Chinese Sesame Limas

"Good hot, cold, room temperature. These do not taste like lima beans. They are from my favorite Chinese cookbook, The Key To Chinese Cooking, by Irene Kuo, copyright 1977. I have made nothing from the cookbook that isn't entirely wonderful."
photo by PalatablePastime photo by PalatablePastime
photo by PalatablePastime
photo by Derf2440 photo by Derf2440
photo by Derf2440 photo by Derf2440
photo by Derf2440 photo by Derf2440
photo by BarbryT photo by BarbryT
Ready In:


  • 1 (10 ounce) package frozen large lima beans (Fordhook)
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 12 cup chicken broth (recommended) or 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil


  • Remove limas from package and let defrost a little and separate them with your fingers.
  • Heat a skillet over high heat until hot; add the peanut oil, swirl, heat for 30 seconds.
  • Scatter in the beans; stir-fry briskly for 30 seconds until the color turns icy green.
  • Sprinkle in the salt and sugar and stir rapidly for another 30 seconds to season them evenly.
  • Add the stock or water, even out the beans, turn heat to medium-low to maintain a strong simmer.
  • Cover (but leave the cover ajar so the liquid will concentrate) and simmer for about 5 minutes.
  • Uncover, turn heat high and stir rapidly until the remaining liquid has evaporated.
  • Add the sesame oil, stir to distribute evenly and pour into serving dish.

Questions & Replies

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  1. I liked the flavors that this recipe added to the lima beans. I did play with the amounts a bit since my lima bean package was 16 oz instead of 10, and wasn't watching them closely enough at the end so they got a little...overbrowned (just a few of them). Just keep your eyes on the heat once you get to the last step.
  2. These were outstanding! Like many people, I don't like limas at all, but I trusted the description for this recipe. The unusual blend of salty, sweet and sesame appealed to me, as well as the ease of the recipe. The limas had a creamy "comfort food" rexture, almost like potatoes, and we slightly preferred them hot. For dinner with friends, I prepared 2 recipes ahead, following the recipes exactly, and nibbling all the while:-) The 4 of us started with them as appetizers (on tooth picks tee-hee) and finished them off as a side dish. So, you see, we ate 2 whole recipes - in addition to chicken, rice, vegtable and bread! Everyone wanted to keep eating them, and we all agreed they were fantastic. So, thanks, BarbryT! I will surely make these more at home - because they are sooo easy, and for gatherings - where they will impress people because they are addictively delicious and uncommon.
  3. YUM!! My husband hates lima beans. And, he went back for seconds. I did not see a 10 oz bag of frozen lima beans at my store, so I used 14 oz. I kept all of the other measurements the same, though. These were easy and so very yummy! (And, on the Weight Watchers Points Plus program, the whole recipe was only 8 points.)
  4. Different, but they grow on you. If I were to make these again, I would decrease the amount of salt and sugar. I liked the sesame oil! I used baby lima beans by mistake (I have nevery heard of them) so they didn't have that creamy texture but tasted a lot like edamame and would be good on a salad.
  5. I am sorry to give such a low review, but no one here really enjoyed these. To me, the flavor of the sesame was the only flavor that stood out, and I could not finish, despite the fact that other reviewers rated this highly, and I even like lima beans a lot. ~Sue


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