16 Mar2009


What else do you do between cooking lessons from two manang’s that rule their kitchens but eat even more snacks? OMG, I kid you not. First up, some wonderfully made fried coconut called kumbo. Wickedly heavy, I only had a few bites of this delicacy…


I couldn’t resist these gorgeous empanada, with what I previously referred to as the “Herve Leger” style dough that looks like layered ribbons. These were baked, in an effort to bring down the fat content, and were good, but they are even better when fried. :) Brought over from Iloilo I believe, this is definitely on my “quest” list along with lumpia wrapper and good ukoy for another trip to the area soon…


Finally, delicious bibingka which we picked up at 21, with a nice caramelized crust, creamy interior and well-balanced sweetness along with the chewiness of large coconut shreds… Ayayay… so much food, so little time! Thank you again Tita MM for making this all possible, and we aren’t even done yet! :)



  1. thelma says:

    it’s only 7:30 a.m. where i am.haven’t had breakfast yet! the bibingka and the empanada are making me hungry. do you have a recipe for the bibingka, mm? how do they make those empanada looks so beautiful?

    Mar 16, 2009 | 10:32 pm


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  3. Mangaranon says:

    I am so proud to be an Ilongga!

    Mar 16, 2009 | 10:43 pm

  4. paolo says:

    Hi MarketMan!
    Thanks for trying the bibingka made by Liddy Montelibano!
    ( the one you guys bought at 21 )

    Mar 16, 2009 | 10:59 pm

  5. Ging says:

    I’m off to Bacolod on the 6:30 pm flight tomorrow. My hosts said they would treat me to the most expensive place in bacolod. I asked to be taken to 21 instead. They could not quite understand my request- place is not that classy they said. They totally miss the point! I want to eat this batchoy with bone marrow and chicharon that MM has been raving about. And that bibingka as well. I want to rave too!!!

    Mar 16, 2009 | 11:08 pm

  6. wysgal says:

    The best “snack” I have while cooking is a good bottle of wine. =)

    Mar 16, 2009 | 11:46 pm

  7. millet says:

    how did they do that fried coconut? is it sugared? and how mature is the coconut -betweenbu co and niyog, or hard niyog already?

    Mar 16, 2009 | 11:56 pm

  8. Angela says:

    I’ve never been to Bacolod–I’m SO missing out!! Will have to plan a visit there on my next trip home.

    Mar 17, 2009 | 12:20 am

  9. jack says:


    I grew up on those butong kumbo. If they make it right there is no need for sugar coating. I miss those empanadas also. My mom used to get some from (of all places) a drug store near Central Market in Iloilo. If memory serves me right the name of the place is Botica Elcar. That drugstore also make killer liver bbq, tapa, and tocino.

    Mar 17, 2009 | 3:15 am

  10. jack says:


    kumbo recipe

    Egg Yolk
    buko (for buko salad)

    mix all. batter should be a bit wet. Deep fry in oil.

    I don’t have the proportions because it is usually done by feel.

    Mar 17, 2009 | 3:20 am

  11. Maria Clara says:

    Your montage of goodies here are all keepers. Thanks jack for the kumbo recipe that’s how my beloved Grandma did her days in the kitchen by feel no proportions or measuring cups. Even in her octogenarian it was still the same nothing missed it was always a hit.

    Mar 17, 2009 | 4:16 am

  12. melit says:

    WOW!!! Thanks for featuring those mouth-watering goodies…Does anyone know the recipe for the empanada dough?
    Many moons ago our high school cafeteria sells those and
    I’ve never seen it being sold in any bakery in Manila.

    Mar 17, 2009 | 5:18 am

  13. juls says:

    paolo: where’s my pepper steak? wahahahaha….

    keep ’em coming MM…. soo much food!

    Mar 17, 2009 | 6:16 am

  14. marilen rodriguez says:

    Yummy, yummy! thank you for all the attention you bring to all our comfort food in all your latest postings from Bacolod road trip. Beats haute cuisine anytime!

    A bit of digression – (recalling all the conversation during the Anthony Bourdain segment about our Filipino psyche) this past Sunday New York Times had an in-depth report on the newest immigrants to America and their impact – ” Immigration from the Philippines make up nearly 5% of the foreign born population in the United States and are the second largest immigrant group after Mexicans. About 60 percent of them live in California, Hawaii and Washington, but large numbers have recently settled in New York, New Jersey and Illinois. In the 1960s, many Filipino nurses moved to New York to fill the state’s need. Immigrants from the Philippines are among the country’s largest Asian groups. They are less visible because many have assimilated and are well educated professionals, although their class diversity is growing.”

    MM, you had mentioned ‘this assimilation’ to AB when he was musing – just who are these Filipinos – extremely nice people.

