This Mediterrasian spaghetti (or noodles) with Chinese long beans is one of my go-to recipes for when I want a quick, tasty, and easy meal.
Chinese long beans are also known as yardlong beans or asparagus beans and are very similar in taste with the most common green beans we are familiar with, but longer and thinner in shape. Here in Greece, they’re called “abelofasoula” which literally means “vine-beans” and they’re usually served as a salad after a quick steaming/boiling. This Mediterrasian spaghetti with Chinese long beans is a vegan recipe and my favorite ways of preparing them because with very few ingredients and in no-time I have a delicious, hearty, healthy and filling dish.
Since this recipe isn’t exactly Mediterranean but not purely Chinese either, I decided to name it “Mediterrasian”, though I’m not sure if this is even a word. It does, however, use both Asian and Mediterranean ingredients like olive oil, spaghetti or noodles, balsamic vinegar, green beans, garlic, soy sauce and toasted sesame oil.
Toasted sesame oil is not the same as regular sesame oil. It comes from sesame seeds that have been toasted first, so it has a deeper color and more intense flavor. Because it has such a strong flavor, I like to use one or two teaspoons of sesame oil per serving. I would suggest that you start with one teaspoon per serving and then adjust the quantity to suit your taste.
As I’ve already said, this recipe is very quick and easy. All you have to do is dry-fry a bunch of beans with one or two cloves of garlic and cook some spaghetti or noodles in boiling water. By the time the spaghetti is cooked, green beans will be ready and crunchy to receive it in the saucepan!
If you don’t have toasted sesame oil and want a “pure” Mediterranean recipe, try this Greek green bean stew with potatoes which is the favorite way of Greek people to prepare green beans!
- How to prepare Chinese long beans: Just align the edges of your bunch and trim them with a knife, then do the same for the other side. Rinse well and drain on a kitchen towel.
- Can you substitute regular green beans for Chinese long beans? You can, but I would probably cook them in some boiling water for 2-3 minutes (and drain them very well) before using them in this recipe.
- Use any type of noodles or spaghetti you prefer, and prepare it according to packaging directions.
- 1 pound (450 grams) spaghetti/noodles
- 1 bunch (about 2 cups) Chinese long beans (chopped into 2-inch long pieces)
- 2 cloves garlic, whole
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons whole sesame
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (or 1 tablespoon wine vinegar plus 1 teaspoon honey)
- 1-2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- Salt to taste (you may not need any salt since soy sauce is salty enough!)
- Prepare spaghetti according to packaging directions.
- While spaghetti is cooking set a large saucepan over high heat and add the green beans, olive oil, and garlic and sauté, stirring frequently, for 5-6 minutes.
- Remove garlic cloves, add the sesame seeds and cook for about 1 minute more.
- Add the balsamic vinegar, toasted sesame oil, soy sauce, and pepper. Stir well and remove from heat.
- When the spaghetti is cooked drain well and add it to the saucepan.
- Return to heat and stir for 20-30 seconds until everything is combined.