Chinese Long Bean Salad (凉拌豇豆)
August 21, 2021  Print
We have been harvesting quite a few Chinese long beans (also known as yardlong beans or asparagus beans) from our raised garden beds. So today’s recipe is a salad dish using Chinese long beans along with an update on our raised vegetable garden.
I had no idea it was this easy to grow my own Chinese long beans before moving to Texas. We removed our zucchinis due to widespread damage from squash borer larvae despite my tireless efforts to remove the squash borer eggs. Apparently squash borers are widespread in Texas. At least we had a good month and half harvest of fresh zucchinis. Ironically, I probably should thank the squash borers. We would not have had the space for Chinese long beans and other vine vegetables had the zucchinis kept flourishing.
We installed a trellis and planted several different vine vegetables from seed, including Chinese long bean, Chinese cucumber, Chinese okra (luffa). We planted the seeds on June 20th. By early August, our Chinese long beans and Chinese cucumbers were mature enough for harvest. The cucumbers have small bright yellow flowers. The long beans have violet flowers that look like butterflies. They both grow very fast. About every two days, I have enough long beans and cucumbers to make a dish. Some of my Chinese long beans do grow quite long, with lengths approaching one yard.
My two boys love eating fresh vegetables from our organic garden. I wash the Chinese cucumbers and cut them into long strips and give them to my boys as a snack. The Chinese cucumbers have delicate skins and soft seeds so I don’t need to peel or de-seed at all.
As for the Chinese long beans (yardlong beans), I usually cut them into small pieces and stir-fry them with minced meat. Alternatively, I will cut them into segments, then blanch, and turn them into salad. I also plan to pickle some when I have more. When I prepare the Chinese long bean salad for my boys, I skip the fresh chili peppers (or only put one or two small pieces). The Chinese long bean has a subtly-sweet taste with quite a unique texture. After blanching, the long beans become softer and sweeter. Adding fried garlic, chili peppers, Sichuan peppercorn infused oil, and other seasonings create a perfect balance for this refreshing summer salad. It goes well on its own, as a noodle topping, or with porridge and rice.
The amount of ingredients for this long bean salad recipe is meant for 2 people although my husband can easily finish the entire dish by himself. So double or triple the portion if you are serving more than 2 people.
Gluten Free, Vegan, Low Carb
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 2 people
- 1/2 lb (~225 g) Chinese long beans 1
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 to 2 fresh chili peppers 2
- 1/2 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt (or 1/8 teaspoon table salt)
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons light soy sauce 3
- Boil a pot of water in a medium sauce pan. While waiting for the water to bubble, prepare the other ingredients.
- Cut the yard long beans into ~1.5 inch (~3.8cm) long pieces. Peel and mince the garlic. Remove the seeds from the fresh chili peppers and chop them into small pieces (if looking for more kick, no need to remove the seeds). Put the minced garlic and chopped fresh chili peppers in a small bowl.
- When the water boils, add the chopped yard long beans and a few drops of vegetable oil. Keep the heat at medium-high and the lid uncovered for 3 minutes. When the timer is up, do a quick taste test to make sure the long beans are cooked through (be careful not to burn your tongue). If the yard long beans still seem a bit raw, cook another minute. Promptly transfer the yard long beans into a colander and run under cold water for a few seconds to stop the cooking. Drain and transfer the yard long beans to a mixing bowl.
- Heat the 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a skillet (ideally a cast iron skillet) and add the 1/2 teaspoon of Sichuan peppercorns. When the peppercorns turn to a dark reddish or brown color, take the peppercorns out and pour the hot oil onto the minced garlic and chopped chili peppers (there should be a distinctive sizzling sound from pouring the oil). Mix the oil with the garlic and chili peppers. Then add the rest of the seasoning, 1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon of sugar, and 2 teaspoons of light soy sauce, stirring thoroughly with a pair of chopsticks or a fork.
- Pour the salad dressing from step 4 onto the long beans. Mix evenly. Enjoy!
- You can find Chinese long beans (also known as many other names such as yardlong beans and asparagus beans) in most Asian grocery stores. If you can’t find yard long beans, use French haricots verts (French green beans) instead.
- Skip or only add a few pieces if you have low tolerance for spicy food. On the other hand, if you want more kick, add more fresh chili peppers.
- Make sure to use gluten-free soy sauce or tamari if gluten sensitive or intolerant.
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