19 Aug2009

What Are These???

by Marketman


A family friend just returned from a trip to Singapore and dropped off half a kilo of these rather unusual looking pods. She thought I might know what they were called and how they were cooked. Huh? Stumped. They look like seriously large bataw or patani, but they have a glossy pod that are simply humongous, some 1.5 inches wide by say 4 inches long. Almost like seed pods on some trees! But they definitely seem like a relative of bataw or patani.


Do any of you know what they are? And what they are called? How I might cook them or are they included in other dishes? Any help you can provide would be greatly appreciated. Many thanks!



  1. zena says:

    I was going to say bataw but you already have it there. =)

    Aug 19, 2009 | 8:19 am


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  3. Cris Jose says:

    They look like patani… which you can include in pakbet… anyways.. come to think of it almost all the local vegetables can be included in pakbet… lol..

    Aug 19, 2009 | 8:27 am

  4. Marketman says:

    The photos don’t show the scale, but these are some 4+ inches long! :)

    Aug 19, 2009 | 8:29 am

  5. emsy says:

    I think it’s still bataw, only a different species perhaps, or they were cultivated so they grow a lot bigger than our native ones.

    Aug 19, 2009 | 8:29 am

  6. Ging says:

    Those are called “Chicaro”, a staple in Chinese cooking. The smaller ones are more tender and can be eaten raw. The bigger ones are on the crispy side.

    There’s a lot of these sold in Carbon market.

    Aug 19, 2009 | 8:36 am

  7. Ging says:

    Can be thrown into your Chop Suey, Chow Pat Chin or just sauteed with some oyster sauce, goes well with beef, pork and chicken. Can add into any dish that needs greens.

    Chicharo is a member of the bean family.

    Aug 19, 2009 | 8:39 am

  8. siopao says:

    I’ve seen those before but I don’t know the name. They are julienned on the diagonal and stir fried like most other pod veggies.

    Aug 19, 2009 | 8:40 am

  9. Marianita S. Jocosing says:

    hello marketman, i am a first time commenter here in your blog though been a lurker for quite some time now, in our place, cavite, they are called “harabilya”, they can be included in your fish sinigang as one of the veggies. But the particular dish that you can come out of this is just sautteed it with garlic, onions, tomatoes, julliened camote and dried dilis. nits

    Aug 19, 2009 | 8:51 am

  10. betty q. says:

    I have seen those here in the garden…hyacinth bean? They look like they are still babies…so maybe cook them whole, in your pakbet..oh, MM if someone gives you the baby squash, really really tiny like walnut size or smaller than a golfball, add it to your pakbet. It is getting cold here now but i still get a lot of baby squash with flowers still attached to it. I know it is too late for them to mature so it makes a nice addition to pakbets.

    Aug 19, 2009 | 8:59 am

  11. millet says:

    they are definitely patani! on steroids!

    Aug 19, 2009 | 9:01 am

  12. Cris Jose says:

    Super patani!!!! :)

    Aug 19, 2009 | 9:03 am

  13. betty q. says:

    They are eaten or cooked while immature for the seed contain something like cyogenic glucoside (toxin) kaya they have to be cooked and not eaten raw.

    Aug 19, 2009 | 9:07 am

  14. romwell says:

    i am placing my bet with chicharo sauteed somepork with some garlic and carrots ang you usual chopsuey veggiemix and some oyter sauce. yummy

    Aug 19, 2009 | 9:08 am

  15. lin says:

    hi, these are called “smelly beans” or petai. Your urine will smell of it after you have consumed it. To prepare it, you need to shell it and soak it in salt water (a few changes) overnite. We still fried with sambal and anchovies. Not sure how it works, but eating it with a side dish of raw cucumber will remove the smell of it from your urine.

    Aug 19, 2009 | 9:45 am

  16. moni says:

    MM, these are bataw but the jumbo variety. You can add this to pochero or nilaga nga baka. We used to cook it this way in my childhood when bataw was plentiful.

    Aug 19, 2009 | 9:58 am

  17. Cecilia says:

    Could also be nice stir-fried with Betty q’s XO sauce! M-mmm, all these suggestions are making me hungry.

