Baeg /Alokon /Himbabao

Summer time again. The leaves of himbabao tree are almost gone and the worm-like flowers are numerous.

Himbabao have plenty of leaves like mango trees but cannot provide enough shade. Staying under the tree during hot days is not comfortable. Majority of sunlight is passing through.

Tree bark is smooth and the trunk have few large branches. This properties make it hard for a novice climber (like me) to get on top and harvest. However, my big brother is a good climber. He can get on top easily and generous to give part of the harvest.

It grows in wild. Seeds are carried by wind or other flying creatures.There are two trees in my father’s farm. Both of them are grown wild. This vegetable is free from any chemical pesticides. Attempting to spray it with insecticides is insanity.

It is a delectable vegetable. It become slimy when cooked and give the soup a thicker body. It is good as stand alone dish or mixed with other favorites.

himbabao dish

Other terms for this veggie is alucon, alakon, alokon and baeg. The scientific name is Broussonetia luzonica.

According to Bucaio Blog, it is rich in vitamins A, B and C, and contains calcium, phosphorus, potassium and iron.

Buridibud Recipe

Ingredients:
350 grams sweet camote, cut to cubes
375 grams eggplant, cut
1 cup patani
335 grams pole sitao, cut
150 grams himbabao
13 grams ginger
1 bulb onion, sliced
2 tomatoes, sliced
fish bagoong to taste
1/4 kilo fried tilapia

Cooking Instructions:

Wash all vegetable ingredients. Put in casserole in order; tomatoes, onion, garlic, pole sitao, patani, sweet camote and eggplant. Add two cups  water and season with fish bagoong. Bring to boil until vegetables become tender. Add himbabao and boil for another three minutes. On top of vegetables, add fried tilapia. Wait three minutes before removing from fire. Serve hot.

buridibud

Bulanglang na Himbabao, Patani and Sitaw

Bulanglang. One of the simplest recipe but I always find it hard to do. Sinigang requires right amount of vinegar or other sour ingredients (sampalok, green mango, santol and kamias). Too little may suffice cause it can always be added later.

Sauteed vegetable needs more onions. I always use a minimum of three medium bulb and a long sauteing over a very low heat.  Some folks do a very fast saute over a high flame  and adding only one onion. I am good at this, but not for bulanglang. I think I need more practice.

This is my wife’s bulanglang recipe. Hope you like it!

Ingredients:
1 cup sitaw, cut about 2 inches long
1 cup himbabao, mature leaves, stalks and flowers removed
1 cup lima beans (patani), pods removed
1 onion, medium, sliced
1 ginger, about the size of thumb, big slices
2 ripe tomatoes, sliced
2 cups water

Procedure:
1) Bring water to boil.
2) Drop all the ingredients and continue boiling for 10 to 15 minutes.
3) Salt maybe added.
4) Adjust ingredients according to your taste preference. Other vegetables of choice can be added.

The resulting dish has a very mild flavor. Not too salty and not too sour. I cannot exactly define how it taste but it is really good. I recommend not to add salt. Too much of it will hurt your kidney.

It is now time to eat. She never eats tutong na kanin(old cold rice) so I am always in-charge. It is the rice of handsome guys.

Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines. Do coaching and consultancy services on his free time.

9 Replies to “Baeg /Alokon /Himbabao”

  1. All I know about this vegetable is that it is very delicious and very healthy. This is a commonly planted in our province by cutting one of its branches and planting it in common soil.

    This procedure is also same for plants like malunggay & kamoteng kahoy

  2. And also to harvest the young leaves & flowers you have to cut the whole branches. this is also the best way that the new branches will grow and will bear flowers later on.

    It is like pruning in other plants. this tree will not bear more flowers if you harvest the flowers by picking only the flowers. you have to cut the whole branches.

  3. There are two kinds of himbabao plants, one is the male tree that produces the long flowers that are commonly eaten prepared as “bulanglang” with other veggies; the other is the female tree that produces flowers that are roundish. I tried to get the female flowers and cooked with other veggies like squash flowers, saluyot leaves and malunggay and it tastes good! Try it, nobody told me that it can also be eaten but I had experimented on it.

  4. Hi…enjoy reading your discussions while eating inabraw….malunggay, saluyot, kamote, sitaw n turo and himbabao together with fried bangus….my mother thought me and also my sister how to make delicious inabraw and bulanglang, at first it was so sablay but then everytime that i went to my province i always request inabraw….and then finally….i already get it, and i always cooked here and i was happy that even my kids loved it, my ate always said ” buti kumakain cla ng gulay” coz i always said to my kiddos that eating veggies are healthy and it will make you more beautiful. Hahaha kidding aside its so delicious and healthy talaga, tnx;)

  5. This tree is very good. but this kind of tree is hard to plant with. this tree is sensitive. but this tree has a very delicious taste, i had just known its benefits trhough this site. thank you for informing me.

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