well to distribute the seasonings evenly throughout the dish. If you've added butter, wait for it to melt, or even put the saucepan back on the stove and turn the heat back on. When the butter has melted, stir the beans again and transfer to a serving bowl. Here are a few options you can use as a guide when choosing your herbs and spices:
- Add butter and salt. You can substitute regular garlic salt for a more flavorful meal.
- Add sea salt, dill and butter if you like the taste of spicy herbs.
- Add salt, freshly ground black pepper, and butter if you like spicy foods.
Method 2 of 2: Microwave Cooking
Step 1. Prepare the green beans
Rinse the beans in warm water. Dry the pods, then cut or break off the sharp ends on both sides of each pod.
Step 2. Place the beans in a microwave safe bowl
Bean pods should fit under the lid of the bowl.
Step 3. Add a tablespoon of water to the dish
This amount will be enough to create the desired concentration of steam in the cookware. Green beans are very juicy by themselves, so they release a lot of liquid during cooking.
To add flavor to the beans, add a little salt or minced garlic to the bowl. Depending on how many beans you have, you will need to chop and add one to three cloves of garlic
Step 4. Close the bowl with a microwave safe lid or use plastic wrap instead
Step 5. Microwave the beans for two to four minutes
After that, take out one pod and check its readiness. If the pod is bright green and crunches slightly, your beans are done. If the beans are still damp, return the dishes to the microwave and turn them on for another 30 seconds.
Step 6. Remove the bowl of beans from the microwave
Carefully remove the lid or cling film. Be careful not to burn yourself with the hot steam.
Step 7. Submerge the beans in ice water
When you take the beans out of the microwave, the beans will continue to be exposed to high heat. This can cause the beans to become soft and turn dirty green in color. To avoid this, fill a large bowl with cold water and toss in some ice cubes. Dip the beans in ice water for a few seconds, then remove and let the water drain. This will help cool the beans quickly and preserve their color and texture.
It will be easier if you first put the beans in a colander. In this case, you can submerge a colander with beans in ice water, and then simply lift it up and let the water drain
Step 8. Before serving the beans to the table, add spices and seasonings to it
Place the beans in the bowl you cooked them in and add seasonings and spices to your liking. Stir the contents of the bowl well and transfer the beans to a serving bowl. If you've added butter, place the bowl of beans in the microwave and turn it on for a few seconds to melt the butter. Here are a few options you can use as a guide when choosing your herbs and spices:
- If you want to emphasize the natural taste of beans, it is enough to add only salt and butter to the dish. If you like a richer flavor, use garlic instead of the usual salt.
- If you like more flavor, add sea salt, dill and some butter to the beans.
- If the beans taste too bland for you, add a spicy flavor to the dish: season it with salt, freshly ground black pepper and a piece of butter.
Step 9. Bon appetit
- Don't pour too much water. If you add too much water, the beans will be overcooked.
- It is best to cook whole beans without cutting them into pieces. If you cut the beans into small pieces, water will get into the pods during cooking and the beans may become soft and overcooked.
- It is recommended to eat green beans within 24 hours after you buy them or pick them from the garden.