Thursday, July 10, 2008

Hyacinth Bean Soup

23/1/2017 : Correction:
The bean featured in this recipe was previously named wrongly as Lima bean. The actual name is Hyacinth Bean

I haven't been cooking much since June... most of the postings nowadays are back posts of what I've done in the previous weeks. Well, when one has a bun in the oven, there are always excuses that can be made at every corner, anytime, to be lazy.. kekekekeke...

Lima is five in Malay language.. This is not a Five Bean Soup..

In Cantonese it's called "pang mei dau". I think it's called lima bean, as that is the closest that I can get from the internet. It is a bean about 3-4 inches long, pale green colour with a matte surface in the shape of an eyebrow.

This is my grandaunt's favourite soup and she'll eat a lot of the beans because she believes this bean enhances our eyesight, and with that she claims the reason for her being able to thread a needle at 90.

1 1/2 cup lima beans (correction : Hyacinth Beans)
300gm pork ribs or just meat (scalded)
10 peppercorns
1.5L boiling water.
Salt to taste

Trim the beans by discarding the top bits and pull away the top ligament.
Boil water, put in everything to simmer for 2 to 3 hours.

the Lima Bean.. I think

The beans are out of the pod after being boiled...


  1. wendy,

    seen them in the market always wondered how to cook them, is there any other method of cooking them as i would like to make them for my kids.

    thanks and keep up the good work of inspiring other mums to cook for their family with the clear and easy recipe.


  2. Kristen,
    Sorry, this is the only method that I know or ever heard of to cook this bean.
    The pod is unlike sweet peas, it's rather fibrous, unless u get those really really young ones. But still u have to peel the upper string of the pod. IMO, only for soups, with pork bones. Doesn't go that well with chicken.

  3. Hi Wendy,
    Is this a kamparian soup ah?
    My mom used to cook this soup too when we were young.
    I don't know if I can get this here in Sgp.


  4. Wong,
    No, this is not a Kamparian soup, but it can be found quite commonly around Malaysia. Usually this is planted at home, and not sold as commercially as farm produce (becos it's dirt cheap), although it can be found at the markets. But lately, I've seen these sold in bulk by market peddlers, maybe some farm has started to plant these on big scale. I'm not sure if this can be found in Singapore.

  5. Ha ha..
    I will try to ask some of the Malaysian friends if they ever hear about "pang mei dau" or drink the soup before.
    I asked a few Sgprean colleagues around my ages, none of them know what is this.. : )


  6. Wong,
    LOL, I think you better show them the picture. A lot of Malaysians seem to be ignorant of what they consume. They recognise the thing, but sometimes may not know the name.

  7. The bean is called Snow Pea is very nutrition and good fibre.You can stir fried it with prawn , chicken slice, carrot. Is very cruchy and yum

  8. anonymous (pls leave a name)
    Thanks for suggesting but I think you might be wrong.Snow pea is another vegetable.

    Snow pea is glossy but this is matte, almost velvety.
    Some varieties has a purple lining near the thread.
    This bean is fibrous and not nice to eat in stir fries and is never used in stir fries.
    It has always been used for soups in Chinese cuisine.

  9. Hi Wendy,

    I grew up in Kampar having Pang Mei Dau soup in many occasions. Am glad that you have it covered in your blog here hopefully that more people will be aware and eventually benefit from it too.

    I normally buy them at the Subang Sunday pasar malam but supply is not usually not consistent. According to the seller, Pang Mei Dau are usually popular among Ipoh/Kampar people.

    The way my family made them was like how you described it. Its really a nice and nourishing soup. Brings back good old memories. Thanks again, Wendy.


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