    Mar 17, 2009 | 6:19 am

  15. Edwin D. says:

    I miss those bibingkas. odles and Odles of coconut goodness, yummy.Then you mentioned ukoy MM, yikes. Real food.

    Mar 17, 2009 | 7:49 am

  16. marissewalangkaparis says:

    Gawrsh…sarapppp…makes me more hungry….

    Mar 17, 2009 | 8:43 am

  17. Sanojmd says:

    Darn, why is it carbs are so good even if with it’s high caloric content? Bibingka, bochi and empanada to name a few…

    Mar 17, 2009 | 8:56 am

  18. kristine says:

    @jack: unfortunately Botica Elcar no longer has the tiny stall near the Iloilo market. The owners/cooks’ children highly encouraged their parents to retire (I think both of them are over 80 years old) and the kids are not interested in continuing the business as most of them have “professional” jobs. BUT, good news is that the owners will take small orders (say a dozen or two) over the phone and just pick them up at their house in Lapaz. Will have to ask my mom for the phone number first and post it later here. :) and yes, they have the best pancit molos, empanadas and barbeques in Iloilo.

    Mar 17, 2009 | 9:58 am

  19. Mila says:

    When I saw the photo, I thought you had made tikoy, the fried sticky rice cake, but you describe it as being a coconut product so I figure this might be a “cousin” of what the chinese families make during lunar new year.
    I miss those empanadas! We’d get some from Bacolod when relatives of my mom used to visit, the flaky crust, the savory filling. Did you guys eat any puto manapla??? I miss those the most, with melting butter seeping into the pores…

    Mar 17, 2009 | 10:30 am

  20. lee says:

    ging don’t let them bring you to the most expensive place. i do not even know where that is. Bathcoy at 21 will make your stay more memorable. It is not the expensive places that make your stay worthwile…

    Mar 17, 2009 | 1:09 pm

  21. iyoy says:

    mila, kumbo has exactly the same basic ingredient as tikoy – glutinous rice flour into which water (and sugar to taste) is added to make a soft dough. buko is incorporated into the dough (another variation uses mashed ripe saba banana). pinch off about about half a handful and shape into the form of sliced spam about half inch thick. drop into boiling oil. it’s done when the surface turns light to dark brown. when it it’s not fully cooked, one will immediately know because of the flour-y taste.

    easy as pie? not really. the time-consuming part, at least with the ilongo version, is in the preparation of rice flour. rice is soaked in water overnight. it is then pounded on a wooden mortar (“lusong”) and pestle (i can’t recall how this thing is called in the vernacular). now comes the laborious part. the ground rice is placed in a bilao. the later is slightly tilted (pointed end facing down)
    and moved sidewise like a vibrating screen with the rapid flicking of the hands (it’s an acquired skill). coarse flour ends up in the lower end of the bilao and returned to the mortar for more pounding with more soaked rice. the finer grind is transferred to a container for the use intended. the process is repeated for as many times there is still soaked rice (the “lusong” can accommodate probably just a liter in volume). can take the whole afternoon if one is preparing kumbo for a crowd.

    using a stone grinder as tagalogs do in making galapong probably would shorten the process but the grind would not be as fine.

    Mar 17, 2009 | 3:21 pm

  22. Mila says:

    Thanks iyoy! The process you describe reminds me of tibok tibok up in Pampanga. I wonder if anyone has ever researched all of our rice flour based foods properly, documenting, photographing, comparing the flavors and similar elements and implements.

    Mar 17, 2009 | 4:43 pm

  23. cien says:

    I thought the 1st pic is Carioca. it’s buko filled glutinous rice balls fried like a banana cue,coated with brown sugar. These are being sold on sticks of 4 here in our palengke.

    Mar 18, 2009 | 10:55 am

  24. annb says:

    kristine: please post contact number of the empanada suppliers in lapaz. we were looking for it everywhere last time but couldn’t find it. you’re godsend! thank you!

    Mar 18, 2009 | 11:04 am

  25. millet says:

    jack, thanks for the recipe. i realize now they are like corn fritters, except that the buco replaces the corn. would the flour be all-purpose flour, ordinary rice flour or malagkit (sticky rice, or “sweet” rice)?

    Mar 18, 2009 | 2:08 pm

  26. Sheryl says:

    You made me miss it! :-(

    Mar 18, 2009 | 8:15 pm

  27. Show-Ender says:

    That’s coconut? I acutally thought they were swollen slices of tikoy!!

    Mar 21, 2009 | 5:03 pm

  28. jaimee says:


    Mar 26, 2009 | 8:20 am

  29. jaimee says:

    HI MARKETMAN.. Ive tried empanadas that looked like that when i went to the Philippines this past December..everytime i visit my aunt in Kamuning she always has a tray ready for me.. she gets them at a local stand that sells pancit also..mMmMmmm…what i would do for an empanada right now!!

    Mar 26, 2009 | 8:26 am


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