© Denzil Green
Wax Beans are similar to green beans except for the colour, which can be yellow or purple (see Purple Wax Beans.) They are harvested while still slightly immature, so that they will be sweet and crisp (older ones may be a bit bitter.) Their texture is somewhat different from green beans: it’s just a bit waxy, thus their name.
When beans are sliced length-wise into thin strips, this is known as French or julienne-style.
Choose crisp, firm ones with good colour. Avoid ones with brown spots or scars, or with bulge spots (will be woody.)
Before cooking, top the beans if the stems are still on, and wash them. Cut away with scissors any bruised spots or ends.
Boil Wax Beans for a minimum of 5 minutes in unsalted water, anywhere up to 8 or 10 minutes.
Pressure cook fresh wax for 3 minutes on high (or 4 minutes on veg setting in a Nutricook™ pressure cooker.)
Blanching times for freezing:
- Wash, top. Blanch for 3 minutes, whether whole, sliced or chopped.
1 pound Wax Beans = 450g = 30 – 40 beans = 3 ½ cups untrimmed = 3 cups (14 oz / 400g ) topped and tailed = 2 ¾ cups chopped.
1 (400 ml / 14 oz) can yellow wax beans, drained = 2 cups yellow wax beans, drained = 225 g yellow wax beans, drained
To refrigerate, store unwashed in a closed plastic bag for up to 4 days.
To freeze, wash the beans, top and tail them. Cut them up, and blanch in boiling water for 3 minutes (no more!) Plunge into very cold water to cool them, then drain well, pack and freeze for up to 6 months.