Tuesday, 9 June 2009


SNAKE BEAN (also know as yard long bean, Chinese long bean, long bean, long-podded cowpea or asparagus bean) is native to East and South-east Asia and most probably originated in South China. It is known as dau gok in Cantonese, thua fak yao in Thai and kacang panjang in Indonesian and Malay, sitaw in Tagalog, bora in the West Indies and vali or eeril in Goa, India.

This plant is of a different genus than the common bean. It is a vigorous climbing annual vine. The crisp, tender pods are eaten both fresh and cooked. SNAKE BEANS are at their best when young and slender and are usually cut into short sections for cooking. They are used in stir-fries in Chinese cuisine or added to soups and fried rice. In Malaysian cuisine, they are often stir-fried with chillies and shrimp paste (belacan) or used in fresh and cooked salads (kerabu). Another popular and healthy option is to chop them into very small pieces and fried in an omelette. SNAKE BEANS are cut into shorter sections and cooked like common green beans. It therefore makes a good substitute for the common beans.

SNAKE BEANS are a good source of protein, vitamin A, thiamin, riboflavin, iron, phosphorus, and potassium, and a very good source for vitamin C, folate, magnesium, and manganese.

It is still a relatively ‘new vegetable’ in Australia and can only be found at selected Western grocers in Canberra. However, the LAE Asian grocer at the Mawson Southland shops in Canberra stock this vegetable all year round. If stored between 2-4°C at high humidity, SNAKE BEANS can last up to four weeks.

Source: Wikipedia and the Department of Primary Industry, Northern Territory

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