Wholesome Cook

Thai-spiced snake beans with minced tofu

The other day, I suggested to Laura, who is coming over for lunch on Thursday that I would make some snake beans with minced tofu. “Snake beans?? They freak me out.” I never thought of them that way but then again English is my second language so I tend not to take everything literally…

Nevertheless, I didn’t want to upset my guest, so I changed up my weekly cooking schedule and cooked them for lunch today.

Served with some minced tofu (traditionally this dish is served with pork and I give you that choice below), my vegan version was spiced with Thai basil, chilli, garlic, ginger and sweet soy sauce. I need not say more. It was a delectable combination indeed. I should convince Loz, that snake beans are not so scary… She would like this!

Serves 2

Thai-spiced snake beans with minced tofu

If you can’t find snakebeans you can use normal green beans instead. Trim and cut in half. Pork mince could be substituted for tofu. Simply remove beens after they’ve been cooked and cook pork mince in the remaining sauce for 10 or so minutes, stir frying to break up into little pieces. Prepare all ingredients before you start cooking.

{Printable recipe}

For the stir fry:

  • 1 bunch (230g) snake beans, trimmed
  • 150g firm tofu, could be flavoured
  • 1 red long chilli, deseeded and sliced
  • 2 sprigs spring onion, sliced into 1cm pieces
  • 10 leaves Thai basil, shredded
  • 1 slice fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and minced
  • 1/8 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp peanut oil

To serve:

  • 2 tbsp peanuts, crushed
  • extra sliced chilli

To make the stir fry: cut beans to about 2in in length. Heat oil in a wok over medium heat. Add minced garlic, ginger and sliced chilli and cook for a minute until fragrant. Add beans and stir fry for about 5 minutes. Add soy sauce and sugar and mix all together.

Turn off the heat and cover the beans with a stainless steel bowl or a heatproof bowl. Allow to steam for 10 minutes to soften the beans and infuse the flavours. In the meantime, chop tofu into small cubes. Once ready, add chopped spring onions and stir through.

For a pork version see note above.

To serve: Transfer spiced beans onto your serving plate. Top with diced tofu, crushed peanuts. Drizzle with the sauce left over in the wok. Sprinkle with extra chilli if you like.


Laura (starloz) January 30, 2012 at 12:38 pm

this does look great but as i said, snake beans creep me out. i’m odd & i know it. so does the blogging world, finally!

Michelle January 30, 2012 at 2:01 pm

Oh, Laura, look what you passed up—these look wonderful!

VogueVegetarian January 30, 2012 at 2:55 pm

This looks so delicious and the photos are amazing too!

lentekim January 30, 2012 at 3:21 pm

Good post . Here in Manila ,,we call snake beans .. ” sitaw ” :) and that’s one of my favorite vegetables! Cheers!

Raymund January 30, 2012 at 4:45 pm

I love snake beans which we also call string beans it’s a very versatile vegetable and I got a lot of recipes that use them. Love that recipe of yours

Wholesome Cook January 30, 2012 at 5:14 pm

Yes, I’ve heard it’s a popular bean in the Philippines. I really liked it so keen to learn a few more recipes.

Sherilyn @ Wholepromise January 30, 2012 at 6:26 pm

I would be delighted to lunch with you and share these snake beans even if their name does conjure up weird thoughts. The flavours sounds amazing. Hope you are well, x

john@heneedsfood January 30, 2012 at 6:52 pm

I absolutely adore snake beans no matter how they’re prepared. Even raw is nice! Love the flavours you’ve got going here as well as the tofu

Three-Cookies January 30, 2012 at 7:01 pm

Laura’s loss it seems:) I haven’t eaten this for a while.

Miss Piggy January 30, 2012 at 7:42 pm

They’re not made from real snakes StarLoz…honest. I’m going to make this at home…looks tasty and simple. My two favourite things when cooking.

TasteFood January 31, 2012 at 8:20 am

I’ve never cooked with these bean before. This looks and sounds wonderful.

Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide January 31, 2012 at 8:46 am

What a beautiful dish!

Rita (mademoiselle délicieuse) January 31, 2012 at 8:53 am

Love this dish, regarless of whether it’s made with tofu or pork! Snake beans also make me think of Mum – if not in a stir-fry, she’d chop them into tiny bits and throw them in with scrambled eggs.

Courtney January 31, 2012 at 9:00 am

Okay, so now I really want to go out and find snake beans…never heard of them before this. But I think I might love them.

Anna @ the shady pine January 31, 2012 at 12:34 pm

The tofu is a great touch! I must admit I love beans of any description and these look full of flavour.

Lisa {Smart Food and Fit} January 31, 2012 at 3:30 pm

Mmm, love the seasonings in this dish! Snake beans look so much fun, I think my 5 yr old would even eat them! lol

Nami | Just One Cookbook January 31, 2012 at 7:37 pm

Absolutely love this flavor and would love to give this a try. I’ve seen these snake beans in Chinese market, but never bought one. Now I have a great reason! ;-)

Christy January 31, 2012 at 8:12 pm

Delicious and spicy, this looks very appetizing yet healthy!:D

Sissi February 1, 2012 at 4:03 am

I had no idea they were called snakebeans, but I cook thel and love them especially for their crunchiness. (I buy them in Asian shops, where they are often strangely labelled…) This Thai dish looks fantastic and thank you for the pork version (I think I’d use this one even though I have nothing against tofu ;-) )

Joyti February 1, 2012 at 10:26 am

I love those snake beans (we call them “long beans”) – even as a kid, they’re so good. And your preparation sounds so good, and spicy. Yum!

Jennifer (Delicieux) February 3, 2012 at 12:51 pm

I’ve never had snake beans, but I do love regular beans. Do they taste much different to regular beans? Love the spicy treatment you’ve given them ;)

Wholesome Cook February 3, 2012 at 6:00 pm

They have a slightly different, more soft but “meatier” texture, I’ve found.

Heidi - Apples Under My Bed February 3, 2012 at 4:26 pm

awe, this brings back memories of my beloved rural, western thailand :)
Heidi xo

sara (Belly Rumbles) February 4, 2012 at 3:15 am

I am a massive fan of snake beans, will be adding this to my recipes. Yum

peasepudding February 4, 2012 at 4:54 am

I love snake beans, we don’t see them often in NZ but you should see people’s faces when we do! Love your recipe.

chefconnie March 16, 2012 at 10:40 pm

Love this blog. Just found it. The stir fry is beautiful.

realfunfood March 21, 2012 at 2:29 am

This looks so good, but the best thing is how it’s served!


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