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.
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.
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
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.
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!
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
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.