    Aug 19, 2009 | 10:15 am

  18. Susie says:

    Broad beans? English mother-in-law grew them in her garden but they were certainly longer than 4 inches. Are the actual beans like lima beans?

    Aug 19, 2009 | 10:22 am

  19. Cynthia says:

    They look like snow peas (chicharo in Tagalog).

    Aug 19, 2009 | 10:25 am

  20. diwata says:

    Millet… you’re funny!!!! STEROIDS INDEED!!! HaHaHaHa…

    Aug 19, 2009 | 10:26 am

  21. sanojmd says:

    looks like snow peas to me but has thicker skin just like those who partook in the extravagant dinner at new york.. lol

    Aug 19, 2009 | 10:56 am

  22. ECC says:

    MM, perhaps you can open one and show us what the beans look like?

    Aug 19, 2009 | 10:57 am

  23. Rose5 says:

    more on bataw, they have the same purple outline

    Aug 19, 2009 | 11:07 am

  24. Ken Lovell says:

    If they are lima beans they are immature – the beans have barely swollen the pod. But that’s what they look like. Is the pod hard with a rather sharp pointy end? If so, it sounds like lima bean (the pods are inedible).

    I’m with ECC, open one and end the suspense! If it’s a lima bean it won’t want to split yet and the beans will break very easily.

    Aug 19, 2009 | 11:10 am

  25. luna miranda says:

    my mom says it’s bataw. if they’re young, you can cook it as they are (minus the pointy ends). if they’re mature, you can only cook the seeds as pods become rubbery.

    Aug 19, 2009 | 11:29 am

  26. Haide says:

    Hello MM!

    They are giant “chicharo”. They’re great for pancit, chop suey, chow pat chin or anything stir-fried. They taste great with a few drops of sesame oil when stir fried with or without other veggies. You should remove the “hair” found at the side before cooking”.

    Aug 19, 2009 | 11:50 am

  27. ECC says:

    I wasn’t sure what Bataw is so I Googled it and one of the images displayed was your February 11, 2007 “Sitaw, Bataw at Patani” article. I must say that these do look like the Bataw you featured then — especially the purplish tinge — but then again, it is hard to tell the scale just based on the pictures.

    Aug 19, 2009 | 11:57 am

  28. may ramos says:

    it’s bataw! :)
    we put in pinakbet.

    Aug 19, 2009 | 12:12 pm

  29. GayeN says:

    I would also go for “Bataw”. My aunt has a plant has yields huge pods, around 3-4 inches. We usually cooked these in pinakbet or buridibod(camote, malunggay, fish bagoong stew)

    Aug 19, 2009 | 12:20 pm

  30. Cara says:

    Been reading your blog for quite awhile now, but it’s my first time to comment on any of your posts. I think it’s edamame. They’re boiled and sprinkled with salt after.

    Aug 19, 2009 | 12:29 pm

  31. marcial bonifacio says:


    Aug 19, 2009 | 12:59 pm

  32. betty q. says:

    Ok…I am betting my winter squash weighing 47.5 pounds that your pod up above is what they call LABLAB bean or hyacinth bean…checked out a blog GARDENING with WILSON. He has the same picture only purple pods. The seeds MUST BE COOKED and the water discarded before eating.

    Aug 19, 2009 | 1:03 pm

  33. Jing_Bacolod says:

    They looked like “chicharo”…usually one of the ingredients for chopsuey.

    Aug 19, 2009 | 2:35 pm

  34. marie says:

    Maybe they’re edamame, or soybeans? You can steam ’em, salt ’em and eat them for merienda.

    They could also be snap peas.

    Aug 19, 2009 | 2:49 pm

  35. Gener says:

    they called that “PARDA” in ilocano,,This is best match for pakbet or good alternative for patani…they are good only while young and tender…

    Aug 19, 2009 | 3:53 pm

  36. millet says:

    i meant bataw, not patani. i’m always confused about those two. but definitely not stinky beans.

