Posted by: cris | June 24, 2013

Winged Bean (Sigarilyas)

Sigarilyas, a nitrogen fixing plant is a good vegetable to plant in your garden, be it on the ground or in containers.
All of its parts can be eaten. The young leaves can be eaten steamed just like spinach or you may add it to your soups,
and stews like Sinigang (a favorite). The fruit can be added to stews, steamed and can be sauted also. The root tuber can be eaten like potato. Even the flower is useful as it is used to color rice and pastries. It is a good source of protein, Vits A, C, B1, B2, B3, Copper, Calcium, etc.

It is known in other places/countries as Goa bean, asparagus pea, four angled bean, and winged pea. These vegetables can be found in tropical countries like the Philippines. It is a vine with climbing stems.

This vegetable is nutritious, however, a study was done on accumulation of aluminum in the plant’s edible parts and sad to say it was found out that all edible parts has aluminum content in high and very high levels. As I always mention, anything good can get bad if it’s too much. So, let’s eat different vegetables so we don’t get too much of each.


Recipes with Sigarilyas or winged bean

A. GISING! GISING! (Sigarilyas/Winged Beans Version)


1 clove of garlic

1/2 medium onion

1-2 tbspn cooking oil

100g pork mince

100g prawn meat

10pcs sigarilyas (winged beans)

1 can coconut cream (400ml)

2 tbspn bagoong (Filipino sautéed shrimp paste)

1/2 cup water (+ 1/4 cup if needed)

1-2 bird’s eye chilli (optional), deseeded/finely chopped

pinch of ground black pepper

Top and tailed your Sigarilyas (Winged Beans) and wash in cold water, slice in slanted cuts to make butterfly shapes. Peel the outer skin of your onion and only finely dice half of it. Crush your garlic clove and remove the skin. Using your large knife, finely mince your prawn meat and set it aside next to your pork mince.

In a large wok/pan, heat (medium high) your cooking oil and sauté the garlic and onions. Add in the pork mince, stir for awhile (make sure you are breaking the clumps of meat) till meat becomes light brown. Stir in the prawn meat and separate the clumps and cook till the prawn meat becomes white and some of it have that orangey bits. Add in your bagoong and chopped bird’s eye chilli (optional), stir it in well with prawn and pork pieces.

Pour in your coconut cream, stir it well and bring to boil the mixture. Lower heat till the mixture is just simmering. Add in your chopped Sigarilyas (Winged Beans) and let it simmer for 5-10 minutes.

Add the water once you see the sauce is becoming too thick, increase it for another 1/4 cup of water if needed to thoroughly cook the chopped Sigarilyas (Winged Beans). This dish should have a slightly thick creamy sauce and should not be watery. Remove the pan from the stovetop and let it BEST WITH: Crispy Fried Fish and Fresh Steamed Rice.

NOTES from the original author:

You can blanch your chopped (slightly matured) Sigarilyas in boiling water prior to cooking your Gising! Gising. Cook for 3 minutes and then drain, it will turn bright green.
But if you happen to have bought young Sigarilyas (small ones with green frills, no indication of browning edges), don’t blanch them…no need for it.
I’ve written the bird’s eye chilli as optional as I have to cook my version without it because of the for a while. This dish can be serve in individual bowls or one large serving bowl for the family to share at the table.

B. Sauted Sigarilyas


1/2 kilo sigarilyas
1/8 cup shrimp anchovies
1 onion sliced
1 clove garlic sliced

1. Saute garlic and onions in a little oil.
2. Mix in the shrimp anchovies and wait till it turns a bit brown. Once the colour has changed, put in the sigarilyas beans and stir all together.
3. Do not overcook to save the savory taste of the vegetable.
Note: you may also add pork and serve with steamed rice

C. Sigarilyas and squid salad

Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Serves 5

2 cups sigarilyas (winged beans), cut diagonally, blanched and cooled
1 cup tomato wedges
1 onion julienned
2 cups grilled squid, cut into strips, seasoned with salt and pepper and grilled

2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 cup vinegar (ideally native vinegar of choice)
1 tablespoon fish sauce (patis)
1/4 teaspoon ginger juice
Dash of pepper

1. Mix ingredients together and toss into salad mixture.


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