Visayan Culinary Culture

 

Puso ("hanging rice")
Linubihang Munggo (beans in coconut                                      milk)
Dinuguan
(pig's blood stew)
Apan-apan
(shrimp appetizer)
Butong with Crabs
(coconut appetizer)
Sagaksak
(yam snack)
Binignit
(yam snack in coconut milk)
Budbud Pilipit
(sticky rice snack)
Pintus
(cornmeal snack)
Putong Pinalutaw
(rice cake)
Masareal (peanut snack)
Kalamay
(sticky rice snack)
Kinatluan
(egg doughnut)
Arroz a la Valenciana
(rice and                           seafood dish)
Green Mango Salad
(mango appetizer)
Torta Visaya
( tuba pastry)
Tuba and Other Native Wines

piknikpinoy_acaciacorp.jpg (95868 bytes)
(Acacia Corporation New York, 1988)

Visayan cooking is generally simple.  Meat or fish is merely boiled with vegetables and spices to prepare a dish called tinola.  Sometimes, fresh coconut milk is added to tinola to make a new dish called utan.  When fish or meat is barbecued, it is called sinugba.  Boiled vegetables mixed with ginamos (salted fish or shrimp paste) and fresh coconut milk are served as kinilaw (literally, "eaten raw").  Fish, sea urchin, and seaweed are also prepared as kinilaw by having them washed, sliced thin, and soaked in vinegar with tomatoes, salt, ginger, onions and hot pepper. (Source: Folk Culture of the Central Visayas [Kalinangan Series 2], 1986, Instructional Materials Corporation, Philippines; 194pp.)

For recipes, select from the menu on the left.

 

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      hangingrice4_ayala97.jpg (4440 bytes) Puso

A bunch of heart-shaped containers, woven from coconut palm leaves, provide a unique way of cooking and eating rice.  The rice grains, skillfully measured and carefully placed into the container, are boiled to make what is jocularly referred to as "hanging rice" or "portable rice."  The palm-packaged rice, called puso for the shape of the container (puso is the Cebuano word for the banana blossom), makes for a handy way of carrying rice to a picnic and of eating with one's fingers, sans fork, or flatware.

hangingrice2_ayala97.jpg (19101 bytes)
                   Ayala Foundation Inc., 1997

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Linubihang Munggo

1 cup dried mung beans
1 cups dried dilis (anchovy)
4 cups water
3 cups kamunggay leaves
cup tomatoes, sliced

 

2 tablespoons green onions, chopped
cup coconut milk, first extract
2 cups coconut milk, second extract
1 tablespoon salt

    Heat water until it boils.  Add munggo. Simmer for about half an hour or until tender.  Add dilis, second coconut milk extract, and salt.  Cook for 10 minutes.  Add kamunggay leaves, tomatoes, and onions.  Cook for 4 minutes.  Add first coconut milk extract, and cook for 1 minute more.  Serve hot.

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Dinuguan

cup cooking oil
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 large onion, minced
3 tomatoes, chopped
kilo pork intestines, boiled and sliced thin
kilo lean pork, sliced thin
1 pig's heart, sliced thin
2 pork kidneys, sliced thin
1 pig's liver, sliced thin

 

10 pieces gree pepper
6 pieces kamias, sliced thin
2 cups pig's blood
2 pieces red hot pepper
1 cup water
1 teaspoon powdered pepper
1 tablespoon salt
cup vinegar

    Heat cooking oil, and saute garlic, onions, and tomatoes.  Add pork, kidneys, heart, liver, salt, and vinegar. Cook and cover until tender.  Add pork intestines, and cook for a few more minutes.  Add kamias and green pepper.

    Dilute pig's blood with one cup water, and strain to remove lumps. Then add this to the cooked mixture, stirring in one direction until thick.  Add red hot pepper.  Serve with puso (banana heart) and putong pinalutaw (rice cake).

