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.

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.