25 Nov2008


As if having binagoongang lechon kawali wasn’t deadly enough, when I spied the fat and bagoong left in the pan, I decided to heat it up again, then chopped and added some 10-15 large sour kamias, iba, belimbing (no, not balimbing) and added it to the pan to saute them for a minute or two with another tablespoon or two of bagoong. This was a bit oily, but it was utterly deicious. Sour, soft and salty at the same time. Some folks would treat this as “ulam” or a viand, but I thought it was a brilliant condiment or side dish to the pork. I’m not sure if this is a Visayan thing, but I recall it from my childhood somehow.


The next time I do this I would use less oil and it would SEEM healthier, I think… I also like raw kamias with bagoong or salt, but somehow in my advanced years, the flavor of sauteed kamias seems more palatable. Now if you are a true blue kamias lover, I should have succeeded in triggering your salivary glands by now… :)



  1. siopao says:

    add coconut milk and this would be perfect

    Nov 25, 2008 | 1:42 pm


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  3. esther says:

    Yes,you have succeeded.. I have a question though, where do you get nice plump kamias?

    Nov 25, 2008 | 3:01 pm

  4. Quillene says:


    What is belimbing?

    Nov 25, 2008 | 3:31 pm

  5. Edik says:

    sarap pang-ulam sa tirang kanin (bahaw for bisaya). yum.

    Nov 25, 2008 | 3:52 pm

  6. kittyM says:

    We have a kamias tree at work and I always wanted to do something with them since we always have alot of it.I will try this one for sure!Thanks for the idea!

    Nov 25, 2008 | 4:46 pm

  7. Maki says:

    Sure did MM, My salivary gland is working right now… I tasted this one before but not with bagoong, it was just sauted with garlic…. lotsa garlic… i like garlic though…


    lami pud ni sa bahaw.. wow…

    Nov 25, 2008 | 4:51 pm

  8. bernadette says:

    gee…sure am salivating! I usually add sugar with the vinegar and bagoong when i cook kalamiyas or kamias. I usually give it as a gift to a neighbor nearby kasi she considers it sooo special!

    Nov 25, 2008 | 5:26 pm

  9. Lex says:

    I do not know what the English term is for kamias or belimbeng. I know it is “iba” in Ilongo. I have never seen an English equivalent. Does anyone know?

    Nov 25, 2008 | 5:49 pm

  10. marissewalangkaparis says:

    Sarap….I can just taste the sour-salty combination…good with fried fish…or hot,hot rice. Lami..

    Nov 25, 2008 | 5:56 pm

  11. deska says:

    at home, we usually saute fresh alamang (not the bagoong) with chopped garlic, onions, tomatoes and few slivers of ginger. Once cooked (tomatoes are totally wilted)and the dish almost dry, we stir in lots of sliced fresh kamias and cover the pan for a minute or so. The residual heat will cook the kamias a bit. Since i like my kamias “malutong”, my kamias is not mixed with the hot alamang guisado.

    Nov 25, 2008 | 6:41 pm

  12. ragamuffin girl says:

    my mom in law does this, and it’s so, so good! “carpenter” rice ang katapat!

    Nov 25, 2008 | 6:58 pm

  13. Connie C says:

    MM you are vicious…..salivary glands on super drive all right!

    My husband’s blood tests came back; prediabetic and abnormal lipid panel. Not trying to be a kill joy but folks out there who can’t control, just watch out especially with holidays coming. Temperance is still a virtue, but some others would say, “who cares?” or….. “follow your bliss”?

    Nov 25, 2008 | 8:30 pm

  14. maryjoan says:

    pagkalami! MM you really are an expert on making our salivary glands go on overdrive. wicked! aside from cooked as an appetizer, kamias was our helper’s best friend in removing stains from white shirts because of the fruit’s high oxalic acid content. tanggal mantsa without bleach! My mom also cleans her brass decors from Mindanao with kamias, they instantly shine. DOH in Davao also makes an herbal soap made out of pure kamias which a lot of buyers swear makes their skin whiter and smoother. what a blessing if you have this multi-purpose fruit in your backyard!

    Nov 25, 2008 | 8:40 pm

  15. butsoy says:

    I remember “kamias” being used in different ways when I was a kid.we had a tree that would not stop giving fruits, so my mother would use them practically everyday- as a substitute for tamarind for “pangat” dishes, as dessert, yep it’s sour fruit but my mother would soak it and dry it out and cooked in sugar, it becomes like prunes or dates. then we also use it as garnishing for “pancit bukid” (kapangpangans know this, it’s pancit guisado with the most minimum ingredients , no vegetables, pancit with dried shrimp and topped with sliced kamias, oh man! that’s the best pancit ever !it’s very simple , di nakakasawa like the regular pancit which i find very oily…We would use kamias also for cleaning our fingers when you use your kamays for eating… Hay….I miss that tree, it’s long gone to make way for building another house in our lot…I miss home too especially now that it’s the holidays……HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!

