03 May2007


An earlier post on kamias, iba or belimbing fruit resulted in a number of comments or references to the use the fruit in a dried form or even as a candy (whose manufacture is apparently rather labor intensive). So when I spotted this large bottom screened tray of super plump kamias drying by a Batangas roadside last week, I promptly stopped the car, jumped out with my camera, and to the amusement of construction workers a few feet away, started snapping these photos. I never got to talk to the owner of the drying kamias, so I wasn’t able to get any details on how long it would have to stay under the unbelievably hot sun, nor how they would eventually store it. My guess is 2-3 days in the blistering heat would be about right unless these are supposed to be wickedly parched when done. I do wonder if they are stored in salt or just in bottles like one might store sun-dried tomatoes. I was a bit surprised that the kamias weren’t covered with screen and the hoard of flies that were on the fruit when I approached kindly vanished while I took the photos…

It seems the dried kamias are a critical ingredient for sinaing na tulingan, small mackerel kam2that are filleted or not and stewed in a clay pot wrapped in banana leaves and alternatingly layered with dried kamias and filled with water. There are similar treatments or recipes involving galunggong as well. I have never had sinaing na tulingan but it is supposed to be rather good. The dried kamias must have an impressive “sour quotient” and would be perfect for souring soup broths and other dishes when the rains have arrived and fresh sampalok, kamias, green mangoes, etc. are no longer available. These must also make for a really lip-smacking sinigang na isda…



  1. elaine says:

    I’m not much of a kamias person. The only time I got to make myself eat kamias was when it was “candied” or the ones dunked in syrup, and the kamias were dried if i remember, similar to the bottled sun-dried tomatoes like you mentioned. Having a sweet tooth, that’s the closest I can get to really eating the fruit(?)

    May 3, 2007 | 5:45 am


  2. Notice: Undefined variable: oddcomment in /home/marketman/marketmanila.com/wp-content/themes/marketmanila-v2/comments.php on line 33
  3. sonia p, ner says:

    i have very little use for kamias but your photographs of the fruit are amazing! as usual. have you ever considered a second ( or is it third or fourth?) career as a photographer?

    May 3, 2007 | 5:52 am

  4. flip4ever says:

    Whenever my cousins came back from the Philippines, they would always bring dried kamias in order to make sinaing na tulingan here in So California. It is the one ingredient in this dish that is not available in Asian/Filipino stores (or at least that’s what they tell me). I haven’t really observed how they make it, I just eat the finished product. :)

    May 3, 2007 | 6:07 am

  5. Maria Clara says:

    In Christmas 2006, I was handed a fig Newton type of pastry that came from Bacolod City – the crust had the texture of the famous fig Newton and the filling was made out of sweetened dried kamias, dried mangoes and chopped cashew nuts. They were cut in one inch length in a log kind of fashion approximately one inch in diameter. They were indeed superb!

    May 3, 2007 | 6:16 am

  6. chris says:

    >I have never had sinaing na tulingan but it is supposed to be rather good.

    Sinaing na tulingan is good. Fried sinaing na tulingan is sublime.

    May 3, 2007 | 6:52 am

  7. bernadette says:

    I like the candied camias very much. I recall my father was able to cook such after having harvested a lot of camias from our tree. Unfortunately, the tree didn’t like to be stripped of all its fruits and refused to bear fruit for many years to come. Anyway, as children we would also eat those pulpy fruits with either plain salt or bagoong. I have also eaten something that looked like sinigang with camias but my Bicolana auntie says it is called cocido there. Thre are lots of dried kamias sold in the palengke so I will try that sinaing na tulingan or kamias with some other fish!

    May 3, 2007 | 7:55 am

  8. ThePseudoshrink says:

    Funny, there’s sinaing na tulingan being offered in the office cafeteria this morning. I passed though…doesn’t look too appealing to the palate. But then, what can I expect with canteen food?
    My parents usually make minatamis na kamias, and as with the candy, it’s so labor intensive. If memory serves, they prick and squeeze each kamias gently to get the juice out, soak overnight in water and a certain powder, and cook it on a “special” pan (tatcho? I think, it’s a copper pan) so the color won’t change. A well-cooked minatamis na kamias is chewy, green, and the taste is perfectly balanced between acidity and sweetness.

