You may have noticed them in the produce section - looped bunches of light or dark green beans. Believed to have originated in China, long beans come by their name honestly - they can grow up to three feet long. Other common names for long beans include yard long beans, snake bean and Chinese pea (long beans are a member of the same family as black-eyed peas, also called cowpeas).
In cooking, long beans are the beans traditionally used to make Chinese green beans, a popular dish at Chinese buffets. They are also popular in Southern China, and in Cantonese cooks frequently pair long beans with salted black beans or fermented bean curd. Outside of China, long beans are used in Malaysian and Thai cooking.
How to Cook Chinese Green Beans - step by step instructions, with photos