    Aug 19, 2009 | 4:07 pm

  37. Tok says:

    Bataw or “BU-LE” in Pampanga…

    Aug 19, 2009 | 4:36 pm

  38. edel says:

    “glossy” bataw! =)

    Aug 19, 2009 | 6:13 pm

  39. malen says:

    hello marketman. i have been viewing your blog for some time now and this is my first to comment. well, that looks like bataw to me. my mother used to grow that as fence vine in our backyard and stew in coconut milk and shrimps.

    Aug 19, 2009 | 6:27 pm

  40. THELMA says:

    tok, you’re right. these are called bule in pampanga. these are added in sinigang or just sauteed with pork…

    Aug 19, 2009 | 6:52 pm

  41. Ally says:

    Looks like bataw. Too big? Ok, bataw on steroids!!!!!!?????!!!!!!!!!

    Aug 19, 2009 | 7:09 pm

  42. peterb says:

    Batawzilla! :)

    Aug 19, 2009 | 7:32 pm

  43. moni says:

    Betty Q is right. Those are bataw or hyacinth bean. The scientific name is: Dolichos lablab Linn.

    Aug 19, 2009 | 7:33 pm

  44. zena says:

    Definitely not sitsaro/chicharo or snowpeas. The shape is different and the purple tinge on the side leans towards bataw. I like peterb’s “Batawzilla.” =)

    Aug 19, 2009 | 8:05 pm

  45. cumin says:

    peterb, you are so funny :-) But I’m going with millet and Ally: bataw on steroids. I’ve seen vegetables overseas that are giant versions of the ones here.

    Aug 19, 2009 | 9:11 pm

  46. tulip says:

    Marketman, those are still bataw.

    Aug 19, 2009 | 9:44 pm

  47. Ben says:

    Those are called bulay in Batangas. Before cooking them we cut off the purple edges with a pair of scissors. I’ve seen it added only in bulanglang.

    Aug 19, 2009 | 11:24 pm

  48. Barry Stock says:

    I agree with the poster who suggested Petai, the immature seed pod of the large leguminous tree Parkia speciosa.

    Aug 20, 2009 | 12:29 am

  49. Lou says:

    At first I wrote they are hyacinth beans or pink variety of bataw, but the pods looks harder so now I think it is patani. Bataw is more tender and I love it when my mother slices them diagonally and saute them with minced pork and shrimps. We’d steam them too to make salad with just tomatoes and patis. Or as many suggested add it to your pinakbet.

    If it patani then just shell them and add it to pinakbet.

    Aug 20, 2009 | 12:56 am

  50. noes says:

    We call this “parda” back home.

    Aug 20, 2009 | 2:30 am

  51. netoy says:

    i agree that this is bataw – supersized nga lang. we used to have a plant of this and yes, they can grow to about the same length especially when they mature (not good when they reach this stage as they become hard to chew).

    this is good in sinigang, pinakbet or we julienned these and together with julienned singkamas, kamote, shrimp, ground pork that are sauteed together, make fresh lumpias out of them..

    Aug 20, 2009 | 3:53 am

  52. betty q. says:

    Netoy: if they get to be mature bean (ALANGANIN stage), I usually just shell the pods, take the bean, cook it with garlic, onion, BACON. But if the beans are dried, then soak overnight, throw away the soaking liquid, cook it or boil till tender, THROW the cooking liquid away and cook it like above. If this is bataw, they say that the beans contain a toxin…has to cooked and the cooking liquid thrown away! My neighbour makes it (ANY BEAN!)into curry….really excellent eaten with ROTIor PARATHA…

    Aug 20, 2009 | 4:43 am

  53. bluegirl says:

    Happy Birthday MM!

    Aug 20, 2009 | 7:52 am

  54. ted says:

    BettyQ, what i really like is the curry that comes with the Roti served in most Burmese or Singaporean resto’s as appetizer, no meat on it, just potatoes, not so spicy, do you happen to have the recipe for that?

    Aug 20, 2009 | 8:19 am

  55. ted says:

    btw, the one in the picture is definitely not edamame, kasi konti lang sila, lol

    Aug 20, 2009 | 8:20 am

  56. ECC says:

    Yes, it is already August 20th in the Philippines — HAPPY BIRTHDAY MM!

