24 Oct2007


The acronym is the same as the previous post for the Southern dish Kadyos, Baboy at Langka, but the Northern KBL stands for Kamatis, Bagoong at Lasona. This relish or condiment or side dish of sliced tomatoes, fish sauce and sliced onions appears often at an Ilocano meal, and it is eaten along with bagnet or other fried dishes, in the same way that other regions rely on vinegar or patis as a sawsawan or dip. In these photos I have a homemade KBL served with utterly delicious homemade bagnet as well. Personally, I like the pairing a lot, despite a personal preference for a more acidic or vinegary sawsawan or dipping sauce in general. But others who are unused to the fishy aftertaste of the fish sauce tend to steer away from this concoction.


The fish sauce used here is typically the murky, cloudy version, rather than the clear patis from Malabon. Perhaps I am more inclined to like this relish or dip because my dad used to eat a very similar mixture of tomatoes, guinamos and sili or chili. And when he really got into it, he was smushing the tomatoes and really making a salsa of sorts to go with inihaw na baboy or a whole grilled fish, and usually this meant he was eating kamayan style (using bare hands instead of utensils). Talk about pungent fingers after the meal!



  1. Maria Clara says:

    I like my KBL with steamed and strained bagoong balayan – salted fish and chopped red onion or sweet onion with lechon kawali or bagnet. It is heaven at the dining table. Another sawsawan I really like with my lechon kawali is fresh hand torn mustasa with vinegar, chopped red onion, tomatoes and steamed and strained bagoong balayan with tons of piping hot steamed rice. After this table enjoyment, I need to walk around like Forrest Gump to burn off the calories no more room at the waist or thigh areas.

    Oct 24, 2007 | 7:22 am


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  3. bedazzle says:

    Being married to an Ilocano, I was introduced to KBL the first time we went to his hometown in Isabela. This does appear almost always during every meal and I’ve learned to love this side dish. Sometimes nga KBL lang okay na sa akin kahit walang ulam basta may mainit na kanin. :)

    Oct 24, 2007 | 7:26 am

  4. misao says:

    i like this with any inihaw or fried dishes… but i like my bagoong alamang (shrimp fry/paste).

    Oct 24, 2007 | 7:31 am

  5. Mila says:

    I like adding a couple of siling labuyo to the dip; if the bagoong is particularly pungent I add some sukang iloko to even out the brineyness (sic). And it definitely has to be eaten kamayan, tons of steamed rice, and maybe even on a banana leaf.

    Oct 24, 2007 | 8:14 am

  6. Apicio says:

    Or a squeeze of calamansi should be able to offset bagoong’s fishy after-taste and indeed also play up to your preference for acidic sawsawan. Nothing but certain proprietary pharmaceutical can check bagnet’s dreaded principal component though.

    Oct 24, 2007 | 8:19 am

  7. dhayL says:

    MM, what is “Lasona” if I may ask?

    Oct 24, 2007 | 9:51 am

  8. Silly Lolo says:

    These last few posts indicate to me that the average life expectancy of a basic Pinoy is probably around 29 1/2 weeks! You guys are serious eaters!

    And that Maria Clara girl knows how to do serious damage. I’m dining with her—she’s HOT!

    Oct 24, 2007 | 10:16 am

  9. Marketman says:

    Silly Lolo, if I am not mistaken Maria Clara is on the West Coast… dhayL, lasona is the onions, I presume. Apicio, yes, kalamansi would be nice, or spicy vinegar as Mila suggests. Misao, yes, it is good with bagoong made with shrimp fry. Bedazzle, I can see how the KBL could become an ulam or viand. MC, the mustasa salad is bracing and delicious with something deep fried…

    Oct 24, 2007 | 10:20 am

  10. blue says:

    there’s no better way to eat grilled foods but “kamayan style”, and of course mashing the tomatoes in the relish or dip goes with it..my brother hates it when i do that with all the tomato juice squirting everywhere and of course the fish sauce leaves a very pungent smell..but it taste oh-like-heaven and i wouldn’t mind doing it again and again..

