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Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Of Limestone Hills and Mung Bean Sprouts

Can you believe the rock on the left of the photo is 280 million years old!?

Yep, this 14-storey-high limestone outcrop in my hometown, Ipoh,  is a geological wonder and one of only four such formations in the world! The others are located in Guilin (China), Halong Bay (Vietnam) and Phuket (Thailand).

Interestingly, did you know that Ipoh boasts of producing the best mung bean sprouts in the world?

The secret?  Thanks to the hard water from the limestone hills that surround the town, the bean sprouts grown here are very crunchy and juicy.

People from all over Malaysia and overseas flock to Ipoh just to have a taste of our very unique bean sprouts!


It is said that the best tofu and the prettiest girls (because of their smooth-as-tofu skin) come from Ipoh, again thanks to the limestone water from the hills!

The name Ipoh is derived from a local tree, Pohon Epu or now more commonly known as Pokok Ipoh. The poisonous sap of the tree was once used by the indigenous people of Peninsular Malaysia to coat the tips of the darts of their blowpipes for hunting.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Winged Bean

Question: What is long and green and has 4 frilly edges?
Answer: A winged bean (Psophocarpus tetragonolobus).

Also known as four-angled bean in Chinese and kacang botol in Malay (literally translated as bottle bean), the winged bean has 4 frilly winged edges and tastes like something between an asparagus and a snow pea.

I was never a big fan of this bean until I found out recently that it has many beauty and health benefits.

5 reasons why you should include winged beans in your diet.

PREVENTS PREMATURE AGEING
Winged beans help prevent premature ageing as these are packed with Vitamins A and C that work as antioxidants.

PROMOTES SKIN ELASTICITY
The high content of antioxidants present in winged beans ensures that the skin maintains its elasticity and keeps it looking young.

HELPS PREVENT NEUTRAL-TUBE DEFECTS IN NEWBORN BABIES
Winged beans are a rich source of folate, an essential component for DNA synthesis and cell division. Adequate folate in the diet around conception and during pregnancy may help prevent neural-tube defects in the newborn baby.

HIGH IN PROTEIN
Winged bean seeds are also found to rival the protein quality and quantity of soybeans

RICH IN CALCIUM
Winged beans are rich in calcium and phosphorus which are important for keeping the teeth and bones strong.

Sambal Kacang Botol

A Malaysian recipe to share

WINGED BEANS FRIED IN SAMBAL AND DRIED SHRIMPS

INGREDIENTS
10 winged beans, sliced at a slant

Sambal Paste
6  red chilies
2 cloves garlic
2 shallots
1 tbsp belacan (shrimp paste)
3 tbsp dried shrimps

DIRECTIONS
1. Place Sambal Paste ingredients into a food processor and blend to a paste.
2. Heat up 2 tbsp oil in wok and fry sambal paste until oil separates.
3. Turn up heat, add winged beans and stir fry for about a minute.
4. Plate and serve

Enjoy!


Have you tried winged beans?