Aside from bangus (milkfish), I am not so familiar with Pangasinan cuisine. And I absolutely love it when I am introduced to traditional cooking. So in a recent work trip, when I was brought to the house of one old couple who was one of the few remaining people who knew how to cook Binungey, it was a moment I tried to record in my mind... in case I needed some winning cooking skills when I get trapped in an island (which nearly happened the next day, by the way-- see my entry entitled "The Kindness Of Strangers 2").
My inner culinary geek just took over as I started to record the cooking process. So here it is...
|Saw off an 8-inch piece of bamboo with the node in the middle.|
|Wash the sticky rice, mix in some rock salt and fill the bamboo with it.|
|Make sure to leave some space for the coconut cream|
|Pour in coconut cream (kakang gata)|
|Cover with banana cut up banana leaf|
|Make sure to overlap the leaves|
|Place the bamboo pieces in an open oven|
|Make sure to be wearing your slipper when putting in the bamboo filled with rice|
|Heat up the oven with more firewood and the extra pieces of bamboo you're not using|
|Make sure the bamboo pieces remain standing|
|Tap down the leaves that are cracking up because of the bubbling coconut cream|
|When the bamboo turns brown that means it's ready for eating!|
|Take the Binungey out|
|Let it settle for a while|
|Scrape off the burnt bits off the bamboo|
|Cut in half with a machete|
|And here is what you'll get|
The Binungey is not a dessert as I had thought at first. It's more like rice-to-go but cooked inside a bamboo stalk. Eating it on its own is not such a joy but i am guessing it will go well with fried dried fish or steamed vegetables or pork- deep fried or grilled.