    May 3, 2007 | 8:22 am

  9. Ron says:

    We use our dried Kamias sa sinaing na tulingan with pork fat. Leftover tulingan is then fried, which is good with fried rice.

    May 3, 2007 | 8:41 am

  10. Bubut says:

    from the photo above, the kamias is not fully dried. My late mom would always dried those kamias up to the point that it is so thin that it looks like ‘fried dilis’. We kept it in a clean bottle and would use in sinaing na tulingan or paksiw na galunggong. A cousin from Batangas told me that they are selling the dried kamias at P100 to P200 a kilo, but before you can have 1 kilo, you need tons of fresh kamias.
    Please feature next the sinaing na tulingan!

    May 3, 2007 | 8:55 am

  11. mel says:

    MM, there several stalls selling sinaing na tulingan at Lung Center sunday market. The best really is the one with layers of pork fat. I guess the dust and other elements from the dried kamias adds flavor to it. We usually have it fried for breakfast, the best.

    May 3, 2007 | 9:04 am

  12. consol says:

    Let me provide an alternative to the tulingan. My husband taught me to prepare sinaing na salay-salay, a small type of fish with yellow points on its body. You need about a kilo of the fish; take out the innards as best as you can since the ‘neck’ is rather narrow, and you will puncture the stomach if you’re not careful (appearance counts). Slice the fresh kamias lengthwise. Dried ones will suffice if fresh ones are not available; how much you use depends on how sour you want the broth to be. Put a layer of kamias at the bottom of the palayok ( even the cast iron pot most people use to cook rice, or any old pot will do). Arrange the fish on top of the kamias. Alternate the kamias and fish layers until it reaches the middle of the pot. Add salt (a small fistfull, probably half a cup, depending on the amount of fish you use); put enough water to cover the fish. Let boil, then simmer until the fish bones are so soft. This dish gets better the day after; try it! A caveat, though: keep the pot tightly covered because (this is weird) fruit flies LOVE the stuff! The palayok we had didn’t provide the right protection, so several flies got comfy inside, arrrrggh!

    May 3, 2007 | 10:08 am

  13. denzki says:

    i always get free dried kamias whenever it is available and someone from our province comes to manila…this is what they do kapag sobrang dami ng kamias para hindi masayang at masira…i remember naman for bawang pag anihan at masyadong madami to the point na hindi magamit agad lahat at masisira lang, what we do is to peel it then sinasangag sa oil until mag-brown ng konti tapos palalamigin at ilalagay sa garapon kasama ung oil para ma-preserve…tapos dun na lang kami kumukuha ng pang-gisa namin

    May 3, 2007 | 10:15 am

  14. danney league says:

    Back in my hometown Sta. Rosa, Laguna, we always use kamias whenever we cook hipon sa gata. YUMMY!!. I will home in vacation this coming June 9, 2007. I can’t wait to eat pritong tilapia, guinataang kanduli, pritong biya and guinataang gulay.

    May 3, 2007 | 10:36 am

  15. Teresa says:

    Hi MM! my mouth is watering with just the mere mention of the name kamias. As a young child, I am always drawn to my uncle’s kamias tree next door. It’s such a delight to see those bunch of small green fruits. I love to pick them from the tree and eat them either soaked in vinegar and bagoong concoction or simply dipped in salt. The burst of extra-ordinary sourness in my mouth would prompt me to make a face ala Datu Puti but after that acidic sensation is gone, I am rewarded with such delight that is no other. I love sinigang whether sa kamatis, sa bayabas or sa sampaloc. But kamias sinigang is special. Your photo of dried kamias is making me miss kamias and sinigang so much. Since I became vegetarian in 1999, I’ve never had the chance to have another taste of that sour soup. I tried to make tufo sinigang but it’s not the same at all. Have a good week!

