Basically unheard of a few years ago, they’re now turning up in the produce aisle of many big grocery stores with a good array of international foods and at farmers’ markets. Of course, they’re available year-round at Asian grocery stores. The flavour is green bean, but the texture is meatier, so they stand up well to longer cooking and stewing.
Also known as yardlong beans, this veggie is rich in dietary fibre, which can help promote digestive health and prevent constipation. Long beans are also a good source of protein, vitamins, and minerals, including vitamin C, vitamin A, and potassium. They contain antioxidants that help protect against cell damage, inflammation, and chronic diseases. Additionally, long beans are low in calories and fat, making them a great option for people who are trying to maintain a healthy weight.
They can be cooked in a variety of ways, including stir-frying, steaming, or grilling, and are a great addition to many different dishes. Here, we’re giving an Asian twist to the classic green beans almandine. This recipe serves 4 as a side dish.
2 tbsp yellow miso paste
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 large or 2 small shallots, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh ginger, peeled
4 cups chopped long beans, washed, stems trimmed, cut into approx. 4-inch lengths
1/2 cup raw slivered almonds
1/4 cup medium-dry sherry
1/4 cup veggie or mushroom stock
In small bowl, whisk together miso paste, soy sauce and maple syrup; set aside.
In very large skillet or wok over high heat, add sesame oil, vegetable oil, shallots, garlic and ginger and cook, stirring vigorously, about 1 minute. Do not let garlic burn; remove from heat if garlic is getting too dark.
Add beans and almonds; stir to combine with oils and aromatics.
Add sherry and let alcohol burn off for about 30 seconds, then add the miso mixture and stock; stir well to coat. Reduce heat to low and simmer until beans are tender-crisp, about 5 minutes.
TIP If cooking with North American green beans, simply snip the stem end and leave whole.
From Hudson, Quebec, now living in Port Hope, Ontario, Signe is a restaurant chef-turned-writer who tells award-winning stories and creates delicious recipes for LCBO’s Food & Drink, Manna Pro Hearty Homestead, The Harvest Commission, and Today’s Parent; she published her first book – Happy Hens & Fresh Eggs; Keeping Chickens in the Kitchen Garden with 100 Recipes – in 2015.