24 Jan2010


Is it really so HARD to label a somewhat unusual (for this market at least) vegetable sold in the grocery? I ran across these very small beans (or are they peas) at the SM grocery, distributed by Dizon farms, and they had no name on them, there was no name on the display cases, and no one in the vegetable section seemed to know what they were. At PHP17 a pack, I figured I would take the risk and buy two packs to try. But it would be nice to know what they are called…


We have several vegetable reference guides/books, but none seem to have this bean at this size and stage of development. So next is the process of elimination. I am pretty sure these aren’t fava beans, chinese long beans, romano beans, french beans, purple or yellow wax beans (which I wish Dizon would grow soon), green beans or snap beans. They also don’t seem to be peas, like sugar snap peas or snow peas…


From the photos in our books, they COULD be very young soy beans, or young runner beans, or some other variety I have not come across before. So if you know what they are, please leave a comment. They are about 3-4 inches long, very thin, a bit fuzzy, just a vaguely discernible bean or pea inside yet, and are rather soft/limp. I intend to use them in a salad this evening. Photo above shows the unidentified veggies BESIDE a snow pea, mangetout or chicharo.


At nearly PHP200 a kilo, they were surprisingly pricey, but this little packet of 75 grams is probably enough for one or two people and this only cost PHP17… Your help in identifying this grocery find is greatly appreciated. :)



  1. RobKSA says:

    Looks like a runner beans as I think soya beans are quite bulky already even if they are young?

    Jan 24, 2010 | 4:39 pm


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  3. tess says:

    Mr. MM those are called samsamping by the Ilocanos. I do’nt know how they call this by the Tagalogs. The flower of this has a royal blue color and is being used by Ugo Bigyan as garnish for their ensalada You can use this for Pinakbet , Dinengdeng or blanch it for ensalada but be sure not use the mature ones.

    Jan 24, 2010 | 5:42 pm

  4. thelma says:

    these look like the soy beans…

    Jan 24, 2010 | 5:53 pm

  5. Connie C says:

    If they have purple flowers, would it be as we Tagalogs call it patani? a hybrid mini patani perhaps?

    C’mon BettyQ, help!

    Jan 24, 2010 | 6:27 pm

  6. Marketman says:

    Uggh. Just blanched them for a minute or two and was going to add them to a salad. But it was tough and lacking flavor. Kinda like chewing thin wet cardboard. So I quickly stir fried it with corn, tomatoes and onions… but it still wasn’t good. So maybe I don’t even need to know the name of it. :) I can see it in pinakbet, however.

    Jan 24, 2010 | 7:50 pm

  7. gigi says:

    I am an Ilocano. My Aunt calls those “kumpitis”. I love them in dinengdeng cooked with sweet potatoes.

    Jan 24, 2010 | 7:53 pm

  8. calorie-shmalorie says:

    early early stage of sword beans? i remember having plants in the garden as kids. the pods are flat as a sword, grows about a foot long, 2-3 fingers in width. julienned on the diagonal and sauteed. tasted and smelled a lot like bataw when cooked.

    Jan 24, 2010 | 8:11 pm

  9. Diabetis says:

    We call it as “Bataw”.

    Jan 24, 2010 | 9:23 pm

  10. millet says:

    those look like young bataw.

    Jan 24, 2010 | 9:43 pm

  11. millet says:

    those look like young bataw. but then again, i can never remember the difference between bataw and patani. it doesn’t help at all that they’re “neighbors” in the Bahay Kubo song :-)

    Jan 24, 2010 | 9:44 pm

  12. noes says:

    I think this is called “parda” in ilocano. I’m not sure though.

    Jan 24, 2010 | 9:51 pm

  13. noes says:

    I think this is called “bunga ti singkamas” in ilocano. I’m not sure though.

    Jan 24, 2010 | 9:53 pm

  14. atbnorge says:

    I would call it bataw; there is a smaller variety lighter green with the purplish edges; love it with diningdeng and pinakbet—my maternal grandmother used to plant those along with patani.

    Jan 24, 2010 | 10:14 pm

  15. chip says:

    Tess may be correct as the sticker has an abbreviated version of “samsamping” – on the 4th photo, it says “global smsampi” right where they usually put the product name…

    Check this out, a photo of samsamping, or butterfly peas:


    Jan 24, 2010 | 10:18 pm

  16. catherine says:

    This vegetable is called samsamping. The Ilocanos cook it with bagoong (like pinakbet).

    Jan 24, 2010 | 10:23 pm

  17. chip says:

    …and I’ll let you discover it’s naughty tagalog name by yourself, MM. I’m sure you’ll have a good laugh.

