Here is Marketmanilaâ€™s final piece on Budbud Kabog. Seems most of the guests at the EB who have left a comment enjoyed the budbud kabog that I gave out as a parting present. I wasn’t going to post this recipe until early December as part of my Christmas entries, but I figured I should put it earlier in case you wanted to practice. I made that batch of around 300 pieces from a recipe taught to me my Manang Lima, a budbud vendor in Mandaue, Cebu who has been selling this delicacy for 30+ years. A few weeks ago she graciously agreed to come to my office in Cebu and in our makeshift kitchen out back, she spent 4 hours teaching me how to make her special budbud from start to finish with lots of helpful tips in between. She also graciously agreed that I could publish her recipe and felt strongly, as I do, that delicacies such as these should be preserved for future generations. This type of suman is her most expensive retail item, and as such, fewer and fewer people are purchasing itâ€¦ but she still makes it 2-3 times a week and for special orders of 100 pieces or more. At PHP7 each retail, and less if you buy by the hundred (PHP500-600), her budbuds are among the best I have tasted, clearly a hand-made labor of love. Readers in Cebu or those passing through that city are strongly encouraged to give her a call (details below) to order this specialty for the upcoming holidays. A more genuine, humble, passionate and dedicated food artisan, I have rarely come acrossâ€¦
If readers recall, I struggled to figure out a recipe for budbud kabog from scratch. I found this recipe on the net (Recipezaar) and tried it but it didnâ€™t quite work for me and I continued to experiment. After a half dozen attempts and a lot of wasted millet, I finally settled on â€œMarketmanâ€™s version,â€ the recipe here. But I still wanted to have the half-day tutorial from Manang Lima to see if I could improve on the recipe. I am proud to say my recipe (figured out through reverse engineering or trial and error) wasnâ€™t too far from Manangâ€™s but I still got definitive information on the process and stepsâ€¦ For your information, I compared the ingredients used in the three recipes below and you can choose which one suits you best (though I do not recommend the one found on Recipezaar). But first, let me describe the method of Manang before I give you the ingredients. First, rinse your dry millet in clean water, doing this two to three times and removing any obvious foreign matter.
Next, take two kilos of grated coconut (not weighing the shells) and to this add the water specified below (9-10 cups for Manangâ€™s recipe) and smush it with your hands and extract the coconut milkâ€¦
Strain the coconut milk into a medium or large kawali (though I found a nice enameled Le Crueset pot worked better as heat was more evenly distributed) and turn the heat on to medium high and wait until the milk starts to bubble and boil, roughly 10 minutes, depending on how hot your stove isâ€¦
Add the rinsed millet after the coconut milk reaches a boil and stir frequently to avoid it sticking to the bottom of the pan. The millet will slowly absorb the coconut milk and start to grow in volumeâ€¦ Lower the heat at this point.
Keep stirring until light beads of sweat form in your armpits :), and after about 15 minutes since adding the dry millet, add your sugar and keep stirring another 20 minutes or so until you notice the â€œlanaâ€ or clear coconut oil has formed. It will be a rather thick sludge and you will be sweating by now after working out your arms and shoulders (estimated cooking time after the milk reaches its initial boil is about 30 minutes; adjust heat to medium or lower to prevent burning). Make sure the millet does not stick to the bottom of the pan by constantly stirring. Itâ€™s more physically demanding than making a risottoâ€¦
Take it off the fire and after catching your breath for 3-5 minutes, place about a tablespoon worth of the mixture on pre-heated and cut banana leaves and roll them up nice and tight.
Place this all in a steamer and steam for about 75-80 minutes. Let this cool, wipe the budbud down (banana leaves sometimes have a bit of muck after cooking) and serve this cool. It will keep a day or two outside of the fridge, a few more days if refrigerated and several weeks if frozen soon after you cook and cool it. While I love Manangâ€™s recipe, I do tend to gravitate a bit more to my own as it has a little less sugar and a little more richness from additional coconut milkâ€¦but if I were you, do something right in the middle of Manangâ€™s and Marketmanâ€™s recipe and you should be very happy! I have converted all the recipes to a one kilo amount (5 cups) of millet so you can compare across the three. With just 3-4 ingredients, its amazing how challenging this recipe was to get right!
Manang Lima’s Recipe
Millet – 5 cups
Water added to grated coconut – 9 to 10 cups
Sugar – 3.5 cups
Salt – None
Millet – 5 cups
Water added to grated coconut – 12 to 13 cups
Sugar – 2.5 cups
Salt – None
Millet – 5 cups
Water added to grated coconut – 15 cups
Sugar – 1.9 cups
Salt – 5 teaspoons
I have mentioned before that I thought the Recipezaar recipe was possibly borrowed without attribution from an earlier article by Pia Lim-Castillo on budbud kabog published in Food Magazine, and one of the clues is that the internet version seems to have been made with smaller amounts of ingredients, proportionately reduced, but the resulting servings are those of a much bigger recipe (unless the budbuds are the size of my pinky)â€¦
At any rate, I strongly encourage readers to patronize vendors such as Manang Lima and here are her details, call her for orders if you like. However, she wonâ€™t deliver and you will have to pick it up from Mandaue. The stuff travels well to Manila as well.
Mrs. Lima Abucay
Telephone 032-348-72-98 or 032-345-25-90