What is Yardlong Bean?

Vigna unguiculata (Sesquipedalis Cultivar Group)

Also known as Chinese long bean, bodi, long-podded cowpea, asparagus bean, pea bean or snake bean.

Yardlong Bean myfavouritepastime.com

Yardlong bean is a green bean of the species Vigna unguiculata, grown for it’s immature or young pods. Also belonging to this species is the black eyed pea (cow pea).

The pods are about 14-30 inches (35-75cm) long.

Yardlong bean is widely grown in the warmer parts of South Asia, Southeast Asia, and southern China.

There are many varieties of yardlong beans distinguished by the colour of their mature seeds.

Culinary Use

  • The crisp tender pods are eaten fresh or cooked. They are best eaten while still immature and slender.
  • Like other green beans, they can be steamed, boiled, blanched, microwaved, or stir fried.
  • The long beans are best chopped and are popularly used for stir fries in India, and China.
  • The chopped beans can also be cooked in an omelette
  • Like other green beans, they can be used in salads.

Here is a recipe from my friend Megala in India

Long Beans Poriyal Megala’s Kitchen


  • The beans are a good source of protein, vitamin C, Folate, manganese and magnesium
  • They are fat and sodium free.
  • 100g (3.5oz) provides 47 calories.

Botanical Notes

As a result of human selection in China, India and South-East Asia, cowpea underwent further diversification to produce two cultivar-groups, Sesquipedalis Group with long pods used as a vegetable, and Biflora Group grown for the pods, dry seeds and for fodder (PROTA4U)

Yardlong Bean myfavouritepastime.com

A summary of the edible Vigna species

  1. Vigna radiata (L.) R. Wilczek. also known as Mung Bean, Moong Bean, Green Gram, Golden Gram, Haricot mungo, Mungo, haricot doré
  2. Vigna mungo (L.) Hepper also known as black gram, urad bean, minapa pappu, mungo bean or black matpe bean. V.mungo and V. radiata are very closely related.
  3. Vigna umbellata (Thunb.) Ohwi & H.Ohashi also known as rice bean.
  4. Vigna aconitifolia (Jacq.) Maréchal. It is commonly called mat bean, moth bean, matki, Turkish gram or dew bean.
  5. Vigna angularis (Willd.) Ohwi & H. Ohashi : Adzuki bean, Aduki Bean or Azuki Bean
  6. Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp. Also known as: Black Eyed Pea, Cowpea, Pea Bean, Black Eyed-Bean, China Pea, Bombay Cowpea. Southern Peas, Black eye Peas, Crowder Peas, California blackeyed pea. Also includes the yardlong beans.


Author: Liz

I love everything food: eating, cooking, baking and travelling. I also love photography and nature.

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