Sichuan Style Stir-Fried Chinese Long Beans

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.

Sichuan Style Stir-Fried Chinese Long Beans Recipe

  • Yield: Serves 3-4.

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.

Ingredients

  • 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)

Method

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.

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18 Comments

  1. Val

    I absolutely love this side dish. I ate it many times when I travelled through China, about five years ago. I found the crunchy texture of the beans together with the spice from the peppercorns completely addictive.

  2. Christina

    I get the purple ones in my CSA basket (and have seen all colors at the farmers market). Such a striking color! And they keep their color during cooking! I found that I like them stir-fried with garlic, red pepper (because I don’t have chilies), and tamari sauce or soy sauce with rice. Last night I did this and added roasted okra (which is delicious and non-slimy), and it was a unique kind of dinner. :)

    I will have to try adding sesame oil sometime since I already have it on hand!

  3. Christina

    Oh, I’ve also heard they’re good with fermented bean curd, but I’ve never tried it.

    They are wonderful that way! Though you need to like fermented bean curd. ~Garrett

  4. Marten

    Side dish? This is often a main course at our house. Garrett’s version looks very similar to my wife’s. (She is from Xi’an.) The main difference being that she adds garlic which comes out deliciously crunchy and adds a whole new layer of texture. She uses freshly ground Sichuan peppercorn instead of lightly crushed, although my tastes run to the heat so I’d probably prefer the crushed.

  5. Sylvie in Rappahannock

    It’s the first year I am growing Yard-Long Beans, and I love their versatility and how fast they cook, a bonus for the harried and hungry gardener. Next year, I am going to add the red ones to the garden!

  6. Pat in Newcastle

    Many thanks for this recipe. Our two towers of long beans are still producing (we live up the road in Placer County) and now I can expand my long bean repertoire.

    I am so grateful for your site.

  7. Rivki Locker

    Where oh where can I find these beautiful beans in South New Jersey?

  8. Laura @ SweetSavoryPlanet

    I love these beans. There is a specialty Asian organic farmer down the street from us that grows these beans and we get them fresh. Usually I stir fry them with garlic but your recipe looks delicious and spicy.

  9. Dr Sudeepta

    I live in a an area in India called the northeast of India, which is quite near China, and these beans are so so abundantly grown here and are available easily. We have so many other delicious dishes made from these beans. My Ma cooks them with dried peas and it’s one of my most fav dishes. Anyway,thanks for the recipe!

  10. Farmgirl Susan

    YUM! I’ve been meaning to try growing some of these beans in my kitchen garden. Thanks for the inspiration – it’s never too early to start planning next year’s seed order! ;)

  11. Flood

    This was my first experience with Sichuan peppercorns. Intoxicating aroma. Can’t feel my tongue. Weird and wonderful.

  12. Elrine

    Adding a few sliced mushrooms increases flavour as well as nutritional value…

  13. Vieshnavi Rattehalli

    This recipe inspired me to incorporate chinese green beans into my typical stir fry mix. I love food and cooking, and I’ve been trying to expand my vegetarian food repertoire outside the box of Indian cuisine.

    Thanks!

  14. michele

    As a vegetarian, stir fried vegetables including green beans is a favorite to eat. I like to finish the meal with Chinese tea. Your recipe looks delicious.

  15. Leslie Forman

    Elise, thanks for featuring this. Greetings from Beijing! This is a delicious dish that they have at most restaurants in China. Usually it has little pieces of pork, an addition that is likely more popular in China than California. My local Taiwanese restaurant makes this with little pieces of mushroom and mini dried shrimp. Tasty, if non-traditional! Anyways, I hope all is well with you!

    Hey Leslie! Bring back some Chinese recipes will you? Hope you are having a great time there. ~Elise

  16. Lynn

    Mmm, it’s a good thing we just got these beans (called sitaw here in the Philippines) at the supermarket earlier. :D

  17. Grace

    These beans are also great with some garlic and Chinese preserved black olives (completely different look, texture and taste to Italian olives). Lends a great depth of flavour to the beans.

  18. Kc

    I like to add 2 crushed cloves of garlic with the hot pepper. Marinate the pork or beef (grounded) with soy sauce, salt, pepper, oyster sauce with minced 1/2 of onion into another bowl while the woke is getting heated up. If you like a little sweetness, you could had a little bit of brown sugar. When wok is ready, throw the marniated pork in and stir it so it won’t burn and throw in the green beans. Adjust the sauce to your taste. While working the woke add a bit of water so to bring out the steam.

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