Meet the Chinese Long Bean
There are often those vegetables that we often walk by at the grocery store and never put in our cart. We may look at them and say "oh those are cool" but we walk right by, leaving us clueless to what might be. I want to change that one veggie at a time. Today that veggie is Chinese Long Beans. As the name says these beans are LONG. Really long. You could cut them into thirds and they would then be about the size of your average American green bean. They are also thin and not very beany. They are like long French Beans or Haricot Verts.
How to Select Good Chinese Long Beans?
You want to find them without black spots. Long beans aren't as firm or "snappy" as the green beans, but they shouldn't be overly floppy or slimy. Long beans should be stored in the fridge but not in the plastic bag you brought them home from the store in. The plastic traps in moisture that will rot the beans. Straight into your crisper drawer is your best bet, but I would still try to prepare them as soon as you can.
How to Cook Chinese Long Beans?
You can cook them just as you would green beans. Their size makes them a good choice for a stir fry as they are easy to move around in a pan or wok. I was searching for a recipe online and came across one from Food Network's Aaron McCargo. I pretty much made his recipe (give Aaron the credit!), but with some minor changes. Here is what I did:
- 1 pound Chinese long beans cut in half, with ends removed
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
- 4-5 cloves garlic minced
- ⅓ cup vegetable stock homemade would be best
- 2 ½ tablespoons wildflower honey
- 2 tablespoons cooking oil grape seed, sunflower, sesame
- Salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
- 3 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add long beans. Cook until just about done, then remove from pot and set aside.
- In a large saute pan or wok, melt the butter over medium high heat and mix in the cooking oil.
- Add the sesame seeds. Cook until they are starting to brown. No more than 1 minute as they will burn fast. Remove and set aside.
- Add the garlic. Cook for 30 seconds until garlic is brown and fragrant.
- Add the stock, honey, and ginger. Bring to a boil.
- Add the long beans and toasted sesame seeds, Cook until the beans have softened to your liking and the liquid has cooked down into more of a glaze. Turn the heat down or add more liquid if the pan get too dry and the beans aren't done to what you want.
- Serve hot. Serving suggestion including serving them over rice or quinoa.