In Australia now the weather is cold, only topping 10C today, so when I woke up this morning I was craving a warming recipe for my lunch. Luckily I was able to think of ginisang bitsuelas! I always associate this easy dish with the onset of the wet and cool season, it’s just perfect to warm yourself with on those cold, rainy days.
Ginisang bitsuelas is a delicious and hearty Filipino recipe of white kidney beans cooked together with pork and bagoong. The best pork cut to use for this recipe is pig’s foot, but when that is unavailable I use pork ribs. Ginisang bitsuelas needs one of these bony cuts to flavour the stock which forms the basis of the sauce.
The first time I cooked this recipe I got slightly worried after adding the bagoong, the smell was very strong! However, after simmering for a while the flavour balanced perfectly and the sauce thickened nicely from cooking with the beans.
- 1 cup dried white kidney beans
- 1/2 kg pork foot or ribs
- 2 cups water
- 1 tsp pork stock (bouillon)
- 2 tbsp oil
- 5 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 1 red onion finely chopped
- 2 tbsp bagoong
- 1 bunch ampalaya or spinach leaves
- Soak the beans for a minimum of 4 hours, then drain. Place in a saucepan, cover with water and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes, we want them softened but still firm. Drain and set aside.
- Meanwhile, in another saucepan place the pork foot or ribs, water and stock. Bring to a gentle boil over medium heat and simmer for 30 minutes, or until the pork is tender.
- Remove the pork from the saucepan and retain the liquid. Take the meat off the bones and discard the bones.
- In a large saucepan heat the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, then add the onion and cook a further 2 minutes.
- Add the pork meat and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until lightly coloured then add the bagoong and stir well.
- Add the reserved beans and stock and bring to a gentle simmer. Cook for about 15 minutes. After this time the liquid should have thickened and the beans should be very soft, almost to the point of breaking apart.
- Add the ampalaya or spinach leaves, turn off the heat and let it stand for 1 minutes then mix to combine.
Need help with the Filipino ingredients? Check out the glossary.
Note: I had some queries about the name of this dish as there is a another similar recipe which makes use of green beans (Baguio beans). This recipe is from Isabela province and in our town is referred to as Ginisang Bitsuelas, thus why I call it by this name.Sau