23 Jun2005

Binatog

by Marketman

A perfect snack for many folks on a brisk morning at the Baguio bin1market is Binatog, a warm concoction of boiled corn, coconut, sugar and milk. Last year I happened to be in Baguio on a record cold morning (8 degrees celsius or roughly 46.5 degrees fahrenheit, the coldest temperature in nearly 10 years!) and noticed a crowd buying cups of binatog from a vendor near the entrance of the Baguio market. I couldn’t be bothered to wait in line at the time and missed out on the warm snack. This time around, the temperatures were less frigid and the vendor had fewer customers so I decided to try some of his binatog. This must be a relatively unique Filipino concoction, a warm variation on the theme of mais con hielo, perhaps.

Binatog has just a few ingredients: boiled corn kernels that are intentionally bin2overcooked so that they are literally bursting out of their skins (also has the result of puffing up the corn), sugar, grated coconut, and evaporated milk. To make, the vendor starts by taking out a clean plastic cup and scooping some boiled corn until about 2/3 of the cup is full, he next adds a little bit of the grated coconut and a touch of sugar, tops the cup up with more corn, sprinkles more sugar on top and adds evaporated milk. If you want to eat it immediately he gives you a spoon and you can munch away. If you plan to take-away, he puts the cup in a thin plastic bag and twists and knot… I describe this process in detail as I bought 5 cups from him and he was very “mechanical” about completing the order.

Apparently on a good day, Joel the binatog vendor bin3(in the photograph here) can sell up to 250 cups! At P10 a cup, that’s P2,500 in daily revenue – not bad huh? Now, to the taste… I am not terribly fond of mais con hielo so I was a bit lukewarm (pun intended) about this snack. But the texture and flavor were interesting enough and I can see the attraction for the legions of fans of binatog. For those of you who are far away and miss this snack, I imagine it is relatively easy to do at home… perhaps the only problem would be finding the freshly grated coconut…

 

COMMENTS:

  1. carol says:

    I’m glad to have found this childhood delight at Mais Ann outlets, specifically the one by Rustan’s Le Drug entrance at Shangri-la. I prefer it with salt instead of sugar, though. Here’s one Pinoy snack the younger generation is totally duh about. Their loss :-)

    Jun 23, 2005 | 7:55 am

     
  2. Maricel says:

    Yeah, we also eat binatog with just salt and grated coconut. Actually this is the first time I heard of binatog – mais con yelo style

    Jun 23, 2005 | 8:17 am

     
  3. Marketman says:

    Now that you guys mention it, perhaps the first half teaspoon full was salt in the middle of the cup then more corn and two teaspoons of sugar on top… hmmm that would make sense as the corn is generally rather bland.

    Jun 23, 2005 | 8:22 am

     
  4. Grace Lopez says:

    My kids & I love this snack anytime of the day, we bought binatog with the same vendor last time we were in Baguio,
    we told him before hand that we wanted salt than sugar.
    It was heaven.

    Jun 23, 2005 | 11:44 am

     
  5. MiKo says:

    Oh, I miss eating warm binatog. Are Binatog vendors a vanishing breed? I haven’t seen one in QC in ages. I eat binatog sometimes with grated coconut with sugar or with salt but always with a dab of butter. Yum!

    Jun 23, 2005 | 7:27 pm

     
  6. Marketman says:

    That dab of butter sounds good, Miko! I don’t think there are as many binatog vendors as before, what with everyone shifting to a cheeseburger for merienda from a sillywasp franchise or what not…

    Jun 24, 2005 | 5:38 am

     
  7. eD says:

    Me and my older sis used to have a melon (cantaloupe) stand when we were kids … and to have some variety, we’d offer the binatogs as well. A cup of binatog, a few pinches of rock salt, and a good helping of grated coconut all thrown in in a cone-shaped banana leaf. Charged them 10 centavos, I think.

    And if business was slow, we’d peddle the thing in the streets and go “Ay binatog, may asin at may niyog!” — complete with that sing-songy accent, hehe.

    Yup. Those were our binatog days.

    eD

    Jun 24, 2005 | 7:00 am

     
  8. buddy says:

    Used to be, the sound of a bell much like those used in boxing matches signals the arrival of the binatog vendor on bicycle. Now I don’t hear that sound anymore, like those horns from the man who trades cheese curls in a paper cone (a page from a phone directory) for used bottles.

    Nostalgia trip. Kudos to your great site!

    Jun 24, 2005 | 10:27 am

     
  9. Karen says:

    Also my first time to hear about binatog mais con hielo style. But I’ll probably try it when I do get the chance.

    I’ve been looking for the recipe for binatog and I don’t have it yet but it seems only the tender white corn can be used, like the ones for suam na mais. Yellow sweet corn kernels are too tough. They are then soaked in slaked lime before boiling so as not to make them mushy before they puff up.

    Jun 27, 2005 | 4:49 am

     
  10. dodi says:

    Hey! I can still hear that “boxing bell” from the binatog vendor in Roxas Dist.,Quezon City every other afternoon. We must be lucky!

