27 Feb2011


I have been meaning to try my hand at cooking Kansi, that Ilonggo soup that seems like a cross between a beef nilaga and a sinigang, uniquely soured with batuan. But without the batuan, this plan was on hold… As if reading my mind, a friend “M” just dropped off this veritable bounty of batuan at our doorstep, some 3-4 kilos worth of fresh, green and young fruit. Still sticky with sap and including lots of fresh leaves, these fruit were probably still on their trees less than 24 hours ago! So before I take my maiden attempt at Kansi, does anyone have any tips? I gather a deep, rich beef broth is an essential part of a great Kansi. While most recipes just suggest boiling the beef, I am wondering if first browning the beef and bones in a hot oven will provide more flavor and a darker broth. I also wonder if beef shank is the best cut to use, or a mixture of shank and beef brisket is better, to ensure lots of meat and yet still have the bone flavor and marrow as well.


Many recipes seem to include tomatoes, and I like tomatoes, but is it more “authentic” not to include them? Is it just preference of the cook in this case? I have the lemongrass and other aromatics as well. Is the achuete oil just for aesthetics and color or is it an essential part of the flavor profile as well? I never thought of achuete as having much flavor, but I could be wrong. And here’s a truly dumb question from a non-Ilonggo — do I just throw in the whole batuan unpeeled into the broth? Or do I peel it? Or mash it all up when it’s soft? Does the skin detract from the broth? Finally, with the unripe langka I have seen it included in large whopping chunks or in smaller pieces, any counsel as to the ideal size of slices of langka? Any suggestions you guys might have would be greatly appreciated. I plan to make this for lunch tomorrow, Monday. :)


Meanwhile, afraid that I won’t be able to use up all of the batwan before it spoils, I just tried to preserve some by brining them in a glass jar that I will keep in the fridge for a few weeks. I picked out nearly uniform sized fruit and removed their stems, washed them well and placed them in a sterilized glass jar. Next, I boiled a few cups of water and added about 1/4 cup of salt and stirred until dissolved. I poured the boiling water over the batuan in the bottle and will wait for the liquid to cool before putting it in the fridge. Notice how the color of the batuan skins turn olive green, this just seconds after we poured in the hot water. I am hoping this will preserve the distinctive sour flavor of batwan though I understand they could get quite salty in the process. If it works, I will be able to savor batuan in dishes for weeks to come. Thanks “M” for the specially delivered Batuan!



  1. Kittel says:

    love eating kansi..esp here in bacolod..unfortunately never tried doing this myself.From what I see at restos, they would boil away the meat for hours on end and this will be the base of the soup..

    Feb 27, 2011 | 4:43 pm


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  3. RobKSA says:

    i remember kansi to be made of beef shank, of course the usual ilongo ingredients like green langka and tanglad should be there. otherwise, you cook it just like any sinigang. if up to me, i would love to use beef shank and kalitiran for this. my tummy is grumbling :-)

    Feb 27, 2011 | 8:07 pm

  4. weng says:

    My manang is an ilonggo and what she does is cook the batuan with pata and kadyos with langka. she boils the pata until tender and drop the batuan in the soup to boil. When it floats she will press this on the strainer. and get the juice out. like sampaloc
    they call this the KBL

    Feb 27, 2011 | 8:09 pm

  5. millet says:

    this is lee’s dream post! lee, are you there?

    Feb 27, 2011 | 9:29 pm

  6. stella says:

    beef shank, not boiled to death but simmered slowly until the meat is tender…in our household, we used a pinch of achuete fried in oil with a little garlic and onion, and the batuan was just washed and dropped in the broth as is, no peeling but smashed …oh my, I MISS Kansi!
    and i love the brined batuan as well.. I wonder what the scientific name if batuan is, and if it is grown here…

    Feb 27, 2011 | 9:31 pm

  7. millet says:

    so jealous..am craving for sea bass “siniganged” in batuan.

    Feb 27, 2011 | 9:35 pm

  8. lee says:

    From what I have observed, batuan is dropped unpeeled in the cauldron and is mashed with a strainer, just like what weng mentioned in her comment.
    I have observed some cooks sauteeing garlic and onions in Achuete oil until brown. This achuetinted oil is then added to the broth during the latter part of the cooking.
    The kansihans use cube-like chunks of langka while some restaurants use slices that are half an inch thick.
    In a family meal when a bowl of kansi is served, spilled blood is thicker than broth. Marrow goes to the victors and cubes of langka for the vanquished younger siblings. It is difficult to be democratic and equal with kansi.
    Use the rest of your batuan stash for fish head sinigang/tinola. Namit. di ba Millet?

    Feb 27, 2011 | 11:13 pm

  9. lee says:

    I kansi clearly now the rain is gone. It’s gonna be a bright, bright sunshiny day.

    Feb 27, 2011 | 11:13 pm

  10. betty q. says:

    …am not like Lee who”kansi clearly now…..” but this is comfort food on this cold, snowing, cloudy day! But if I were to make this, I think I will use ox tails, beef neck bones and shank. I will blanch them first, and then brown them in Lee’s atchuete garlic infused oil. Don’t have kansi, so I will turn this today into BEEF BORSCHT by adding a bit of dill pickle brine at the end.

