Glossary - Ingredients

Green beans


Green beans, also known as French beans (U.K) or string beans (U.S.), are the immature pod of the common bean eaten as a vegetable.

What is green beans?

Green beans come in many pod shapes, including round, flat, or thin, each of which can be eaten whole. In addition to being well-suited for use in "aemono" (dressed dishes often made with fresh seasonal vegetables), deep-fried dishes, stir-fries, and simmered dishes, these beans are also used to garnish grilled foods.

Green beans with different pod shapes.

Nutrition facts

A green vegetable rich in nutrients packed with antioxidant power, such as beta carotene, vitamin C, and vitamin E, green beans are also high in protein, and a balanced source of minerals, including potassium and calcium, which are vital to maintaining bone health.

How to storage: not to waste the ingredient

Wrap in a paper towel and place into a plastic bag or vegetable storage container, then refrigerate to keep from drying out. Use up within 3 to 4 days as green beans don't keep fresh for long at low temperatures.


It is said that the Japanese name for green beans, "ingen," comes from a Zen Buddhist monk named Ingen from China who came to Japan in 1654 and taught for a year at Kofukuji Temple in Nagasaki.

Cooking Basics

Green beans - removing stems

Rather that removing one stem at a time, it is much faster to lay the beans with stems facing in the same direction and then cut these off at once.

Green beans - draining

After boiling, transfer the green beans to an all-purpose strainer or colander to cool. This process is called "okaage" in Japanese. Placing the green beans in water to cool will cause them to become soggy. This method is recommended for snow peas, broccoli and green asparagus as well.

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