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Oriental Vegetables

If you're looking for an alternative beyond the standard beans and potatoes, you might check out something a little different. Like some of the Oriental vegetables.

Every region and culture has its own favorite fruits and vegetables, as well as ways of preparing them in their cooking. There is so much diversity available to us today, it's really amazing.

So if you're looking for an alternative beyond the standard beans and potatoes, you might check out something a little different. Like some of the Oriental vegetables.

As a guide to many of these delicacies, I asked gardener Blia Yang to help identify and describe some of her favorites.

Allen: Now, is this an Oriental green bean?

Blia Yang, Organic Vegetable Gardener, Little Rock, Arkansas: Yes, we use the Oriental green beans in salads or you can stir fry it, skillet fry is more tender and cooks faster than a regular bean.

Allen: These are delicious, I love them. I'm sure there is an Asian name for them, but I just call them asparagus beans.

Blia: Yes.

Allen: And what would you call these in your native language?

Blia: Ton-deh. (V. unguinculata sesquipedalis)

Allen: Ton-dee?

Blia: Ton-deh.

Allen: Oh, I had better stick to asparagus bean. These are wonderful, are they popular in the market?

Blia: Yes, they are popular because when you chew it, it is very sweet.

Allen: It is sweet, and tender. So this would be stir fried or even used raw in a salad.

Blia: Yes.

Allen: So Blia, you grow everything in your garden organically.

Blia: Yes, in my country we grow all of this organically.

Allen: So how do you fertilize?

Blia: Well, I use the chicken pellet for the fertilizer.

Allen: Right, so you just spread the chicken litter from the hen houses to fertilize. It seems to work, the chicken litter works.

Blia: Yes.

Allen: Just look at how these beans have grown. Now, you have to pick all of these vegetables for the farmer's market once a week.

Blia: Yes, once a week, every Friday, we have to come in the afternoon and pick all of these vegetables fresh for the market. I have my daughter to help me, and my husband and we have about three or four people who picks.

Allen: So you're at the market every Saturday?

Blia: Yes.

Allen: Do you find that the people who come to the market are more interested in oriental vegetables than they were, say, five or six years ago?

Blia: Yes, they come in and they try and we give them a free sample and we tell them how to cook and they try and they like it and they love our oriental vegetables.

Allen: Yes, so people are interested in experimenting.

Blia: Yes.