    Nov 25, 2008 | 10:31 pm

  16. ariel says:

    kamias is really good for pancit luglug and with a side dish of barbecue. use the kamias for pang pasim instead of kalamansi. sarap.

    Nov 26, 2008 | 4:57 am

  17. Dean says:

    I use dried kamias for pinangat (tulingan or GG) – sarap! Also, as souring agent for nilagang dried kadyos…sarap!

    Nov 26, 2008 | 5:14 am

  18. evelinago says:

    MM, you are truly very cruel – where can I get Kamias and Belimbing here in Melbourne?! Napapalunok na lang ako..aaarhg!

    Nov 26, 2008 | 5:21 am

  19. ted says:

    I use lots of kamias and whole cherry tomatoes when doing pangat na pompano, with a twist, i put about 1/4 cup of olive oil in the last 5minutes of cooking/simmering.

    Nov 26, 2008 | 6:18 am

  20. dragon says:

    Kamias…when we moved to our own place 25 years ago, there was a thriving kamias tree and a guava tree (native) in our otherwise empty backyard. Other than using kamias for sinigang, it was also used as a side (chopped fresh mixed with either alamang (regular or spicy) or, tomato, onion, salt). Eventually, Mom made kamias juice out of it until she decided to chop down the tree (home renovation). The best kamias “product” I’ve had was kamias prunes which one of my grandmothers from Sta Catalina Ilocos Sur used to make. Unfortunately I was not inclined to try and learn to make it at that time and my makers of kamias prunes and kamias juice have now joined their Maker…

    Nov 26, 2008 | 7:06 am

  21. RoBStaR says:

    I never had this dish but jsut the word kamias triggers uncontrollable salivary production… my lola use to make a dessert version of it almost jam consistency..but I prefer fresh picked with a lil handful of rock salt… yummm.

    Nov 26, 2008 | 7:22 am

  22. Quillene says:

    a, okay… question answered… sorry…. Rx must’ve got to my brain…

    Nov 26, 2008 | 8:57 am

  23. estella says:

    when i visited my parents’ home in 2005, i was surprised to see
    a kamias tree loaded with fruits and a giant indian mango tree also loaded with fruits. they were not there when i was growing up at my parents’ house. i like burong kamias, but the way that you cooked them, mm, makes me crave for them. i’ll be there next month so hopefully, kamias will still be in season…

    Nov 26, 2008 | 9:51 am

  24. shalum says:

    yummy! balimbing?!? wow!

    Nov 26, 2008 | 1:09 pm

  25. lyna says:

    MM & QUillene, in Bahasa Melayu language, Belimbing is actually starfruit. [same as our balimbing]

    Nov 26, 2008 | 2:32 pm

  26. TINA says:

    Hi MM. This post triggered childhood memories. My late grandmother used to cook gatang kamias with lots of sili. She would squeeze the juices out of fresh kamias to remove bitterness and minimize sourness then mix with bagoong, sili, onions and then simmer over low heat until almost dry and creamy. Sarap!

    Nov 26, 2008 | 4:53 pm

  27. Joey Pacheco says:

    hey! pinoy chutney!:-)

    Nov 26, 2008 | 9:47 pm

  28. jules says:

    naalala ko pa nung kabataan ko hindi ito mawawala sa aming tanghalian. haay! namimiss ko tuloy mama ko.. btw cguro my visayan origin to na dish kasi common sa amin to sa cebu pang compliment sa adobo.

    Nov 28, 2008 | 2:31 pm

  29. Lor says:

    Oh maaan, I remember kamias. When I was a kid, my grandparents had an old kamias tree in their backyard. I remember picking up handfuls of unripe kamias, and eating them raw with rough sea salt. I had (and still do!) a real fetish for mouth puckeringly sour fruit.

    My mouth is watering and puckering at the memory.

    Nov 29, 2008 | 1:33 am

  30. jun says:

    belimbing is a Malay or bahasa Indonesia term for kamias. believe it or not it kamias actually originated in indonesia. It is also widely used for cooking throughout Asia.

    Nov 29, 2008 | 1:18 pm

  31. Lizzy says:

    I remember this from my childhood in Leyte. My mom, who grew up in Cebu, used to make this same dish. We had a belimbing tree in our yard, although we called it “iba”. The trunk was almost always covered with fruit, unusual for a tree to bear fruit on its trunk, which is why I remember it.

    Hi, MM. I’m enjoying your blog immensely. I’m having fun discovering your wonderful old posts.

    Dec 9, 2008 | 2:19 pm


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