Thursday, September 3, 2009

Adventures with Chinese Long Beans

They're purple!

No really, Chinese Long Beans are purple! This made me all kinds of happy. But what to do with them? Well, some internet searching and conversing with Smita (who is now my go-to woman for all spice-related questions) led me to doing an experiment last night. And the experiment was universally accepted, even by the toddler. Simplicity was the word of the day, and we had Side Dish Win!

Simple but Savory Chinese Long Beans
1 bunch Chinese Long beans, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 small onion, sliced thinly
1 clove garlic, coarsely chopped
large pinch of salt
Penzey's Singapore Seasoning
1/4 c water
1 T olive oil

In a pan that comes with a lid, heat the olive oil. Add the long beans and onions. Saute for about 4 minutes and add the garlic and a pinch of salt, and then season liberally with the singapore seasoning. Continue sauteing another 5 minutes. Add water and quickly add the lid to the pan, then turn heat down to low. This will steam the beans so that they are done all the way through. Allow to steam for about 10 minutes.

From my internet research, I've learned that Chinese Long Beans are in the same family as green beans, only they are purple, longer, and much more fibrous, which is why they have to steam after they are sauteed. We served this next to one of our gifted freezer meals of chicken and broccoli in a casserole, so it served to bring a little extra spice, kick, and interest to the plates. My toddler ate only this and left the chicken and broccoli on his plate. Next year I will not be so hesitant to make these! It seems we have found some more beans that my husband is not allergic to! (anything in the green bean family is fine for him, and these as well as pole beans are fine! Yay!)

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