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Apan-apan

4 tablespoons cooking oil
2 tablespoons garlic, crushed
4 tablespoons onion, sliced
6 cups kangkong stems, cut 3 inches long

 

cup tomatoes, sliced
1 cup vinegar
1 cups water
6 tablespoons bagoong alamang

   Mix vinegar and water, and heat in saucepan.  As soon as mixture boils, add kangkong stems.  Cook until all liquid is absorbed.   Transfer kangkong to another container, and set aside.

    In the same saucepan, saute garlic, onion, tomatoes, and bagoong alamang.  Add the kangkong, and mix thoroughly.  Remove from the stove, and serve as relish or appetizer.

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Butong with Crabs

2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
2 tablespoons onion, sliced
cup tomatoes, sliced
3 cups butong (young coconut) meat, scooped

 

3 pieces crabs, boiled and cut into halves
2 tablespoons green onions, chopped
1 cups coconut juice
1 teaspoon salt

    Saute garlic, onion, tomatoes, and butong.  Add coconut water, and salt to taste.  Add crabs, and cover.  Cook for 10 minutes.   Add green onions, and cook for 2 more minutes.

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Sagaksak

2 cups white cornmeal
2 cups yellow camote, cubed
3 cups water
teaspoon salt

    Add water to cornmeal, and boil.  When the water is absorbed, add camote.  Cover and cook for 45 minutes over low heat.

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Binignit

1 piece white gabi, cubed
2 pieces yellow camote, cubed
1 piece ubi, cubed
4 pieces ripe gardaba, sliced
4 tablespoons landang

 

2 cups coconut milk, first extract
2 cups coconut milk, second extract
cup sugar
teaspoon salt

    Cook gabi, camote, ubi, and gardaba in second coconut milk extract.  Add sugar, salt, and landang.  Simmer until all ingredients are tender and the mixture is thick.  Add the first coconut milk extract.   Heat but do not boil.  Serve hot.

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Budbud Pilipit

3 cups malagkit (glutinous rice)
5 cups coconut milk, first extract
cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt

    Wash malagkit very well. Drain.  Cook with coconut milk, salt, and sugar in a karahay, stirring constantly.  When mixture is almost dry, stir to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the karahay.   Reduce the heat, and cover the mixture with banana leaves for a few minutes.

    Wrap 2 tablespoon of the cooked malagkit in wilted banana leaves.  Tie in pairs, and steam for about 30 minutes in a big pot.  Serve with hot chocolate or ripe mangoes.

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Pintus

1 cup fresh young corn, grated fine
cup evaporated milk
2 pieces young coconut, scooped and drained
1 cup water
cup sugar
husks of young corn

    Combine corn, water, milk, and sugar.  Place in karahay, and cook over low heat, stirring all the time until thick.  Stir in young coconut meat, and remove from fire.  Cool.

    Drop cooked mixture by spoonfuls on young corn husk.  Wrap and tie each pintus with fine husk strips.  Steam in a well covered pot for about 30 minutes.

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Putong Pinalutaw

2 cups rice
cup boiled rice
1 cups sugar
2 tablespoons baking powder
teaspoon anise seeds
1 cups water
teaspoon salt

    Wash rice, and soak it in water for a few hours.  Add boiled rice, and grind the mixture fine until it is thick like butter.  Pour into fluted puto pans lined with young leaves.  Steam over boiling water for about an hour, depending on the size of the pans.

    The putong pinalutaw is best eaten with dinuguan, another favorite snack item.

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Masareal

1 kilo peanuts
1 cup sugar
1 cup water

    Boil unshelled peanuts in water.  When done, cool.  Shell and grind the peanuts fine.

    Prepare a syrup of 1 cup white sugar and 1 cup water.  Before the syrup thickens, add the ground peanuts, and keep on stirring until thick.  Remove from fire, and pour over a thin baking sheet.  Flatten the surface.  Cut into 1 inch by 5 inches rectangular strips.  Wrap each piece in white paper, if desired.

