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Simplified International Flavours

burmese green bean salad (oil free)

Burmese green bean salad is a crunchy, delicious Asian and healthy salad recipe with the unique flavours of roasted onions and garlic in turmeric.


  • 300g green beans
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • a pinch of baking soda
  • 1 large onion, sliced thinly
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced thinly in rounds
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 tablespoons roasted white sesame seeds
  • 3 tablespoons roasted peanuts
  • For Dressing:
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon light soya sauce or fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon crushed chilies
Burmese green bean salad is a crunchy, delicious Asian and healthy salad recipe with the unique flavours of roasted onions and garlic in turmeric.


  • 1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius
  • 2. Cut beans into thirds. Combine with salt and a pinch of baking soda (to maintain green colour), and steam for five minutes or until tender but crunchy.
  • 3. Toss onions and garlic with turmeric. Place on baking sheet in hot oven. Allow to roast for about 10 minutes, or until onions are crispy and brown.
  • 4. Crush half the roasted sesame seeds and peanuts in a mortar.
  • 5. Combine green beans, onions, garlic, crushed sesame seeds and peanuts in a serving bowl.
  • 6. Combine ingredients for dressing and pour over salad. Garnish with remaining sesame seeds and peanuts. Serve immediately.

    Serves: 4, as a side

    Ingredients: 13

    Adapted from ADB Women's Club Cookery Book (1979)

Critical Ingredients

The green beans are obviously critical, although this salad is just as tasty when made with cabbage or cauliflower. The original recipe calls for fish sauce, but I prefer light soya. Either is fine. If you don't have sesame seeds even just peanuts gives nice flavour. While I have chosen to roast the onions and garlic, the original recipes calls for frying in oil. The same oil can also be used in the dressing. So if you prefer to fry, you will get some great flavour as well. I often used my home-made chili vinegar instead of lime juice, and any vinegar would be fine as a substitute, except balsamic. Brown sugar can be substituted with jaggery or regular white sugar.

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2 responses to “Burmese Green Bean Salad (Oil Free)”

  1. Hi, Awesome, Awesome receipe!! We have been following your recipes for some time now (ever since we moved to a whole grain and plant-based diet) and find your recipes to be perfect for our palate (we are malayalis with a taste for international cuisine) and dietary choice. Love, Love all your recipes and the fact that you list out substitutes for exotic ingredients. Please do keep them coming…hubby is a major fan too!!

    • Thanks Priya that is so sweet! I’m not a fan of unnecessarily expensive ingredients, especially as I raised four children in Cochin, where at that time, most fancy ingredients were not available! I like easy, quick and cost effective! I’m glad hubby is a major fan too! Does he cook? And how did you find me an my site?

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Anuja Kohli Mariwala

An engineer, home cook, Pilates instructor, Education Consultant and mother of four.

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