Guinisang Sitaw (Sauteed Asian Long Beans)

 

Look at that sensuous steam rising from my pot of sauteed long beans!  I took the photo while it was cooking because the colors were still so vibrant….but the steam muted the colors just a little bit. Oh well.

This is a sauteed, all-in-one dish of Asian long beans, what we Filipinos call sitaw. Sauteeing (guisado) a little meat with vegetables is a standard way of cooking everyday Filipino foods.  You start with a hot wok, a little oil then throw in the mashed garlic and cook till they’re almost brown; follow with the onions till they’re translucent; the pre-boiled meat which is usually pork and/or shrimps; fish sauce; tomatoes, if the dish requires it; the broth or shrimp juice then finally, whatever vegetable you have on hand that day.  It’s a quick and healthy way to prepare a meal and is also the basic way to start a variety of dishes including the popular pancit and vegetable lumpia.

Guinisang sitaw usually uses pre-boiled pork and peeled, fresh shrimp. The shrimp shells and head are pound into a paste and diluted in water and the result is passed thru a sieve and splashed onto the cooking meats with some fish sauce.  If you have a Filipino neighbor in your apartment building and wondered what the delicious smells wafting from his kitchen are… this is probably it.

I’m allergic to shrimps and have difficulty finding pork with all the fat and skin on that is required for this dish. Sometimes, you can also fry the pork in its own fat until they’re crisp and use that instead of just plain, boiled pork. Oh, that is good!

I use ground beef  instead.  My beef-eating American Spouse prefers it this way.

Guinisang Sitaw

1 tbsp. vegetable oil

3 garlic cloves, peeled and mashed

1 medium white onion, diced

1 lb. ground beef

1 big tomato, diced

2-3 tbsps. fish sauce

4-5 c. long beans, cut in 1-inch length

salt and pepper to taste

Cook as described above.  Allow the long beans to cook until tender, this batch took about 10 minutes.