Monday, 10 August 2015

Binongor or Binungor : The Kalinga's Exotic Hot & Spicy Vegetable Stew

Binungor / binongor , is an original very hot and spicy, Kalinga exotic delicacy that has gained popularity in our province and nearby areas thanks to the booming tourism in  Kalinga Province.  This is a rustic dish that will not only satisfy your hunger for food adventure and curiosity of native Filipinos' exotic delicacies but will also test your tolerance of hot, spicy, and pungent food.

What is Binungor / binongor ? It is a Kalinga vegetable dish, originating from the province of Kalinga, that consists mainly of local edible mollusks like agurong, bisukol, leddeg, etc, legumes like kardis (pigeon peas) or bitsuwelas (green beans),  leafy veggies like saluyot (jute) or kamote tops, karabasa (squash), local mushrooms,  tarong (eggplant), utong (stringbeans), rabong (edible part of the bamboo shoot), and innards (liver, intestines, etc.) of chicken or pigs. Like the dinengdeng or pinakbet of the Ilocanos, the seasoning usually used is the buggo-ong (fermented fish).  Salt and patis (fish sauce) can also be used.

Here are some Ilocano terms you need to know:
agurong - Ilocano term for black freshwater mollusks with elongated spiral shell usually found in rivers and creeks
bisukol - Ilocano term for edible snails of various sizes with round brown shells that are also found in rivers and creeks
leddeg Ilocano term for small mollusks with spiral shell usually found in rice paddies,rivers, creeks, and any bodies of water including canals

This binungor / binongor version is cooked by the wife of my Mami's cousin. The recipe and the picture above was shared to us generously by our young Auntie Ireesh.  You can find a previous post of our Mami's recipe of this famous dish at Binongor:  A Milder Version.

By the way, siling labuyo (wild chili) was used in this recipe but you can use any chili type as long as they are hot and pungent.  You can add as much as you want.   A habanero or a ghost chili will be a great addition to this dish, don't you think?  Though the use of just one piece of any of this two might render this dish inedible specially for those who cannot take hot food (evil grin), for the "hot-food-eater", it will serve as a new challenge.  Also, instead of using buggo-ong (fermented fish), salt and bile juice was  used to add more flavor to the dish.  


lalat ti baka (cow's skin)
apro ti baka  (cow's bile juice)
Rabong  (edible part of the bamboo shoot)
Laplapayag (local edible wild mushroom)
Sabonganay  (Banana blossom)
Sili (wild chili) - as desired
Salt to taste

Cooking Procedure:

1. Place the agurong in a container with water and leave it there overnight.  Let them poop first :-)
2. In a pot, place the cow's skin then pour water on it. The level of water should be higher than the meat.  Bring to a boil. Cook the cow's skin until they are tender to your liking.

3.  Throw in the rest of the ingredients except for the agurong and bile juice.
4.  When the vegetables are almost cooked, add in the agurong and bile juice then let it simmer.
5.  Adjust taste by adding more salt and/or siling labuyo and let it simmer for a minute longer

Serve and enjoy :-)

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