Chinese Long Beans (also know as Yard Long Beans, Asparagus Beans, Garter Beans, and Snake Beans) - A long, thin Asian bean that can measure from 1 to 3 feet in length. These beans are a subtropical/tropical plant that is widely grown in Southeastern Asia, Thailand, and Southern China, and are a cousin to the cowpea or black-eye pea.
These beans are best eaten when they measure from 12 to 20 inches long. It is a bean with a mild taste, similar to a Western string bean. Unlike the shorter string bean, this bean has a soft texture that is flexible and not as crisp or moist as the Western variety.
Cooking with Chinese Long Beans: These beans are cooked as you would green beans. They have a mild asparagus-like flavor and are delicious sautéed or steamed. You can use them as you do any green bean in your cooking. If you are picking them from your garden, as I do, look for beans that have started to swell in the pods.