Chinese long beans are also known as yard-long beans, asparagus beans, or snake beans. These vibrant, flavorful beans are a staple in Chinese cuisine, offering a crunchy texture and loaded with flavors. In this blog post, I'll explore a delicious Chinese long beans recipe that combines the umami flavor of soy sauce and the kick of minced garlic to create the perfect side dish.
What are Chinese long beans?
Chinese long bean is widely used in Asia and is a popular ingredient in various Asian cuisines. Chinese long beans are long, slender, and can grow from 1 to 3 feet long. The beans are typically green, but some varieties may have a purple hue. The texture of Chinese long beans is crisp and tender, similar to regular green beans, but with a slightly chewier quality. The taste of Chinese long beans is similar to American green beans, but they may have a slightly nutty or earthy flavor. They can be prepared in a variety of ways.
You can get Chinese long beans in many Asian markets and some well-stocked supermarkets. When choosing Chinese long beans, look for firm, fresh, and vibrant colors.
Chinese long beans: Cut them into 2-3 inches pieces.
Cooking oil: For stir-frying.
Sugar: Sugar helps balance the flavors in the stir-fried Chinese long beans dish. It balances the saltiness of the soy sauce and enhances the overall taste.
Light soy sauce: It provides the saltiness and umami taste.
Minced garlic Adds a pungent and savory flavor to the dish. Garlic is a common aromatic in Chinese cuisine and enhances the overall taste of the stir-fried beans.
Water: You can also use vegetable broth.
Salt and black pepper: to taste
Step-by-step cooking instructions
Wash and trim the ends of the long beans, cutting them into 2-3 inch pieces.
Heat cooking oil in a large skillet or a wok over medium high heat; add half of the minced garlic (1 teaspoon) to the wok and sauté for about 30 seconds until it becomes fragrant.
Add Chinese long beans and stir-fry until they reach a crunchy yet tender consistency, about 30 seconds.
Add light soy sauce, water, and sugar, continuously stir fry, and cover with a lid to let it simmer for 8-10 minutes or until it reaches your desired level of doneness. They should be tender but still have a slight crunch.
Add the remaining minced garlic( 1 teaspoon) to the Chinese long green beans at the end of the cooking to add extra aromatic. Salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with roasted sesame seeds and serve. Enjoy!
Chinese long beans are versatile. Here are some suggestions for variations or additional ingredients to enhance your Chinese long beans recipe:
Add protein: Add protein by including diced tofu, sliced chicken, shrimp, or even minced pork. Cook the meat of your choice along with the Chinese long beans for a more substantial dish.
Spicy kick: Add sliced chili peppers, chili flakes, or a dash of hot sauce if you enjoy a bit of heat.
Sesame oil finish: Drizzle a small amount of toasted sesame oil over the Chinese long beans after cooking to impart a rich aroma.
Extra vegetables: Add different kinds of vegetables to this recipe for extra flavors, such as shiitake mushrooms, Broccoli, or baby bok choy.
Crispy shallots or garlic: Garnish the finished Chinese long beans recipe with crispy fried shallots or garlic for an extra layer of texture and flavor.
Feel free to mix and match them based on your preferences.:)
Pro tips for the best result
Here are some pro tips to help you get the best result from stir-frying Chinese long beans:
Dry beans for crispiness: Pat the washed Chinese long beans dry before cooking. The excess moisture can lead to steaming rather than stir-frying, affecting the desired crispiness.
Hot wok or pan: Preheat your wok or pan thoroughly before adding the oil. A hot cooking surface helps achieve stir-fried dishes' characteristic sear.
Use high smoke point oil: Choose oils with high smoke points, such as vegetable oil, peanut oil, or canola oil. This prevents the oil from breaking down and smoking at high temperatures.
Stir constantly: Keep the Chinese long beans moving by stirring constantly. This ensures even cooking and prevents sticking or burning.
Storing and reheating leftovers
To store the leftover Chinese long beans, transfer them to an airtight container. Refrigerate the container promptly. Chinese long beans should be stored in the refrigerator and consumed within 2 to 3 days for the best quality.
The stovetop is generally the best method for reheating stir-fried Chinese long beans. Heat a non-stick skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add a minimal amount of oil to the skillet or wok. Add the leftover Chinese long beans to the heated skillet or wok. Stir the Chinese long beans constantly. Heat the Chinese long beans until they are thoroughly warmed but not overcooked.
If you're short on time, you can also use a microwave for reheating, but remember that the texture might not be as crisp as stovetop reheating.
This Chinese long beans recipe is a must-try if you love Chinese food. The combination of fresh Chinese long beans, garlic, and a few seasonings creates a dish that adds a touch of Asian flair to your table. Enjoy this flavorful side dish that pairs perfectly with your main dish or as a quick and delicious meal!
Chinese Long Beans Recipe (Stir Fried With Garlic)
- 1 pound Chinese long beans (Cut into 2-3 inches)
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- 1.5 tablespoons light soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- ¼ cup water
- salt and black pepper to taste
- Wash and trim the ends of the long beans, cutting them into 2-3 inch pieces.
- Heat cooking oil in a large skillet or a wok over medium high heat; add half of the minced garlic (1 teaspoon) to the wok and sauté for about 30 seconds until it becomes fragrant.
- Add Chinese long beans and stir-fry until they reach a crunchy yet tender consistency, about 30 seconds.
- Add light soy sauce, water, and sugar, continuously stir fry, and cover with a lid to let it simmer for 8-10 minutes or until it reaches your desired level of doneness. They should be tender but still have a slight crunch.
- Add the remaining minced garlic( 1 teaspoon) to the Chinese long green beans at the end of the cooking to add extra aromatic. Salt and pepper to taste.
- Garnish with roasted sesame seeds and serve. Enjoy!