This post is part of a larger series: An Asian Twist on a Traditional Holiday Meal. Other posts in this series include Chinese Oven Roasted Duck, Keroppi Cookies,Totoro Cookies, and Taro Fries.
Have you ever seen Chinese long beans? It's got a ton of alternate names, such as the Snake Bean, 豇豆 (Chinese), or even the long podded cowpea (?!).
Though similar to the American green bean, this bean is actually a different species and typically grows about 1 ½ feet long! It's less "crunchy" than normal string beans, but more dense, and I think has a sweeter and nuttier flavor.
As part of my Asian-inspired Thanksgiving, I decided to replace the traditional green bean casserole with these lovely, garlic stir-fried long beans. These long beans are so easy to make, and give a huge bang for your buck in terms of cost, time spent, and nutrition.
I've always loved the Chinese way of preparing vegetables because nothing is ever cooked for too long. Beans only stay in the hot wok briefly before coming back out. With this cooking method, vegetables keep their nutrients, flavor, and bright green color.
These long beans only take about 10 minutes to prepare, which is definitely easier, faster (and probably healthier) than a traditional green bean casserole.
Chop long beans into 2 inch segments, prepare a hot wok with oil, briefly brown garlic, and then add the beans. You may need to add a bit of water and cover for a minute or two, but that's it!
So easy, and so, so good.
Stir Fried Garlic Chinese Long Beans
1 bunch of Chinese long beans (about ½ lb)
2 T vegetable oil
1 T garlic, minced
½ teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1 teaspoon soy sauce (or to taste)
Cut up long beans into 2 inch segments. Heat work to medium high heat. Add vegetable oil and minced garlic. When garlic begins to slightly brown, add beans. Add about 1 tablespoon of water, cover, and steam. Wait about 5 minutes, or until beans are cooked through. Add salt and soy sauce to taste.You can optionally add a bit of sugar or hoisin sauce as well if you like it sweet, but I didn't add any.
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