    I guess the pinoy and foreign nomenclator (who gave its scientific name) had the same thing on their minds

    Jan 24, 2010 | 10:42 pm

  18. Hershey says:

    Why not try putting it in stews? Put it in the last 30 minutes of the cooking :D

    Jan 24, 2010 | 10:47 pm

  19. Jack Hammer says:

    calorie-shmalorie, Philippines says:
    “julienned on the diagonal and sauteed. tasted and smelled a lot like bataw when cooked”
    That is exactly how we Goans from Goa, India cook it. We saute it with onions, garlic and tomatoes and add a bit of turmeric powder. But they do have a distinct flavour. We sometimes do also add them whole, after pulling out the fibrous edges, to our Mutton Stew along with Potatoes.

    Jan 24, 2010 | 11:00 pm

  20. edel says:


    Jan 24, 2010 | 11:18 pm

  21. atbnorge says:

    @Chip, I used to pick the flowers when I was a kid and it sure has a naughty name…I am not going to spill the beans…

    Jan 25, 2010 | 12:15 am

  22. Raph says:

    ah yes, I agree with Tess. This is sam-samping! My lola likes to add this to dinengdeng and pinakbet.

    Jan 25, 2010 | 2:57 am

  23. Lou says:

    I have to agree with Gigi, they are called kumpitis in Ilocano and they are good in dinengdeng. Just like when you clean some beans or chicharo, you have to remove the stringy part on the side by snapping the top. They are best when they are very young with no trace of the seeds yet.

    Jan 25, 2010 | 3:23 am

  24. bjoy says:

    i like this in pansit canton which my tita used to cooked when i was a kid.. she calls it ” chitcharu”..

    Jan 25, 2010 | 9:00 am

  25. tulip says:

    Kumpitis and samsamping/samping/sampi is one and the same.

    Jan 25, 2010 | 9:50 am

  26. Bubut says:

    we call that patani. you can add it in dinengdeng.

    Jan 25, 2010 | 10:30 am

  27. Derek says:

    They look like snow peas to me MM. French like to call them mange-tout, “eat all”

    Jan 25, 2010 | 11:12 am

  28. trism says:

    Mother says it’s bataw (baby bataw mayhaps?). I’ve eaten it mostly in sinigang.

    Jan 25, 2010 | 11:27 am

  29. jannah says:

    i think it is bataw.

    Jan 25, 2010 | 11:53 am

  30. Marketman says:

    No, definitely not chicharo, snow peas, and not bataw per se either. Definitely not patani. I like the samsamping option so far…

    Jan 25, 2010 | 12:01 pm

  31. Kai says:

    Yeah, it’s samsamping, cooked in addition to the vegetables in pinakbet. It’s considered a weed, really, growing wild in the fields and untended lawns.

    Jan 25, 2010 | 12:27 pm

  32. Pera ni Juan says:

    It could be Soy bean or bataw. For further reference it is best to contact Dizon farms just to make sure.

    Your right it’s kinda pricey but is the taste worth it?

    Jan 25, 2010 | 1:09 pm

  33. B says:

    It could be clitorea (called kumpitis and samsamping by Ilocanos) but it could also be baby bataw as some mentioned (some bataw varieties are not lined purple).

    Perhaps you should have gone for the bean inside

    Jan 25, 2010 | 1:10 pm

  34. mtoni says:

    bunga ng singkamas po tingin ko nyan.

    Jan 25, 2010 | 6:24 pm

  35. Bingle Laoagan says:

    They are called kumpitis in Ilocano. They’re a great as a component of dinengdeng.

    Jan 25, 2010 | 6:32 pm

  36. Connie C says:

    Silly Lolo, anong say mo if a vegetable or even a person is named Clitorea? Exotic, eh?

    Jan 25, 2010 | 6:47 pm

  37. rva says:

    yes, this could be “samsamping” or “kumpitis” (scientific name is clitorea ternate; the name might be attributed to its flower which resembles the female sex organ; its tagalog name is “pukinggan”) . it grows wild in the ilocos region. it’s good for dinengdeng or inabraw and it can also be an ingredient in pinakbet.

    the pods pictured are somewhat matured, from the looks of it, so that’s explain the toughness/hardness. samsamping is good when it’s picked young.

    parda (bataw) is different. i have pictures and a preparation of parda here: http://pinakbet.wordpress.com/2010/01/24/parda-salad/

    Jan 25, 2010 | 7:11 pm

  38. atbnorge says:

    @rva, thank you very much for the info—I love bataw! Ang buto ng pukinggan na wild ay ginamit naming bala sa sumpit noong maliliit pa kami. Tapos, ang tawag namin sa bulalak ay kantutay.

