Yard Long Bean
The yard-long bean should be picked young while it is at its most crisp, sweet, and tender. Young beans develop within sixty days of cultivation, and the long pods grow in pairs from the stem. Beans are famous for their extraordinary length; however, for the best flavor and texture, they should be harvested when they are between twelve and eighteen inches long. The bean pods have a spindly, cylindrical form with a smooth, grooved, firm texture and a green-colored shell. The bean pod's flesh contains succulent, pale, lime-green peas (the plant's seeds) with eyes similar in shape to black-eyed peas. If beans are allowed to fully mature, they can be shelled and the seeds used as other shelled beans and peas. The flavor of yard-long beans is grassy and slightly sweet, with a more intense bean flavor than traditional green beans. Of all the yard-long bean varieties, the green is known to be the sweetest and most tender.
Yard long beans should be very fresh when purchased. When young and tender, they can be used raw and are a welcome addition to green and grain salads. Unlike conventional green beans. Yard long beans tend to get waterlogged when boiled or steamed, so when preparing them in this method, be sure to only do so for a short duration. Their texture will be most favorable when they are stir-fried, sautéed, grilled, dry-fried, or deep-fried. Yard long beans can also be preserved and pickled. Pair with soy sauce, garlic, ginger, bitter or spicy Asian greens, Sichuan peppercorns, black bean sauce, hot peppers, oyster sauce, curry spice, beef, pork, or chicken. Yard long beans will keep well, dry and refrigerated. Use within three to four days before the beans become wilted and floppy for the best flavor and texture.
Yard long beans are available year-round with a peak season in the summer and fall months.