- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 30, 2007

When I was growing up, green beans frozen, “French-cut” were my very favorite vegetable. I didn’t see a fresh green bean until I was 12 and visited a friend whose mom had a vegetable garden, which I though was very exotic.

Even then, I couldn’t have dreamed of the string bean varieties I would encounter in farm markets years later in California. Chinese long beans — and they are really long — are the most fun to prepare. You don’t have to trim them, simply cut them into whatever length you desire.

Crispy long beans

2 teaspoons Chinese sesame oil

1 pound Chinese long beans, cut into desired length (see note)

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons minced garlic

1 3-inch jalapeno chili, thinly sliced (seeding optional) (see note)

Place a medium-sized nonstick wok over high heat.

After about 30 seconds, add the oil and swirl to coat the pan.

Toss in the beans and stir-fry for about 3 minutes over strong heat, then sprinkle in the salt. (Use tongs to mix them as they cook.)

Stir-fry for about 5 more minutes (depends on the thickness of the beans), shaking the pan and keeping the beans moving.

Stir in the garlic and minced chili, and stir-fry for about 2 to 3 minutes longer. Serve hot or warm, with rice or noodles.

Makes 2 to 3 servings that are easily doubled if wok is large enough.

Notes: If you can’t find Chinese long beans, you can substitute any variety of green beans. Trim them first.

If you seed the chili first, it will be milder.

Be sure to wash your hands with warm water and soap after handling the chili.


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