The Q&A Archives: Green Bean That Stays Crispy When Cooked

Question: I'm starting early trying to locate a variety of green bean to grow that will be as crunchy and crisp after being steamed and sauteed as the ones served in Chinese restaurents. We are in zone 5. Is there any variety that may even come close?

Answer: No matter what kind of beans you use, in my experience the only way to have them be crisp and crunchy is to barely cook them. This will take a bit of experimenting in the kitchen, depending on how finely you have cut them up and which cooking methods you are using. Rather than steaming them first, I have had good results simply stir frying them very quickly to the desired texture. (In other words, taste them while they cook and see how long it actually takes, then adjust your recipe timing accordingly.) If you prefer to steam them first, do so for only a few minutes -- then stir fry them for only a minute with the rest of the ingredients to blend the flavors. Serve them immediately, too!

Any filet or green bean that is picked slightly young and cooked immediately should be crisp and flavorful. Try to harvest beans in the cool of the day, and never let them sit around after being picked, as they lose their crisp texture quickly. Bon appetit!

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