    May 3, 2007 | 12:12 pm

  16. TOPING says:

    Teresa, you are so right. Sinigang sa kamias is something else. I’m not into really sour sinigang, but with kamias it can be sublime.

    May 3, 2007 | 12:30 pm

  17. greengrapecake says:

    Oh MM, you are one of the few people i know who has not tried sinaing na tulingan! A lot of people actually like sinaing na tulingan, but I personally don’t. It’s very dry and I can’t seem to swallow the black meat of the tulingan. I don’t like the taste of it but ironically it’s that black meat that makes the tulingan so tasty… according to most, that is. For me, it doesn’t even come close to my favorite paksiw na galunggong with kamias. Yum yum!

    May 3, 2007 | 12:34 pm

  18. consol says:

    Oh I forgot to add this detail: Wrap the fish in banana leaves, two fish to a strip. I guess this is to prevent the fish from disintegrating totally when you let the entire pot simmer on the stove.

    May 3, 2007 | 12:37 pm

  19. ragamuffin girl says:

    the only time i eat kamias is when my mom-in-law makes a kamias dip sauteed with bagong that’s heavenly with fried fish and steamed rice. this is fresh kamias though, not dried. we used to have a kamias tree out back but i found it too sour.

    May 3, 2007 | 12:49 pm

  20. MasPinaSarap says:

    PIAS in Ilocano.

    It is available in whole frozen form by Masagana brand at many Filipino/Asian stores.

    May 3, 2007 | 12:52 pm

  21. kiwimayo says:

    I’m from Batangas and I love sinaing na tulingan. Specially with salad made of chopped tomatoes, sebuyas tagalog, salted duck’s egg,sliced paho(small green mango-like fruit) drizzled with the patis from the sinaing na tulingan

    May 3, 2007 | 2:13 pm

  22. tulip says:

    My grandma’s house in Batangas City is encircled with trees of Kamias. Dried Kamias is primarily used in Batangas for Sinaing na Tulingan but if it is fresh,it is good for Sinigang and as an appetizer, chopped and served with sinangag na fresh alamang is great.
    Grandma lays 2-3 handful of fresh Kamias in a large bilao. Enough that it isnt too crowded/full to evenly dry. She has an improvised cover, like a chicken wire or plastic bayong. Let it sit under the sun until it shrinks almost the size of anchovies.
    I never liked Sinaing if it wasnt cooked by my grandma or a native of Batangas. I guess their layering of dried kamias, tulingan, pork fats, added with very little water and salt cooked in low fire in a clay pot is just really different from how others cook it. For Sinigang my mom just cooked Sinigang na Panga ng Tuna using Kamias few days ago.

    May 3, 2007 | 4:02 pm

  23. Paco says:

    My first time to post although I’ve been reading your BLOG for sometime now. My parents were from Lobo, Batangas but I grew up in Quezon City and now living in California.When I was a kid I spent my summers in Lobo with my “Mamay and Nanay”. I remember this “Kamias drying process” done by my Nanay. It was dried(several days) until it was raisin-dry and stored until used for cooking sinigang/sinaing of all sorts.I love the sinaing na tulingan and pinais na isda with this ingredient.I also remember the kamias being rolled one at a time using a stone or wood roller to squeeze most of the juice out(can you imagine how labor intensive that was?), then, it was cooked in sugar syrup. It was stored in cooked sugar syrup like a preserve or re-dried and later served as sweetened kamias coated with sugar sprinkles.

    May 3, 2007 | 9:06 pm

  24. MrsKookie says:

    Ahhh… kamias. In our old house, there was a kamias tree that was “shared” between our neighbor and us. It was technically their tree but it grew right at the fence so we always got the fruit whenever available. It also helps that they’re family friends and they really didn’t mind if we got some. That was probably one reason why I liked (and still do) sour things. I used to eat this with salt until my mouth was all puckered up. Such childhood memories… I know it’s sometimes used in soups but I still love it raw.

