INDONESIAN GRILLED GREEN BEANS with lemon aioli dipping sauce

Indonesian grilledbeans

I’m so happy about this recipe.  Here’s why: the preparation is extremely quick and easy – and  fresh, healthy green beans are transformed into an addictive, sumptuous treat.  I love to serve these as an appetizer with lemon aioli dipping sauce.  But they are also good enough to stand on their own as a simple side dish.  

trimmed string beans

The inspiration for this dish comes from my research into Indonesian cuisine, where Satay – also know as Sate – is perhaps the most famous spice mixture, and where grilling is among the most popular cooking techniques. Traditional Satay is a dish consisting of skewered and grilled meat or poultry.  The spice mix varies, but its signature yellow color comes from ground turmeric root.

how to make satay spice mix

This mix of spices – though intended for beef, pork, fish and chicken –  works incredibly well on green beans.

string beans tossed with sate spices

I recommend using a vegetable grill rack, if you have one.  I’ve tried putting the beans directly on the grill.  The result is just as good, except you will inevitably lose some beans through the grates, no matter how careful you are.

grilling string beans

The lemony aioli is the perfect creamy, tangy compliment to the richly spiced, caramelized green beans.

recipe for grilled green beans with satay spices and lemon aioli


Indonesian Grilled Green Beans with lemon aioli dipping sauce
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Spicy, flavorful, grilled string beans are an addictive and healthy appetizer.
Recipe type: Appetizer or side dish
Cuisine: Indonesian
Serves: 4-6
  • Lemon aioli
  • ⅓ cup mayonnaise (I like Hellmans best)
  • ⅓ cup lowfat greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon finely minced garlic or 1 garlic clove, pressed
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons of slivered basil or mint (optional)
  • Indonesian spice mix
  • 1 tablespoon turmeric powder
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • Beans
  • 2 pounds green beans, washed, root ends trimmed off
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  1. Lemon Aioli Mix all of the ingredients in a small bowl. Cover and store in the fridge for up to 3 days.
  2. Indonesian Spice Mix Mix all spices in a small bowl, set aside
  3. Beans Heat the grill to high. If using a vegetable grill rack, place it on the grill to preheat it. Toss the green beans with oil, to coat. Sprinkle the spice mix over the beans and toss to coat evenly. When the grill is hot, put the beans into the grill rack. (Alternatively, if you don't have a grill rack, you can cook the beans directly on the grill by carefully placing them perpendicular to the grates and using care when flipping them so they don't fall through.) Close the grill and cook the beans for 6 minutes, undisturbed. Open the grill and toss the beans. Cover and cook for another 5 minutes. Toss again. Close and cook for a final 5 minutes. Remove beans and mound them onto a platter or serving bowl.
  4. Serve them warm or at room temperature with lemon aioli dipping sauce.



  1. Charlie Slack says

    Hey Lisa — This looks fantastic. Quick question, does it make a difference whether you use American or French beans? I prefer the thinner French ones if we’re just blanching or simmering them but maybe on the grill it doesn’t matter, or maybe for dipping as an appetizer the thicker American beans even work better? Can’t wait to try this. Just pressed “print!”

    • says

      Hi charlie – the recipe is designed for the regular, thick American string beans. I’m sure it can be adapted to the the thinner haricots vert but you’d definitely have to shorten the grilling time. I would suggest checking them and tossing them every 3 or 4 minutes on the grill until they look about 20% browned. Also, I’m not sure you’d be able to dip them. But you could serve them with the aioli drizzled on top and eat them with a fork. If you do try the French beans, I’d love to know how they turn out.

  2. Ingrid says

    Lisa, my garden is overrun with green beans the way some are overrun with zucchini- so great to have another way to serve them. We love this recipe, and have since used the spice mixture on flank steak with the aioli- terrific! my repertoire of your recipes for go-to cooking is growing! xo, Ingrid

  3. Lynne says

    Made these last night – they were delicious. Great recipe.
    Question: I used chili I bought from an Indian spice store that is really hot (although there is no indication on the packaging). I used 1 t. instead of 1 T. and it was still really spicy. What kind (brand?) of chili are you calling for? Thanks!

    • says

      Good question! I use the type of chili powder you’d use for making chili – in the grocery store it’s just called “chili powder.” In specialty stores you could look for “New Mexican chili powder.” Chipotle or ancho would probably be good with the green beans too.

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