    Aug 20, 2009 | 9:23 am

  57. chilli-hot-tamale says:

    MM, We have this in my best friend’s place…Patani/Lima Beans. I said we, coz I’m her gardener…L.O.L…. A different variety- “fordhook” 242? Singapore seems to be the place to get new seeds…(not China)? Genetically modified? he he he he kaya parang may steroids….ha ha ha ha….just joking…

    I found there’s one larger that that…it’s called: BIG MAMA
    lima beans….actually they are now reclaiming “heirloom” seeds and the big ones seems to come from a combination of lima and fava (broad beans?)a long time ago….I could be wrong.

    The smaller patani are tropical, the ones we see in the Philippines. Ours is very flat and it has 4-5 seed pods,very blue-green variety & slightly curls at the sides.

    We grew a new heirloom green beans and it had very red scarlet flowers- the Italian neighbor wanted me to save some seeds. He likes the red flowers…? and it produced largethan normal green beans. It’s going spring here soon and I guess we will plant the same beans. Goggle “big mama lima beans”.

    Aug 20, 2009 | 9:30 am

  58. ria says:

    snow peas?

    Aug 20, 2009 | 10:39 am

  59. myra_p says:

    Am I the only one who snickered at Ted’s joke? hehe.

    Aug 20, 2009 | 11:32 am

  60. Jelo says:

    Yep, bataw alright. Shell them and blanch the beans. There were people that commented that the raw beans are poisonous and they’re right. I have these growing in my yard too, but not to the monstrous proportions that these specimens are.

    Did you see pastel pink or white flowers that looked like small, partially opened clams when you picked these pods MarketMan?

    Aug 20, 2009 | 12:41 pm

  61. badudels says:

    in my hometown we call them bulay, we used to have them in our garden…but I have never seen them grow up to 4 inches in length…maybe Singapore varieties are bigger. Anyway, my mother used to put them in ginataang kalabasa

    Aug 20, 2009 | 12:53 pm

  62. Jelo says:

    I was asking because bataw usually have these blooms.

    Aug 20, 2009 | 1:11 pm

  63. Jelo says:

    They actually make lovely, if rather fragile bouquets if you have enough bataw blossoms…

    Aug 20, 2009 | 1:12 pm

  64. betty q. says:

    Ted: do you mean the Roti or Paratha or the potato masala?

    Aug 20, 2009 | 1:12 pm

  65. Gener says:

    ROTI-is a typical indian plain bread while POROTA is a gummy-shine but very comfortable to chew..ROTI is not pleasant to eat when cold…

    Aug 20, 2009 | 3:57 pm

  66. denise says:

    my mom has used a similar-looking variety for pinakbet…but the one she bought wasn’t shiny and had little hairs but it did have that violet tinge

    Aug 20, 2009 | 4:12 pm

  67. ted says:

    BettyQ, its probably the potato masala that i want, i once tried buying the bottled masala at Trader Joe’s, but it doesn’t taste the same,,the appetizer i was talking about was “Roti Canai” i think.

    Aug 20, 2009 | 10:35 pm

  68. betty q. says:

    Ted: you are absolutely right. I will only buy those bottled ones if I am in Timbukto where there probably are no spices that I would need. OH, you like Southeast Asian cuisine, too? Do you have a coffee grinder? I use that only for grinding spices. I will e-mail it to you as soon as I find it.

    Gener: I could be mistaken but I thought roti and chapati are sort of similar. Paratha on the other hand is sort of flaky for it has layers made by making a cut on half the dough and rolling it into like a pyramid and flattening it again and rolling it. When roasted or pan fried? then it is lightly squashed to reveal the layers. Puri has that shne for it is deep-fried. Naan is like a Greek Pita Bread that is baked ina tandoori oven. I much prefer the PARATHA…even when cold!

    Aug 20, 2009 | 11:02 pm

  69. dave de vera says:

    Definitely a large strain of bataw!

    Aug 21, 2009 | 2:00 pm

  70. jun b says:

    hi MM, I always see them at the market here in Singapore but so far have not tried them. I will ask my suki how its being cooked and what is the name although most likely they will give a malay or Chinese name.

