23 Feb2010


by Marketman


The looked a bit like, but not quite, common sitaw. I had never seen them for sale this way before, and the when asked, the vendor gave me this irritated look like “how should I know what they are?” So I got some just to photograph and record, but I am not sure what they actually are. The pods look like young sitaw, but the beans are incredibly big and fairly close to each other. Apparently, one can include them in sautes or other such dishes…


Back at home, I opened up the bag and began to peel the remaining pods that were included therein. I took out a normal sitaw and tried to compare them side by side…


The pods on the left are sitaw and the pods on the right are the mystery beans. I suppose they could be the same thing, or at least cousins of sorts, but it was interesting that they were selling them peeled.


They actually reminded me of tapilan, similar to monggo, here, but I am not sure if these beans would harden up if left on the vine to mature. If you know what these are called, leave me a comment. Thanks. :)



  1. penoybalut says:

    HI MM — Is it shorter than the sitaw that we know. In Batangas and Tagalog regions, we have this string beans, bataw yata yun eh, the pod is denser and greener and the beans closer to each other. The texture of the pod is also crispier than the sitaw. We usually cook it just boiled in rice wash with tomatoes and ginger. Can’t recall what we call that process of cooking.

    Hope this helps.

    Cheers —

    Feb 23, 2010 | 2:27 pm


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  3. uniok says:

    This is just another variety of sitaw, we call it “otong”. But this is not the short sitaw about 7iches long. The short sitaw, i think taste better compared to black beans and bitswelas.

    Feb 23, 2010 | 3:39 pm

  4. betty q. says:

    I think any bean pod left to mature will harden, MM…that is how I save my sitao seeds and any bush beans to plant for next year.

    Those beans you have there which aren’t quite the dry beans yet, you can freeze them….cook as you need them.

    Feb 23, 2010 | 3:51 pm

  5. ruth, Philippines says:

    Hi MM and penoybalut, yes we have that in batangas and its called “KIBAL”. And I believe its only grown there, as i have not seen them outside our province. Super nutritious and health friendly as we only boil them in “hugas bigas” with few pcs of tomatoes, pressed ginger, salt and 1 clove of garlic, exactly the “bulanglang” way of cooking, zero oil needed. Likewise, the young kibal are cut like sitaw. Hope you’ll try to cook our native recipe.

    Feb 23, 2010 | 3:57 pm

  6. Kai says:

    These are the “native” sitaw that we prefer in Pangasinan over the “hybrid” longer sitaw. They’re darker, tastier, and eaten as is, the mature ones shelled. Cooked like the common sitaw, and called by the same name – sitaw, or native sitaw.

    Feb 23, 2010 | 4:32 pm

  7. mbw says:

    i would buy them in the alabang market and i was told its name is “apayap” or something. sounded like it. Whenever I see it, i always tend to buy it just because I find it more delicious than ordinary sitaw.

    Feb 23, 2010 | 6:10 pm

  8. kit says:

    Hi MM. I don’t know what it’s called. I just knew it as sitaw. I remember my lolo had planted it near a malunggay tree, and I was the one harvesting. He just let it climb fence surrounding a compound where he kept his fighting cocks. The soil was quite fertile because of the poop. The plant is really itchy.

    Feb 23, 2010 | 6:58 pm

  9. jguevs says:

    I think this is known as “sitaw na turo” in southern Nueva Ecija. Native sitaw, with tougher pods and bigger beans. Only the young pods are used as vegetables, older ones are used mostly for its beans in the same way as patani (or lima beans).

    Feb 23, 2010 | 8:29 pm

  10. emsy says:

    I agree with jguevs…that’s how we prepare native sitaw in our home. btw, MM, for some reason, whenever I click on your most recent entry, the one about Vietnamese Fresh Shrimp Spring Rolls, it takes me to you blog index and not to the entry itself.

    Feb 23, 2010 | 9:53 pm

  11. Marketman says:

    Several people seem to think these as AYAP or a shorter version of sitaw. I did a post on ayap several years ago, here. But in this case, I didn’t see the entire bean, so I wasn’t sure…

    Feb 23, 2010 | 10:15 pm

  12. atbnorge says:

    Beans—ang pangalan ng basset hound ko noon diyan sa Pilipinas!

    Hindi kaya iyan ‘yung ayap, ha MM?

    Naalala ko rin ‘yung “balatong” na isinasahog ni Apong sa diningdeng; iyon ay tipo ng maiksing sitaw (mga isang dangkal o mahigit ang haba) na hindi kinakain ang balat dahil matigas pero mabilog, matataba at magkakalapit ang mga buto.

    Feb 23, 2010 | 10:29 pm

  13. Lou says:

    Are they shorter than your normal sitaw? The tender beans are used in dinengdeng. Actually I prefer them to the sitaw variety. And sometimes just this with good bagoong and add some sampaloc as souring agent to your dinengdeng and some fried or grilled fish on top.

