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I am transferring all food tech related articles from foodrecap.net here. Please help me spot and correct any weird stuff that may occur.

Looking For Kabuteng Mamarang

From my previous post. Kabuteng Mamarang (Termitomyces cartilagineus).

When I was a kid. I often mistaken the kabuteng saging ( banana mushroom ) with this kabuteng mamarang. They look similar to me except for one obvious thing. The first grow in rotting banana corm. After cutting off the trunk for harvest. The trunk will rot in downward passion, until it reaches the corm. When conditions are favorable. It is rainy days, I think. I do not see any during summer months. Mushroom will grow on it. Father said it was not what I thought. It is poisonous but can be remedied with right cooking trick. The rough idea of boiling in several changes of water before adding other desired ingredients. He never demonstrated it to us. I bet he never had first hand experience.

This reminds me of nami and pungapong. It has to be harvested right and do the cooking right or your screwed. The same is true for the popular cassava. You can get cyanide poisoning if you do something wrong of buy from the wrong vendor. Staple potato may also bring harm if not stored correctly. All mishandled food items may bring harm anyway. No need to think too hard about it.

Month of August on our way home. A friend who happened to be driving for us asked about the kabuteng mamarang. He loves the ordinary wild mushroom (kabuteng parang). His friend who used to give him bunches is now selling it to him, every piece. That is right. Sample first then the rest are for sale. He is buying all of it with no question because he like it.

The mamarang exceptional flavor is just a rumor to him. He is willing to go in our place in haste in case we find one selling. A guy willing to travel for taste adventures.

Both wild mushroom can be hunted in the wild during August to September. Time may vary from place to place due to changes in weather conditions. The usual spots are pusngo, a hard and sticky solid mound built by termites. It may also sprout on flat grounds. Hunters know numerous spot. They go on hunt very early in the morning. Like bird hunting. Whoever catches is the rightful owner.

I have plenty of experience in wild mushroom hunting. Those with unopened caps taste better than…. Soft and wormy are usually left to rot. The little worms are sort of harmless but have an “ew” factor. Soft become soggy and tasteless after cooking.

The common mushroom has dirty white cap, sometimes yellowish brown. It can be gathered from one spot for several days. The cap has skin that is peeled off before cooking. Maybe it is also edible. I have not eaten one yet. I automatically peel them off. They peel it, so I also do it.

The mamarang on the other hand, only grows on one spot once. Let’s say the harvest today is absolute. None can be found tomorrow. The cap surface has dark brown shade. Peeling is not necessary. I tried once before. It was not easy and not worth. Our ancestors might have felt the same way.

The best recipe for both is the simplest. Boiled with ginger and a dash of salt. Fried kabute taste like chicken, especially the stalk part. Burger patties and siomai are nice too, but they are commonly done for commercial oyster mushroom.


Fresh harvest can be stored for later in refrigerator. Freezer compartment can do it for longer periods.

If you want and never know where to get. Hunt sellers instead. Go to public market early in the morning or look along road sides. Farm owners have the habit of displaying their produce near road in hope of someone buying it sooner for higher price. Scout for them. He drove slowly and we were lucky enough to found one seller along baranggay road. Our friend immediately bought the only 1/4 kilo left.

As of date, I never know anyone who successfully cultured this inside the lab. The variety commonly sold locally is oyster mushroom, the same species in mushroom burgers.

Fine Crushed Ice

Can’t remember what it was. But…it was something similar to mais con yelo or halo-halo. The small block on top was leche flan. It was gone in a blink of an eye. It could be halo-halo. I couldn’t see if there were any fruit cubes underneath because the crushed ice was cloudy. Chance was, the flavoring was mixed prior to ice preparation. It was safe to assume they used flavored ice. Then it became a flavored crushed ice used for making this delicious dessert.

fine crushed ice

I saved pictures for posting because of its striking feature. It has fine crushed ice which brings a smoother taste experience. I felt it like a lighter version of ice cream. Minus the cream and lesser sweetness.

How can we achieved the same?

I suggest crushing ice in a chilled chamber. The grinding process increases surface area that makes it more susceptible to melting. The heat generated by equipment make the situation worst. Cold environment can arrest it, allowing more time to achieve finer ice particles.

What could be the grinding equipment candidate? I have no idea at this point in time. Sure there is one or two. I will update as soon as possible. It could be spraying water mist below freezing point. The result is soft fluffy ice, a snow.

Adding flavor prior to freezing and crushing. Warm ingredients to ice mix will quicken melt. Lesser water content also affects the final texture significantly toward the better. If the ice candy or halo-halo has little natural flavoring. Then it doesn’t matter if we crushed it in a chilled chamber, add the flavor prior or quick freeze it.

