We were taking inventory of our freezer over the weekend to see what we had left from out fall harvest last year. We discovered that we still had two bags of Chinese Red Noodle Beans. We were given these seeds as a gift from my brother two years ago from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds and now they are a permanent part of our garden. They produce deep red 18-inch pods that keep their color when blanched but change colors when sautéed. The long vines are quite productive and a very beautiful. We blanched and frozen about 15 pounds from our garden.
I found this fun description of them on the Kansas City Circle Blog:
“These long ladies really do exist and they happen to be my favorite bean to grow in the whole wide world. They boldly trellis up my massive corn stalks and gracefully hang from the plant like some other-worldly red serpent swaying in the deep blue sky. They taste just as wild with a nutty, crisp, and fulfilling flavor. Eat em’ raw or fry em’ up Asian style in hot oil, garlic, peppers, and spices…..or don’t eat em’ at all!! For all you “fashionistas” out there, where em’ around your neck like organic/edible jewelry……OR whip you husband with them when he misbehaves. Dan and I like to pull the “lady in the tramp” move….(ya know, when the two dogs are at the Italian restaurant and they slurp up the same piece of spaghetti on opposite ends until they connect in a kiss). Try it with a noodle bean. Life doesn’t get any better than that!”
Chinese Red Noodle Bean Curry (or Green Bean Curry)
2 tablespoons ghee (or vegetable oil)
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
5 whole cloves
2 tablespoon grated fresh ginger (2″ knob)
1 tablespoon minced garlic (3-4 large cloves)
1 large onion sliced thin
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or to taste)
1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 cup chopped tomatoes (or canned)
1/2 red bell pepper diced
1 pound fresh Chinese Red Noodle Beans or green beans trimmed and cut into 1″ pieces
1/3 cup vegetable stock (or tomato juice or water)
1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
minced cilantro for garnish
Heat the oil in a large pan over medium-high heat until hot. Add the cumin seeds, black mustard seeds, and cloves. Stir around until the spices start to make a crackling noise. Add the garlic and ginger and stir for a few minutes. Add the onion, salt and sugar, turn down the heat to medium low and fry stirring periodically until the onions are soft and starting to brown.
Add the cumin, turmeric, cayenne pepper, coconut, tomato, bell pepper green beans and stock and stir to combine. Partially cover with a lid and cook until the green beans are tender (about 15-20 minutes). You want them cooked longer than if you were just blanching them so they absorb the flavor of the curry, but they shouldn’t be mushy either.
When the green beans are done, taste for salt and spice and adjust as needed. When the flavor is to your liking, turn off the heat and stir in the yogurt. Top the green bean curry with minced cilantro and serve immediately with some basmati rice and maybe some roti or naan. We server ours over brown rice that has been cooked with cardamon pods, cloves and a cinnamon stick for a little extra flavor.