Add vegetable oil to a frying pan on medium heat. Once it is hot, add the green beans and let them cook undisturbed for about 1 minute.
Mix the garlic, soy sauce, and pepper (and ginger and garlic, if you'd like) in a bowl.
When the beans have turned bright green add about 1/4 cup water to the pan. Cook another 2 minutes, until the water is mostly gone. Pour in the sauce and gently coat the beans. Cook for another 2 minutes until most of the liquid is gone. Poke the beans with a fork, if it goes through easily they should be done.
Add more soy sauce or pepper if you want it saltier or spicier.
This is a great side dish but can be paired with some rice and fried eggs for a quick meal.