05 Mar2013


Some of the things in my market basket last Sunday, after a visit to the Centris (formerly Sidcor/Lung Center) market in Quezon City. Amazing, the things you can find at the crack of dawn… :) Besides the Cape Gooseberries, that btw I thought were a unique find but readers seem to think is relatively commonplace up North, in the previous post, I found some nice purple basil, freshly picked and peel patani, fantastic looking and tasting kale, and some purple long beans. I also ended up with nearly a dozen blooms/stems of birds of paradise, some of them 5 feet long!


First up, at Eli’s Organics, whose edible flowers I have featured before here, I found some nice organically grown purple basil, spectacular mint, purple long beans and some wonderful greens. Eli’s is a quirky stall, filled with wonderful pickings but whose line to pay can sometimes stretch to a 15+ minute wait. I don’t mind waiting for good stuff, but perhaps a second cashier would speed things up. :)


At another stall, I got some patani, or lima beans or also referred to at butter beans, that I took home, blanched, shelled and turned into a wonderful spread. Taking off from this recipe from years ago, I added the blanched and peeled beans to a food processor, added lots of grated pecorino romano, salt, pepper, and some boiling liquid and blitzed this while adding a constant thin stream of superb extra virgin olive oil until a spreadable consistency and added the juice of one lemon to brighten this all up. The spread was a bit thick, particularly after refrigeration, but it tasted delicious and was enjoyed by several guests who were surprised somewhat by its humble beginnings as patani beans… Great with crackers or chips, or I suspect as part of a chi-chi vegetarian style sandwich. :)


Next, the purple long beans, that honestly, I have no idea what to do with except add to pinakbet or cook adobo style. I think the color is a quirk of nature, a mutation of sorts… The flavor doesn’t seem to be an different from the green ones.


Finally, some spectacular young kale from the Benguet University stall. I bought three bunches, most of which ended up in a massive vegetable soup I cooked to use up 8-10 different veggies we had in the fridge. Kale is NOT easy to find in Manila, and yet so many people ask me or email me to ask where to get it. So farmers out there, take note, there is a DEMAND for kale. The more people figure out how healthy it is, but more importantly, how delicious it can be, the more readily available it should become, I hope. Also at the Benguet stall, were some spectacular cherry and mini-cherry tomatoes, and some delicious totally organic strawberries, no insecticides is a big deal when it comes to berries. It was quite wet with an occasional downpour while I was at the market, so I didn’t spend as much time there as I would have liked, but I should return more often… I keep telling myself that, despite it being at the other end of town for me.

P.S. Also ran into a friend from my banking days 25+ years ago. She came up to me, called me by my first name, and proceeded to chide me for not remembering her name. Don’t you HATE it when people do that? I always go up to long lost friends and say, “Hi XXX, it’s Marketman, how nice to see you…” but I never assume they remember my name… At any rate, besides the veggies, I found some old acquaintances, so this is a shoutout to Alice, just in case you read this and never figured out that Marketman and I are one and the same person. :)



  1. Mimi says:

    Purple sitaw: maybe make a Thai long bean salad with the spicy sweet patis dressing and peanuts. I am not sure if the sitaw is blanched or used raw though.

    Mar 5, 2013 | 4:04 pm


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  3. Kasseopeia says:

    When young enough, sitaw is lovely when eaten raw with the sweet/spicy thai patis dressing with limes and crushed peanuts. Most of the sitaw sold in Pinas. however, are picked more mature and need to be cooked, most of the time.

    If we could have younger purple sitaw, they would look spectacular in a somtam! Then make purple pad krapow moo with the purple basil! *drool*

    Mar 5, 2013 | 5:40 pm

  4. Angie says:

    agree… more Kale please! been looking for this but couldnt find any.

    Mar 5, 2013 | 5:46 pm

  5. Slightly Epicurean says:

    I was there last Sunday too! I’ll check out the Kale next time. I did bought some organic romaine lettuce and wild blueberries.

    Mar 5, 2013 | 6:00 pm

  6. Nons says:

    I’m so tempted to go there this weekend to buy ingredients that I can cook. But waking up before the crack of dawn has been a challenge for me for the past few days. Are there also food stalls in Centris?

    Mar 5, 2013 | 6:22 pm

  7. MrsKookie says:

    I miss Sidcor. SInce I got married, I now live in the opposite side, farther than you, MM! My Dad still goes there and I get inggit all the time… One day, I should take the trek, maybe. Thanks for sharing your loot!

    Mar 5, 2013 | 6:40 pm

  8. EbbaBlue says:

    I planted and had eaten purple sitaw, just like the purple okra, once it hits the heat it turns green, so it is like green sitaw.

    Mar 5, 2013 | 9:43 pm

  9. Mom-Friday says:

    I heard many good things about Sidcor / Centris market… sadly I have not visited yet.
    I will share this post with friends looking for kale. You are right, I’m one of many that just discovered “super” kale. And wow purple basil – does it have the same taste as the green ones?

    Mar 5, 2013 | 10:23 pm

  10. Connie C says:

    Just a note to say that kale made it to #12 in the dirty dozen list of fruits and vegetables found to have high pesticide residue. Altho USDA allows a certain amount of pesticides in food, kale would be one you may choose to buy organic.


    I always remember silly lolo when making caldo verde.

