Sunday, March 9, 2008

Budbud Pilit sa Medina

I’m always amazed by stories told by the old folks living in my mother’s farm. As if they are fables or fairy tales that would leave me astounded. Tales of mysteries and obscurity about my Lolo interests me. He was an amazing person of many talents, an artist, a painter, a great musician, a great baritone singer, and a famous collector of all sorts. Hacienda Medina, the place where my mother grew up was a vast farmland of sugarcane, now remains an uncomplicated abode, but the history rests in the hearts of many "tumandoks" (natives).

[my lolo, Don Domingo Medina, 2nd mayor of San Carlos City during the Japanese occupation]

Way before the Japanese occupation, my mother’s hacienda in San Carlos, was known to be one of the happiest places where my grandfather, Don Domingo Medina [second Mayor of San Carlos City during the Japanese occupation era] used to hold extravagant fiestas… the place where sugar magnates also hang-out. In those days when Spanish was the language in most prominent homes, fiestas [meaning Easter] were celebrated in my Lolo’s house once in a week and it was always grand, as I was told.

The great and famous dishes were cooked, including those made of ‘kanding’ [goat] kaldera and paklay [made of goat innards or entrails]. Budbud Pilit was a dish considered as a luxury [I never knew the reason why... I guess only the rich can afford to buy pilit in those times.. ah, don't take it on me, just a wild guess]. They were never absent on the buffet table and were always paired with tsokolate either dipped or drank from the cup…. yes, even during their evening parties.

Budbud Pilit sa Medina, an heirloom recipe and I wouldn’t mind sharing it. The only thing about making budbud pilit is doing it the right way. I was fortunate to learn making it first hand from Manang Narcisa, who is the apo of Lola Luz, my grandmother’s sister-in-law, who was also one of those that prepared the dishes during their time.

Ingredients to yield about 70 to 80 pcs of budbud

2 kilos pilit
bout 4 small grated aged coconut for latik
large ginger, coarsely chopped

for the tsokolate filling
tablea, about 12 pcs
2 tablespoons butter
1 small can evaporated milk
4 tablespoons of brown sugar
[cook this ahead of time with a double boiler, then set aside]

Prepare banana lea
ves, tear them into about 8-inch in length and divide and group them into 5’s. Dip the leaves in boiling water for 5 minutes. Set them aside to dry.

First, rinse the pilit in clean water two to three times until water is clear. Then, take the 4 grated aged coconut and add about 4 cups of water smushing it with your hands and extract the coconut milk. Strain the coconut milk into a large kawali. Do a second smushing by adding 4 more cups of water, strain and pour the remaining coco milk in the same kawali.

I have to do this the way the old folks did in their time so we had to create a makeshift ‘lutuan’ using large stones and chopped wood. Obviously, I used my old cooking gadgets in case the soot sticks to the pan and remains a memoir of this legendary recipe ;0 Cook the cocomilk in high heat until it starts to bubble and boil, around 15 to 20 minutes. Add the pilit, about 2 tablespoons of rock salt and brown sugar, and the chopped ginger after the coconut milk reaches a boil and stir frequently to avoid it sticking to the bottom of the pan. The pilit will slowly absorb the coconut milk and start to grow in volume. Take out some wood to lower the heat at this point. Keep stirring another 15 minutes or so until you notice the “latik” or clear coconut oil has formed and has been fully absorbed by the pilit. Estimated cooking time after the milk reaches its initial boil is about 30 minutes. But make sure that the pilit is not fully cooked. It should have traces of uncooked pilit when taking off the fire.

Let it cool and place about 2 tablespoons worth of the mixture on pre-boiled cut banana leaves and roll them up tightly by squeesing the ends towards the center once rolled up then tie with banana strings [but in our case, i had to make do with plastic strings]. There is a way to roll them by the way. It took me a while to get the hang of it but with practice, you’ll learn it sooner than you think.

For budbud with tsokolate, flatten the pilit mixture [like a sandwich] and add in the tsokolate, as if filling a sandwich with peanut butter. Fold the flattened mixture then roll. It doesn’t matter if most tsokolate leaks out…. it should be that way.

Line a large caserola with banana leaves up to the rim, leaving about half of the length to hang out. Place all wrapped budbud in and close the caserola with the banana leaves shown in the picture. Add water to about half and steam for about 30 to 45 minutes.

This recipe was just right, perfect and cooked the way the old folks used to do it. Serve with ripe mangoes or dip it with tsokolate.


Tuny said...

Naku-po-naku-po-naku-po!!! yummmmm.....

Wow, I love old houses and the stories it holds. Me bahay din kami sa San Carlos.. Pangasinan. I loved sitting beside our lolas old-sewing machine and listen to her stories.

Anonymous said...


I'm Allane Orendez, Program Researcher from DoQmentaries, QTV Channel 11. QTV 11 is GMA 7's new platform.

I got engrossed with your entry thus I decided to comment on your page.

For our working episode this May, DoQmentaries will be doing a special Mother's Day episode; showcasing a differnt kind of pamana in terms of food recipes. We would like to showcase how mothers passed their recipes to their daughters and their daughters to their future daughters.

With this, may I request for a possible phone interview with you?
it would be a pleasure to discuss your blog entry and how you embodies the heirloom recipes you learned from your mother.

Please feel free to contact me through details below when can I reach you.

I hope for your favorable response. Thank you very much.


Allane Orendez
Program Researcher
DoQmentaries QTV 11
Tel # 9827777 local 3031
Fax# 9271879
Mobile# 09286685269

Anonymous said...

Hello po.. thank you for sharing this very yummy recipe. I would like to try the one with tsokolate filling but unfortunately there's no tablea where I am right now, so I will try to use a substitute. Please let me know the approximate weight (in grams) of 12 tablea. I would really appreciate the help po. My email add: Thank you very much and more power to you and to this very informative blog.