Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Chinese Red Long Beans

I've talked to you about my Chinese red long beans before.    I saved seed from the ones last year and planted it this year and they came up and produced beautifully.   No problems at all with them.   I also got some seed from Baker Creek for some Chinese green long beans and I was surprised to see that the green beans are much later producing than the red ones.    My red ones burst out of the ground, climbed the trellis and bloomed and bore like crazy.   The green ones sprouted, took their time climbing and once up there spent several weeks admiring the view instead of putting out flowers. 

It's possible that the red beans like the heat more than the green ones.  That's my theory, anyway.   

The pic above is of the red ones on their side of the trellis.   Pretty, huh.

And here's a pic of them closer.    All those red beans hanging on the trellis are really pretty.

The trick is to pick them before they get soft and lumpy looking.   The problem I have is that they're so pretty and they grow so fast that I forget to cut them soon enough.   They're still tasty when they're fatter, but we like them best when they're around 18 inches long and about the thickness of a pen.

Don't forget to leave some on the plant so you can save seed for next year.    Leave them on until the beans dry up completely - even after a frost.   Then cut them down, take the seeds out of the pod, put them in an envelope and LABEL them so you remember what they are for next year. 

My favorite way to eat long beans is to cut them into pieces a few inches long, the sautee them up with lots of garlic and a bit of butter until they're a bit crispy.  Then toss in a spoonful of Thai red curry paste.   Stir it all around well until the beans are well covered with it.   Enjoy.

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