The aptly named Chinese long bean—also called snake bean or yardlong bean—can be found throughout Chinatown and at a couple enterprising Greenmarket stands. Crunchy and mild, the vegetable’s perfectly suited to stir-frying, and a few go a long way: Chef Brian Young uses only four per order at Mainland, where he serves them as a piquant side dish. Most ingredients can be found at Asia Market (711⁄2 Mulberry St., nr. Bayard St.; 212-962-2028).
Brian Young’s Stir-Fried Long Beans
1 teaspoon oyster sauce
1⁄4 teaspoon reduced-sodium soy sauce (preferably Yamasa brand)
1 dash shaoxin rice wine
1 dash sesame oil (preferably Kadoya brand)
1 dash white pepper
1⁄2 pound Chinese long beans
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
1 teaspoon minced ginger
1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
2 scallions (white part only, cut into 1-inch strips)
1⁄2 teaspoon fermented black beans, smashed
3 slices jalapeño pepper
(1) Mix ﬁrst ﬁve ingredients together; set
(2) Chop long beans into two-inch segments. Heat wok or sauté pan until hot. Add grapeseed oil, ginger, garlic, and scallions, and sauté for a second or two.
(3) Add long beans and sauté for 10 to 20 seconds. Add black beans and jalapeño. Add reserved liquid mixture, toss, cover, and cook over high heat for approximately 30 to 50 seconds, until steam forcibly escapes.