Sauteed Chinese Long Beans are delicious to eat and easy-to-cook. 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 sauteed 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.
This recipe, and photos were shared with me by Karen Calanchini, Food Stylist and Photographer, of Redding, CA.
- 8 ounces Chinese Long Beans, fresh
- 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 thyme
- Coarse salt or sea salt and freshly-ground pepper
- Lemon juice, freshly squeezed
Rinse and towel dry the beans.
Cut off the stem ends and cut the Chinese Long Beans into thirds.
In a saute pan or large frying pan over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil. Add the prepared Chinese Long Beans and saute until they turn a bright green. Add garlic and thyme, then saute 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.
* An optional sauce for the beans, use 1/4 cup Tomato Raisin Fusion Salsa.
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:
If 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 comes.
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.
Freezing 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 burn.
15 Responses to “Sauteed Chinese Long Beans Recipe”
I was just given some of these long beans. This was very informative thanks
I planted these beans for the first time. Really looking forward to tasting your recipe. Since I live near Sacramento, I would really like to know more about your pvc structure over your beds and if you drop strings to attach to the growing vines to climb.
First time I ever planted asparagus beans and had to pull several plants due to ants. What I did salvage grew well. A very mild taste. Very good.
I plant my beans right next to my corn which acts as a trellis.
This is the first time I planted these beans or ate them. They have a string the full length of them which ended up in my mouth, grossed me out. I did enjoy them after I removed the string first. Cooked with bacon is my favorite way to eat them.
The Chinese foot-long beans grown here in central Florida are much denser than “regular” green beans. Maybe it has something to do with the soil I’m using. Its been a challenge to find a recipe to make them palatable to my 7-year-old (the plants are very productive, so we’ve had plenty to work with!). They do make a beautiful climbing plant.
I discovered these one year when I couldn’t find regular green bean plants and have grown them ever since! They are fun to grow and I love their little flowers. Interestingly, I am in the Chicago area (not tropical!) and I find they grow great here!
Thyme is listed in the ingredients, but never mentioned again. I added them along with the garlic, but what is your recommendation?
Whats Cooking America
That would be correct to add the thyme with the garlic during the saute since it’s an aromatic. The instructions have been corrected. Thanks for the catch!
I have a market garden and long beans sell well mostly to customers who have cooked them before. We usually keep a basic recipe close at hand. Question however, any suggestions on cooking the long beans if they get a little too large and the pod is not dense. I guess I could shell the seed to eat fresh but any preferred recipe once large. I do not take the oversized beans to market.
Hard to go wrong prepping green beans, but I totally appreciate your tips on my first time. Thank you!
You’re welcome, you are right it is hard to go wrong but new cooks are always looking for those “cooking 101” lessons that seem second nature to those of us that have been cooking for ages.
I planted some yard long beans and the have produced quickly, I have seen some large ants on the plant buds, it did not seem to affect the plants. Are the ants symbiotic with the plants, or should I spray to kill the ants ?
I found a packet of these seeds last year and planted a few of them. We really enjoyed them, they are a tough heat loving plant. I saved seeds and replanted about 15 feet and have them growing on a cattle panel for a trellis. I am giving bunches away and making believers of this bean plant! Now I have a recipe for putting them up for later! Green beans have not produced much here in south Texas so these Asian beans are a blessing!
Yummy. My wife hates green beans but loved these. Added a few slices of red onion and a third of a Roma tomato. Just before removal from stove, sprinkled on just a light dusting of Wondra flour to thicken the pan liquids. These beans are easy and fun to grow. Bought the purple podded ones as they are a lot easier to see on the vines. The juice of a small Key Lime added at service. Thanks for the post.