[Wellbeing & You] String Beans

March 24, 2023

Eat Seasonal

String beans are named as “four-season beans” in Chinese which implies that they are available all-year round. Do you know string beans are the immature pods of their plant, and if they are left to reach maturity, they will become the kidney beans we usually have in our salads. To get these edible crispy pods before they are fully developed into something too fibrous and tough to eat, harvest them 45 to 60 days after planting, which makes April through June and October through December its peak seasons in Hong Kong. Unwashed fresh string beans can last up to about a week when they are stored in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator.


String beans are not beans! Also known as green beans and snap beans, string beans belong to the vegetable food group instead of the protein (beans) category. When we are consuming the pods of the plant in addition to the seeds inside, we are getting much more vitamin A and C. Comparing one cup of cooked string beans (125g) to a cup of cooked kidney beans (177g), string beans contain 17% Daily Value (DV) of vitamin A and 20% DV of vitamin C while kidney beans provide no vitamin A and only 4% DV of vitamin C.

We don’t always get more when we eat more. Fresh pods of string beans are low in calories, every cup of cooked string beans (125g) only offers about 40kcals whereas a single cup of cooked beans (177g) without pods have almost 6 times the calories (230kcal). The undeveloped seeds in the fresh pods have less protein and minerals too, such as iron, calcium, magnesium, and potassium. However, less nutrients do not make string beans less nutritious! They are great vegetables to be included in our diet that support healthy vision, skin, and immune function by their plentiful vitamin A and C.


Bean crops being one of the members of the legume family, they are the nitrogen fixing plants that can improve our farmlands’ quality. There are symbiotic bacteria in the root nodules of the leguminous plant to absorb nitrogen from the air in the soil for the plant to use for growth, and at the same time, a good amount of nitrogen will leak back into the soil from the roots that helps to keep the land fertilised. By choosing string beans as the vegetables in our meals more often, we are not only getting ample nutrients with a low calorie, but also encouraging our agricultural industry to cultivate more of these earth friendly crops.

Compass Chef’s Recipe Sharing

String Beans Bamboo Fungus Morels Stir-Fry

Joseph Chu
Culinary Director
Compass Group Hong Kong Limited
·       1 tablespoon vegetable oil
·       2-3 slices ginger root
·       3 (15g) garlic cloves, minced
·       40g Bamboo fungus, soak in water until soft
·       8-10 each dried morels, soak in warm water until soft
·       300g string beans, remove ends and strings, cut into sections
·       30g red bell pepper, sliced
·       ½ teaspoon salt
·       White pepper, grounded
1) In a small pot, bring water to boil on high heat, and then added softened bamboo fungus to boil for 1 minute
2) Drain and rinse bamboo fungus with cold water
3) In a medium size pan, heat oil with medium heat
4) Add ginger & garlic to pan and stir until fragrant
5) Add bamboo fungus & morels and stir-fry until slightly fragrant
6) Add string beans, bell pepper, salt, white pepper and stir until string beans are tendered


  1. Nutrition Data – Beans, kidney, all types, mature seeds, cooked, boiled, without salt. Available at: https://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/legumes-and-legume-products/4297/2. Access on 24Feb2023.
  2. Nutrition Data – Beans, snap, green, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt. Available at: https://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2342/2. Access on 24Feb2023.
  3. The Ohio State University – Green beans aren’t quite beans. Available at: https://u.osu.edu/chowline/2014/09/19/green-beans-arent-quite-beans/ . Accessed on 24Feb2023.
  4. Saskatchewan – Soil Improvements with Legumes. Available at: https://www.saskatchewan.ca/business/agriculture-natural-resources-and-industry/agribusiness-farmers-and-ranchers/crops-and-irrigation/soils-fertility-and-nutrients/soil-improvements-with-legumes. Accessed on 24Feb2023.