Quick freezing. Normal vs quick… The very good example of this is our everyday cheap ice candy. Notice we are commonly biting large chunks of tasteless ice. It has something to do with slow freezing. We stir the mixture well during preparation, but, when we freeze it slowly, the water molecules have enough time to come together again. A usual scenario in home refrigerators. We are lowering the thermostat setting to lowest possible and throwing in as much food as we can. Aging equipment and loose door seal are also contributing factors. Quick freezing on the other hand keeps the ice particles smaller.

The Kalukati

The Kalukati or Pangkalukad. It is a small contraption use to break open mature cashew seeds to get the white curly nuts. The tool composes of two parts. First is the metal base. It has narrow long groove along the middle which receives the cutting wedge. I think it also help hold the nut in position while cutting, in reinforcement of holding it with bare hand. One end is pointed and curved downward. A mean of fixing itself onto table. Quick removal for transfer to another more comfortable location or for storage. Another end has the fulcrum attached with the cutting wedge. The second is the cutting knife with a wooden handle.

kalukati not installed

Cashew seed breaking is done by placing the seed in between and pressing the knife down forcefully by hand. Of course, it should be cut along the nut breaking line. The white soft part of the seed should be facing up or down. After, the nut is then prick out by with pointed object, small kitchen knife or something similar.

Because it breaks the seeds into halves, the resulting nuts are also halves. If whole nuts are desired, another more sophisticated tool is required. This is so designed to cut only the thick seed coat followed by a twisting motion revealing a whole cotyledon. I never seen such in my recent travel to Palawan though.

It definitely look unhygienic because of the obvious stains, rusts and wooden handle. Stainless build is generally recommended. I like it though because of its old looking and rugged appearance. It might have collectors value after few years. Adding the fact that it is a made-to-order item. That was what they said to me. They could ask the blacksmith to made one for me if I would stay for few more days. Sorry, my schedule never allowed it. Besides, I was really eyeing for the old used one.

Usage requires wearing gloves. Hands dirt contaminating cashew is secondary thing. The seed sap is harmful to skin. Not sure the course of events but they assure it is painful.  Thicker gloves are recommended. The staff know very well that it could wound or even cut fingers if they are not careful. In case of accidents, the gloves are their only protection.

Tinapang Bangus

I used to hate tinapa (smoked fish) for two reasons. First is the numerous bones in middle and on sides. I was not sure why. I think I was born with very poor fish deboning talent. Pointed bone often got stuck inside my mouth and throat. Mouth area was bad and throat was worst. Removal was often hard that mom was forcing me to swallow rice ball or large banana slice. The stuck fishbone was supposed to be carried down by either of the two.

The second was the off taste. It was often bitter. Especially the part toward the head. Later, I realized. The thing is caused by broken gall bladder. The maker had the bad habit of not thoroughly cleaning the entrails.

I have never encountered badly cleaned tinapa as of the present date. Many makers, nowadays, learned to raise the quality of their product. They need it to be on par with the competition.

Yet another fish I hate is bangus. It is no doubt delicious but the quantity of bones is ridiculous. Thanks to our skilled deboners, I can enjoy it without the miniature arrows. Of course, I can debone it for myself if I want too. However, there are many sellers offering it as free service. Why bother?

This bangus variant is impressive. Delicious bangus flavor combined with a delicious fish. I might try setting up a mini smoke house but not learn the art of removing fish bones.

tinapang bangus

Bangus is approximately twice to thrice bigger than original tinapa. The smoke and heat which make the skin golden brown to dark brown is enough to cook the internal but not significantly change its color.  The texture is also softer as compared.  I think the smoking time and temperature for galunggong tinapa can be adjusted to reduce the toughening effect. It might not be as good as this bangus but it might be better.

Roasted Egg

It looks like normal egg to me. Maybe a salted egg because it has a branding mark. Emerging salted egg makers today are scrapping off the dying process in replacement of small branding mark. Sometimes sticker, others are using ink of source unknown to us. It is in belief that egg dyes are harmful to health.

I like salted egg. However, I never like it red. The red color transfers to hands and plate. It is hard to remove. Mom often got angry because of it. She specifically instructed us to remove the shell and throw it immediately. Never put them on plate, on old ceramic plate, melamine and plastics. It is almost impossible to wash away once adhered to minute crevices.

Let us go back to egg in hand. It was not salted. Instead, roasted. I am not sure how they roasted it without affecting the shell. Maybe cover it with insulation or something. It can be mud. Breaking it in halves revealed the weird look. A typical boiled egg but the color is brownish instead of white. The surface is separated from shell of about one to two millimeters. Evidence that it shrank during roasting process due to water loss. No complaints with it. Peeling it off is much easier. Newly laid egg when boiled are hard to peel. I think this trivia is not true when broiled instead.

roasted egg halves peeled roasted egg halves

Roasting process gives brown to dark complexion. Except, of course, if the food is naturally brown to dark by nature. Gives the desired flavor in case of coffee and cacao. Come up with a different flavor profile for meat and fish variants.

The egg flavor is too dry. Nothing else is special. They can infuse barbecue and garlic for trials.