Yardlong beans (aka Chinese long beans, snake beans, and asparagus beans) are thin, long beans mainly used in Asian, Indian and Caribbean cuisines. They are most commonly used in stir-fries, curries, or eaten raw.
How Do You Use It?
Yardlong beans are most commonly used in stir-fries but are also used a lot in curries because it has a tougher exterior and can hold their shape better than a typical green bean so it doesn't get mushy as easily.
They are longer than your typical green beans (1-3 feet long), so when you are preparing these beans, cut off and discard the ends and then chop them up into smaller sizes so they are easier to cook and eat.
Yardlong beans have a slightly tougher exterior to them than green beans and when eaten raw, they can have a bit of a tougher chew to them. That being said, they still have a crunch to them but it doesn't have as light of a crisp as green beans do.
Yardlong beans are tougher beans that will take a bit longer to cook and that is why they are so great in curries.
Where Do I Find It and How to Substitute It
You will find yardlong beans in most Asian grocery stores. Although I have been able to occasionally find it at my local grocery store as well.
When buying these, make sure they are green, dry, and firm. These are susceptible to mold if they are packaged, so watch out for brown patches or white slimy spots.
If you can't find these easily, you can substitute this with green beans. The only difference is the green beans will not need to be cooked for as long as they tend to get softer more quickly.
How To Store It
You can store these in the fridge for up to a week.