Sigarilyas Sa Gata is one of my favorite comfort foods. Sad to say that I only discovered it the last ten years. There’s this restaurant in Robinson’s Manila, called Mangan (translated from Pampango – to eat) that serves it and where I found out that it existed.
I suppose that long ago when I first tasted sigarilyas, the cook didn’t blanch it therefore it was acrid (mapakla!) and I didn’t bother to like it.
Sigarilyas is seasonal because you can’t find it all the time.
When you slice it, into pieces crosswise, each slice looks like a butterfly; maybe that is why it was called the winged bean.
Watch our video on how to cook this curious looking vegetable.
Sigarilyas sa Gata (Winged Beans in Coconut Milk)
Crunchy sigarilyas (winged beans) stewed in gata (coconut milk) with pork belly and shrimps is a seasonal dish for most Filipino households.
- 250 grams sigarilyas (winged beans) - trim off about ¼ inch from both ends, then slice horizontally, about ½ inches. The beans to look like little stars. Set aside, ready to be blanched.
- 2 tablespoons cooking oil
- 1 teaspoon crushed garlic
- ¼ cup sliced onion
- 1 teaspoon ginger sliced julienne
- 100 grams pork belly - sliced into small bite size pieces
- 1 tablespoon bagoong alamang (fermented shrimp paste)
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1 siling mahaba (lady finger chili) - sliced into very small pieces
- 6-8 prawns peeled, deveined and pan fried for garnishing
Sigarilyas have to be blanched before they are used. If one does not blanch the sigarilyas, it will have an acrid (mapakla) taste. To blanch the sigarilyas, bring to a boil about 4 cups of water; when boiling, placed the sliced sigarilyas in the water for 2 minutes.
Remove from fire, drain in colander, and rinse with cold water. Let drip and set aside.
In a medium saucepan, place oil and heat over medium low fire.
When the pan feels hot, place garlic and onions in pot and sauté till the onions are translucent.
Add in the pork bits and continue sautéing.
Add the bagoong alamang (fermented shrimp paste), ginger and sauté for 1 minute then pour in the coconut milk.
Turn down the fire to low and bring the mixture to a low simmer for 5 minutes.
Then put in the chili and continue to simmer for another 10 minutes or till the pork bits are tender.
Taste the mixture and adjust to your liking; you can add fish sauce (patis), and/or freshly ground black pepper.
Now put in the blanched sigarilyas and continue to simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Taste the mixture; sigarilyas must still be crunchy. Do not overcook.
Serve while hot with steamed rice.
Updated on September 11, 2019 with video.