KBL Soured with Batwan. For those unfamiliar with Pinoy food, Ilonggo Food in particular KBL is the acronym for Kadyos, Baboy at Langka. The authentic KBL is soured with Batwan fruit which is very common souring fruit in Ilonggo Cuisine. I will not talk about the details of Batwan as I am not an expert with it, should you want to learn more about Batwan you can check a very comprehensive article from experiencenegros.com written by Glady Reyes “Batuan Fruit is the Best!”
“K” for Kadyos, I am lucky that my favourite supermarket, the South Supermarket Filinvest Alabang always have Kadyos on their fresh vegetable section. I have been always sourcing my Kadyos ingredients from this Supermarket. To those who are not as lucky, you may find the green variety at your local Public Market. If Kadyos is not available try substituting with dry red beans, or black eyed peas. I do have several post using dried beans for my KBL, check them out.
“B” for Baboy, The best pork cut of course is any fatty part of the pig. You can use Pork Pata or Pork Belly but the favourite is the Pork Trotter. You can use Pork Trotter but remember there is not much pork meat in them. My recommendation use the already slice Pork Shank, at least there is a balance of pork meat and the gelatinous pork skin.
“B” for Batwan, Why the double “B” I intentionally inserted another “B” to the acronym for this especial KBL ingredient the Batwan, to make the KBL authentic at least with the basic must have ingredients. When you are in Manila, Batwan is available in bottled puree, thanks to ECJ Farms. There is an ECJ Farms outlet at Tiendesitas, there may be some ECJ Farms outlets somewhere around Metro Manila or on other places, please share with us if you know one, or if you know where to buy the fresh fruit. Now if Batwan is not available you may use Sampalok, you can use fresh Sampalok or the sampalok sinigang mix.
“L” for Langka, Green unripe Langka fruit is one of the must have vegetable ingredients. When buying Langka choose those that are cut in big chunks. Of course Langka should be available in most Public Markets and most Supermarkets. Now if you are overseas check out your favourite Asian Store. Should fresh Langka is not available, you substitute it with Canned Langka. Being an OFW myself I always used Canned Langka if fresh Langka is not available.
Cooking my KBL Soured with Batwan, is fairly easy. Except for the pre-grilling of the Pork Shank everything are boiled together, where ingredients are added in, at the proper time during the course of cooking. Forget about sautéing, the authentic way of cooking KBL is just boiling all together the ingredients.
Here is the recipe of my KBL Soured with Batwan.
1 kilo sliced pork shanks
2 cup red kadyos
2 cups unripe langka, cut in large slices
1 large bundle kangkong, trimmed
1/2 cup batwan puree, diluted in 1 cup of water
2 medium size onion, peeled, quartered
2-3 medium size tomato, quartered
2 stalk tanglad, lemon grass
3-4 pcs. green long sili
Ask the butcher to saw cut the pork shanks crosswise at 1 1/2” thick slices. Wash thoroughly and drain, in a charcoal grill quickly to sear the pork shanks. In a large sauce pan put seared pork shanks and cover with enough water, bring to a boil for 3 to 5 minutes, discard first boiled liquid and rinse the pork shanks off scum. Now pour fresh water to cover the pork shanks, add in the lemon grass and bring to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes. Add in the kadyos and continue cook for another 30 minutes. Add in the langka and onion, continue cook for another 30 minutes to 1 hour or until the pork shanks are tender add more water as necessary. Take out all scum that rises to the surface. Season with salt to taste. Now add in the tomato, green sili and kangkong, continue to cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. Then add in the batwan solution, thru a sieve to filter out the solid particles. Continue to cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. Serve hot with rice.