    I haven’t tried sinigan na tulingan but tulingan is part of another childhood memory as an old busmate would always have it for lunch (it was cooked dry) but since she got so sick of it as it was always served in their house, I always got my weekly share. :)

    May 3, 2007 | 9:42 pm

  25. Dodi says:

    Hi MM!
    I love kamias as candy and yes, as they are in sinaing na tulingan. But I was just wondering, is belimbing the same as balimbing? I know that balimbing refers to that multi-sided fruit which looks like a star when cut crosswise but is also the monicker for our current crop of politicians! Out neighbor has a kamias tree which always has plenty of fruits we just pick out now and then.

    May 3, 2007 | 10:28 pm

  26. Apicio says:

    Probably close relatives. Balimbing and kamias trees can be mistaken for each other. Balimbing, also known as carambola these parts, is most likely applied as an apt epithet of contempt (for unprincipled pols) because the fruit is multi-faced. A shifting fine line sets apart someone who harnesses the wind whatever direction it blows from another who simply adopts himself to the prevailing trend and yet from another who wisely yields to a superior force. Remember MLQ’s “pliant like the molave” and Rizal’s “bajarse cuando pasa la bala no es cobardía.” Odd though that carambola meant a donnybrook when I was in high school.

    May 3, 2007 | 11:26 pm

  27. kulasa says:

    My sister in law makes kamias juice. It’s good and has just the right tart and sourness. I always have to have kamias with alamang. I’ve always wanted to have a kamias tree in the backyard but never found out where I can get a seedling. Any ideas?

    May 4, 2007 | 1:00 am

  28. pinky says:

    When I moved to the States from Manila in 1989 to join my husband in LA, we got pregnant with our second child right away. I was craving for fresh kamias so bad that everytime we visited the former Lorenzana Market in Vermont St (Ave?!?), I would check their produce for fresh ones (I didn’t know back then we don’t get fresh kamias here in the States) or their freezer and hoped for at least the frozen fresh. Never chanced on them and never got to satisfy my kamias craving.

    My mom and grandma prepared fresh kamias chopped up, mixed with bagoong siling labuyo, then paired with piniritong isda.

    May 4, 2007 | 3:33 am

  29. Paco says:

    Ahhh!… and I just remembered that in Batangas, Kamias is
    better known as “Kalamias”.

    May 4, 2007 | 3:37 am

  30. alilay says:

    yes paco, we call that kalamyas, in fact in our small town in batangas kalamyas candy and preserves are sold commercially but these are mostly done by housewives wanting to earn something. in our store, they will get sugar and they will pay for it with the finished product and the balance is paid in cash.

    May 4, 2007 | 5:18 am

  31. wil-b cariaga says:

    we have a kamias tree in our backyard in ilocos, so when my parents get up early on the weekends they visit the butcher to get young beef meat and cook it with fresh kamias, kinda like sinigang, i’m just not sure if the age of the cow qualify as veal. . . i have never seen dried kamias or tasted it in a dish. . .

    May 4, 2007 | 5:58 am

  32. Marketman says:

    Our kamias, iba or belimbing (Malay term, I believe) IS closely related to starfruit or balimbing (pinoy term, probably evolved from Malay belimbing, though for a different fruit). I have an earlier post on kamias here. It is amazing how much reaction this backyard fruit got…it is obviously a tart favorite and one that doesn’t receive enough attention in published cookbooks or recipes…

    May 4, 2007 | 10:39 am

  33. Daisy says:

    ngayon ko lang nalaman na ang belimbing pala ay kamias. Dahil alam ko nga po iba ang balimbing sa kamias– parang ang gulo hehehe. parang the chicken or the egg hehehe.

    thanks for doing the research. Because I’ve always known kamias as kamias and balimbing as balimbing.

