Long Bean and Watercress Salad with Peanuts and Coconut

Long Bean and Watercress Salad

Long Bean and Watercress Salad

“Eat your greens!” Well, since current research in nutrition is telling us that greens are the key to vibrant health, I am always looking for interesting ways to eat them. One of my favourite restaurant dishes is zesty Szechuan Beans. I could literally make a meal of them. When I saw today’s recipe in Bon Appétit, July 2014, I just knew that I might have found a new fave!  I was not let down! This recipe doesn’t have the firey bite of Szechuan beans, but I could still wolf down a whole plate at one sitting, inhaling the sweet earthy combination of coconut and peanuts and the peppery bite of watercress.  This dish would make a wonderful accompaniment to any of your favourite proteins and especially the spicy ones.  I am imagining it with some zingy buffalo wings and a crisp, cold glass of Pinot Gris. A couple of things to note here:  don’t worry if you cannot find the Chinese long beans.  I couldn’t find any in my local veggie markets, but some fresh green beans worked beautifully. Also, it’s really important to plunge the cooked greens into the ice-water.  The vibrant green colour and crispness of the veggies cannot be achieved if you miss this step.

I am excited to bring a giant bowl of this Long Bean Salad over to Angie’s Fiesta Friday. If you haven’t visited Angie’s blog, The Novice Gardener, you really must!  Every Friday for the past 34 weeks, Angie has been hosting the most happening, virtual blog party in the blogosphere! We feast, sip, laugh and enjoy each others’ company, as we share our latest and greatest discoveries. So here’s to Angie and her amazing co-hosts who have been keeping us happy now for so many weeks!


Long Bean and Watercress Salad with Peanuts and Coconut


½ cup unsweetened coconut flakes

1 bunch watercress, tough stems removed, cut into 2 inch lengths, (about 5 cups)

Kosher salt

¾ pound Chinese long beans or green beans, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces

2 tablespoons fish sauce

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 tablespoon coconut sugar or brown sugar

½ small red onion, thinly sliced

1 tablespoon thinly sliced kaffir lime leaves

or 1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest

¼ cup coarsely chopped roasted peanuts, preferably unsalted


Place coconut in a small skillet and toast until golden. Remove to a plate to cool.

Meanwhile immerse watercress in a large saucepan of boiling, salted water until just wilted, about 10 seconds. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a colander, and set in a large bowl of ice water. Drain, then gently squeeze out the excess water.

Return water in saucepan to a boil. Cook beans until crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Transfer to ice water. Drain, then pat dry.

Whisk fish sauce, lime juice, and coconut sugar in a large bowl until sugar dissolves.

Add watercress, beans, onion, and kaffir lime leaves and toss to coat. Serve topped with coconut and peanuts.

Long Bean and Watercress Salad

Long Bean and Watercress Salad



56 Responses to “Long Bean and Watercress Salad with Peanuts and Coconut”

  1. Lori

    Hi sweet Julianna! Well you sure make long beans sound and look delicious! Makes me want to eat more greens!!! 🙂

    • chefjulianna

      Haha, Lori! So happy I could make you want to eat your greens! Got to keep my buddies healthy now, don’t I? Happy Fiesta Friday to you! 😀

  2. Serena

    Yummy!!! It must be delicious! …In Genoa, we often use long beans in many traditional dishes…They are delicious and very healthy! Our genoese pasta with pesto is traditionally served with long beans and potatoes and is delicious !!! :-)))

  3. trixpin

    We have so many runner beans from my mum’s garden so I’d love to try and use them up in this recipe. Thank you for the inspiration 🙂

  4. Ngan R.

    I love Bon Appetit and actually bookmarked this recipe in my copy to make someday! The green is super vibrant and tasty-looking. Wonderful dish for a party, Julianna! Happy weekend.

    • chefjulianna

      Hey Ngan! So cool that we both found the same recipe! I have been a huge fan of BA for so long now, too. I hope you have a wonderful weekend too! 😀

  5. Ginger

    I’ve always wondered about the ice-cold water thing, Julianna – thanks for enlightening me! And to think that I get an amazing recipe in the bargain…look who’s fiesta-ing now! 😉

  6. shenANNAgans

    So super simple & delish! I love your suggestions of pairing it with Buffalo Wings & a chilled glass of Pinot Gris. Now that’s a combo that would pop!

    • chefjulianna

      Thanks Anna! Now we just have to see if anyone brought some buffalo wings to FF 🙂 And I bet Angie has a cold bottle of Pinot Gris in her fridge…lets go check it out! 😉

  7. Kaila511

    Mmhmmm, I don’t know if I’m a long beans fan, but this salad looks delicious. I love the array of colors and textures. Thanks for sharing, and happy FF! 😀

  8. spiceinthecity

    Ooh la la Julianna, this salad sounds like a party in your mouth! Love the combination of flavors you have come up with! Such a tempting way to eat your greens 😀 Thanks for sharing at FF!

    • chefjulianna

      Hey Lori! It is so sweet of you to nominate me for this lovely award! But it is you who inspires me!! Thanks so much for being the wonderful, creative, inspiring blogger that you are! ❤

  9. Butter, Basil and Breadcrumbs

    Happy Fiesta Friday, Julianna! Right before I clicked on your photo in the FF lineup… I said out loud…”yum”…. knowing before I even knew what it was that it was going to be delicious. You did not disappoint. This is a gorgeous salad…and one that I need to make very soon. The combination of ingredients is so exciting… coconut, peanuts, lime juice, long beans… oh, it’s perfect. Just perfect… I’m printing this recipe up as I’m typing right now! LOVE this. Thank you so much for sharing! ❤

    • chefjulianna

      Hey Prudy! Thanks so much for your enthusiasm! And thanks so much for co-hosting FF! You are the consummate co-hostess! I’m glad you like the sound of the recipe and really hope you like it when you make it! 😀

    • chefjulianna

      Hey Prudy! Thanks so much for your very kind comment! I hope you do get a chance to make this recipe and that you really love it!

      Thans also for co-hosting! You are such a sweet co-host! 😀

    • chefjulianna

      Thanks Indu! I think you made something really similar recently? I remember thinking that you and I really have similar taste. I could happily cook from your blog all year! 😀

  10. petra08

    Oh it looks delicious! I love beans and this salad looks so nice to get stuck in to! I don’t think I would want anything to go with it! Peanuts, coconut and watercress alone is such a great sounding combination, I must try it! 🙂

  11. Lily

    I’m going to make this for my family, I think they would really enjoy it, it has all the ingredients my mom normally cooks with, my husband would stay away though because he cringes at the sight of fish sauce lol, thanks for sharing:)


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