Nangka

Cebu Daily News - - LIFE -

GROW­ING up on a farm ex­posed me to food that city folks would re­fer to as “ex­otic.” Our veg­etable dishes al­ways had the aro­matic “sangig” or Le­mon Basil. We had chicken tinola with fresh green pa­paya slices and the leaves of the Ko­likot, a small chilli na­tive to the Philip­pines (Cap­sicum frutescens).

Since we also lived near the sea, we had an al­most daily sup­ply of sea urchins and tiny oc­to­pus which tasted so­goodas Inun-unan. My Lola of­ten made Bukayo be­cause co­conut trees abound. My Lolo Otik’s old house was sur­rounded by fruit trees, so we had these fruits in sea­son: Chico, Lum­boy, Tam­bis, Buon­gon, Sag­ing, Caim­ito and Nangka.

Nangka was not eaten solely as a fruit. My Mom liked to cook the ma­ture un­ripe fruit ei­ther as Ti­n­uno-an or Kini­law. This usu­ally hap­pens when the farmer would in­form Mommy that a Nangka is ready for har­vest­ing.

Nangka is har­vested just be­fore it ripe or the bats will get to it first. It is cut down from the tree and made to ripen in one’s kitchen. If the Nangka fruit is not re­ally big Mommy would make Kini­law or Ti­n­unoan out of it.

The tech­nique when open­ing a Nangka is to wipe the hands with cook­ing oil first so the sticky sap will not stick to your hands.

The same is done to the knife to be used in re­mov­ing the thick rough skin and cut­ting it up into small pieces. (Nowa­days peo­ple just use dis­pos­able plas­tic gloves.)

For both Ti­n­uno-an and Kini­law, the Nangka is boiled un­til soft, then squeezed to re­move ex­cess wa­ter be­fore us­ing

The Ti­n­uno-an is sauteed with gar­lic, onions, toma­toes and gin­ger. Then the pre-boiled and drained Nangka slices are added to­gether with the co­conut milk. While the mix­ture is sim­mer­ing, the sweet­ish aroma of co­conut milk and gin­ger per­me­ates the house. In the moun­tain­ous part of the prov­ince, Nangka is called the Karne sa Bukid. It can be a sub­sti­tute for pork. In fact, there is a Humba nga Nangka dish.

The Kini­law nga Nangka is made ex­actly like the Fish Kini­law. Just sub­sti­tute the Nangka for the fish. Make sure that the Nangka slices are well squeezed, oth­er­wise your Kini­law will be wa­ter-logged.

But the Nangka is more known for its beau­ti­ful ripe golden yel­low orbs. Not to men­tion that the un­mis­tak­able scent of ripe Nangka will no doubt get your attention. Most peo­ple like the Nangka made into jam or pre­serves. This of course pro­longs its shelf life.

But I sug­gest you try it this way. Chill the pit­ted Nangka orbs for at least an hour. Then place them in a bowl nice enough for serv­ing and pour a jig­ger or two of brandy. Chill un­til you are ready to eat it. I prom­ise you an ex­pe­ri­ence you will l ong re­mem­ber and ap­pre­ci­ate. When the scent of the Nangka mar­ries that of the brandy, you will thank the heav­ens for be­ing born in Cebu, which grows the sweet­est Nangka, and equally thank the French for pro­duc­ing brandy. You could be more deca­dent and choose to use Cognac like I do.

Nangka nga Ti­n­uno-an

In­gre­di­ents 1 kilo pre-boiled squeezed dry un­ripe, ma­ture Nangka 3 cloves gar­lic, chopped 4 ripe toma­toes, sliced thinly 1 thumb-sized gin­ger (more, if you like the taste of gin­ger), 1 Ber­muda onion, chopped 2 spring onions ( Sibuyas Bisaya), sliced thinly ¼ cup vine­gar 1 tbsp su­gar 1 cup thick co­conut cream ( first press­ing) Salt and pep­per to taste

* Saute the gar­lic, onions and gin­ger. Add the toma­toes and the Nangka. Cook and stir for three min­utes over medium heat. Add the spring onions and the vine­gar. Cover for 2 min­utes. Do not stir.

* After 2 min­utes pour in the thick co­conut cream and cook 1 minute more.

Kini­law nga Nangka

In­gre­di­ents 1 kilo pre-boiled ma­ture, un­ripe Nangka cut into 2-inch squares 1 thumb-sized gin­ger sliced very thinly 1 Ber­muda onion sliced thinly length­wise 3 ripe toma­toes cut thinly length­wise 2 spring onions sliced thinly cross­wise 1/3 cup vine­gar 1 cup thick co­conut cream Salt and pep­per to taste.

* In a big enough bowl, place all in­gre­di­ents ex­cept the Nangka and the co­conut cream. Mix all the in­gre­di­ents very well. Salt and Pep­per to taste. Add the Nangka and the co­conut cream.

* Serve im­me­di­ately or re­frig­er­ate un­til ready to serve.

NANGKA nga Ti­n­uno-an

YEL­LOW-RIPE jack­fruit or “nangka”

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