RECIPE: Thai Winged Bean Salad

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Thai Winged Bean Salad. Photo credit: Kristin Frost Albrecht,

Thai Winged Bean Salad. Photo credit: Kristin Frost Albrecht,

A delicious main dish Thai salad featuring a tasty blend of sour, salty, sweet and hot flavors in a rich and creamy coconut dressing.  The salad contains lime (sour), fish sauce (salty), palm sugar (sweet), and chili (hot) all tossed with blanched frilly edged winged beans for a sensational and memorable meal.  Winged beans are in season right now and available at many Big Island farmers markets.






2 cups winged beans

Winged Beans. Photo credit: Kristin Frost Albrecht,

Winged Beans. Photo credit: Kristin Frost Albrecht,

1/2 pound ground pork (or chicken)

1 cup coconut milk

2 tablespoons dried shrimp, chopped

2 tablespoons shallots, julienned


4 cloves garlic, chopped

2-3 medium, dried chilies, seeded and chopped

3 tablespoons roasted peanuts, chopped – divided, save 1 tablespoon for garnish

2 tablespoon lime juice

1 1/4 teaspoon palm sugar or brown sugar


2 teaspoons fish sauce

2 – 4 tablespoons of oil for frying


  1. Rinse the winged beans and chop off both ends. Cut into 1/2-inch pieces. Set a pot of salted water to boil.
  2. While waiting for the water to boil, heat enough oil in a medium frying pan to cover the shallots and stir often until they’re golden. Remove shallots from the pan and set aside. Add the dried shrimp to the pan and fry until crispy adding additional oil if necessary. Remove shrimp from the pan and set aside with shallots.
  3. Next, add garlic and chilies to the pan and sauté until lightly browned. Remove from pan and set aside.
  4. Pound half of the fried shallots and shrimp, and all of the garlic and chilies into a semi-smooth paste (you  can also use a food processor to do this).
  5. When the salted water is boiling, blanch the winged beans for 20-30 seconds. Remove them and place immediately in ice water. When they are cool, drain and set aside.
  6. Fry the ground pork or chicken till no longer pink.  Drain and set aside.
  7. In a saucepan, boil the coconut milk. Take milk off the burner and add sugar, chili/shallot paste, lime juice, fish sauce, and 2 tablespoons of peanuts. Mix well.  Adjust seasoning to taste.
  8. Add the coconut mixture and meat to winged beans and toss and serve. Garnish with reserved fried shrimp, shallots and chopped peanuts.

Serves four.

This post has been a contribution by Kristin Frost Albrecht on behalf of The Food Basket, Hawai’i Island’s Food Bank.

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