Thursday, May 04, 2006

Chinese Long Beans

These hearty, long beans have been a favorite of mine at Chinese restaurants but I had never purchased them myself. On my maiden voyage to 99 Ranch Market in Monterey Park last weekend, I saw these among the many unfamiliar vegetables and quickly put one bunch into my basket. On a related note: I need to look into getting a very authentic Chinese and Thai cookbooks. The assortment of spices, fermented tofu, fish, vegetables, chilies, snacks and other items at 99 Ranch Market just completely, utterly boggled my mind. I wanted to buy everything but had no clue what 80% of the stuff was so I figure I'd better do more research before buying a bounty of products. Any cookbook recommendations would be appreciated.

Since I had never made the long beans before, I looked up several recipes and basically learned that they can be prepared like green beans. I combined a couple of the recipes that sounded good and ended up with steamed and then sautéed long beans with crushed peanuts and onion. It was seasoned with only a slight amount of soy sauce, garlic and a touch of rice vinegar. It was delicious and I just loved the meatiness of the long beans compared to regular green beans.

Long beans with peanuts

With that I served some teriyaki'd beef tenderloin (another purchase at the market- $5.00 a pound!), a simple salad with goma dressing and some sliced sourdough baguette. I know the last item doesn't sound like it would fit into the bunch but it went quite well with the savory steaks since we didn't serve rice.

Teriyaki tenderloin

If any of you have any great recipes for long beans, please share the wealth!

1 comment:

JTea [from Chowhound/LA] said...

I understand your 99 Ranch Market excitement; same response I had when I first walked to the one near me in Van Nuys. For a cookbook:

'Cooking Thai Food in American Kitchens', vol 1 & 2, by Malulee Pinsuvana. I only have vol 2, but it has been enough, highly recommended. a little spiral-bound 5x7" book. Very simple: ingredients and instructions on right-hand pages, color photo with a bit of history on left facing pages, all in thai and english text. 240pp, in print since 1976. And how was Yi?