Monday, August 18, 2008

Winged Beans Stewed in Coconut Milk

Do you know what this is? It is a type of legume that grows in hot and humid countries like the Philippines. It is called Winged Beans. Primarily due to the "4 wings" or the frilly edges of this bean. The picture above is a cross-section cut of a bean pod. Sometimes, it is called Asparagus pea, or Four-Cornered bean, or Manila Bean. In Chinese, it is called Yi Dou. In Filipino, it is the Sigarillas/Sigarilyas. Studies have shown that this bean is comparable to the soy bean in protein and nutritional content.

The whole Winged Bean plant is edible. The shoots, flowers, roots, leaves, pods and even the seeds can be eaten. I have not tried the other parts though, I have only cooked and tasted the pods. The pods, which can be green, or purple are four-sided and flare from the center into ruffled ridges or "wings." I apologize I do not have a nice picture of the whole pod. You can click here to see what the whole pod looks like. I think the Winged beans may be found in specialty produce markets and some supermarkets. Choose small beans with no sign of discoloration. Because the shorter ones are more tender. If you get the longer ones, the cooking time might also be longer. Wash and trim before using.

500 gms winged beans, sliced cross section (as above)
500 gms lean ground pork
2 T fish paste (bagoong)
3 slices ginger
4 T minced garlic
2 -3 finger chillies (sliced thinly), or more if you prefer it more spicy
1 T rice vinegar
1 C (330 ml) Coconut Cream
salt and pepper to taste

1. In the skillet or wok, add a little oil, saute ginger until golden brown. Add garlic, and saute until fragrant but not burnt.

2. Add in the lean ground pork, and saute until the meat changes color.

3. Add in the fish paste and vinegar. Stir around a little.

4. Add in the winged beans and finger chillies. Mix everything up so that the beans can absorb the flavors of the meat and fish paste evenly.

5. Add in the coconut cream. Cover and simmer until meat and beans are cooked. Around 20 minutes. Add in some water if you prefer more sauce.

6. Adjust seasoning. Serve hot with plenty of rice.

I know this is an ugly picture. In reality, it is also an ugly looking dish. But I assure you it tastes very good. It is flavorful and spicy. I started cooking this dish because Hubby would rave about this dish served in his office canteen - even when it contained loads of fat. At least if home-cooked, I can choose to use the leaner cut of meat.

Submitting this dish and the featured Winged Bean to the Weekend Herb Blogging, a worldwide food event produced by Kalyn of Kalyn's Kitchen to celebrate herbs and unique plant food and the dishes we make using these ingredients. This week's host is Srivalli of Cooking 4 All Seasons. To see last week's delicious round-ups, please check out Marija's Palachinka.


tigerfish said...

Winged beans? That's new to me!

eatingclubvancouver_js said...

I've never seen winged beans before so this is definitely intriguing for me.

Unknown said...

wow! i havent seen this before! sooo interesting!

Unknown said...

i agree, sigarillas or winged beans (cute name), is one of my favorite veggie... thanks for sharing your recipe... btw, i love your description...a full time servant of God... bless you :)

Anonymous said...

wow ... learn something new today ... I can only imagine what it tastes like!

Soli Deo Gloria said...

I'd love to serve everybody this dish for you to taste!

Camemberu said...

OH I LOVE THESE! Great when stirfried with chili, garlic and dried shrimp. But I didn't know the whole plant is edible, even the roots! Fascinating.

Srivalli said...

Thats sounds really interesting..thank you for the lovely entry!

Srivalli said...

Thats sounds really interesting..thank you for the lovely entry!

Lakshmi said...

Never heard of these beans..Very interesting. Something cooked in coconut is always welcomed at home :)

Degchi said...

Winged beans??
heard first time from you...Thanks...

Kalyn Denny said...

Great post for WHB! I haven't heard of these beans before, love learning about a new type of plant.

Kalikite said...

I am growing them now the beans taste like fresh peas the shell is reminiscent of a snow pea I haven’t tried the leaves yet but I imagine them to taste like sweet potato leaves
I love the versatility of this vegetable and that all parts of the plant can be used

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