    Of course you could add the beans as shown in pinakbet and dinendeng added to some other veggies. The mature seeds becomes black beans and they are good with pork hocks, with some added malunggay leaves or eggplant. You are making me miss my Ilocano staples.

    Feb 23, 2010 | 10:43 pm

  14. Vicky Go says:

    I remember “paayap” as being a lot thinner & just about 6″ in length – isang dangkal. BTW what does the pod of mung or mungo beans (balatong) look like? I don’t think I’ve ever seen fresh balatong pod!

    Feb 23, 2010 | 11:07 pm

  15. millet says:

    in the southern tagalog regions, “paayap” is the shorter, thinner variety of sitaw. here in davao, they are all called “sitaw” or “batong”. i prefer the shorter, more crisp-tender ones. but i’ve never seen them sold for seed.

    i imagine these would be hard and tasteless..but then again,who knows? MM, you stumble upon the most usual and most unusual!

    Feb 24, 2010 | 8:55 am

  16. kurzhaar says:

    I love beans of all sorts. “Sitaw” = yard-long or asparagus beans? If so there are many versions both hybrid and open-pollinated. Green, red, purple, striped, spotted… I have grown plain green, red, and striped yard-long beans. bettyq is right, you can let any bean mature in the pod to a dried bean at least to save seed, and all are at least edible in that form (cooked of course) although many are best eaten as snap beans (fresh immature pods).

    Feb 24, 2010 | 9:13 am

  17. Bubut says:

    yes, they belong to the family of sitaw at kaaway ng may mataas na uric acid…hehehe. nice photos.

    Feb 24, 2010 | 9:40 am

  18. she says:

    My grandma calls it Kibal one of bulanglang Batangas ingredients.

    Feb 25, 2010 | 2:37 am

  19. bea says:

    there are many varieties in the sitaw “type” of bean. They are not tapilan as those are in the munggo family & look similar to the pods, which are much shorter and smaller. Did the outside appear bumpy due to bean bulges? I have only begun to explore these sitaw type differences after noticing differences in their dried beans. We will be surprised that many actually hold beans usually eaten driec in places like mexico, but food storage is not a problem for us here so we eat mostly fresh. Beans are so wonderful because you can eat them podded or fresh or dried and they take on different flavors! Ill try to link a few posts when im not browsing thru a phone

    Feb 25, 2010 | 5:46 am

  20. mina m. rayos says:

    ruth is right – these beans are called “kibal” in batangas. cooked simply in a dish called “bulanglang” – rice washing, tomatoes, ginger and garlic, it goes well with fried fish. on a splurge, kibal can be boiled with “binakbakan” or spareribs and topped with malunggay leaves.
    when i was new in batangas city, i remember arguing with a market vendor because she wouldn’t sell me the beans as i call them sitao; “kibal” daw yun…

    Feb 25, 2010 | 8:25 am

  21. michelle h. says:

    I agree with Ruth, this looks like kibal, typically used in bulanglang.

    Feb 25, 2010 | 10:38 am

  22. May Uy says:

    Hi MM,

    That is “sitaw” to us back in Isabela. When started living here in Manila, I didnt buy the sitaw(paler version) here, because I thought they were immature or bubot pa haha Kasi yung sitaw sa amin ay darker green, mas crunchy at a bit shorter.


    Feb 25, 2010 | 1:27 pm

  23. britelite says:

    isn’t this our balatong in Iloilo–looks like it!

    Feb 25, 2010 | 8:12 pm

  24. una says:

    Kibal indeed. I’m quite fascinated different regions have other names for it and I am amused fellow Batanguenos cook it the same exact way my family did. Does anybody know another traditional recipe other than ‘bulanglang’? I always thought sitaw and kibal are one and the same the only difference is the latter, more mature or ‘magulang na’ is raised for seedlings, therefore too tough to eat the pod; so shelled is just another way to eat this vegetable.

    Marketman i love this website. Thank You

    Mar 2, 2010 | 8:00 am

  25. Mrs. Kolca says:

    hi! in our province (romblon), we call that kind of beans “kabud” and we call the tapilan as “corales”.. my grandpa would cook the kabud and corales together in coconut milk and cream with some dried fish like danggit.. i swear, i love that dish during the cold rainy seasons! :D

    Mar 2, 2010 | 5:28 pm

  26. Maria Rowena Rillen-Rizzi says:

    I think it is called “kibal” in Batangas, but we normally cooked them as is, they are normally shorter than “sitaw” and darker in color. They are very good with boiled hamhocks with ginger…

    Aug 25, 2010 | 12:39 am

  27. Gail says:

    It’s “Kibal” beans in Batangas, I wished they sell “kibal” beans here in US to plant. I missed this beans and also the mushrooms called “mamarang’. Why can’t they culture those here. They are the best.

    Mar 14, 2011 | 4:11 am


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