In Memory Of Karen Nicole Smith, 1972 - 2016

Delectable French beans cooked in coconut milk.

caribbean french beansThis is another dish I would not touch as a child, but as an adult I can’t get enough. Truth be told I hardly ever cook anything that does not contain meat (I could NEVER survive as a vegetarian), but there are days when I just can’t stand the smell or sight of anything meat related. This is one of those days. Though I used French beans (cheap at Costco) this recipe is also good for string beans and “bodi” which is also known as yard beans in other cultures (long beans in China). I got this recipe over the phone from my mom, as she’s the absolute best at making this. Let’s see if I can do her recipe justice…

You’ll need..

1/2 kilo (about a lb) fresh French beans (trimmed and cut into 2-3 cm pieces)
1 medium tomato (diced)
1 medium onion (sliced)
2 cloves garlic crushed with the side of your knife and minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper (fresh ground works best)
2-3 tablespoons of coconut milk (cream)
1 tablespoon olive oil

Wash and trim the beans by removing the tips and then cut into 2-3 cm pieces. Also prepare the onion, garlic and tomato by slicing, dicing and crushing.

french beans recipe

trimmed french beans

french beans

seasoned french beans recipe

In a sauce pan, heat the olive oil on medium to high heat and add a 1/3 of the sliced onion. Allow to cook for a couple minutes, until they’re tender and starting to brown.

cooked french beans

Gently (since the beans are wet from washing, it may splatter when it gets in contact with the heated oil/onion), start adding the beans to the pan. Remember to stir around a bit. Give this a couple minutes, then add the salt, black pepper, diced tomato, remaining sliced onions and the crushed garlic. Set the heat to medium and cover the pan.

trni string beans recipe

trini french beans recipe

cooking french beans

After about 10 minutes, add the coconut cream. I usually get the cream coconut that comes in a block and I just cut a piece off and add it to whatever I’m cooking. But if you have the liquid form, that’s just as effective.

Here’s a pic of the one I usually purchase…

coconut milk french beans

Cook for another 10 minutes or so and remember to stir every 4 minutes to ensure that everything get’s coated and cooked in the coconut cream/milk.If you find that the beans released any natural juices (water) while the lid was on, remove the lid during the final 4-6 minutes.

french beans with garlic

caribbean french beans

vegetarian french beans recipe

Let me know your thoughts on this and any of the other recipes found on in the comments box below or by email via the contact link above.

So where’s the heat? You can spice things up by adding some sliced chili or habanero peppers while cooking.

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  1. February 20, 2018 / 11:55 am

    Can not wait to try this, it looks yummy. Thank you.

  2. Tiffany
    December 31, 2016 / 11:28 am

    Looks yummy I must try

  3. Cecile Carrington
    August 2, 2016 / 2:14 pm

    Great recipe – simple and delicious.

    • Joyletha Goodwin
      November 18, 2021 / 3:43 pm

      Looks delicious but I have one Grandson with nut allergies so what can I substitute for coconut cream?

  4. June 24, 2016 / 7:33 pm

    Wow! I made these to accompany our filet mignon steak and the sauce made it so delectable……yum, it was a hit!!!!

  5. Nandini
    April 18, 2016 / 9:37 am

    I am a vegetarian kindly send me whatever few vegetarian dishes yu cook I liked tdys beans recipe thanks

  6. Avicandy
    July 16, 2015 / 8:20 pm

    I am not a vegetarian and I disliked bodi until today. I tried your recipe and I loved it… I am making more on Sunday… Thank you!!

  7. April 17, 2014 / 3:59 pm

    I really appreciate vegetarian recipes, because I do not eat meat or chicken.

  8. Katie
    March 19, 2014 / 3:33 pm

    Thanks for the recipe this was great. We added a little scotch bonnet to ours, easy enough for mid week and so tasty Thanks!

  9. Yvonne
    January 5, 2014 / 7:06 pm

    I tried the green bean recipe tonight and my picky 7 year old loves it!
    We will try it again.

  10. Liv
    December 7, 2013 / 8:17 pm

    Finally had a chance to try this recipe, and it turned out great! I cut it in 1/2, added ground turkey and served over rice, and it smelled so good that everyone else in the house (I’d originally been making it just for myself) wanted some. Thanks for the awesome recipe, I’ll definitely be making this one again.

  11. fiyah-ann
    February 12, 2013 / 12:55 pm

    Im not a vege eater ,but i made this for my kids and they was asking for more.

