02 Jul2011

Any hardcore Ilocano foodies out there that would care to enlighten us?

I have been home for two days after more than a week in Cebu for restaurant opening madness, and I have caught up with sleep and stuff piled high on my desk. I needed a shot of inspiration this morning so I got up early and hit the markets. Nothing like a few hours browsing veggies to get me going… :) I found these unopened blooms of what appears to be a tree of some sort, maybe acacia? narra? some other native tree? The vendor said they were known as “sabidukung” but I can’t find anything on the net with that name. Not sure how to look it up in my reference books, either. Apparently it is added to pinakbet or sauteed with some tomatoes and a favorite of Ilocanos… The vendor, a suki, but not one of the swiftest, said it was “natural” — and when pressed to elaborate, changed that to “native” and when I must have looked flummoxed, said “ay basta!” Hahaha. So any help you guys might provide would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!



  1. Sgboy says:

    Looks like Kulitis flowers to me… Yes i tried it in pinakbet with bagoong balayan!

    Jul 2, 2011 | 10:59 am


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  3. Raph says:

    Oh my! Great find MM! Sabidukong is really hard to find these days and they only appear during this time of the year (July). This one of the best loved veggies in our household and we like adding it to dinengdeng, or even with ginisang munggo. Here are some links for more details:

    Jul 2, 2011 | 12:26 pm

  4. Marketman says:

    Raph, thank you, thank you… mystery solved. I knew readers would have an answer. And thanks for the links too! :)

    Jul 2, 2011 | 1:11 pm

  5. Jessica soho says:

    Yes, this is sabidukung but other Ilocanos like me call it bagbag- kung! They come from vines that grow in the wild (not trees ). I am not sure if these are already cultivated. They are usually fragrant and you can add these to just about any vegetable dish like pinakbet or dinengdeng. But i like it best with labong, saluyot and inihaw na ulo ng bangus dinengdeng.

    Best regards, Market Man! Congratulations to you on your new resto!

    Jul 2, 2011 | 1:31 pm

  6. Marketman says:

    Jessica, thanks. And as always, let me know when you are next in Cebu so you can try out our crispy lechon pata… I have a funny feeling you will like it. :) Thanks.

    Jul 2, 2011 | 3:08 pm

  7. Kai says:

    This is called “bagbagkong” in Pangasinan, it’s not cultivated commercially so it’s totally organic.

    Jul 2, 2011 | 3:26 pm

  8. Marketman says:

    Thank you Kai! Gosh, such a wealth of information in just a few hours, I enjoyed reading all the links. I really think it’s time to start formally documenting these ingredients as they seem to be getting more and more difficult to find…

    Jul 2, 2011 | 4:30 pm

  9. kitchen says:

    Hi MM first time i encountered this vegetable when i was in coron… then i brought it home cooked it with munggo. very very good. theres a lot of those here now in palawan. they just grow wild.

    Jul 2, 2011 | 4:34 pm

  10. atbnorge says:

    Oh yeah, I have eaten this during one of my vacations in Tarlac.

    Jul 2, 2011 | 5:36 pm

  11. Clarissa says:

    Finally, a new post! :) And I’m guessing that the time it took you to post was the result of a very successful opening :)

    I’m not a huge fan of lechon generally but I’m gonna include your resto in my list of things to do (or food to eat, restaurants to try, etc.) the next time I’m in Cebu :)

    congratulations! (I realized i have no contribution to this post, cuz I have no idea as to what it is. Will just look up the links :P)

    Jul 2, 2011 | 7:21 pm

  12. Mimi says:

    Learnt something new today from you. Thanks!

    Off topic, I was looking for bulaklak ng saging to make paksiw na pata, ay sus, good thing I had a photo and showed it to the local dry goods uncle. They are called lily blossoms or golden needles here.

    Jul 2, 2011 | 7:51 pm

  13. millet says:

    i learned something new again today!

    Jul 2, 2011 | 8:05 pm

  14. Elizabeth says:

    Hi MM, glad to read your latest post. I do know that these are only available during this time of the year. Great way to get your day started by going to the market and finding these interesting ingredients. Just curious, how did you cook the sabidukong?

    Jul 2, 2011 | 8:53 pm

  15. kat says:

    Oh my. I have seen this flower just yesterday. We have a veggie seller who comes to the office 3x a week. Yesterday, she gave me those. It’s called bagbagkong in our province. I was hesitant at first. But she said it was good if I will pair it with munggo, calabasa flowers or labong. I had my mom cook it today. It’s ok .. not superb.

