June 11, 2011

sitaw (yardlong beans)

Visiting Asian markets is both inspiring and educational for me. The other day I came home with a bunch of really good looking sitaw from one of the Asian markets here. It's owned by a Filipino couple who also run a cafe. I'm thankful that it's close by so I don't have to drive too far just to get a few supplies. They also sell other Asian vegetables now that it's summertime once again.

Sitaw is a very common local variety of green beans that can be found in most public markets in the Philippines. It's called yardlong or snake beans here in the US. I think I would much rather go with the name yard long beans :-) In Manila, we love this in mixed vegetable dishes and also cooked adobo style with vinegar, lots of garlic and a little soy sauce.

a bunch of fresh sitaw from the market

One of my favorite ways to cook them is with ground beef (shown above). Like some of the simplest Filipino vegetable dishes, it starts with browning the ground beef in a little oil or pork fat with the basic trio of minced garlic, thinly sliced onions and tomatoes. I cut the sitaw and steamed them for a few minutes or until they turn bright green in color. The seasonings may vary depending on taste and preference. I personally like to use fish sauce instead of salt in this particular dish. A little soy sauce or salt may always be substituted along with a sprinkling of ground black pepper. The final step is to just mix in the steamed sitaw with the cooked ground beef.

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