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Snap Beans

Synonyms:  string beans


With most beans, you eat only the seeds, usually after they've been dried.  But you can eat snap beans pod and all.   Until a century ago, the pods had tough strings that cooks had to pull off before cooking (hence the name "string beans") but the snap beans you'll find in markets today are almost all stringless.  

Substitutes:  asparagus OR broccoli OR okra



asparagus bean  See yard-long bean or winged bean.

chepil  Shopping hints: Look for this in the produce section of Hispanic markets. Substitutes: green beans

Chinese long bean

dau gok

dow gok


dragon tongue bean   Notes:  You can eat these, pods and all, just like green beans.   Substitutes: green beans  

French bean

four-angled bean

goa bean


green bean = string bean = snap bean  Equivalents:  One pound = 3 to 3.5 cups  Notes:   These are meant to be cooked and eaten, pods and all.  They're best if they're steamed or stir-fried just until they're tender but still crisp.  Select bright green beans that snap when broken in half.  Their peak season is in the summer.   Substitutes: wax bean (different color; wax bean is yellow) OR Italian flat bean (flatter pods, excellent flavor) OR dragon tongue bean OR winged bean (less flavorful) 


haricot verts = French bean = French green bean = French filet bean  Notes:  This is a very thin variety of green bean that's crisp, tender, and expensive.  Don't confuse this with the haricot bean, which is a dry bean.  Substitutes: green beans (as thin as possible; consider cutting thicker green beans in half lengthwise)  


Italian flat bean = Romano bean = runner bean  Notes:   These green or yellow beans are like ordinary green beans, but they're flatter.   Select small, brightly colored beans that snap when you break them in half.  Substitutes: green bean (Green beans have a rounder pod than Italian flat beans, but they can be used interchangeably in most recipes.)  

long bean

Manila bean

princess pea

Romano bean


sator   Notes:  Thai cooks like to add these squat green beans to stir-fries.  They have a strong, somewhat bitter flavor.  Substitutes:  green bean OR asparagus


snap bean

string bean

Thailand long bean  Substitutes: yard-long beans


wax bean   Notes:  These are similar to green beans except for the color, which can be yellow or purple.  Don't confuse these with lima beans, which are sometimes called wax beans.   Substitutes: green bean (different color)  

winged bean = winged pea = goa bean = asparagus pea = asparagus bean = four-angled bean = manila bean = princess pea    Notes:   This pods have deep ridges, and attached leaves that open up like wings.  Young ones are best.  Don't confuse this with the yard-long bean, which is also sometimes called an asparagus bean.   Substitutes:   asparagus OR green beans (more flavorful)


yard-long bean = asparagus bean = dow gok = dau gok = Chinese long bean = long bean = bodi = boonchi    Notes:   These beans usually aren't a yard long--half a yard is more typical.  Asians like to cut them into smaller pieces and add them to their stir-fried dishes. You can also boil or steam them like green beans, though they're not as sweet and juicy.  They don't store well, so use them within a few days of purchase.   Substitutes:  Thailand long bean OR green bean (smaller and sweeter)



Copyright 1996-2005  Lori Alden