These Chinese Long Beans are delicious and
easy-to-cook. This recipe, and photos were shared with me by Karen
Calanchini, Food Stylist and Photographer, of Redding, CA.
Chinese Long Beans (also know as Yard Long Beans, Asparagus Beans, Garter
Beans, and Snake Beans) - A long, thin Asian bean that can measure from 1 to
3 feet in length. These beans are a subtropical/tropical plant that is widely
grown in Southeastern Asia, Thailand, and Southern China, and are a cousin to
the cowpea or black-eye pea.
These beans are best eaten when they measure from 12 to 20 inches long. It is a
bean with a mild taste, similar to a Western string bean. Unlike the shorter
string bean, this bean has a soft texture that is flexible and not as crisp or
moist as the Western variety.
Cooking with Chinese Long Beans:
These beans are cooked as you would green beans. They have a mild asparagus-like
flavor and are delicious sautéed or steamed. You can use them as you do any
green bean in your cooking. If you are picking them from your garden, as I
do, look for beans that have started to swell in the pods.
More of Linda's great
Bean Recipes, and learn about
Green Bean Hints, Tips, and Information.
Sautéed Chinese Long Beans Recipe:
Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 10 min
8 ounces fresh Chinese Long Beans
Scant 1 tablespoon olive oil
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
1/4 cup chicken stock
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme or 1/8 teaspoon fresh
Coarse salt or sea salt and freshly-ground pepper
Fresh-squeezed lemon juice*
* An optional sauce for the beans, use 1/4 cup
Tomato Raisin Fusion Salsa.
Rinse and towel dry the beans. Cut off the stem ends and
cut the bean into thirds.
In a sauté pan or large frying pan over medium-high heat,
heat the olive oil. Add the prepared Chinese Long Beans and sauté until they
turn a bright green. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant, stirring often.
Add chicken stock, place
a lid on the pan, and cook just until beans are cooked to your liking. Add
salt, pepper, and lemon juice (or optional sauce); toss and serve.
Makes 2 servings.
Growing Chinese Long Beans:
Chinese Long Beans grow from the dried bean to beautiful vines. The flowers are
white and blue and form beautiful, long beans, usually with two or more beans
attached to the same stem. They must have something to climb on, so the beans
can grow long and straight.
As these beans are a subtropical/tropical plant, they may not grow in your area.
They grow only moderately in cool northern climes. Chinese Long Beans are very
prolific and can be picked when you beans start to swell in the pod. They grow
very fast and you need to check them everyday.
Drying Chinese Long Beans:
you have been growing these beans, before the season ends, allow a few of the
bean pods to mature on the vine, and save some of the beans for future
planting. Tie a bunch together at the stem end and hang to dry in a cool, dry
place. It takes just a few days for the pods and beans to dry.
Once dry, snap them in half, place in a bucket, and store (Karen stores them in
her garage.) Be sure to label them so you won’t forget what they are when Spring
Come Spring (after the frost date in your area and the soil has warmed to 65
degrees F.), plant the seeds in your garden where they will have enough space to
spread out and can climb up onto a trellis. We have a pvc
pipe framework over our raised vegetable beds to adhere shade cloth during the
hot summer months. Since I live in northern California, this is necessary. We
strung sturdy rope between the framework of the pvc pipes. The beans really took
of on that rope and found the pvc pipe, which they wrapped themselves around.
Chinese Long Beans:
These beans freeze well and are great eating all winter long. Simply wash them
off and let dry. After they are dry, cut off the stem ends, cut beans in half,
and then blanch in boiling water for 1 minute. Drain and freeze.
NOTE: I use a Food Saver Vacuum sealer which prevents any frost