dinengdeng, glorious dinengdeng!

I'm a typical Ilokano who can't live without dinengdeng, come share my passion...

various authentic, exotic, ilokano pinakbets

Concoction or variations of this kind of exotic Ilokano dish, of this ever ubiquitous vegetable stew...

sinanglaw? paksiw? which?

What do you prefer, Vigan-sinanglaw or Laoag-paksiw? What about pinapaitan and singkutsar?

unnok/ginukan, freshwater shellfish

Want some unnok soup or ginukan bugguong?

baradibud a tugi, lesser yam vegetable stew

Tugi, for some, is only meant to be boiled and eaten simply as is. But for me, it's an indispensable ingredient for yet another hearty Ilokano dish...

11/11/2013

pancit chronicles, episode 3: batil patung @ eva's panciteria, tuguegarao city

Pancit Batil Patung @ Eva's Panciteria (Annafunan Panciteria), Tuguegarao City.
Eva’s Panciteria (a.k.a. Annafunan Panciteria) is one of the most famous panciterias in Tuguegarao City, it being one of the most secluded that only the pancit batil patong “addicts” in the city can easily locate to satisfy their pancitly urge. Seclusion, or perhaps even secrecy (they don’t even have signages or billboards), made some panciterias in Tuguegarao the more popular as only the so-called real pancit connoisseurs bother to reach or are challenged to find these literal holes in the wall noodle houses. And I mean literal houses. Like the equally famous and secluded Lamud’s (or ECP, whatever) Panciteria in Barangay Cataggaman Nuevo, that panciteria in Barangay Annafunan is a noodle nook right in a residential house painted yellow (it was mentioned as a “green house” in Claude Tayag and Mary Ann Quioc’s Linamnam: Eating One’s Way Around the Philippines. Yes, Eva’s Panciteria (as Annafunan Panciteria) is listed in this culinary travel book, one of the only three batil patong panciterias mentioned, the two others being Lamud’s Panciteria and ECL Panciteria [in Barangay Carig]).
Batil patong time, past 3PM, with some pancit gourmands, at Eva's Panciteria.
And this is Manang Eva, the famous batil patong cook, dubbed and crowned as “Batil Patong Queen” in the city by her loyal pancit eaters and followers:


Just like most panciterias in the city, the kitchen and the cooking of the batil patong that you ordered is open for the curious (and envious) to gawk or observe upon. Here, you can watch the skills of a bating patong cook, and here, Manang Eva is really exceptional and impressive she could be a pancit chef in the White House alongside Chef Cristeta Comerford:


And so, after about 15 minutes of waiting, here are our orders, plates runneth over with heaps of carabeef meat, pork liver and egg toppings:


Pancit batil patong pure goodness topped with sautéed ground carabao meat and pork liver adobo and poached egg. No other fancy toppings of lechon carajay bits or pulverized pork cracklings, no veggies either, sorry, but it’s this simple and basic enough. A really gorgeous pancit, if you ask me:

The poached egg is just as perfectly rare or medium rare:

The egg oozing over the whole of the batil patong. And of course, the obligatory chopped raw sibuyas:

And with the accompanying egg soup. And yes, with the ubiquitous Tuguegarao-made “Malabon” brand soy sauce. In Tuguegarao, batil patong is not batil patong, if not flavored by this unique soy sauce. It maybe an acquired taste, but we so-called pancit aficionados in Tuguegarao swear and attest that other soy sauce brands won’t just fit in, they spoil the batil patongness of the real Tuguegarao batil patong, amen:

The egg reigning over. Extraordinary, this batil patong, is:

Spicing it a bit, with cracked paminta:

Enjoying the batil patong is naturally messy, it’s a required way to relish it, you can’t get away with all the sauces and juices, flavor and aroma fused to serve you all the goodness of a real batil patong. And here, Eva’s Panciteria’s version will not fail your strict expectation and craving for the original one, the all-meaty essence has only enhanced the pancitness of the whole pancit thing without any extra veggie flavor to intrude the taste and deliciousness. The miki or noodles is just cooked perfectly right, the sautéed meat to meet and please even the most finicky who can’t bear the intense and distinctive carabao meat smell (angdod, anggo):


And I can’t help but to finish off my plate, my cup of soup, and that saucer of onions with calamansi and sili. For sure, I’m one satisfied suki from hereon, Eva’s Panciteria will be among my list of must-be-there panciterias in the city, I’m one lucky bastard who finally found it, it’s a real quest, a literal one, what with the numerous wrong alleys and turns before finally finding the place, it’s a gastronomic el dorado of sort:


Be there, experience the quest, too, if you’re a pers taym adventurer, search it along the crooks and crannies of Annafunan East. It’s at the end of Aquino Street if you’re from the main road in Annafunan going to Barangay Linao, the street right across the Catholic church. Or take the interior road from Atulayan Norte going to Linao, passing Sunshine Valley Homes II, turn to a small street entering through some bamboo thickets along the main road. Sounds challenging enough, go!

UPDATE: As of this blog post, Eva’s Panciteria has moved to a separate sort of a building of its own, bigger and more spacious, located in the same compound in Annafunan East, just beside the old yellow-painted panciteria. I’ll be posting a part two soon about my new batil patong experience in the new Eva’s Panciteria. New place, but of course, the same phenomenal pancit batil patong that only Manang Eva can create:


More pancit batil patong stories:




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11/07/2013

buridibod a kamangeg nga addaan pallang ken kalunay sa nasagpawan tinapa, wild yam stew with winged beans and spinach and smoked fish

Buridibod a kamangeg nga addaan pallang ken kalunay, nasagpawan tinapa.
Kamangeg (Dioscorea luzonensis) is one of the edible wild yam which is becoming so rare nowadays. It was usually found in forested and mountainous areas in Northern Luzon especially in the Ilocos region and is prized for its distinct and unique flavor and texture compared to more popular and/or ones like tugi, ubi, buga and balinghoy. But the denuding of forest covers and the slash and burn style of upland farming as well as the incessant hunt for this kind of tuber delicacy reduced it to almost an endangered plant. So you’ll just found yourself lucky if by sheer chance you can find it sold in some local wet markets along with other wild tubers and vegetables gathered in the hinterlands.