    Mar 6, 2013 | 2:51 am

  11. Marketman says:

    Connie et al, the kale above was organically raised… :)

    Mar 6, 2013 | 5:13 am

  12. linda says:

    I went to a farmer’s market recently and found some organic kale which were selling for $1.00 per leaf…..just bought 4.

    Mar 6, 2013 | 6:41 am

  13. millet says:

    linda, a dollar per leaf of kale! outrageous! but yes, they do have very fresh seafood and lots of good cooked food in centris. i miss it too!

    Mar 6, 2013 | 7:21 am

  14. natie says:

    Purple long beans would look lovely with the carrots etc when one makes achara…

    Mar 6, 2013 | 8:11 am

  15. MP says:

    I was at the Salcedo market looking for kale (among others) but couldn’t find any! My friend said I was too engrossed with the sweet stuff that I missed them.. Hmmm maybe a trip to QC should be planned but going at the crack of dawn might not be easy…

    Hahaha MM I also hate it when I am in that awkward situation of someone remembering my name and I couldn’t remember theirs, even with a gun to my head!

    Mar 6, 2013 | 10:53 am

  16. Maki says:

    I like beans, one of my favorite. I’m looking forward for the next post on how you will prepare these sir MM.

    Mar 6, 2013 | 1:54 pm

  17. Trax says:

    Hi MM. Thanks for the info on kale. Once again, I learned something new and valuable from your blog. Keep it up. I am sure that the following will always be there.

    Mar 7, 2013 | 1:13 am

  18. EbbaBlue says:

    Mom-Friday, mas milder ang lasa ng purple basil. And Basils have different “varieties” like mint. May kanya kanya silang “taste”. Meron mas sweet katulad ng purple, which I prefer than the green ones. Mas mabango rin ang flower niya.

    Mar 7, 2013 | 5:56 am

  19. Corrine says:

    I hope the vendors in centris / sidcor will also put r in Alab / Pque area.

    Mar 7, 2013 | 10:27 pm

  20. betty q, says:

    Yup, just like what Ebba said, purple sitao, maybe purple kale too would turn green when subjected heat. I planted RED CORN few summers ago called Ruby Queen and the color bled when I blanched the corn.water turned to swamp water color…still sweet just like any other corn. But the rest of the freshly picked cobs, we just ate them RAW.

    maybe pickle the purple sitao with green, yellow wax beans using cold pack method…

    Mar 7, 2013 | 10:57 pm

  21. kurzhaar says:

    I’ve grown red (not purple) long beans (catalogue called them asparagus beans). Edible raw, when cooked turned plain old green.

    $1 per LEAF of kale–seriously??? That is insane.

    We grow kale–easy enough to do, great cool-weather crop as like other brassicas the plants turn sweeter with a few days of chilling. A few favourite ways of cooking: long-braised kale with smoked pork loin and smoked sausage (“Gruenkohl”, served with plain boiled/peeled yellow potatoes), rubbed with olive oil and roasted until crisp, young kale rubbed with olive oil, torn into bite sized pieces, and served raw as a salad (with a variety of accompaniments), shredded kale cooked with roasted or sauteed chickpeas. All delicious and super easy dishes.

    Mar 8, 2013 | 7:26 am

  22. Ciara says:

    I’ve been looking for Kale here in Manila. MM would you know where else I can buy Kale aside from Centris which is too far from where I live. Thank you.

    Mar 8, 2013 | 10:20 pm

  23. Mom-Friday says:

    Thanks EbbaBlue, now I know. Hindi pako nakakita ng purple basil :)

    Mar 11, 2013 | 5:45 pm

  24. florisa says:

    visited Sidcor market last Sunday. Ang init pala dun. But it was fun! Bought a bunch of lettuce for just 35/100gms and other greens which normally cost more in Salcedo, plus got myself fresh blueberries, and sweet longgan. Nag MRT lang kami kaya pigil ako sa pamimili. :)

    Mar 12, 2013 | 8:31 pm

  25. chichay says:

    marketman, purple long beans are best cooked adobo style. it brings out the sweetness of the beans.

    Mar 14, 2013 | 3:31 pm

  26. Jerry Cabasag says:

    Would like to ask, where can i contact Eli’s Organic. need it urgently.


    Mar 18, 2013 | 2:04 pm

  27. Richard says:

    A very high percentage of Filipinos do not care about their health, as evidenced by the scarcity of the top ten super foods and the abundance of sugar. Kale is just another example but at the heart of the matter is that most Filipinos wish to stay with the poor eating habits they grew up with and have little knowledge of what is healthy.

    Jul 11, 2013 | 12:23 am

  28. jane says:

    are you looking for kale? pls text me at 09197392511 or call me at 543-2308

    Feb 3, 2014 | 10:52 pm

  29. OneValenzuela says:

    I was having a hard time looking for kale to use for juicing. When we went up to Baguio last month, we were able to buy some produce in front of Cafe by the Ruins (Saturday morning) for Php30.00. Also got some tamarillos which I turned into jam (Php30.00) and some fresh pako for only Php25.00.

    How I wish these goods are more accessible!

    Nov 1, 2014 | 6:31 am

  30. chloe says:

    Check out @skygarden_organic_farm in instagram they have KALES curly,chinese and tuscan

    Jan 14, 2015 | 7:44 am

  31. vash says:

    Need Kale? Please call or text… 09982368371

    Jan 21, 2015 | 5:39 pm


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