    Non the less i had to make more.

    I would love to try the recipe wifh salt fish when will you post that

  12. Georgiana
    August 28, 2012 / 7:35 pm

    Hi Chris, I have never cooked Tripe before and I am looking for a recipe for this meat. My mother cooked tripe in soup when we were kids in Trinidad, but she has passed on and I would sure love to find a good recipe. Please help…. Georgiana

  13. NetschwesterFrance
    August 12, 2012 / 2:28 pm

    This recipe came through just in time for me to try it for my dinner guests, brilliant, I shall be doing this often.

  14. May 11, 2012 / 5:30 pm

    Looks good got to try it do u have a recipe for pylori and the hot mango an tamarind chutney trini style

  15. Emma
    December 13, 2010 / 12:12 am

    I want to make this dish tonight! I have a bowl of fresh-picked beans from the vege garden, I have onions, garlic and a small tin of coconut cream, but no fresh tomato!!! (sob!) I do have a tin of Italian diced tomatoes, will they do as a substitute???

  16. ccg
    November 18, 2010 / 7:36 pm

    I've made something similar to this before and with the aroma of the coconut milk….. delish!!

  17. Kysha
    October 24, 2010 / 8:18 am

    Simply delicious. I would definitely be trying more of your recipes.

  18. Pamela
    April 24, 2010 / 1:06 pm

    Hey Chris, I love using coconut cream,, The one I use comes in a block form in a box.
    Looks like I am having coconut frenchbeans along with my Sunday dinner.

  19. Lynn
    April 15, 2010 / 2:56 pm

    Hi Chris , just wait till you add salt fish to this recipe .

    • April 17, 2010 / 11:53 pm

      Lynn, I'm actually thinking about doing so, but with a slight difference.. with some curry as well. Look for that recipe within the next couple days.

  20. Leisha
    April 15, 2010 / 3:18 am

    Hi Chris, this actually one of my favorite dish. But I alway add saltfish in my recipe. Absolutely more-ish!! serve with rice. Keep up the great work!

    • April 17, 2010 / 11:52 pm

      Be sure to also try adding left over stew meats, like chicken beef or pork. Just as lovely as with saltfish

  21. Wendy
    April 5, 2010 / 7:45 pm

    This looks easy and delicious. Pimento peppers would be nice in it too.
    Thanks Chris.

    • April 17, 2010 / 11:51 pm

      Ahh.. that's a great idea. I'm sure it will heighten the overall flavour

  22. March 26, 2010 / 1:52 am

    It taste really good once you allow the flavour to marinate properly. In addition, if you add one pimento pepper this really boost up the flavours some more.

    • admin
      March 26, 2010 / 10:15 am

      Candice, thanks for leaving us your tips and comments.

      happy cooking


  23. Meena
    March 18, 2010 / 9:29 am

    I cook this all the time and use the frozen french cut beans. After I sautee the onion, garlic and hot pepper in the olive oil, I throw in the frozen beans. When the beans starts drying out, then I throw in the coconut milk. I have used three versions of coconut milk (block, powder and liquid). They all work well. Happy cooking!

    • admin
      March 26, 2010 / 10:42 am

      Meena, thanks for the tip on using frozen beans.. I never tried that since I thought it would go to mush and not hold it’s shape. I’ll have to give this a try.

      happy cooking


  24. January 11, 2010 / 7:42 pm

    Very delicious! I made it tonight with some frozen french beans. As an island vegetarian, I am always looking for tasty new dishes. Thanks!
    .-= Psyche´s last blog ..Happy New Year! =-.

    • admin
      January 19, 2010 / 4:31 pm

      Psyche, Thanks! All the best to you and yours for 2010. I’ll try my best to post some more vegetarian recipes as we go along.

      Happy Cooking


  25. Tara
    December 28, 2009 / 10:45 am

    I want to try this but ive never seen the coconut cream in a block like that. I will use canned but i just want to clarify that you are using coconut milk as opossed to coconut cream like the “coco lopez” stuff they use to make pina coladas. I assume its coconut milk but if you could clarify that for me I’d appreciate it. Thanks it looks delicious!

  26. peter thomas
    November 30, 2009 / 3:00 am

    they look so delicious chris, having them for dinner tonight, definatly :)))

  27. November 4, 2009 / 12:49 am

    Wow those look good! Will be on the menu tomorrow evening!

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