Yard-long beans, also known as Chinese snake beans, string-beans and asparagus beans, are closely related to the black-eyed peas. They grow rapidly on climbing vines in warm climates, and can grow many inches in one day. The average length yard-long beans is between one and 1.5 feet long.
Originally grown in the Yunnan province in China, yard-long beans are one of the most popular greens in the Philippines, Southeast Asia and East Asia. They’re also grown in North America, Mediterranean regions and the West Indies.
They may taste similar to green beans but their texture is different. Green beans can be steamed and boiled, and still retains its texture. However, yard-long beans become mushy and bland when they are steamed or boiled. To best enjoy yard-long beans, saute or stir fry them in oil. Their texture will be crunchy and juicy, and their flavor will be intensified.
Yard-long beans are low in calories and high in soluble and insoluble fibers, and contain iron, copper, manganese, calcium and magnesium. They’re also rich in folate, and vitamins C and A. In fact, they contain more vitamin A than lima beans, fava beans and green beans.