Long Beans Stir-Fry Recipe

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Long beans stir-fry recipe is a quick and easy weeknight dinner that’s both healthy and delicious. Ready in less than 20 minutes, it’s better than takeout with a mix of crunchy yard long beans tossed in a savory stir-fry sauce. Serve it with steamed jasmine rice on your busy evenings.

Long beans stir-fry with tofu, served in a white dish.

Here are some of my favorite yard long bean recipes to try later: Thai corn salad, som tum Thai (green papaya salad), and Thai basil recipe vegetarian.

What are yard long beans

Yard long beans, also known as Chinese long beans, are a staple in Asian cooking. Beloved for their slender, long shape that can grow up to a yard in length, these beans are crisp with a subtly sweet flavor, making them ideal for stir-frying, salads, and curries.

Fresh yard long beans on a woven bamboo mat, placed on a banana leaf.
These fresh long beans are crisp and perfect for stir-frying.

Thai long beans

In Thailand, yard long beans are a common sight at street food markets, where local growers sell them fresh. They’re cheap and typically go for just ฿10 (Thai Baht) a bunch, which is about $0.28 or €0.26. My grandmother, like many other Thai people, grows them herself and provides the village with fresh long beans from her garden.

Yard long beans are definitely one of my absolute favorite vegetables. In Northeastern Thailand, Isan, we use them on a daily basis and eat them raw, toss them into Thai stir-fry dishes, minced pork omelettes, and even in Thai green curry.

Close-up of Thai green curry pork, or gaeng keow wan, with slices of pork, yard-long beans, and Thai eggplants in a creamy curry served in a coconut bowl.
Thai green curry, typically prepared with long beans and Thai eggplants.

Along with Thai eggplants and cucumbers, they’re a part of our fresh vegetables array, which we typically pair with Thai sticky rice and a dip like nam prik kapi – made with pungent shrimp paste. My favorite way to cook with long beans is in this long bean salad, also known as som tum sua.

Stir-fried long beans

Whoever said Thai cooking is hard has never tried this long bean stir-fry recipe! It gets you through the door and sitting down with a plate full of deliciousness in less than 20 minutes.

It’s perfect for those hectic weeknights when even ordering takeout seems like too much of a wait.

Close-up of long beans stir-fry with tofu.

Crispy long beans and your choice of protein, all coated in a stir-fry sauce that’s just the right balance of sweet and salty. It comes together faster than your local takeout delivers. And it’s healthy too!

The best thing about Thai stir-fry recipes is definitely how versatile they are, you can easily tweak this recipe so suit your taste. For a spicy kick, throw in some red pepper flakes or sliced bird’s eye chilies. Some crunch? Sprinkle on some crushed dry roasted peanuts before serving.

Tofu and long bean stir-fry served in a white dish, with a backdrop of more Chinese long beans.

A side of jasmine rice is recommended, or if you’re looking to keep things light, a simple salad like Thai pork larb will do the trick.

Quick, easy, healthy, and above all, delicious. Goodbye boring dinners and hello new weeknight favorite!

Ingredients

For the exact measurements, please scroll down to the recipe card at the end of this post.

Ingredients for long beans stir-fry recipe labeled: long beans, garlic, firm tofu, light soy sauce, light soy sauce, oyster sauce, white sugar, and white pepper.
  • Long beans – Also known as yardlong beans, asparagus beans, chopstick beans, and snake beans. These bring a crunchy texture and a natural slightly sweet flavor. They’re a staple in Southeast Asia, perfect for bean stir-fries. You should be able to find them at Asian grocery stores, if not, you can substitute with fresh green beans.
  • Garlic – The base of most Thai stir-fry dishes, minced garlic adds a punch of aromatic flavor.
  • Tofu – Tofu pairs exceptionally well with Chinese yard long beans, and it’s vegan-friendly, so you can easily turn this into a crowd-pleaser. The crispy tofu absorbs the sauce beautifully and is perfect as a plant-based protein. The protein is easy to customize, I’ll tell you more about the substitution options after the instructions.
  • Light soy sauce – Light soy sauce brings a salty, savory note to the stir-fry sauce. It goes great with the long beans and tofu without overpowering their natural flavors.
  • Oyster sauce – Oyster sauce is a staple in Thai cuisine for adding a salty and slightly sweet note to our stir-fries and marinades.
  • White sugar – White sugar is essential for adding a sweetness that balances out the salty notes of the stir-fry sauce. To replicate the exact flavors, avoid using brown sugar or palm sugar.
  • White pepper – White pepper adds a gentle heat without overpowering the other flavors in this yard long bean stir-fry. Feel free to switch it up with black pepper for a bit more spice.
  • Oil – Use a neutral oil with a high smoke point suited for stir-frying, like peanut oil or vegetable oil. Sesame oil adds a nutty taste and is not the best option for stir-frying long beans.

Cooking instructions

Golden-brown tofu fried in a wok.

Step 1: Heat oil in a wok over medium-high heat. Add the tofu cubes and fry until all sides are golden brown and crispy. Remove tofu from the wok and set aside.