    Jul 2, 2011 | 8:59 pm

  16. Footloose says:

    There are probably lots of edible species of plants like the subject of this and many other posts that are only known in communities close to where they grow that are in danger of disappearing even before they are classified. Another example is aluloy from Bataan that looks like jumbo olives. We delighted in them boiled, sweetish green flesh just like the texture of olives but surrounding a soft shelled seed that resembles water chestnut in flavor and crunchy texture. The clue for its word puzzle is “kinain muna bago tinalupan.”

    “Ay basta,” is the inquiry stonewalling response equivalent to “because.” here. Reminds me of a cartoon depicting a street sign with a B crossed with a diagonal red band which meant “basta bawal.”

    Jul 2, 2011 | 9:44 pm

  17. Gerry says:

    It’s such a shame that as we lose our forests, we also lose such treasures as what you just discovered.

    Jul 3, 2011 | 12:32 am

  18. Getter Dragon 1 says:

    Appearantly you can find this in the Bay Area…at a price.

    Jul 3, 2011 | 1:40 am

  19. natie says:

    as usual, “never too old to learn”…we don’t have this in the Visayas…if we do, I’ve never encountered it in our recipes.

    Jessica Soho!!!! Wow!!

    Jul 3, 2011 | 2:23 am

  20. lee says:

    I remember a trip to Aparri to visit my beloved Ilocana grandma’s birthplace. I was forced to eat dinengdeng, real pinakbet, and loads of vegetables. I was an Ilonggo kid not used to eating greens but that little vacation taught me that other stuff that don’t oink also make good food.

    Jul 3, 2011 | 2:58 pm

  21. GayeN says:

    We call these bagbagcong/bagbagkong. We have several vines in my mom’s yard in Pangasinan, we have already harvested 2 palangganas full since June. We like to put this in any vegetable dish like pinakbet, dinengdeng, gisadong kalabasa. It was one of your posts in 2007 “Bunga ng Singkamas/ Jicama Pods” (http://www.marketmanila.com/archives/bunga-ng-singkamas-jicama-pods) when I emailed you if you have seen/tasted bagbagcong/bagbagkong to which you replied that you haven’t. So after 4 years here it is. :)

    Jul 3, 2011 | 4:25 pm

  22. Marketman says:

    GayeN, thank you. Yes, now I have… :)

    Jul 3, 2011 | 4:42 pm

  23. GayeN says:

    Marketman, I still have another vegetable I mentioned in my email, “Sabawil”. I don’t know whats it called in English or other regions or provinces but here in Pangasinan we call it sabawil. It’s also a vine with fruits that resemble velvety/fuzzy bean-like pods but “meatier”. We peel the fruit with hands covered in plastic as the sap can stain your hands with a purply-brown color which is hard to remove. The peeled fruit is also put in dinengdeng.

    Jul 3, 2011 | 5:15 pm

  24. Leah says:

    Wow, sabidukkung. I really miss my province now. So many vegetables we eat regularly that I’ve taken for granted. And have not tasted in years. Scary too how scarce these are nowadays. **Maybe someone can make a catalog of these increasingly rare plants and find a way to cultivate them**

    Jul 3, 2011 | 8:02 pm

  25. fliz says:

    i saw similar buds for sale in the carniceria near my apt. it is called LOROCO and when i asked the cashier what is it and how do you cook it she just said “its a vegetable” . it is not cheap either a small plastic costs $4.99.

    Jul 4, 2011 | 12:09 am

  26. angela says:

    We call it ‘dukep’ here in La Union. We usually cook it in dinengdeng na labong with saluyot and inihaw na bangus. It gives a fragrant smell when cooked.

    Jul 4, 2011 | 3:34 pm

  27. lurker_no_more says:

    I have my regular fix for this ilocano favorite thru a Makro outlet in Northern Thailand. Binagoongan with inihaw na bangus as sahog, ah yummy!

    Jul 4, 2011 | 6:05 pm

  28. Norman Cunanan says:

    Hello MM, I am a Pangasinense…it is confirmed that is bagbagkung in our province. I just miss that vegetable with agayep(sitaw)…and inihaw na bangus…it’s my mom who taught me how to cook it…Nice to join your comment section…

    Jul 4, 2011 | 10:33 pm

  29. Junb says:

    My father is ilocano but I never seen this before. Maybe my brothers or my relatives knows about this. I hope I can try it when I go back

    Jul 5, 2011 | 7:04 pm

  30. Nestor says:

    In our part of Ilokoslovakia, this is called “bagbagkong”; and it goes well with “dinengdeng”.

