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In Season: Long Beans

Yard-long beans, or asparagus beans, are at the peak of their season right now, which runs from late Summer to early Fall, with the exception of places such as California and Mexico where they grow year-round. They've been springing up in local farmers markets, but you can also find them at most Asian grocery stores. Do you know much about these leggy legumes, which are a relative of the black-eyed pea? To find out what to look for,


  • Choose long, slender, smooth, firm pods that can easily be snapped in half. This indicates that the long beans are young.
  • Avoid beans that are noticeably bulging, or have too many blemishes. These beans may be overly developed and old.
  • The pale green bean is meatier and sweeter than darker yard-long bean varieties.
  • Store refrigerated in a plastic bag for two to five days.

Some preparation ideas:

  • Stew with tomato sauce.
  • Boil and drain, then season with lemon juice, oil, and salt and pepper.
  • Simmer in oil with garlic.
  • Cut into small cubes and add to stir-fries or omelette scrambles.
  • Deep-fry the beans and toss with Vietnamese fish sauce, chili sauce, or Chinese fermented black beans.

Have you tried long beans? What is your favorite preparation?

Join The Conversation
amyinthesky amyinthesky 8 years
my dad plants these in his garden along with a plethora of other chinese veggie goodies.
corcar86 corcar86 8 years
ok, so not quite relevant to the beans but something else that is very delicious which is in season right now is Honey Crisp apples. Now I don't know the exact distribution but I know they are currently available in Whole Foods Markets and Publix on the East Coast (and south-east where I am now residing). If you have not had them they are some of the crunchiest most delicious apples out there and they have a very short harvesting season so make sure you go out and try them asap! My mom likes them with honey poured on top, i like them plain or with peanut butter :) they rock my world so try them!
Mochagold118 Mochagold118 8 years
I love mine sauteed garlic, onions, tomatoes and meat or poultry. Then simmered in coconut milk. Or with some fried fish on the side. very tasty anyhow!
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
oooh these ideas really sound good to me - the oil and garlic or the lemon and salt/pepper sounds great - so i might have to see if i can track these down in my local store!
Food Food 8 years
Nancita, you can cut them into sizes from anything as small as a cube to about six inches long to cook. I'd say anything past half a foot might be too long to handle while cooking! Hope that helps, and let me know if you wind up making anything good!
nancita nancita 8 years
I wanted to buy some of these the other day but had no idea what to do with them. So...good timing! If you don't cut them in cubes, do you have to cut them in half or can you cook them long?
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