How to Snap String Beans

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Snap the tough ends off each green bean prior to cooking.
Snap the tough ends off each green bean prior to cooking. (Image: Zedcor Wholly Owned/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images)

Snap the ends off green beans to prepare them for steaming or boiling. Whether you have grown them in your own garden or have bought them fresh from the store, make sure that the beans are firm to the touch and hold their shape well. Discard string beans that appear flabby or mushy.

Things You'll Need

  • Colander
  • Large bowl
  • Small bowl

Rinse the beans under cool running water. Shake off excess moisture into the sink.

Grasp the end of a bean firmly between your thumb and index finger.

Twist the tip down toward its seam with a quick, even motion. A fresh bean should snap readily.

Draw the broken tip down along the seam to remove the tough fiber that may be present. Most green beans available today do not have this “string,” but heirloom varieties may.

Snap off the other end of the bean in the same way.

Discard the snapped-off ends and any fibers in the small bowl. Place the trimmed bean in the large bowl.

Snap or slice the bean into 3/4 inch pieces before cooking, if desired.

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References

  • “Mastering the Art of French Cooking”; Julia Child, et al.; 2001
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