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Kalamay

10 liters water
10 kilos white sugar
  2 gantas malagkit
20 pieces coconut

    Soak the malagkit overnight.  Grate the coconuts.   Extract the milk from the grated coconut two times: first, with 5 liters of water, then with 3 liters of water.  Pour the malagkit into the first coconut milk extract, and grind the mixture.  Mix sugar with the second coconut milk extract, and boil to make latik.  Pour the ground malagkit into the boiling latik, and stir for 4 hours or until the mixture becomes very sticky.  Put the mixture into half of a coconut shell.  Cool for 3 hours.  Then cover with the other half of the shell.

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Kinatluan

2 kilos flour
50 eggs
1 bottle white wine
4 tablespoons cooking oil
2 cups sugar

kinatluan2.jpg (12032 bytes)

    Separate the egg yolks from the egg whites.  Add the sugar to the egg yolks, and beat them until they are creamy white.  Then add the wine and the flour to make a dough.

    Form the dough into rings or doughnuts.  Drop the rings into boiling water, and let them float.  Then arrange them in a tray, and allow them to dry under the sun for 30 minutes or until smooth.

    Heat the oven and bake the dried dough in moderate heat until brown.

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Arroz a la Valenciana

arrozvalencia_insight98.jpg (20203 bytes)

clams
crab
shrimps
squid
tanguigue
rice, Valencia (Spain) variety,                washed
garlic, macerated
 

onions, finely chopped
olive oil
pimenton
saffron
salt
pepper

    Boil clams, crab, and shrimps, and reserve the broth.  Shell the shrimps, but leave the head intact.

    Clean squid, and remove its ink sac.  Cut the squid crosswise, forming rings.  Keep the head and tentacles whole.

    In a pan, heat some olive oil, and fry the squid.  As you remove the squid, add a few drops of soy sauce on the pieces.  Fry tanguigue that has been cut into pieces.  In another pan, fry garlic in olive oil until golden brown.   Then add the Valencia rice, saffron, and some of the pimenton.  Continue cooking for five minutes, and then remove from the flame.

    In a third pan, fry the rest of the garlic with all the chopped onions.  Add the rice mixture.  Add salt and pepper.  Add the sea food broth in the proportion of 2 cups of stock for every cup of rice.  Spread banana leaves on top and cover with a tight-fitting lid.  Cook for 25 minutes, allowing the fried fish, clams, and crab (cut into halves) to be encrusted in the rice.  The pieces of squid and shrimps are arranged on top.

    When the rice is almost done, transfer the pan to the oven set at moderate heat.  Continue cooking it until the rice is done.  Serve hot.

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Green Mango Salad

4 green mangoes, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
pound singkamas, peeled and thinly sliced
1 teaspoon salt
juice of two limes
1 tablespoon peanut oil
5 cloves garlic, crushed and thinly sliced
6 green onions, thinly sliced (including some of the green)
pound ground pork
1 tablespoon shrimp powder (ground and sifted hibe [dried shrimp])
4 tablespoons patis (fish sauce)
4 tablespoons chunky peanut butter
2 tablespoons palm or brown sugar
teaspoon ground black pepper
teaspoon dried red chili flakes

Put the green mango and singkamas slices in a mixing bowl, and sprinkle with salt and lime juice.

In a frying pan, heat the peanut oil, and fry the garlic and green onions until the garlic is just cooked.  Remove with a slotted spoon, and set aside to drain.  In the same hot oil, fry the ground pork until the pink disappears.  Add the powdered shrimp, fish sauce, peanut butter, and sugar.  Stir well, and remove from the heat.

Combine the cooked ingredients from the saucepan with the marinated fruits/tubers in the mixing bowl.  Add the pepper and chili flakes.  Mix thoroughly.  Chill in the refrigerator and serve cold.
                                                       

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Torta Visaya

5 cups flour
1 cup tuba
3 cups sugar
20 eggs (yolk only)
1 cups cooking oil
teaspoon salt
a pinch of anise

    Pour the tuba into the flour.  Add the salt.  Mix well.

