From wikipedia: "The yardlong bean is also known as the long-podded cowpea, asparagus bean, snake bean, or Chinese long bean." Contrary to the description, the long beans I buy are usually only a foot-long. They can be found at markets specializing in asian produce. I'm lucky to have one of these down the block from my house. (You can find them at Fresh Farms on Touhy too.) These beans may look exotic, but in flavor they're really just like a slender green bean. Fine Cooking (issue 99) recently had a recipe using them and I was excited to give it a try. The spicy shrimp and long bean dish is incredibly simple to put together. The beans are cut into 4 inch pieces so they are easier to toss in the pan and eat. We really liked it this dish. The sauce is simple and light. The mirin gives it some sweetness which compliments the shrimp. I could see adding another veg to the beans, maybe some shiitake mushrooms or some fine-cut strips of red bell pepper, or better yet, a red chile.