I'm not a very consistent chef. I will cook according to the recipe once or twice, but then I'll most likely start fiddling with it. I can't help wondering if a dish would taste better with more of one thing, or this instead of that. Cooking for me is a constant process of experimentation. Sometimes the results of my experiments are good. Sometimes, not so much. And sometimes, the experiments work very well, surprising even me.
These curious legumes are also known as yard-long beans or snake beans, while in Thai they’re tua fak yao, and they have to be in the running for one of the more unlikely vegetables. At more than a foot long, they are quite preposterous looking. The pencil-thin beans really can grow to a yard long, but are usually picked and sold when they are approaching a foot and a half. Long beans are a common ingredient in stir-fries, and also served raw with hot and spicy foods, especially chili dips.
This is a very common Thai stir-fry that makes a frequent appearance, with variations, at many food stalls. Thai cooks will almost always use what translates to "three story pork" for the meat. This is pork meat with a bit of fat and inner skin layer still attached. Since this probably won't appeal to western palates, I've suggested pork loin as an alternative.
This recipe is my own creation, although it's simple enough I wouldn't be surprised if something very similar already existed. My inspiration for this dish came from a small side salad I had a few years ago, I think on a flight. It was just corn and a little diced capsicum with a balsamic dressing. It was quite easy to reproduce, and while it was fine for a side dish, I wanted to create something a little more substantial I could use for a light meal or snack.
Long beans on sale in a Bangkok market