Wing Beans grown by Vilath Farm

Farms

Kawailoa Farm
HaleiwaOahu707 324 9940
Vilath Farm
MililaniOahu

Markets

Hale'iwa Farmers' Market
21.6363535
-158.0546751
Waimea Valley59-864 Kamehameha HighwayHale'iwa Oahu(808) 388-9696Website
Kailua Farmers' Market
21.3930281
-157.7496761
609 Kailua Road(Parking lot near Long's and Pier 1)KailuaOahu(808) 848-2074Website
KCC Saturday Farmers Market
21.2709554
-157.79941889999998
4303 Diamond Head RdHonoluluOahu(808) 848-2074Website
Mililani Farmers' Market
21.453088
-158.0091749
Mililani High School95-1200 Meheula ParkwayMililaniOahu(808) 848-2074Website

Winged Bean (Asparagus Pea, Tua Pu, Sigarillas, Goa Pea, Urizun, Shikaku-mame, )

Not only is it delicious and versatile, the winged bean also has the potential to be a key nutritional food because practically all of the plant is edible. Officially a legume, the whole bean pod is so tender that it is used as a vegetable in cuisines all over tropical Asia. What’s even more remarkable is that its leaves, flowers, and tuberous roots are also edible. It is a great source of protein (similar to soybean, the bean is almost 35% protein), calcium, iron, as well as vitamins A and C.

An article in the New York Times a few years ago hailed the humble winged bean as “a potent weapon against malnutrition.” I love their excitement: “Among those who study it, the winged bean is known as ”a supermarket on a stalk” because it combines the desirable characteristics of the green bean, garden pea, spinach, mushroom, soybean, bean sprout and potato. Save for the stalk, virtually the entire plant is fit for human consumption – from flowers and leaves to tuberous roots and seeds.” YUM!

To only add to its star power it is a great nitrogen fixer for your garden or farm, and is not a heavy feeder (doesn’t need a lot of fertilizer), it thrives in Hawaii climates (hot and humid with great rainfall), grows vertically on a vine (so does not need a lot of space), it grows very quickly (up to four yards in a few weeks), you could possibly harvest beans within 2-3 months.

Prepping & Cooking Tips

– Always wash your winged beans well before using. Most of the beans at the farmers markets were just harvested an occasional blade of grass or leaves find there way into the bunch.

– Simply pinch off the ends like you would with any bean.

– Chop to the size you want – 1″ is good bite size for stir fries, sambal, curry or even chanpuru. Cook like you would green or long bean.

– For use in salads, here’s how it is usually prepped for a Thai style salad: After trimming off end, boil beans whole in salt water for less than a minute — should be only just enough time to turn a darker green, but to also still be crisp and crunchy. Immediately rinse in cold water, slice into 1/4″ pieces, and toss into salad.

– Winged bean leaves can be prepared like spinach.

Selecting & Storing Tips

Look for fresh, bright green winged beans that appear supple and moist. Make sure also they are free of black spots. Most beans on the market are 4-6 inches long, if you see any smaller ones they are younger and more tender.

Store in plastic bag or air tight container in refrigerator veggie bin for up to 5 days.

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