Join Louisiana Simple Living in this new series casting a spotlight on various really cool plants that I grow in my backyard organic raised bed garden. The first plant in the spotlight is the Urizun Japanese Winged Bean. This exotic and tropical plant grows great in Zone 9A. Check out all the bean pods and the harvest. I then took the harvest inside and cooked up a batch of them using my tried and true bean recipe.
As you see below, the Winged Bean is grown on a 16-ft “cattle panel” bent over between two raised beds.
Urizun Japanese Winged Bean Information
The Urizun Japanese Winged Bean is a green colored bean with green wings that is a variety from Japan. The winged bean is not day length sensitive, enjoys the sun, can thrive in both drought and heavy rainfall environments. Thus, it is highly adaptable and does well in the deep South.
Winged beans are native to equatorial Asia. In Zone 9A, it begins to produce pods in August (depending on when you sow the seeds) and heavy production will continue until first frost.
The vines are lush and tropical looking, with lavender flowers and unique pods. You want to grow them on a trellis as they vine and will need to be grown vertically. If grown on the ground, they will try to spread out and bean pods will end up sitting on the soil with the moisture and eventually rot. So, make sure you have a setup to grown them vertically.
Time to Harvest the Beans
The beans are rich not only in protein, but in antioxidants as well. They are traditionally blanched and stir fried with Ume (Japanese pickled plum). Not a bad harvest. A few of these are too big and will be too hard to cook to be soft enough to eat. However, most will do. I will keep the two dried “brown” bean pods for seeds next year.
Time to Cook
Slicing the Winged Beans
I am going to prepare them like I normally would with any fresh green bean. However, I will slice them up into star pieces before cooking them with some beef broth, a little sweet Vidalia onion, a fresh Cubanelle pepper, some fresh minced garlic, and some browned Tasso.
See how unique the Winged Bean “stars” look after slicing them up.
Alright, we finished cutting up all the Beans as you see them in the picture below. I already diced up the sweet Vidalia onion and the Cubanelle pepper, with some garlic as well.
Browning the Tasso
You might now now what Tasso is or where to get it if you are not from the deep South and especially southeastern Louisiana. It is a smoked and well-seasoned piece of pork, although you can get it as Turkey Tasso, but that doesn’t taste quite as good.
The idea with Tasso is to get it in the pot first and brown it over med-High heat. You want the meat to stick to the bottom, not burn, but leaving traces of the meat, fat and seasoning sticking to the bottom. Cajun’s call this “Gradoo”.
I’m adding in the Tasso first to build up that flavor and the “Gradoo” on the bottom of the pot. The butter just gives it a little bit of fat to help brown the Tasso.
Add Vegetables and Deglaze
I added the sweet Vidalia onion, Cubanelle pepper and garlic to the pan, covered it, and the liquid from the vegetables will deglaze the bottom where the Tasso created the “Gradoo”.
Add Broth and Cook
I’m now going to add the “Better than Bouillon” concentrate with some water to make a broth that we will cook down for 3 hours.
We bring everything together and just need to cook it for 3 hours or so.
Time to Eat
It’s now been cooking for about 3 hours and it smells absolutely great. I uncovered the beans for the last 1/2 hour or so to condense the liquid. Now, it’s time to eat.
I’m just going to serve up a bit in a small bowl to taste it. I can tell you the smell is just incredible.!!!
I tell you the flavor is right on target, the Urizun Japanese Winged Bean “stars” are cooked well and all the flavors have come together as one. It is just fantastic!! It’s hot but tastes great!
Stewed Urizun Japanese Winged Beans
- 40 Pods Urizun Japanese Winged Beans
- 1 package Tasso
- 1 small Onion, Sweet Vadalia
- 1 small Pepper, Cubanelle or other type (not too hot)
- 3 cloves Garlic (I really like garlic so I usually put more than 3 cloves)
- 3 cups water You have to play with this as it all depends on how much of the beans and other items fill up the pot and how long it takes to cook it down.
- 3 tbsp "Better than Bouillon", Roast Beef You can substitute the water and bouillon with beef broth if you desire.
- Cajun Seasonings to Taste
- Melt 3 tbs of salted butter in your pot.
- Chop up your Tasso into 1/2" pieces and add to pot. Brown your Tasso over med-high heat.
- Add you onion, pepper, and garlic to the pot, cut back the heat, and cover. Let cook for 10 minutes to deglaze the pot while softening the vegetables.
- Add the Urizun Japanese Winged Bean to the pot and cook for 10 minutes.
- Add the water and the "Better than Bouillon", or broth and stir.
- Cover and cook on med-low for 2 1/2 to 3 hours or until flavors come together.
- Remove cover and let the juice cook down to the consistency desired.
- Serve and enjoy!
If you like this content, also check out my post on Quick Spicy Pickling the Winged Bean! You may also want to take a look at the Garlic Stir-fried Winged Bean recipe.
You can check out the YouTube version of this post at:
Thanks for joining me on the Louisiana Simple Living’s website and hopefully you will go ahead and check out the video on YouTube. Thanks again and see you next time on Louisiana Simple Living @ https://www.youtube.com/@ferdawapas !!
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