    Add the sugar gradually into the egg yolks while beating well.   Add the oil, and put into a pan lined with paper and greased with butter or oil.   Add anise.  Wait for 7 hours before baking (to allow the batter to rise).   However, if the weather is cold, wait for 8 hours before baking.

    Bake at 325oF.

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Native Wines       mananguete_svd79.jpg (85461 bytes)

The popular drink of the Central Visayans is tuba, fermented from the sweet sap of young and healthy coconut trees.  To prepare a tree for sap collection, its sawak (bud) is bent and cut daily.  When sap begins to flow, the flower is tied with rattan strips to fit into a bamboo container called sogong which will catch the sap.   Crushed tungog (tanbark from the mangrove tree) is dropped into the sogong to give the sap a reddish color and to hasten its fermentation.  From one coconut tree as many as three flowers can be made to yield sap.  Each flower produces tuba for two months, after which it dries out and has to be totally cut off from the tree.

Young people, especially girls, prefer to drink the tuba called lina because of its heavy sweetness.  To make lina, no tungog is added to the tuba.  Older folk prefer the day-old, bitter-sour tuba called bahal which, if kept for two weeks or more and allowed to ferment in a tightly covered container, turns into vinegar.  A stronger brew called lambanug is produced by distillation.  It is expensive. Some three hundred gallons of raw coconut juice are needed to yield a gallon of lambanug.

The fermented sap of the sugar palm idiok is called habyog.  It is sweet and has the color of limewater.

Juice extracted from sugarcane ferments into a strong alcoholic drink called intus.   The fermentation process is carried out for a month in a buried earthen jar.

The Central Visayans also make wine from polished rice.  They boil about six liters of rice in a big earthen pot.  When the rice is soft, it is transferred into a bahandi (a big jar with ears at the neck) where it is mixed with four liters of water, a liter of hot pepper, and a kilogram of pounded ginger.  The mixture is then covered and buried, and, after two or more months, it develops into the native drink pangasi.

 

 

(Source:  The Philippines: The Word in the World 1979.   Patrick Connor,SVD, ed.; Techny, Illinois:  Society of the Divine Word; 208pp.)

TUBA IS NOT TABOO
by George Koschinski, SVD

    Everyone knows what taboo means.  If you're not sure you can look it up in the dictionary.  However, you'll scarcely find tuba there.  It's the poor man's alcoholic drink in the Philippines: the national drink, a palm wine.  It's unfermented and 100% pure, almost always.  Sometimes the brewers toss a certain kind of tree bark into it to give the whitish juice a yellower color and to give it more sharpness of taste and alcoholic content.

   You can find tuba in every little shop in every little village.  Sometimes I find sober facts chalked on the wall in such little tuba joints: "Nothing on credit! We trust in God! Everyone else pays cash!"

    You can't get it in a bar because it's too cheap.   A glass of tuba costs only 2 cents.  It gives you a light tongue and heavy legs.  You drink it as medicine for malaria, indigestion, thirst, and to make conversation easy.

    When I used to travel to Kasiligan after the afternoon Mass, the bus was usually full, and so were the passengers, with the exception of myself, the pastor, and, as I fervently hoped, the bus driver.  And the bus smelled so sweet-and-sour of tuba.

   I drank my first glass of the stuff in Pahilaban.   After a long trek through the mountains I sank wearily into the shade of a palm grove. "Do you have anything to drink?" "Oh, yes, we have!"  A young fellow scampered up a palm tree.  From the crown he took a bamboo tube which had been hung there the previous evening to collect the sap, drop by drop.  I greedily downed a glassful.  In a short while I was urging everyone to get going again.  "We'd better go. There might be rain. The tops of the palms are swaying already."  "No," the people said, "the palms are completely still. You're the one who's swaying, Padre."

    My pastor used to send out for tuba once in a while -- because of indigestion.  Each time the houseboy sallied through the streets, everyone knew: "Aha, Father is suffering from constipation again."

    If you're out of sorts occasionally, calmly reach for the palm wine.  Tuba isn't taboo!

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