Bangkiling or Tahitian gooseberries were new to me. And the suggested use was either as a souring agent for soup, or in a classic vinegared fish stew called paksiw. With very fresh bizarrely flat-bodied bilong-bilong on hand, we decided to try making a paksiw na bilong-bilong with bangkiling. The results were delicious, but I have to say, I’m not sure if we got ENOUGH bangkiling into the dish to make a “blindfolded” difference. The bangkiling plays a role similar to iba or kamias, and has a particular subtle flavor in addition to the acid kick, but the paksiw seemed just like a regular paksiw. Perhaps if we reduced the vinegar further and relied more on the bangkiling to sour the sauce, this would have been more memorable.
It’s nice to finally come across and taste fresh bangkiling, but I have yet to find it’s best or finest use. Maybe a sinigang would showcase this fruit more appropriately.