    Masarap po sobra ang sinaing na tulingan lalo na kung slowly cooked at parang pitnitpit (flattened out? tama ba?) masarap lalo na pinirito after sinaing dahil na luto na sa vinegar sarap pag pinirito!

    haay kaya nga lokohan namin dito since your 173 entry kami ni Tatay ay naku “rotund” na tayo ahahahaha na pick up namin yan sa blog mo MM!

    May 4, 2007 | 11:46 pm

  34. Marketman says:

    Daisy, magkaiba and balimbing sa “belimbing.” Belimbing is the malay term for our kamias or iba, while “balimbing” is the Filipino term for starfruit…

    May 5, 2007 | 4:59 am

  35. edith says:

    Please po! Kelangan ko na sana agad ng recipe sa kending camias, naharvest ko na isang malaking kalderofull ng camias kasi nangangahulog na sa hammock sa ilalim ng puno at madami pang kukunin!

    me nilalagay na white powder pero di ko maalala, para
    ibabad doon ng ilang araw saka kinekendi!
    salamat po. ang galing ng kwentuhan nyo sa kamias, ngayon lang ako naligaw. ANY PICTURE PO NG TULINGAN?

    May 13, 2007 | 11:22 pm

  36. edith says:

    please po, kelangan ko sana ng recipe ng kending kamias, naghihintay na fresh harvest ko na kalderofull. me white powder nilalagay pero di ko maalala kung ano to. then you wait for a few days, wash it off and cook as candy.


    May 13, 2007 | 11:26 pm

  37. Melaki says:

    I love Kamias! That is what I missed when I went here in the U.S. I was so glad when I’ve learned that my relatives in Hawaii got a Kamias tree in their backyard. That is the firsst fruit I craved. I just ate it with salt. I love the crunchiness ang the sour tingle to your pallete.

    Oct 10, 2007 | 3:01 am

  38. Joel Piring says:

    I just would like to ask your help to produce or give the recipe/procedure in making kamias candies?



    Mar 6, 2008 | 4:37 pm

  39. Marketman says:

    Joel, sorry, I have never made kamias candy…

    Mar 6, 2008 | 4:44 pm

  40. dragon says:

    I don’t know if it was candied kamias I had when I was young(er)—everytime I’d visit a granny in Sta. Catalina Ilocos Sur years ago, my pabaon was always kamias prunes/pruned camias. I was too young to be interested in the process and she had long since passed away….

    May 30, 2008 | 9:32 am

  41. Athens says:

    Edith, i think the white powder u are asking is “apog” ingredients for “nga-nga” like preservatives… soak for whole night and wash it b4 u put in sugar caramel…taste like prunes…Try it…

    Oct 18, 2008 | 4:01 pm

  42. majase says:

    cno powh may alam kung paano gumawa ng canhy out of kalamias,,,,,plzzz naman powh,,,,

    kelangan koh lang talaga,,,


    Nov 17, 2008 | 6:53 pm

  43. randommax says:

    does anybody here know where i can buy candied kamias?? =)

    Jul 22, 2009 | 11:07 am

  44. debbie r enarle says:

    hello!, someone has mentioned that kamias has not been given enough attention in cookbooks/recipes, and that’s very true. We will soon correct that, though. We had just formed an NGO called Practical Research Institute & Enterprise Development (PRIED), and we have identified kamias as second-in-line in our list of priorities in micro food production–towards future food security and poverty alleviation. Second only to breadfruit (kolo/rimas) and breadnut (camansi). And we will be writing/publishing a recipe book containing old (and oftentimes abandoned & forgotten)and new recipes for these fruits, as well as other fruits such as tiesa, mabolo,paho, erc. We are into discovering and promoting all sorts of marginalized /underutilized tropical fruits. Within two years’ time, if you all could wait for it…

    Sep 24, 2009 | 2:12 pm


Market Manila Home · Topics · Archives · About · Contact · Links · RSS Feed

site design by pixelpush

Market Manila © 2004 - 2021