Friday, May 20, 2011

So Long Snake Bean

In Australia, this bean is commonly known as snake bean. Why snake bean? I don't know either, I was shocked too when I was browing the seed catalogs. On other part of the world it is also known as yardlong bean, Chinese long bean or asparagus bean. In Malaysia and Indonesia, it is commonly call "kacang panjang" which literally translate as long bean (kacang~ bean, panjang~ long). It is a very common and cheap vegetables that you usually see them sell in bundles tightly held together with rubber band in the market. I wonder how much does a bundle of kacang panjang cost in Malaysia pasar/wet market nowadays? A lot of patience is required to grow kacang panjang. It takes a long season to grow before it produce it first bean, maybe at least more than 12~16weeks. However the harvesting season is pretty long compare with other bean and very prolific. In the tropics, this climbing plant can grow more than 5 metre long.
Our snake bean season is already over as the day and night temperature is too cold for them to produce normal looking bean and the bloom won't open as well. This is how our last snake bean look like. Instead of light green bean, the bean have red browinsh tinge on it, although it does not effect how it taste like.
Snake bean mauve bloom is always my favourite.
Some of our snake bean were growing at the most back of this veggie patch.  We did not made a proper trellis for the snake bean let it  climb all over sweet corn and tomato plants. When the plants need more space to grow, we haphazardly tied some string for it to crawl all over the patch. One thing interesting about snake bean to note is that the pods hang in pairs as shown in the photo.

Snake bean growing all over this patch.

Snake bean is also nice to cook with ommelete. It is one of the easiest dish in Malaysia for mothers to cook for their kids on a very busy day. Shaz author of this fabalous blog ~ Test With Skewar has bean omellete recipe. You can use other bean variety as well to cook this dish. CikManggis also has a recipe for bean omellete in her kitchen.
I did not collect any snake bean seeds this year, planned but I was greedy. Anyway we still have some left-over seeds. Our most favourite bean. Usually in Adelaide, snake bean season is over in May. We managed to freeze just a little, it will be next year if all goes well to harvest snake bean again.

20 comments:

chopinandmysaucepan said...

Time to bring out the sambal then :) :)

Daphne said...

I'm growing a very small amount this year of two different kinds. I've tried them before. We don't have the best weather for them as we have a short and cold season. Last time I tried they ended up very strange. They grew like a bush bean, but did flower and put out long beans. I'm hoping this year they grow.

Daffodil said...

I actually love snake beans and have never thought of growing them. I doubt that our growing conditions would see a harvest, but maybe growing them in a hothouse might help?

rainfield61 said...

I love bean, but the name.

marinahunny said...

ur blog really make me want to lant veggies..

p3chandan said...

My first snake bean plant has died off too but now looking forward to new ones Ive sown a month ago. Love your mauve blooms, mine was mostly white with very very faint tinge of lilac.

One said...

At first I read "Long Snake Bean". With the word 'So' in it, the meaning changed entirely. Your omelette looks good. I don't know why but my kids don't like kacang panjang. I love it with sambal and prawns.

shaz said...

Thanks for the shout out dear :) I'm impressed you managed to grow snake beans down there, I was under the impression it was a tropical plant. Much better to grow your own, I don't often buy it at the shops because by the time it gets there, the kacang panjang is so leathery and sad.

~Holly~ said...

I didn't realize the flowers on the snake bean were so pretty! What a long growing season! You're very patient! =0)

cikmanggis said...

dulu Cm tanam pokok kacang panjang renek yang tak menjalar tapi sayang benihnya dah tiada lagi.

Stephanie said...

Or you can just steam it after cutting the beans into about 3/4 inch pieces. Then add some garlic oil and soy sauce :-D Enjoy the weekend.

Malay-Kadazan girl said...

Chopinandmysaucepan~We had a lot of sambal belacan this month as chili were many to harvest. Sambal belacan make a nice dip with kacang panjang.

Daphne~ Hopefully you have a warmer summer this year. I am trying to find a cousin of snake bean which is heirloom and red in colour. But I could not find the seeds here in Australia. Although I saw it in the state company seeds catalog.

Daffodil~ Maybe possible in a hothouse.

Rainfield61~ I don't think the name "snake' suits this kacang panjang too.

Marinahunny~ Hope you start growing veggies too.

p3chandan~ I found that the bloom colours change according to the weather. When it is cold, the colour deepen.

Kwee Peng~ It does give different meaning with this "So Long Snake Beans". Kacang panjang with sambal and prawn is my favourite too.

Shaz~ I think your place will be suitable too grow snake bean as you have temperate climate and close to the coast. It tolerates well in partial shade during summer.

Holly~Craving for snake bean makes me patient. The one selling in the markets look so old aand tough. Home-grown are tender to eat.

Cikmanggis~Menariknya kacang panjang renek.

Stephanie~Eat like that also sedap...yum..

tina said...

Very neat. That omelet looks delish!

kitchen flavours said...

I love long beans. You can cook it together with that brinjal recipe, remember? Really good! Fry it for a while or microwave to cook it first, then stir-fry together with the brinjal, add more chili, sedapnya, I even added in my harvested kangkung and okra.
My plant has three beans growing now, the flowers are slow, it appears only one or two at at time! I wish more flowers would appear together then I will have more beans to harvest at the same time! Very impatient-lah!

Malay-Kadazan girl said...

Tina~ My kids like em.

Joyce~I have no more snake bean except in the freezer. I just made another dish with that recipe and this time included it with leek and french beans. How many plants of kacang panjang are you growing?

Sue@Green Lane Allotments said...

The snake bean seeds that you seed me have germinated - just don't know whether we will manage any beans with our short growing season - we will see

Malay-Kadazan girl said...

Sue~ This is exciting. Now the fun begins we just have to wait and see. The days are already on average 15 degree celcius here. But yesterday I spy 3 snake bean flower buds. Surprise surprise. I have 3 plants which I have not pull up yet cause the place is swamp with sweet potatoes vein which I have not harvest.

Anonymous said...

kat KL pun dah ada jual kacang panjang warna merah cam yg U tanam tu

Malay-Kadazan girl said...

Menarik rasanya sama ke tak agaknya. Saya punya tu kacang panjang hijau biasa tapi bertukar warna sebab cuaca sejuk.

Anonymous said...

I grew some for the first time this Summer from seeds given to me by my neighbour(not the creeping variety). We went away for Christmas leaving behind a dozen or so nice looking beans, and plenty of buds and flowers. On our return the possums or rats had eaten the beans and decimated most of the plants. We thought that was the end of the crop. We've since built a cage around our vegetable patches and the plants have returned with vigour full of flowers and beans. It is a much tougher plant than I had expected and enjoyable to grow. With the pretty purple flowers that only open early in the morning it gives you a reason to get up early on the weekends.