28 Oct2005

Sitaw / Long Beans

by Marketman

Sitaw (Vigna unguiculata, subspecies sesquipedalis) or asitaw(long bean, yard-long bean, snake bean) are sometimes referred to as being longer string beans which is incorrect. Apparently, according to several books I have consulted (Davidson, Deseran, Cost, etc.), long beans are more closely related to black eyed peas than to string or pole beans. Native to southern Asia, where is not known really, these beans thrive in the tropical climates nearer the equator and are sensitive to colder air. They grow in abundance in Southeast Asia and are available almost year round. They are nutritious, delicious and affordable and figure prominently in the cuisines of southern China, Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines. There are at least two varieties – one which is paler and the other that is darker green. Many Asian cookbooks suggest that the darker beans are the more preferred of the two. When buying, look for the beans that have no blemishes or wrinkling, as these indicate the beans were harvested several days before. I have eaten sitaw for as long as I can remember… I can almost smell the aroma of sautéing pork, onions then sitaw and some patis (fish sauce) just from memory! When allowed to mature, the bean inside gets bigger and when dried it looks very similar to black-eyed peas.



  1. Phisch says:

    Interesting that this plant is sensitive to cold. I can get sitaw in my local Southern California groceries. While our nights are certainly not frigid, they’re not very warm either :)

    Oct 29, 2005 | 2:43 am


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  3. aleth says:

    i love cooking an all sitaw dish as “adobong sitaw” . . . have you tried it? yummy… but the variety here in dubai is not as good as back home . . pero pwede na rin sa taong “homesick!”

    Oct 29, 2005 | 3:37 pm

  4. Marketman says:

    Phisch, think the beans might be imported from warmer climates or are they locally grown? I remember seeing them in New York Asian groceries but I just assumed they were trucked or flown in…

    Aleth, I love adobong sitaw… that’s how I used to eat it as a kid.

    Oct 31, 2005 | 7:20 pm

  5. eilrhei says:

    kelangan q poh ng description ng pole sitaw ung GALANTE hybrid… tnx pohhhhhhh.. . .

    Feb 27, 2009 | 7:49 am


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