How to Cook Red String Beans

String beans, also called snap or green beans, are a very popular vegetable around the world. While most string beans are green, this interesting type of bean also comes in yellow, red and purple. Lately, more of these oddly colored beans have shown up in farmers markets, CSAs (community supported agriculture programs) and even supermarkets. Cooking them is relatively easy and much like cooking their more common green relatives.

Things You'll Need

  • 1 lb. red string beans, such as Chinese Red Noodle beans
  • Skillet or wok
  • 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Salt to taste
  • Herbs and spices to taste (optional)

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Wash the red beans thoroughly and snap off the stems and tips. You may choose to cut up long beans, such as Chinese noodle beans, or cook them whole in a large wok.

Heat vegetable oil, such as olive or canola oil, in a wok or skillet over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and saute until the onion is translucent.

Add red string beans. Stir-fry until the beans soften and develop browned spots. Keep the beans moving to prevent them from burning.

Add 1/4 cup water and cover the pan. Allow the beans to steam for five minutes or until tender. Season with salt and your preferred herbs and spices. Serve hot.

Tips & Warnings

  • Steaming string beans provides a lower-fat dish.
  • Change the seasonings and add meat, other vegetables or tofu to create an entirely new dish.
  • Some types of red and purple beans turn green when cooked.


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