I first experienced the true joy of Chinese long beans during the filming of season 1 of Real Girl’s Kitchen in Brooklyn. It was at a tiny little restaurant called Martha and they might have been the greatest vegetable to ever hit my lips. So when I saw these are my local market I scooped them up right away! I didn’t know exactly what I would do with them…but I knew they were coming home with me.
Like long wild vegetable whips, these baby are long lean veggie machines! They are mild in flavor so adding a great sauce is exactly what these babies need…
You can do all sorts of things with long beans, if you give it a google…people tangle them in to all kinds of gorgeous twists and knots…but since I am a beginner to the Chinese long bean game, I’ll keep it simple and snap them in to smaller pieces. If you aren’t familiar with long beans, they are firmer than tradition green beans or haricot vert, so it’s a good idea to blanch them for a few seconds before adding them to the wok. This will help to soften them without over cooking the outer edge.
Adding diced eggplant gives the beans an extra oomph and meaty texture that I love…
Making some pretty killer sauce…
Remove the eggplant and long beans from the wok and set on a separate plate. Add all the sauce ingredients in to the wok and quickly whisk…
Be careful not to burn the garlic or ginger…get other ingredients in there quickly so that they can take the brunt of some of the heat.
As far as chilis go, I used dried because it’s all I could find…but fresh are DIVINE. If ya got em, use em!
Scoop out the seeds…
This is the one ingredient that MAKES this dish…for real! So don’t be stingy. Scoop a big out spoonful of it and whisk away. *Add some warm water to the wok if you feel like you need some help getting the sauce to blend.
Warning: your whole house will smell incredible…
Add the eggplant and beans (beans first!) back in to the wok and gently fold in to the sauce. I add the beans first because the eggplant is so absorbent that it will soak up all the sauce! We want sauce on every bite!! Not just over-sauced eggplant bites…
Chinese Long Beans & Eggplant
Total Time: 25 Mins
Cook Time: 20 Mins
Prep:Time: 5 Mins
2 tbsp high heat cooking oil
1-2 lbs Chinese Long Beans, cut in to 1/3
2- 3 Japanese Eggplant, diced in to 2 inch pieces
1 tbsp black bean garlic paste
2 large clove garlic, minced
1 tsp fish sauce
1 tbsp soy sauce
1-2 tbsp lime juice & bit of zest
2 dried red chilis (fresh is great too!)
1 inch piece of fresh ginger, grated
2 tbsp fresh mint, chopped
1 tbsp brown sugar
Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil and blanch the long beans. 20-30 seconds in the hot water max! Give them a cold bath and set aside. In a hot wok, add oil, blanched beans and eggplant. Sauté till soft with a pinch of salt. Transfer to a second plate. Add all sauce ingredients and whisk together till full incorporated. Add beans and eggplant back to woke and gently fold sauce throughout. Serve hot and enjoy!