    Feb 28, 2011 | 12:05 am

  11. isabel says:

    i used to see these kansihans at libertad market in bacolod city on my way to school. but we buy our kansi at Shopping now whenever i go home for a break.

    we used to have a neighbor who sold kansi and she once showed how it’s done. first, saute some garlic in a huge caldero, then brown the beef shank in the oil, add water and boil until the beef becomes tender, making sure the floating scum is removed at intervals, until you have a clear broth. then the tanglad and batuan are added. the asuete is prepared two ways: sauteed in oil then added to the broth, or soaked in a little of the broth until the broth becomes red colored then added to the pot. the langka chunks are added last and once tender, the seasonings are adjusted. then the kansi is ready to serve. it all depends on the preference of the cook though. i guess whatever works…

    Feb 28, 2011 | 12:50 am

  12. KUMAGCOW says:

    Perfect with pata! Just ate this a while ago.. Mom is from Bacolod-Maao area =)

    Feb 28, 2011 | 2:33 am

  13. betty q. says:

    On second thought, MM, had an AHA mooment whle coming home from Church, ….though I have never had the opportunity to use kansi, maybe it would work like cooking the beef like Pochero …using sofrito and then soured with kansi…you will have a rich thick-looking beef broth, reddish-brownish in color just like Mamou’s sinigang that you have posted, what do you think?

    For me, forget about Beef BOrscht…it is Pochero for supper without kansi ( don’t know where to get it!)

    Feb 28, 2011 | 3:52 am

  14. Jack Congson says:

    This is the best recipe I saw on the internet that makes a lot of “food sense”


    I will try this myself. I totally agree with the blogger that pressure cooking is the best way to go to melt all the delicious tendons and gelatin of the shank and the knee.

    Feb 28, 2011 | 4:37 am

  15. natie says:

    oh YUM..this inspired me to boil the pig’s feet i have here to a kansi “wanna-be”. just not the same without the batuan..

    MM, here are some famous dives in Iloilo City serving remarkable kansi/pata–courtesy of my pal from Flavours of Iloilo.. i have eaten “take-out” from Andres’, and it’s good..another place is Patpat’s or Pat’s in Jaro.



    Feb 28, 2011 | 7:45 am

  16. natie says:

    MM, haven’t really cooked kansi, but hope these pictures give you more ingredients…seems this Kansihan I mentioned before also add Siling Haba..again, photos courtesy of Flavours of Iloilo.


    Feb 28, 2011 | 7:55 am

  17. kitchen says:

    the broth should have onions, lemongrass ginger and anatto.

    Feb 28, 2011 | 8:45 am

  18. Marketman says:

    It’s been gurgling away for two hours now and looks and smells amazing so far… I have my fingers crossed… :) Thanks everyone for all those tips and links and suggestions. Lee, I was in stitches with your comment(s).

    Feb 28, 2011 | 10:04 am

  19. Jeff says:

    can’t wait for the result MM!

    Feb 28, 2011 | 10:59 am

  20. Kittel says:

    hmmm..i think i kansi myself going over to Shopping and getting myself a bowl of Sharyn’s Kansi for lunch…

    Feb 28, 2011 | 11:03 am

  21. mojito drinker says:

    have you tried the kansi in patpat’s? they have a branch around kamagong and on pasong tamo

    Feb 28, 2011 | 11:47 am

  22. Deedee says:

    A simple paksiw ng ulo ng Tanguige using Batuan as the souring ingredient. Heaven.

    Feb 28, 2011 | 11:54 am

  23. lorna says:

    i love this site, i am learning a lot from you guys. thanks MM. keep it up.

    Feb 28, 2011 | 12:39 pm

  24. akosistella says:

    Pls pls pls post your recipe asap, MM! A friend also sent me batwan and I’ve been hunting for a good kansi recipe for a week already. Mom used some for her sinigang na baka, I had to mash those babies for her. My right arm is all muscle now, ach. ;p

    Feb 28, 2011 | 2:14 pm

  25. palangga says:

    i miss my mom’s kansi. we’re both ilonggas and I always prefer her home-made kansi over restaurant kansis. Though there is one resto they found back home that cooks the same quality of kansi as hers.
    Back home, whenever she cooks kansi, she would cook it over a charcoal stove for about several hours (I don’t know how many hours maybe 3 or so) but I could just remember that we would know that it’s cooked because some of the meat and marrow would float in the soup…
    This would be on my list of “To-eats” when i go home….
    Am looking forward to the pics your kansi Mr. MM!

    Feb 28, 2011 | 3:43 pm

  26. kasseopeia says:

    @mojito drinker: they (Patpat’s) also have a branch along Aguirre Ave going into BF Pque… in the same arcade as Sinangag Express.

    While this store does not have langka chunks in its soup, I think the sourness of the broth is derived more from pinakurat than batuan. I may be wrong, though, so please spare me and my pedestrian kansi-deprived tastebuds the rod. Hehe…

    Feedback from an Ilonggo friend: her mom does not include kamatis but the batuan is dropped as soon as the broth boils, is fished out, mashed to oblivion and added back into the soup as it continues to simmer. Langka is in “pieces” about one to 1.5 square inches in area and range from 0.25 to 0.5 inches thick. But friend prefers it without the langka, whereas I would prefer it HAD sangkatutak na langka. And made with both brisket and shank (but more of the former) … and a bit of oxtail ala betty q for that lip smacking goodness.

    Tummy grumbling =(

    Feb 28, 2011 | 5:01 pm

  27. Marketman says:

    The results were nothing short of superb. SUPERB. :) Post up soon.

    Feb 28, 2011 | 5:09 pm

  28. RoBStaR says:


    By Canning the batuans, does this mean that the can now be brought to the US and labeled as pickled fruit? or bottled? and can pass through US customs under such labels?

    Mar 3, 2011 | 11:32 pm

  29. Marketman says:

    Robstar, EJC farms has batuan brined and bottled. Those should make it through customs in the U.S. ports, I would think. If they aren’t already in stores in the U.S…

    Mar 4, 2011 | 7:36 am


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