Balaw-balaw is a local food in Angono. It is a fermented young shrimps in a porridge, making it gives a sharp taste of mixed salty and sour and pungent smell but definitely delicious.
Eating Balaw-balaw is tracing back my root. It is my identity as a native of my town. It is a trademark that tells my origin.
Since the preparation of Balaw-balaw itself is a long and tough procedure, the easier way is to have the ready to cook one which can be bought from a town’s trusted and native family which peddled on the street. This family has the legacy when it comes in preparing balaw-balaw. As a matter of fact, this has became their moniker that they have known for.
In cooking Sautéed Balaw-balaw, you will need the following.
- 2 cups of Balaw-balaw
- ½ glove of garlic
- 1 medium size onion
- 1 small ginger
- 10 pieces of okra (lady’s finger) cut into two
- Water spinach leaves and its soft stalks cut 2 inches (from approximately 20 stems)
In a pan, sauté the minced garlic, chopped onion, and the ginger cut thinly. Pour the Balaw-balaw and let it simmer for five minutes in medium heat. Depends on your taste, you may add little water to subside the unique taste of Balaw-balaw. Then add the okra let it for a minute then put the water spinach leaves and soft stalks. Add pepper to taste.
If you want to make the Balaw-balaw the long procedure for yourself, you will need ¼ kilo of baby shrimp, 40 grams of salt and 6 cups of cooked rice, and Angkak for coloring.
Cook the rice into soft and slightly watery cooked with Angkak on to have the pinkish color, once done set aside to cool. To achieve this, 6 cups of rice is to 8 cups of water. In a big bowl, mix the shrimp and the first half of the salt then mash thoroughly until the shrimp absorbs the salt. Let it there for 2 hours. Then mix the cooked rice in the bowl and add the other half of salt then mash them to mix thoroughly. Transfer the mixture in a sterilized bottle and cover tightly, then set aside for 10 days to ferment.
Balaw-balaw is best served while hot and it can be the viand itself or it can be a side dish along with fried fish and steamed leafy veggie during lunch and dinner.
Balaw-balaw is part of our culture in Angono where we are noted for this special dish. And without eating this can’t be said a true child of Angono.
And lastly, just eat right.
By Alex V Villamayor
September 23, 2013