    Aug 22, 2009 | 12:17 am

  71. mike romero says:

    This is definetly a bataw. It is not patani. I cooked a lot of this.I put them in my sinigang na baboy with biyas,gabi and sitaw. They are delicious and aromatic. You can also ginisa with sotanghon and shrimp.

    Aug 22, 2009 | 1:08 am

  72. mike romero says:

    I also remember this vine planted around our fence of our house when I was a kid,growing up in Bulacan.

    Aug 22, 2009 | 1:10 am

  73. Gener says:

    Betty q,
    You are right, Roti and Chapati are the same! roti is what indians called and chapati are pakistanis but they are both the same taste thought different sizes,,ROTI is little bit thicker but smaller in diameter and prepared on a heated metal while CHAPATI is thinner in size but far wider in diameter and prepared on a heated earthen oven..POROTA is prepared or it has an oil in it to make it shiny and preparation is on a pan….POROTA is nice breakfast with kheema and CHAPATI or POROTA with chicken kaddai or chicken sookha or even simply vegetable sambar….I dont think if the breads we are talking is known in the philippines??

    Aug 22, 2009 | 3:55 pm

  74. Lucy Ramos says:

    Hi Mr.Marketman,
    im a long time reader of this blog,but first time po to comment.masaya po akong nagbabasa ng mga komento at marami akong natututunan…kagaya ng sinabi ni Ms.Marianita S. Cosing sa amin po sa Cavite ay “harabilya” po ang tawag sa gulay na inyong ipinakita.Sa sinigang at lutong palaka namin po ito inilalahok.im not good po in english pasensya na po.

    Aug 23, 2009 | 12:28 am

  75. GJO says:

    Here in UK it’s called mangetoute, simply stir fry it with other vegies like baby corn and serve it as a side dish. it’s best serve a bit dry just a hint of olive oil and dark soy. It’s very crispy and tasty when not overdone.(just stir fry for about 5 to 10 minutes)

    Aug 24, 2009 | 11:45 pm

  76. lucy says:

    Good morning.I chance to visit you site. Very interesting topics too. The veggie above is akin to what they call in the Ilocos as “parda”. It has a succulent pod and is cooked like any of its counterparts – patani, lima bean or winged-bean.There are two varieties so far I encountered. This one gives a slight purplish edges when young. The other is light greenish hue all to maturity. It is best eaten when young as the tender pods are tasty.It is a perennial plant with strong and tenacious vines. Most plants I saw are planted along the fences like the patani. Generally it is seasonal.One may find this in the Ilocano dish – pakbet of dinengdeng. My favorite is boiling or steaming the still tender pods and taken either with mayonaise or fish sauce.

    Sep 11, 2009 | 8:08 am

  77. Jay says:

    It’s called harabilya in Cavite and popularly known as bataw (remember the song bahay kubo)
    Usually, when this legume is in season, there’s another type called kalamismis (known as sigarilyas) that can be harvested with this and you can put these in sinigang na baka.

    Sep 22, 2009 | 6:33 am

  78. baldo says:

    The bean is bataw or lablab or hyacinth bean (lablab purpureus) which is a greenish bean pod with purplish tinge or green variety. Believed to have originated in Asia or Africa. The bean must be cook properly to remove its natural toxins from some of it’s parts, especially the dry seeds.The seeds can also be ground into flour and used to make bread or a porridge type concoction. Other names are:
    China: tseuktau, pin dou, pin tau, bian dou, que dou, rou dou
    India: kulthi
    Indonesia: kacang koro
    Japan: fujimame
    Malaysia: kacang kera
    Philippines: bataw; Ilocano: parda; Pangasinan: batao
    Sri Lanka: ho dhambala
    Thailand: thua paep
    Vietnam: dau vang

    Jan 9, 2010 | 11:18 pm

  79. Bob says:

    they are definitely bataw, i used to have one in my backyard but i solld the house.
    I want to plant again, does anyone know where i can get a seed? would appreciate
    anyone’s help or info.

    Sep 27, 2010 | 1:41 pm

  80. gibo says:

    I agree with lin those look like petai or stink beans the fruit of a jungle tree of the parkia
    species. They taste great with sambal and prawns. I’ve had them a few times

    Oct 21, 2010 | 3:25 pm


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