Sunday, 17 January 2016

Delectable Long Beans

Beans are a family favourite, and our favourite bean is the Long Bean (Kachang Panjang). It has many names, sometimes also called Yard Bean or Yard Long Bean, because of its length.
The iridescent flower of the Long Bean retains its beauty only through the morning...
At the beginning of each growing season, we plant traditional green and butter bush beans, which provide us with an early crop. However, when the very hot, humid days of summer arrive, these bush beans tend to suffer. This is when the Long Bean takes over, providing a plentiful harvest.

The Kachang Panjang is a fast-growing climbing plant which will require trellising. We use a simple triangular trellis which takes up little garden space and which provides us with sufficient beans for us… and then some!

A simple triangular trellis sytem
We plant our first crop in October, and then a succession crop in December. When the beans begin to bear they can be prolific. They will wane from their bountiful beginnings, however, yet still continuing to provide some beans right throughout the growing season.

You should inspect your vines and pick every day. Kachang Panjang are at their best when young and thinnish. As they age on the vine, the flesh becomes a paler shade of green. However, if you should miss picking some – some do hide! - allow them to dry on the vine. These will become your seed supply for next year.

Today's small harvest. Long beans will keep well in the crisper section of the fridge if wrapped in newspaper.
These ones were hiding... Ready to dry for next year's seed.

In Malaysian cooking, there are many ways to cook Kachang Panjang. A favourite method is to stir-fry the beans with garlic, chillies and belachan, a type of fermented shrimp paste. Our personal favourite is to slice the beans into fine rounds and cook them in an omelette. 

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