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    The first quarter of the year is almost coming to an end. We’re back to our daylight savings time which means we’re now an hour ahead since they say SPRING FORWARD. We just all hope that we don’t get that dump of snow that we had last February. Although we know that our [...]

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Bulacan Sweets and Native Delicacies (Kakanin)

*** THE MAIN INGREDIENT segment aims to inform, educate, share skills and knowledge. It also hopes to satisfy most of our TASTEBUDS (the five elements of taste perception: salty, sour, bitter, sweet, and umami or savoury). You can request INGREDIENT(s) be  featured for its uses, nutrient contents and/or cooking tips, and comments/suggestions, by e-mailing Marietta – ***

The author has had 13 years of experience in the field of Food and Nutrition, Research, Community/Public Health and Food Services combined. Earned the Degree in Nutrition & Dietetics (Philippines.) and Food and Nutrition Technology Program (Canada).  Information presented in this segment is  based on  nutritional books, online  searches and personal knowledge of the author.  Furthermore, all recipes featured in this segment are personally developed and/or original creations of the author, and are intended solely for personal use of the end users. This article and contents are copyrights and patent pending and therefore, no portion/ parts or whole  can be re-produced for any other use other than stated above without the author’s expressed permission. Mbpd

The Main Ingredient is back and a welcoming a Bountiful New Year to one and all! Christmas will need to wait another 11 months.  We will now conclude our feature ingredient for sweets and native delicacies in this issue.

As we embark on a fresh year, we Filiipinos still believe in good tidings, good luck and of course the beliefs  that shaped our tradition and heritage. While ending a year is saying so long… welcoming a new year is equally important to us Filipinos. Before we  parted last year, we never forget so many traditions for good luck, that included  containers of rice and salt are filled up to the brim and  of course  wearing clothes with a round or circle designs. But the belief doesn’t end there, we also checked the Chinese Calendar and astrological signs. Last but certainly not the least, is our table, which we made sure was  filled with rice, sticky rice,  other sweet dishes and 13 round fruits. These give us hope of abundant future, signifies prosperity and assures good fortune for the entire year.

The notion of serving rice  or sticky rice dishes  in the new year  is  believed to prolong  blessings  in the home. Rice as a staple, signifies bountiful harvest and sweets are for good luck. The province of  BULACAN is the province  most famous to the culinary world  for providing  an array of rice dishes “native  kakanin” and sweets.  It is used to be one of the major agricultural province, which hailed all sorts of  dishes made from rice. In this issue, we will feature r 4 different dishes, all made of rice with very close resemblance, however, they differ in the use of main or other ingredients.Therefore, one can be used as  a one dish meal,  and the other as a side dish or even  a dessert.

1.       Paella- most  are aware that this dish originated from Spain, however, many people  were so confused from where the  name was derived. Paella mean  “cooking or frying pan” and the main ingredient  for this recipe is the aromatic , delicate,  flavourful and expensive  saffron ”kasubha”. As the dish evolved in the Filipino kitchen, as well as for economical reasons,  rice became the main ingredient and turmeric ”luyang dilaw” is  being use for both colour and flavourings instead. Additionally, Seafood is the protein of choice

2.       Arroz ala Valenciana- Is very similar to the paella dish, only varied in a few ingredients. Chicken and ham or chinese sausage are the main proteins of choice instead.

3.       Biringhe ng Bulakan- is Luzon’s in particular Bulacan’s adaptation ( version) of Arroz Ala Velemciana with  a sweet touch and very minimal ingredieints.

4.       Kalamay Kanin/Biko- made  mainly of sweet sticky rice with  coconut  milk and  mollases (panutsa).


1 cup long-grain rice

1 cup  sweet sticky rice

250 g sweet longganisa, casing removed

½ cup diced ham

2 Tablespoon saffron

1 -500gram  fresaseafood medley- mix of shrimp,  whole mussels,  and clams

1/2 cup diced fresh or frozen peas and carrots        Several good grinds of black pepper

2 Tablespoons  vegetable oil

1 Medium White onion, finely chopped

4 or 5 large cloves garlic, finely minced

1 Tablespoon finely minced gingerroot

2 medium tomatoes, coarsely chopped

2 cups  fish  or seafood stock

1 tablespoon fish sauce

d-boiled egg, for garnish (optional)

1. Boil seafood mix in 2 ½ cups water. Obtain the stock. Set aside

2.  In a heavy  pan, heat the oil in another  sauce pan and sauté the onion, garlic, and gingerroot over moderate heat, stirring, until the onion wilts and the mixture becomes aromatic.

