Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Cooking Chinese Long or Asparagus Beans

Chinese Long Beans on a Platter

You may not mind the “overcooked asparagus” taste produced while steaming them or the hard slippery texture of the skins when sautéing, but as for me I prefer a taste similar to the New England varieties of green beans bought from the store. In order to achieve this palatable taste and texture you must blanch the beans. To do so, start with a big pot of water with the water boiling. Pour in a generous helping of salt (at least ¼ cup per gallon). Once the salt has dissolved in the water, dump the uncut beans in the water and cover for 5 minutes. No more, no less. They should now be very dark green and tender, but not too soft. Use a colander to drain saltwater brine from the beans and immediately rinse with cold water or soak in ice water until beans return to room temperature. Then cut the beans. You can then add some butter in a pan and stir them around until the butter melts or you can just freeze them in bags for later use.

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