    Jul 5, 2011 | 7:33 pm

  31. mel ojeda says:

    thak you guys for sharing….i love you guys. BAGBAG KONG here i come.

    Jul 5, 2011 | 9:51 pm

  32. Molly says:

    When I saw the picture on your blog post, it was like you were reading my mind. I just came back from Vietnam and can’t stop thinking about the food I ate there. The above flower is called Tonkin Jasmine in English and is a common vegetable throughout Northern Vietnam. I had it many times during my trip- it can be found in soups, stir-fried with pork, an ingredient in other mixed vegetable dishes, but my favorite was on it’s own stir-fried in a wok with a lot of garlic and some fish sauce until it was almost cooked, but just the tiny bit crunchy. Delicious. I saw it growing easily next to a lot of homes. Good to know you can find it in the Philippines.

    Jul 6, 2011 | 6:26 pm

  33. Marketman says:

    Molly good to hear from you. And thanks for the English name… now it’s all beginning to make more sense. This is apparently also available in Palawan, closer to Vietnam, and there was a huge population of Vietnamese citizens in Puerto Princesa for many, many years after the Vietnamese war, so maybe they even encouraged its cultivation. I found this link to photos of it in a Vietnamese food site.

    Jul 6, 2011 | 7:10 pm

  34. Rh says:

    Bag-bagkong. Oh my! Haven’t seen them in the central valley here yet. But I did when I visited the Philippines. My mom had the cook put it in pinakbet. Since the cook was from Bayombong (where I was) it was salty to my taste. Did I become too Americanized and can’t stand the saltiness of the pinakbet anymore? LOL! If you can find the latin name of it, I’d like to find at the local nurseries. :-) Maybe I can grow a vine in the backyard.

    Jul 9, 2011 | 1:37 am

  35. Mark says:

    They call this “bagbagkong”. Where can I buy bagbagkong? Preferably within or near Metro Manila. Thanks!

    Jul 26, 2011 | 10:41 am

  36. Sol says:

    The subidukong looks like the “mileguas” in my garden. It is a vine, and right, it is in bloom this time of the year. I never thought them to be edible. I’ve always treated them as ornamental plants. And they’re fragrant! Thanks

    Aug 1, 2011 | 7:43 pm

  37. sison,botog says:

    yup,its ilokano but pangasinanse know the floewr too.it is called “malakapes’ in pangasinan.It is often addd to ginisang monggo,dinengdeng na labong with saluyot.the flowers has very fragrant odor,usually blooms during the rainy season and gathered in the wild/forest along rivers.sometimes it’s very rare.

    Aug 30, 2011 | 6:48 pm

  38. Rams says:

    Yes sir/madame, that is called sabiddukong/sabidukong and another term in other Ilocano areas. It is a bloom of a a vine that becomes robust during the onset of rain and grows in the wild (tree forest, bamboo forest). It is usually cooked with ginisang kalabasa, in mongo, in pinakbet, inabraw, with saluyot and other vegetarian dishes. This is not added in dishes like sinigang, paksiw, and the like. Sabidukong is naturally and absolutely organic because the plant does not grow tended; the vine just sprouts where there are abundant shades (sparse forest) so it is not easy to notice and gather. It grows in our localities in northern Tarlac but it can be found also in Pangasinan and (northern) Nueva Ecija, and maybe in other provinces. @ Sol, yes, this is similar in appearance to that ornamental plant (mileguas).

    Jun 9, 2012 | 11:31 pm

  39. Esther says:

    This plant reminds me of my childhood in the Philipines We had a plant between two houses and of course it was shaded. My dad use to give me this great smelling greenish yellow flowers,we called it Mileguas in Quezon Province.

    I got a plant thru the internet that came from Florida, unfortunately it died since it was not watered well when I left for vacation to the Philippines.

    The plant is called Pakalana Vine and it also grows in Hawaii. It is also called Tonkin Jasmine.

    Good Luck , It might grow in a green house or warmer weather areas in the U.S.

    Oct 1, 2012 | 1:37 pm

  40. Tony Ramirez says:

    Bagbagkong goes great with swam na mais! :)

    Jun 4, 2013 | 11:16 pm


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