3. Stir in the saffron and mix well, then add the rice and the Cook, stirring occasionally, for a 2-3 minutes.                   4. Add the tomatoes, stock, fish sauce, and black pepper. Mix well, bring to a simmer; then cover and cook over low heat for 10 to 15 minutes.                5. In another pan, heat 1 tablespoon oil.

6.  Add longganiza, seafood medley and ham.

7. Saute for 2 minutes.. Stir in peas and carrots mix. Cover and continue to cook over low heat until all the liquid has been absorbed and the shrimp have turned pink, about 5 minutes.

8. Add the seafood mix to the rice mix and cook a a low heat for another 2 -3 minutes.                     9. Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, for 5 to 10 minutes before serving. Spoon the paella into a serving dish or platter and garnish with the olives and hard-boiled egg, if desired.

Yields 4-6 servings


2 cups rice

2 cups malagkit (sticky rice)

2-4  pcs chicken thighs and legs, chopped into small pieces

250 grams pork, sliced into thin strips

4 pcs hotdog sliced diagonally

1/2 cup green peas and carrot mix

2 pcs  red and green bell peppers, cut into strips

½ cup chicken stock

1 small can of tomato sauce

1 large onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 Tablespoon turmeric “ luyang dilaw”

2 tbsp fish  sauce

1 tbsp annatto ( atchuete)  oil

2 tbsp margarine

salt  and pepper to taste


2 hard-boiled eggs, sliced

spring onions chopped


1. Mix  both kinds of rice and boil at the same time.             2. Flake rice and malagkit with fork while still hot. Set aside.

3. Heat oil in a heavy pan,  add onion, garlic, turmeric in atchuete oil. Add onion.

3. Add pork,and chicken. Season with fish sauce then cover for 2 minutes 2 minutes.                        4. Pour in 1/2 cup of chicken stock and cover and simmer until half done.

5. Add hotdog, pepper, and tomato sauce. Season with salt  and pepper to taste.

6. Simmer  for 2 minutes, then add rice mix  margarine and peas/carrots mix.

7.  Stir until  well-blended. Reduce to very low heat, then cover.

8. Garnish with sliced hard-boiled eggs and chopped spring onions.

Yield:4-6 servings

Savoury: Biringhe ng Bulakan Sweet: Kalamay Kanin/ Biko

( Glutinous Rice Cake)


3 cups sweet sticky rice

4 cups coconut milk

1 cup shrimp with shell, deveined

1 cup  small crabs cut  in half

1 cup squid

1 red bell pepper

1 green pepper

1 medium onion chopped thinly

1 tablespoon  juice of  turmeric “luyan dilaw”

Salt and pepper to taste

¼ sleeve of Banana leaf


1. In a  heavy pan, mix rice, coconut milk and turmeric juice,salt and pepper.

Bring to to a boil  until rice is cooked.

2. In another pan, sauté onion, garlic. Add shrimp, squid  and crabs. Cook for 3-5 minutes.

3. Add rice mixture  and stir to blend well.

4. Cover with banana leaves to obtain  more flavour.

Cook for another 3 minutes.

5.       Serve hot  with  sliced boiled eggs on top.

Yield 6-8 servings


·2 cups malagkit (glutinous rice)

·1 can coconut milk ( thin)

·1/2 teaspoon salt

·1 cup  grated panutsa or brown sugar

·1/4 teaspoon anise

·1/2 cup sugar


1.       Separate thick coconut cream from  thin coconut milk. Set aside the cream.

2.       Boil thin coconut milk and malagkit with salt until quite dry

3.       Turn  heat into low and add ½ cup of panutsa

4.       Place in banana leaf-lined baking pan.

5.       Mix thick coconut cream and ½ cup of panutsa.

6.       Bake until a golden crust is formed.

Yield: 12 servings


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