Christmas Food – Bibingka
The “Simbang Gabi” has just started. It’s time to sacrifice for the Philippines’ much awaited season. After mass, the thing to do is to put something in your stomach and for me, the best food to chow down is a freshly cooked bibingka.
Bibingka is a native cake here in the Philippines. It is cooked by combining main ingredients like rice flour, coconut milk, water, eggs, emulsifier and sugar. There are also optional ingredients like butter, salt, milk and many more. Here in the Philippines, it is cooked traditionally using pot molds lined with banana leaves to support the mixture. The pot mold will be put into a pot grill with burning charcoals then another pot with burning charcoals will be put above the pot molds to produce equal heat above and below mimicking an oven.
The top and bottom grill, the traditional way to cook Bibingka
When the Mixture is already half-cooked, they will remove the above heat then, will put cheese and slices of salted egg. Then, they will put the heat back to cook the bibingka well.
Modern stalls like those in the malls cook bibingka using an oven.
Bibingka is spongy, soft and more of a resemblance of rice cakes. Bibingka is creamier and usually it is topped with butter and grated coconut. Some offer latik (sweet sauce) to add more sweetness to this delight.
The half-cooked Bibingka, the top grill will be removed and will top it with salted egg and cheese
The stall catering Puto Bumbong on my earlier post is the same stall catering the Bibingka. The woman taking care of the Bibingka is a little shy, but fair enough, she makes her job well done. She was the only one cooking the bibingka, taking customer’s order. She’s quite impressive.
The Bibingka that they are selling are worth P40.00. For me, it’s ok. When I asked my father if the price was just enough for the taste he said “Yes”. My mom took a bite with the bibingka I took home and when I said it’s P40.00, she sarcastically said it’s very expensive. Well, you know mothers, they are always frugal.
The freshly cooked Bibingka, drizzled with butter
There are three known kinds of Bibingka known here in the Philippines, the Bibingka Galapong, the ordinary one and featured here; the Bibingka Malagkit or know as Nilatikang Bibingka made from young glutinous rice and are proudly claimed that it started in Pangasinan; and the Cassava Bibingka made from cassava flour. Though there are known kinds, Bibingka from different territories always varies. This just show how rich the culinary of Philippines is.