Long beans are also called snake beans, yard long beans and asparagus beans. Although they taste like green beans, they are actually relatives of the black-eyed pea or cow pea.
If you are a gardener, these beans are truly amazing. They grow so quickly that you have harvest them every day in the summer (I have a friend who harvests them twice a day!).
How to cook long beans
Most recipes call for cooking long beans in a little oil (sauté) for a few minutes by themselves or as part of a stir-fry recipe. This technique is called “dry frying”. Cook until the beans have the texture you like – less time if you like your beans more crispy, more time if you like them soft.
They tend to get a little mushy if you boil or steam them, but try it and see if you like them that way. You can also put these beans on the grill or put them in sandwiches!
Simple ways to eat long beans
If the beans are young and tender, you can use them raw in salads (including tuna salad, potato salad or vegetable salads).
A common way to cook them is to place them in boiling water for 2 minutes and then stir fry them in a small amount oil:
Here are additional recipes for simple sautéed long beans from whatscookingamerica.net trinidadexpress.com and tinyurbankitchen.com
Braised Long Beans With Tomatoes, Garlic, and Mint
Spicy long beans with sausage and mushrooms
Trivia about long beans
Long beans are a sub-tropical or tropical climbing vine that tolerate heat and humidity. They are believed to have originated in Southern Asia and are probably one of the most ancient cultivated crops.
The beans are best when they are young (usually 12-18 inches long). If you wait until they are fully mature, you can shell them and cook the beans like cowpeas (black-eyed peas)
In French they are called Haricot kilometer (kilometer long bean!)
Long beans can be green or purple. The green variety is usually a little more tender.
Long beans are relatively high in protein compared to other vegetables with 3gms of protein in a serving. They are also very high in folate and fiber.
References: thekitchn.com, wikipedia.org, specialtyproduce.com, .usda.gov/plantguide, nutrition-and-you.com