    @Connie C, excited akong malaman ang sagot ni Silly Lolo.

    Jan 25, 2010 | 8:19 pm

  39. marissewalangkaparis says:

    Nice name-guessing game–well silly lolo…what do you think..i’m giggling….waiting for your answer….

    Jan 25, 2010 | 8:36 pm

  40. i love sta.rosa says:

    haaay, yan na nga ba ang sinasabi ko pati si MM nalilito na tuloy, pwede ba syang hybrid ng patini @ bataw? mga tagalog kasi kami..kaya yun ang tingin ko..hehehhehehe

    Jan 25, 2010 | 10:18 pm

  41. fleur says:

    sansamping para sa aming mga Pangasinense hehehehe

    Jan 26, 2010 | 6:19 am

  42. BD says:

    It looks like Romano bean (Roma II) – the italian bean variety.

    Jan 26, 2010 | 7:09 am

  43. jdawgg says:

    Hello Marketman,

    I agree with Noes answer. The local Ilocanos here in the SF/Bay Area call them Bunga ng Singkamas from the vine. During spring to summer time, this vegetable shows up in “Alemany Farmer’s Market located betwen Interstate 101 and 280 which I frequently visit. It’s a good component for Pinakbet.

    Jan 26, 2010 | 7:34 am

  44. mary grace says:

    for the ilocanos this pod is called samsamping. goes well with dinengdeng na upo with kadyos, bunga ng malunggay and pritong isda. i miss this veggie. i don’t think it is harvested for its beans.

    Jan 26, 2010 | 7:45 am

  45. ted says:

    Ditto to jdawgg, those are pods from singkamas. Didn’t know they were edible back then.

    Jan 26, 2010 | 7:52 am

  46. Marketman says:

    Nope, these are NOT bunga ng singkamas, I did a post on those several years ago, here.

    Jan 26, 2010 | 8:41 am

  47. andeeeng says:

    bataw. good for sinigang with kamatis, tinapa and gabi.

    Jan 26, 2010 | 12:42 pm

  48. ENYA says:

    Yes, I think it’s bataw.

    Jan 26, 2010 | 9:48 pm

  49. diday says:

    those look like young ipil-ipil pods.

    Jan 27, 2010 | 12:02 pm

  50. jonas says:

    Definitely … samsamping, its different from bataw, patani, bunga ng singkamas, sitsaro or ipil. A common Ilocano vegie. Good for pakbet or even plain dinengdeng, get the youngest you can find, the ones with strings on the sides are already too mature for cooking.

    Jan 27, 2010 | 1:01 pm

  51. Meyen says:

    I live in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. I grew up in San Miguel, Bulacan. My mother used to grow them in our backyard. If I remember correctly, these are called bataw. It is winter here and I miss the fresh vegetables you can buy at the local farm stands.

    Jan 28, 2010 | 9:49 am

  52. Marketman says:

    Previous post on sitaw, bataw at patani here. Bunga ng singkamas here.

    Jan 28, 2010 | 11:17 am

  53. Zharmagne says:

    HI there! Would you know where to buy haricot vert in Manila?


    Jan 28, 2010 | 11:21 am

  54. Marketman says:

    Okay, I am beginning to feel quite confident this is sam-samping or butterfly pea or clitorea ternatea. Different from bataw, bunga ng singkamas or patani. Thanks everyone for your comments…

    Jan 28, 2010 | 11:22 am

  55. Marketman says:

    Zharmagne, I khave a couple of posts on haricots vert in the archives. I just bought some at S&R yesterday. They don’t always have them, but I find them every once in a while. And they are a little older than true haricots verts.

    Jan 28, 2010 | 11:25 am

  56. tess says:

    Zharmagne, french beans are availlable at Landmark Trinoma. Supplier is Malagos Farm ( Puentespina) in Davao

    Jan 28, 2010 | 12:08 pm

  57. Footloose says:

    ConnieC, not only exotic but dare I say, right on the spot.

    Rva, that´s exactly how we call the blossoms too in Bataan. Though we admired their suggestive structure, we never suspected that the pods would be edible.

    I love this new edit function.

    Jan 30, 2010 | 9:25 pm

  58. zharmagne says:

    thanks marketman and connie =)

    Jan 30, 2010 | 9:32 pm

  59. zharmagne says:

    I meant thanks Tess!

    Jan 30, 2010 | 9:33 pm

  60. toto says:

    Do you have any information to market this beans? Hoping any response. Thanks

    Mar 20, 2010 | 3:26 pm


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