Szechwan String Bean: A Spicy Culinary Adventure

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In the realm of traditional Chinese medicine, the use of natural ingredients as remedies has been a practice for centuries. Green beans, known as “Lu Dou” in Mandarin, have played a significant role in this ancient healing tradition. In this article, we’ll take you on a culinary adventure through the rich history, preparation techniques, and pro tips for making this mouthwatering dish at home. So, fasten your seatbelts, or rather, apron strings, as we delve into the world of Szechwan String Bean.

The Significance of Green Beans in Chinese Traditional Medicine

Green beans, scientifically referred to as Phaseolus vulgaris, are a staple in Chinese traditional medicine. They are considered a valuable ingredient due to their multiple health benefits. The ancient Chinese have long believed that green beans have a cooling effect on the body, making them particularly useful in combating excess heat and inflammation.

The Nutritional Value of Green Beans

Green Beans in a Nutshell

Szechwan String Bean, also spelled as Szechuan or Sichuan String Bean, hails from the Szechwan (Sichuan) province of China. They are packed with vitamins A, C, and K, and are a rich source of dietary fiber. These elements contribute to various health benefits, making green beans a valuable addition to any diet.

Green Beans in Traditional Recipes

In Chinese traditional medicine, green beans are often incorporated into various recipes to harness their therapeutic properties. These recipes are tailored to address specific health concerns, and they are believed to restore balance to the body.

Green Beans in Chinese Herbal Formulas

Lu Dou Tang – The Green Bean Soup

One of the most famous applications of green beans is the preparation of “Lu Dou Tang,” a traditional Chinese herbal soup. This soothing and delicious soup is known for its detoxifying properties. It’s consumed to eliminate toxins from the body, improve digestion, and cool the system.

Modern Uses of Green Beans in Chinese Medicine

Green Beans in Acupuncture

Acupuncture, another integral part of Chinese medicine, sometimes utilizes green beans. When strategically placed on specific acupuncture points, green beans can help enhance the therapeutic effects of this ancient practice.

Green Bean Extracts

The dish combines fresh string beans, aromatic spices, and a signature Szechwan sauce to create a flavor explosion in your mouth. Extracts and supplements derived from green beans are widely available in the market today. These products are used to treat various ailments and provide nutritional support.


1. Can green beans cure all health issues?
Green beans are a valuable ingredient, but they are not a cure-all. Blanche them in boiling water for a few minutes and then plunge them into ice water to retain their vibrant green color.

2. How can I prepare Lu Dou Tang at home?
Lu Dou Tang can be made by boiling green beans, sugar, and water. If you prefer a milder flavor, reduce the amount of red pepper flakes. For an extra kick, increase the quantity.

3. Are there any side effects of consuming green beans in large quantities beyond certain limit?
The quality of the string beans, along with the freshness of garlic and ginger, significantly impacts the dish’s taste. It’s essential to maintain a balanced diet.

4. Are green bean extracts safe for consumption?
Szechwan String Bean stands out due to its bold and spicy flavors, thanks to the use of Szechwan peppercorns and red pepper flakes. The dish also offers a delightful crunchiness.

5. Can green beans help with weight loss according to research?
Some variations include adding minced pork or ground chicken for meat lovers or using cashews for extra crunch.

6. Where can I find green bean supplements or extracts?
By mastering the art of preparing this dish, you can bring the taste of Szechwan right to your table.


Now that you’re equipped with the knowledge to create this delectable dish, it’s time to don your apron and get cooking. Enjoy your Szechwan String Bean adventure!

Their versatile uses, from soothing soups to acupuncture treatments, underscore their enduring importance. While modern medicine has embraced green beans, their roots remain deeply embedded in the annals of Chinese tradition.

As we celebrate the healing powers of green beans, let us remember that they are not a panacea. Embrace the goodness of green beans, but always remember the importance of a balanced approach to health and well-being.

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