    Jun 27, 2005 | 1:20 pm

     
  11. Cecilia says:

    Thank you. Thoughts of pure happiness brought on by the
    Binatog story found me back home w/my Mother many many
    years ago. I remember looking forward to going to the
    market with her knowing I’ll be rewarded w/Binatog.
    I’ll try the recipe in San Francisco hoping to duplicate
    the taste and aroma.

    Jun 28, 2005 | 8:01 am

     
  12. May Ann says:

    Sir, you’re lucky enough that you found a binatog vendor
    in Baguio. I really miss eating a binatog and
    unfortunately I found no one here in cebu.

    Jul 16, 2005 | 9:16 am

     
  13. Marketman says:

    Magbuhat kag imuha, dali ra man. Pahumukun ang mais na dunay lihiya bag-o ipabukal. Ang lihiya ay para dili mabuak ang mais. Unya, dungagan ug asin, asukal, kinayud na lubi ug condensada. Duna ka nay BINATOG a la May Ann! Daghang salamat sa pagbisita sa Marketmanila! How’s that for my Cebuano skills???

    Jul 16, 2005 | 4:12 pm

     
  14. may ann says:

    Thank you very much for the ingredients and procedure on how to cook the “Binatog ala May Ann”. About your Cebuano skills pwede na kaya lang medyo may tagalog pa rin nakasama.hi hi hi

    Jul 30, 2005 | 11:55 am

     
  15. millet says:

    murag bisaya/tagalog sa taga-davao – “hindi jud kami naga-salita ng bisaya kay tagalog man gyud kami”..hehehe

    Aug 15, 2006 | 6:58 pm

     
  16. bokbok says:

    nasubokan ko n po kumain ng binatog. masarap po cya. tanong ko lang po anong uri po ng mais ang kelangan sa pagluluto. puede rin po ba yung magulang na? gaano po katagal pakuluan?

    Feb 4, 2007 | 11:02 pm

     
  17. Marketman says:

    bokbok, I am sorry, I have never made binatog from scratch. But I do know that they use a chemical to soften the outer skin of the corn…

    Feb 5, 2007 | 9:25 am

     
  18. mary aster says:

    gustong gusto ko tlga ng binatog mula ng bata pa ako ito ung pinaka paborito kong merienda

    Aug 1, 2007 | 4:42 pm

     
  19. janer says:

    hi pipol,,

    i wanted to have a binatog as an added snacks to my cart. but were selling japanse corn. i dont know if its possible..pls help me..ty

    Aug 7, 2007 | 10:04 am

     
  20. mary aster ligaya says:

    hahay mga couzns miz ko n ung favorit ntng merienda

    Sep 5, 2007 | 5:23 am

     
  21. ariel says:

    I like mine with a bit of salt but with sugar also :) You can use canned hominy (google hominy and grits) as a substitute since that type of corn may not be available in north america.

    Mar 29, 2008 | 1:48 am

     
  22. thelma says:

    ariel, just like you, i grew up eating binatog with salt, sugar and grated coconut for snack. that sounds like a good idea… i’ve seen canned hominy at the mexican section in the supermarket so i will try that next time. we also can buy coconuts so i can use the kudkuran that my brother sent me.

    Jul 1, 2008 | 12:09 pm

     
  23. kayedanda says:

    i know manong joel! he has the best tasting binatog in baguio, i swear! when i first tasted it, i went crazy over it. now, i’m a certified binatog addict. every time someone goes to town, i never fail to ask that person to bring me manong joel’s binatog! :D

    Sep 12, 2008 | 9:37 am

     
  24. jimili says:

    best Binatog is here in Baguio. cool mornings after a jog will complete ur day.

    btw, Joel Angibat is my suki, he is a fellow Igorot who loves to serve Binatog. He has has puesto at the City Market before reaching Hangar market area.

    Wada sinan kad-ak abe chinnaimas ay binatog, 325-A Tulip Alley, Hangar. :)

    Feb 4, 2009 | 8:15 am

     
  25. visyel says:

    thanks for having that featured here in your site. Though I haven’t tried eating binatog with milk, I sure am gonna be delighted once I try… :D

    Feb 23, 2009 | 10:20 pm

     
  26. delle says:

    I wish you would publish the complete recipe of the binatog. It seems nobody sells binatog anymore , and I really missed it.Thanks so much.

    Mar 29, 2009 | 2:48 pm

     
  27. kayedanda says:

    i commented here almost a year ago about knowing manong joel. well, unfortunately, he doesn’t sell binatog in that spot anymore, and i am desperate to know where he transferred! can anyone tell me? i miss his binatog already :(

    May 30, 2009 | 10:31 am

     
  28. Craig says:

    Haha, I am from the United States and I have a friend in the Philippines. I told him I was having hominy one day and he asked me what it was. I had to tell him how it is maid then he said we call it binatog. I grew up eating it but my mom fixed it with salt, peper and butter. It was part of our main meal. When I found this site it opened my eyes to a new way to eat it. I am not sure if I will like it, sounds strange to me but it must be good because so many people have said they love it.

    Jun 12, 2009 | 12:11 am

     
  29. trisha says:

    hey guys..i am really craving for binatog but i dont know where to buy that one, our location dont have binatog vendors anymore. Is there a stand or restaurants or even fastfoods who are selling this one, Pls. let me know. Thank You.

    Aug 10, 2009 | 5:25 pm

     
 

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