Sautéed minced garlic in a wok.

Step 2: In the same wok, sauté the chopped garlic until fragrant and golden, about 20 seconds.

Stir-fried long beans ready in a wok.

Step 3: Add the long beans to the wok and stir in the light soy sauce, oyster sauce, white sugar, and white pepper, tossing well to coat the long beans evenly. Stir-fry until they’re soft to your liking yet still crisp.

Step 4: Serve your stir-fried yard long beans immediately and add the crispy tofu on top. Enjoy with jasmine rice.

Got some extra Asian yard long beans? Use them in one of my Thai recipes with yard long beans like kaeng som – a Southern Thai sour curry, or thum khao poon – an easy rice vermicelli salad.

Kitchen tools

Here’s what you need to make this recipe:

  • Cutting board and sharp knife
  • Measuring spoons and cups
  • Spatula or stirring spoon
  • Wok or large skillet

Recipe tips and tricks

  • Fresh ingredients: Go for fresh ingredients, the beans should be crisp and not soft.
  • Cook in batches: Avoid overcrowding your wok, as this will lead to steaming rather than stir-frying. If you’re doubling the recipe or have a small skillet, cook in batches.
  • Prep ahead: Slice all your ingredients before cooking. Stir-frying is best done at a quick pace and over high heat.
  • Taste-test: Before serving, make sure to taste-test. Thai cooking is all about balancing the flavors to suit your taste.

Recipe substitutes

  • Vegetables: If you can’t find long beans, you can use green beans. Green beans are great for stir-frying, sadly I have a hard time finding them over here in rural Thailand. Feel free to add bell peppers, mushrooms, broccoli, or any other vegetables you have on hand. Just remember to add them according to their cooking times.
  • Vegetarian: This easy stir-fry recipe is suited for vegetarians. Simply swap the oyster sauce for a vegetarian-friendly alternative like mushroom sauce.
  • Add spice: Sprinkle with Thai chili flakes before serving, or toss in sliced Thai chilies like bird’s eye chilies or Thai Jinda chilies.
  • Protein: This recipe is incredibly versatile. You can replace tofu with sliced chicken breast or thighs, beef, pork, or even shrimp.

How to serve long beans stir-fry

Serve with a portion of steamed jasmine rice or a side-dish of noodles like this authentic chicken pad Thai and beef pad see ew. Garnish with fresh herbs of your choice, cilantro or freshly chopped green onions. Add a sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds for a nutty note. A side of lime wedges can add a zesty finish.

How to store and reheat

I recommend eating everything in one go, as the beans might become mushy when sitting in the stir-fry sauce for too long. In case you do have leftovers, let your long beans stir-fry leftovers cool to room temperature, then transfer it to an airtight container. It will stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Reheating instructions: Reheat the leftover beans in a skillet over medium heat until it’s hot. Microwaving might result in mushy beans.

Frequently asked questions

Where to buy Chinese long beans?

Chinese longs beans are available at Asian markets, farmers’ markets, and specialty grocery stores. Look for them in the fresh produce section, often bundled together in groups.

How to cook yard long beans?

Yard long beans can be stir-fried in a hot wok for several minutes until they are tender but still crisp. They can be blanched in boiling water, and another popular method is to steam them. Alternatively, you can eat them raw.

How to cut long beans for stir-fry?

Cut the long beans into segments about 2 inches long. This size is ideal for bite-sized pieces that cook evenly and are easy to eat.

Is this recipe gluten-free?

This long bean stir-fry recipe is not gluten-free, as traditional soy sauce contains wheat. You can use a gluten-free alternative.

Are long beans healthy?

Yes, long beans are high in protein, vitamin A, and iron. They’re a great source of antioxidants and are easy to find in Southeast Asia.

More Thai vegetable recipes you’ll love

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Prep Time 10 min Cook Time 10 min Total Time 20 mins
Servings: 2

Description

Quick and easy long beans stir-fry recipe. Pair with a side of jasmine rice or enjoy on its own for a light dinner.

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in a wok over medium-high heat. Add the tofu cubes and fry until all sides are golden brown and crispy. Remove tofu from the wok and set aside.

  2. In the same wok, sauté the chopped garlic until fragrant and golden, about 20 seconds.

  3. Add the long beans to the wok and stir in the light soy sauce, oyster sauce, white sugar, and white pepper, tossing well to coat the long beans evenly. Stir-fry until they’re soft to your liking yet still crisp.

  4. Serve your stir-fried yard long beans immediately and add the crispy tofu on top. Enjoy with jasmine rice.

Note

  • Use the nutrition card in this recipe as a guideline.
  • Feel free to customize with your favorite proteins and vegetables.
Keywords: long beans stir-fry recipe, yard long beans stir-fry, long bean recipe
About Author

Praew

I owned my own Thai restaurant and have years of experience in various other Thai restaurants. I've been whipping up classic Thai dishes by my mother's and grandma's side since I was just a little girl. Now I'm sharing my deep-rooted passion with my authentic Thai recipes on this food blog.

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