Lola’s Soup: Sigang Bulanglang

Posted by on Jul 25, 2012 in Aquatic, Beans, Flora, Fruits, Soup | 4 comments

This may never be found in any Filipino recipe book. It is one of my late grandmother’s special soups, a twist on two classics. Sigang bulanglang combines the flavour of two soups and creates its own distinct taste.

For Capampangans, sigang (sinigang for Tagalogs) is cooked using souring agents such camias, sampaloc, sometimes even calamansi or santol. Bulanglang is what Tagalogs call sinigang sa bayabas. It is meat or fish cooked in broth flavoured with fresh guavas. It is sweet, compared to sigang.

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IMBB 19: Grandchild’s Spicy Tokwa (I Can’t Believe I Ate Vegan!)

Posted by on Sep 28, 2005 in Beans, IMBB?, Spicy, Veggie Delights | 7 comments

Spicy Tofu: tofu/tokwa in garlic, ginger, onions, tomatoes, potatoes, chillies and chinese cabbage

This is my second entry for the month’s Is My Blog Burning? with the theme I Can’t Believe I Ate Vegan! hosted by Sam at Becks and Posh.

What I’m presenting is a twist on an old family favourite, my grandfather’s original spicy chicken recipe which he called Lutong Bombay (Hi Nupur!). In a way, it is also a continuation of my Lolo’s tinkering in the kitchen to come up with original recipes. His grandchild has now improvised on it to come up with something new yet old, different yet similar. It is actually the garlic and ginger base which lends a very distinct flavour to the dish that made me decide to cook it with tokwa (also tau kwa, firm soy bean cake – tofu will do too).

This entry is also meant to prove that with a little ingenuity, meat dishes can be transformed into vegetarian/vegan recipes.

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Lutung Camatis A Babi

Posted by on Jul 17, 2005 in Beans, Pork, Soup | 14 comments


Pork in Tomato Soup
One very Filipino eating trait I notice is the preference for soupy or saucy dishes. Traditionally, each meal had a soup which did not have to be separate from the entrée. The classic sinigang and tinola are good examples. But then we also do not serve dishes in a sequence, like soups and appetisers, salads, mains and so on. That’s a topic for another day. :lol:

Soupy and saucy dishes are a flavour contrast to the blandness of rice which is the backbone of every meal. More often than not, the soup or sauce is poured on and mixed with the rice. In Kapampangan we call this ambulâ (halo in Tagalog). At least in our house, this has become so ingrained that when we cook, we deliberately add more liquid just for the panambulâ.

The recipe below is an example of a soupy dish my grandmother cooked very often. I only know it by its Kapampangan name – Lutung Camatis â Babi – literally pork cooked in tomatoes. I am not sure if it has counterparts in other regions. It is a flavourful blend of slow-simmered meat and still-crunchy vegetables. This dish is versatile enough to be adjusted to individual preferences. Some prefer it to be mostly meat. In our family, we are not very avid meat eaters so what we do is to cut the pork into small cubes and add more vegetables. Every now and then, we also use bulig (dalag or mudfish) instead of pork.

I’ve seen a version of this dish which has a lot of beans in it that it’s already similar to the Spanish fabada. The beans we use are similar to lima beans except that they’re flatter and wider. They are called bulé balugabulé meaning beans in Kapampangan and baluga referring to the indigenous Aetas who come down from the mountains bringing us the yearly supply. I know that the term is supposedly not politically correct anymore when referring to people but that’s how we’ve always called these beans. I’ve also been told by our visiting Aetas that they’ve always referred to themselves by that name that they don’t feel slighted when hearing it. However, I guess it also depends on which tribe they’re from. Again, I digress.

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Sabo Balatung: Mung Bean Soup

Posted by on May 28, 2005 in Beans, Pork, Soup | 12 comments

A few moons ago, Lynn and I had a short exchange on the comments box of her Five Minute Pao post in her blog To Short Term Memories. It was actually the related posts Chive Pao and Chive Boxes that made me mention my search for the herb.

I had long wanted to cook Sabo Balatung (mung bean, munggo or monggo soup) the way I remember it from childhood. This is a dish which is practically the same in the whole country, with regional or provincial nuances. In Manila and most Tagalog provinces I’ve been to, it is known as ginisang munggo (sautéed monggo), a very thick bean stew. To most Kapampangans, it’s a thick creamy soup.

Another difference I notice is how we mainly use kusé or garlic chives (Allium tuberosum – regular chives are Allium schoenoprasum) for the greens while in Manila they use kamaluñgge (Tag. malunggay – Moringa oleifera) or tender leaves of bitter gourd – we do too but not as often as chives. We also don’t use tomatoes. The soup is traditionally served with broiled tuyo or dried salted fish. To polish it off nicely, we also season the soup with a splash of vinegar and a dash of black pepper.

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IMBB 11: Tipé Câmangyáng (Beans)

Posted by on Jan 23, 2005 in Aquatic, Beans, IMBB?, Pork, Veggie Delights | 17 comments

Is My Blog Burning? is the brainchild of Alberto at Il Forno and it has really caught on as bloggers the world over eagerly await and prepare for the monthly event. Today would be the eleventh edition and we anticipate the sharing of recipes around the theme ‘beans’. Cathy at my little kitchen is hosting it this time. I should also mention that this is the first time I’m taking part in the events though I’ve been listed in the IMBB portal since November of last year.

When Cathy announced this month’s theme, I was both relieved that I didn’t lack for kinds of beans and recipes yet worried that I may not be able to decide from among the choices. There is a whole wide world of beans and a line in the Tagalog folk song ‘Bahay Kubo’ (My Nipa Hut) enumerates the most common Philippine species – sigarilyas, sitaw, bataw, patani, munggo, (winged beans, the ones in the picture above, hyacinth beans, civet or lima beans, mung beans). In fact, on the PC at that very moment I had pictures of at least two recipes with sitaw as an ingredient. Which one would it be?

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Stringbeans? Yard-long Beans? What Beans?

Posted by on Jan 23, 2005 in Beans, Know Thy Food, Veggie Delights | 11 comments

Or beans by any name taste the same,
Or beans of the same name are not the same,
Or things I learn through blogging,

They’re called câmangyáng in Capampangan and sitaw in Tagalog. All my life I thought they were called string beans in English. Weren’t we taught that at home and in school and aren’t they labelled as such in groceries? Or have I been an ignoramus all these years? Or could it be a Filipinism or a Capampanganism? How did I find this out if not through blogging? As it happens, in some parts of the world, string beans are what we call bitsuelas (habitsuelas in Tagalog) or Baguio beans here. They are also called French beans, green beans and snap beans in some places. Oh what confusion! But then again, that’s why common names are almost always common only to a place. If I travel to another country, how do I get what I want if I can’t see it yet? The scientific name! Vigna unguiculata ssp. sesquipedalis, also Vigna sinensis for the beans you see in the picture above and Phaseolus vulgaris L. for the snapbeans, the picture of which I will take the next time I am in its presence. Hehe, as if people in restaurants and marketplaces are conversant with the system devised by Carolus Linnaeus. “A plate of Arachis hypogaea and some Zea mays on the cob to snack on, please.” That would be the day!

Now, how did all this begin? In mid-November, Renee at Shiokadelicious! posted her Long Horny Beans entry. In the succeeding discussion we found out that what we call string beans in the Philippines and in Singapore are not the same species. From the comments it dawned on me that the Tagalog sitaw is most probably closely related to the Hokkien chai tau. Ooohhh, it was getting interesting, related to what I was planning to trace food pathways. But that’s for another post.

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