Bush Tucker, Manobo-Style

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The Ata Manobos of Barangay Tapak, in the Paquibato District, treated us to a feast of traditional foods, most of them harvested from the wild. Clockwise from bottom left: rice cooked in bamboo; raw upland rice; camotes for cooking in bamboo with coconut milk; bakbak, smoked bullfrogs; and finally kumang, succulent freshwater crabs.

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Our ingredients: freshwater minnows, po’it, kumang crablets, and in the background some kind of bud called apusow. They taste like a blend of okra and jackfruit pulp, with a lightly floral aroma. Wifey and I really liked them. Unfortunately for us apusow isn’t available in any market, as only the Manobos harvest them. The Manobos consider them a festive food because the apusow plant comes into bloom at the same time the rice harvest is ready.

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The Manobos also have their own version of chicken cooked in bamboo. This version uses no coconut milk or turmeric, but adds a lot more ginger, and has almost no broth when done. I can imagine the amount of ginger here makes a very good defense against catching colds in the chill mountain nights!

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2 thoughts on “Bush Tucker, Manobo-Style

  1. Thanks Mike! Stay tuned, if I hear about tours/accommodations for travelers in these areas I’ll blog about them. Culinary tourism is a big but unexplored possibility here.

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