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Hoisin and tamari sauces are a great way to add a deep savory flavor (umami) to a simple dish of sautéed green beans and onions. Hoisin sauce, commonly used in Cantonese cooking, is a sweet and savory condiment made in part with miso paste, sugar, vinegar, and garlic; tamari, a naturally fermented soy sauce commonly used in Japanese cooking, is a byproduct of miso and is a gluten free alternative to soy sauce (Chinese). These sauces share the common ingredient of miso; miso is what brings umami to hoisin and tamari. The simplicity of this recipe is what will bring umami to your table!

Umami/Savory the 5th taste: First identified by Japanese scientist Dr. Kikunae Ikeda in 1908, it took decades of scientific research and almost 100 years before umami/ savoriness was scientifically recognized and accepted as the fifth taste on our tongue, joining salty, sweet, sour, and bitter.


  • 10 ounces fresh green beans, washed & drained
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. granulated garlic
  • 2 tsps. Hoisin sauce
  • 1 tsp. tamari (soy sauce may be substituted)
  • Red pepper flakes, pinch
  • Salt & pepper to taste
Main Ingredient(s): Green Beans, Onions


  • Snap or cut the ends off the green beans.
  • Cut onion in half & peel. Slice into 1/4-inch-thick strips.
  • Add 1/2 cup water to a sauté pan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, add green beans in an even layer and cover. Mock- Steam for 2-3 minutes. Remove green beans and set aside, discard any remaining water and return pan to heat.
  • Add olive oil, onions, garlic & red pepper flakes to pan & sauté until slightly brown, return green beans to pan. Add hoisin sauce and tamari. Mix ingredients well, add a teaspoon of water/stock if needed to loosen sauce. Reduce heat to medium-low and cover. Cook 2-3 minutes until bean are tender but not limp.
  • Adjust seasoning and serve hot.

Storage Tip: Store unwashed green beans in a vented bag in the crisper door of your refrigerator. When properly stored they will last for a week or more. If they turn very brown or have gone slimy, they have gone bad and are ready for composting.

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Published On: April 21, 2023