What Are Chinese Long Beans?
Chinese long beans (also called Chinese green beans, yard-long 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, Chinese long beans are a wonderul option for adding to main courses or using for simple side dishes.
How to Cook Chinese Long Beans
I love to prepare Chinese long beans in a Sichuanese style using Sichuan peppercorns and dried chilies (preferably, a Chinese variety).
First we quickly stir fry the chilies and peppercorns in peanut oil to bring out their flavors. Then we add the long beans to the hot pan, and stir-fry for just a few minutes.
To finish we take the pan off the heat and toss with a little dark sesame oil and soy sauce. Easy!
Long Beans Vs. String Beans
Long beans are (obviously) longer than string beans, but that's not the only difference between the two vegetables. Long beans are in a different family than string beans. They have a crunchy texture, and they are not as sweet as a string bean. However, their flavors are similar enough that you can often prepare them in the same way. In this recipe, you can substitute string beans for long beans.
How to Prep Chinese Long Beans
Prepping Chinese long beans is simple. Wash them in clean water and then trim the ends. Finally, if a recipe calls for them to be in certain lengths - as this one does - cut them to the appropriate length.
Additions to Chinese Long Beans
So many of our readers have made and loved this recipe over the years. Here are a few of their suggested additions.
- A clove or two of crushed garlic
- Salted black olives
- Sliced mushrooms
- Fermented bean curd
- Crushed red pepper (for extra heat)
No wok? No Problem
If you don't have a wok, use a sturdy, large sauté pan that has at least a two-inch lip.
More Chinese Stir-Fry Recipes to Try!
- Stir-Fried Green Beans With Ginger and Onions
- Mushroom Stir-Fry With Peas and Green Onions
- Spicy Tofu Stir-Fry
- Broccoli Stir-Fry With Ginger and Sesame
- Easy Vegetable Stir-Fried Rice
Sichuan Style Stir-Fried Chinese Long Beans
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, trimmed and cut into 3 inch segments
- 1 tablespoon peanut oil
- 4 to 6 dried chilies, preferably Sichuanese, roughly chopped
- 1 teaspoon whole Sichuan peppercorns, lightly crushed
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon roasted sesame oil
- Splash soy sauce
Add the oil, stir-fry the chilies and peppers:
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.
Add the long beans, salt, and sugar:
Add the long beans and stir-fry vigorously for 3 to 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.
Stir in the sesame oil and soy sauce:
Remove from heat. Stir in the sesame oil and soy sauce. Serve immediately.