Just like any other yam, besides being plainly boiled/steamed or cooked with getta (coconut milk) as a very comforting merienda, kamangeg is best for that starchy signature Ilokano dish buridibod (baradibod, buribud) with other ubiquitous Ilokano leafy green vegetables and fruits.

The kamangeg I found somewhere, isn’t it gorgeous? I paired it with pallang (winged bean) and kalkalunay or kuantong (native spinach, or amaranth):

This is a “native” pallang, which is more palatable than the long green hybrid ones:

Peeling off the "skin" and cutting the kamangeg:

The pallang as well:

And the kalunay:

I cooked the kamangeg first in the bugguong broth, with the deboned tinapa (smoked fish):

When the kamangeg is tender enough, put in the pallang, and then the kalunay, put to a boil just as quickly so the the pallang and the kalunay is not overcooked but crisp and green:

Done, with some broth:

The most delicious buridibod I have todate—the kamangeg as a vegetable for dinengdeng is phenomenal, really, it’s sweet, rich, thick and has a unique starchy and yammy flavor and aroma that only prove its becoming a rarity and therefore kinda exotic of sort:

The smoky flavor of the tinapa even enhanced the buridibod and it becomes a truly exceptional dish and an exclusive experience having the opportunity to partake this distinctive Ilokano blend:



More buridibods:






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11/05/2013

panangisagana iti mailuto a kamanokan, native chicken preparation

[Warning: Graphic photos of slaughtered fowl, maybe disturbing to some, please view with discretion. Thank you.]

Cut native chicken ready for cooking.
Preparing chicken for cooking into your favorite chicken dishes entails a lot of labor, so to speak, you’ll be obliged to know and apply some bits of slaughtering, quartering, cutting, cleaning techniques. Especially if you butcher kamanokan or that so-called “native” free range chicken. Of course, there’s an added thrill if you yourself will the one to prepare the chicken, unlike buying already cut “white” and “untasty” chicken from your meatshop or suki meat vendor for choice cuts like drumstick, thight, breast, back, neck, wings, head, feet, isaw. Not so with kamanokan because you buy it “live” as nobody sells dressed or pre-cut kamanokan. Even if you do not have native chickens in your backyard, there are available ones for sale in most public markets, but it’s sure expensive, from PhP200 a kilo and up.
A kamanokan for sale in a roadside talipapa.
I’m used to butchering kamanokan since I was a child in the barrio. Farm, okey, peasant, boys are expert butchers of native fowl, be it chicken, duck, goose, turkey and those wild birds caught in the ricefields and forested areas.

For one, I can prepare a native chicken all by myself, grasp and hold it so it can’t move (a chicken is so strong, moreso when it’s dying, it trembles so hard in its spasmic last it’s like having a violent seizure), then kill it by slashing its neck for that precious dara (blood, for sapsapuriket or dinardaraan later or as a delicious coagulated blood in the savory tinola) to gush out and then trickle down your malukong (bowl) with a ready little suka (vinegar) and/or diket a bagas (sticky rice grains).

Then, the dressing, (or is it really undressing?) the plucking out of its feathers after immersing the bird in hot water (to loosen the feather in the skin), a somewhat painstaking labor but worth the effort later for that promise of a tasty digo (soup) that only a kamanokan can assure.


And then, you’ve got to get rid of the tiny hair-like feathers which cannot be pulled out so easily from the skin, by making sarabasab (put over fire) the dressed bird into an open fire or flame, to burn the muldot (hair):
The sarabasab.
Chicken with its “hairs” burnt.
Then, the washing of the dressed chicken. Wash it thoroughly and vigorously in nagarasawan (ricewash water). Some even scrub and rub it with salt. Get rid of all dirt and burnt feather ends. Remove also the scales of its feet. Then wash it again and rinse it many times in tap or running water.

After which, the opening up and cutting up. Remove the kinarakaran (crop) and its esophagus as well as the wind pipe in the neck area. The gizzard connects to the batikuleng (gizzard), do not cut off the “connecting tube” at this juncture, remove them at once later, kinarakaran and batikuleng and the other organs (liver, heart, lungs, etc.) and the intestines:


Then open it up. There’s a little trick or technique on how to open up the bird like this:


Remove the butt with the intestine connecting into it intact. Be careful in doing this, you might cut it wrong and it will make a mess with chicken shit, errrr:


Here’s the bunch of the removed organs and intestines (notice that there also the “balls”, the testicles; yes these are male kamanokans, roosters), ready for cleaning:


The dara:

The cutting up and cleaning of the organs and intestines:


Choice cuts, especially for adobo—thighs, drumsticks, breasts, wings:


The dalem (liver), batikuleng, puso. And the apro (bile) is there, upper right, for the pinapaitan soup later:


The “buto-buto” (tultulang) or bony parts—feet, neck, head, ribs, back—ready in a pot, perfect for tinola or lauya:


All ready:



Next: tinola/lauya a kamanokan, dinardaraan a kamanokan, and pinapaitan a kamanokan. Watch out for it!


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