    Oct 24, 2007 | 10:32 am

  11. Kai says:

    In Pangasinan we use alamang with kamatis, not bagoong, so we don’t have a problem with the fishy aftertaste, and it’s much better eating kamayan style then sucking on your fingers afterwards. Lasuna is the super pungent tiny purple Ilocano onions that tingle your tongue for hours on end after the meal.

    Oct 24, 2007 | 10:54 am

  12. choy says:

    what great timimg! the wife just made bagnet last sunday, using your recipe which i printed out for her (she’s the cook I’m the researcher and taster). daghang salamat for that!

    it was utterly delectable. the skin was crisp and the meat chewily tender and tasty. the dip of kamatis, sibuyas and bagoong balayan was equally enjoyable. i cleaned everything up with the fervent vow to behave better the next few days.

    by the way, it’s really curious…in waray, lasona is garlic. while i do know that in some dialects it’s onions. would anyone know the actual etymology?

    Oct 24, 2007 | 1:39 pm

  13. allen says:

    Lasona is the same as shallots, right? or spring onions/ I’m confused!

    Oct 24, 2007 | 2:21 pm

  14. Ebba Myra says:

    With many Pinoy here in Houston, lechon and bagnets became a common commodity that even in Vietnamese stores, they started selling it by pounds, and I am one of the weekly buyer. I will have it chopped and at home will have this KBL mixed, not knowing that they do the same in some regions. I thought it was just me who concoted what I thought was a great fusion of sawsawan. And yes, when the bagoong is too salty, I add some wine vinegar, or calamansi if I have some. Oh, gosh, sometimes, I add some itlog na maalat with the meal. While reading this postings, I came across an old post of yours about kamayan and using banana leaves for table cover or plate, and I decided that from now on, instead of buying styrofoam paper plate, I will use banana leaves instead for environmental purposes and look. I bet my 2 grandkids will love this set-up, and it will make everybody eat at the table, instead of taking their food in front of the TV or somewhere in the house. I’ll spread the whole 1/2 of the leaves instead of cuttng them round.

    Oct 24, 2007 | 2:51 pm

  15. cherub96 says:

    When I was a kid, I used to prepare fresh tomatoes, guinamos (Ilonggo bagoong) and calamansi as ulam when I am not in the mood for any of the viands available at home. Served on top of hot, steaming rice with grilled fresh tulingan, it was absolute indulgence.

    Oct 24, 2007 | 4:30 pm

  16. zena says:

    That pairing sounds absolutely heavenly. I just had fried tilapia with tomatoes and bagoon alamang. Kamayan style, of course. I wish i had the gumption to do the bagnet at home. My mom makes big eyes at me whenever there is even a hint of deep-frying anything.

    Oct 24, 2007 | 8:15 pm

  17. kaye says:

    this is how i also eat fried or grilled meat! i also love this with the local veggies steamed or boiled like eggplant, okra and talbos.. am getting hungry again!

    Oct 24, 2007 | 11:04 pm

  18. mrs m says:

    kbl mixed with finely tinadtad na manggang hilaw – – this is superb dip also. i like this dip with inihaw na tahong or halbos na hipon.

    Oct 25, 2007 | 8:41 am

  19. millet says:


    Oct 25, 2007 | 8:55 am

  20. choy says:

    ok, just got the answer to my own question on what the etymology of lasona is. googled it, and found out it’s actually from the sanskrit “lasuna” which means garlic! anyway, in waray, it is also pronounced “lasuna”. so there.

    Oct 25, 2007 | 11:38 am

  21. Marketman says:

    choy, how interesting that it became onions or shallots in the North… from garlic elsewhere. Or do I have the term wrong in KBL???

    Oct 25, 2007 | 12:10 pm

  22. leila antonio says:

    No Mr. MM, you got it right. Onion/shallots/spring onions is lasona in ilocos and for us ilocanos. Yes, it is interesting indeed that “lasuna” which means garlic became onions or shallots in the North. Whatever, it is a deadly combination. Kain na!

    Oct 25, 2007 | 1:18 pm


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