Sunday, August 30, 2009

Red Noodle Beans and Tofu

I've blogged about Noodle Beans before, since we grew them for the first time last year. They are a relative of the Black-Eyed Pea, though they taste like a string bean. They reach astonishing lengths, hence their other moniker, Yard Long Beans, though they still remain tender if you pick them before their girth exceeds 1/2 inch.

We grow the Noodle Beans on a pyramid-shaped trellis that Dan made me for a garden present several years ago out of some scrap oak flooring from his always-abundant hoard of scavenged building materials. They start slow but as soon as the air and soil temperatures hit tropical levels, the bean vines seem to grow several inches a day. When I am very still in the garden I am never sure if I am hearing the buzz of pollinating wasps or Noodle Bean tendrils unfurling.

We haven't been too experimental with our Noodle Bean harvests, other than steaming them and tossing them into stir fries, so when I found this recipe for Szechuan Green Beans and miraculously had all ingredients on hand, I gave it a test drive. I added a 10 oz. package of firm tofu, already cubed, (I drained it first) and tossed it into the wok to heat through for the last couple of minutes of cooking.

This was a luscious, rich and spicy double bean dish which I served over rice to accolades from the Crispy Crew.

I am sending a plateful of these tasty Red Noodle Beans and Tofu over to Susan, The Well-Seasoned Cook, who is the founder and this month's host of My Legume Love Affair. Susan will post the roundup of (no doubt) many dozens of bean recipes after September 1st so be sure to check out all that leguminous love.


Alicia Foodycat said...

They look so spicy and delicious! And I love the tofu addition.

Susan said...

Your garden must be a wonder to walk through, Rachel. : ) These beans are beautiful and delicate, and this recipe is a wonderful use for them.

Thanks for joining in MLLA!