Ever order Chinese long beans at a Chinese restaurant? So so good. Guest author Garrett McCord shows us how to cook them up quickly, Sichuan style. ~Elise
Chinese long beans (also called Chinese green beans, yardlong beans, and chopstick beans) are a staple vegetable in much of Southeastern Asia. While they can be eaten raw they’re often thrown in stir-fries, curries, and omelettes. They taste like the European-American style of green beans but the flavor is sharper and they have a crunchier texture. Incredibly healthy and now widely available in most supermarkets, Farmers’ Markets, and Asian markets, they’re a new and affordable option for adding to main courses or using for simple side dishes.
I love to prepare them in a Sichuanese style using Sichuan peppercorns and dried chilies (preferably, a Chinese variety). The spices are quickly stir-fried to bring out their flavors before the long beans are added. The result is a fiery dish that will awaken the senses and perk up your usual dinner rotation.
Chinese long beans can be found in both green and purple varieties. Both have similar flavors and textures, and either kind can be used for this recipe.
- 1/2 pound Chinese long beans
- 1 tablespoon peanut oil (sesame or vegetable can suffice)
- 4-6 dried chilies, preferably Sichuanese, roughly chopped
- 1 teaspoon whole Sichuan peppercorns, lightly crushed
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 3 teaspoons sesame oil
- Splash of soy sauce (use gluten-free soy sauce for gluten-free option)
1 Add a tablespoon of peanut oil to a wok or a large sauté pan over medium heat and swirl until hot. Add chilies and peppers and stir-fry briefly until fragrant.
2 Add the long beans and stir-fry vigorously for 3-4 minutes (you don't want the spices to burn, if they start to then turn down the heat a bit). Season with salt and sugar and stir-fry a few seconds more to mix it all together.
3 Remove from heat. Stir in the sesame oil and soy sauce. Serve immediately.