That’s right – it ain’t all about run of the mill string beans these days. Go to your local Asian greengrocer – or an Asian megamarket, like 99 Ranch Market – and pick up some long beans. They look like green beans but are about 18″ long and are sold like asparagus, with rubber bands around them. Like so:
Here’s a good way to prepare them:
Long beans in chili garlic sauce
1 1/2 lbs long beans
3 T canola oil
2 heaping T chili garlic sauce (you can buy this in a jar at any Asian market)
2 T soy sauce
1) Wash and dry the long beans LEAVING ON THE RUBBER BANDS. Cut into 1 1/2″ lengths starting at the ends that do not have to be trimmed. You’ll be able to tell by looking. If you leave the bands on it will be easy to cut them all at the same time with a chef’s knife. You should be left with 1/4″ of beans at the “bad” end, which you may discard.
2) Heat the oil (get it really hot) in a wok or rounded pan in which you are able to stir fry.
3) Add the beans, stir frying for not longer than 5 mins.
4) Stir in the chili garlic sauce, making sure to keep everything moving.
5) Finish by stirring in the soy sauce.
6) Transfer to serving dish and eat ASAP.
Here is what they should look like: