Tinubong – The Kakanin in Bamboo from Ilocos
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Tinubong is a fabulous treat from the Ilocos Region. To make this, you can simply combine grounded glutinous rice, coconut milk, sugar, and coconut flesh.

Located at the northwestern section of the Philippines, Ilocos is also a home to scenic beaches, breath-taking views, and wonderful historical landmarks known to men.

Moreover, just like any region in the Philippines, Ilocos is also a place for wonderful cuisines and delicacies.  Aside from Bagnet, another “pasalubong” this place can be proud of is tinubong.

What is Tinubong?

Tinubong is a dessert made by combining rice flour, coconut milk, sugar, and strips of coconut. Ilocanos claim that this originated from their region. Well, the name itself is a proof. It is derived from the Ilocano term “tubong” which means an internode of a bamboo.

Tinubong is one of the most common take-home delicacies of tourists.

How Can You Make it?

To make tinubong just combine the ingredients and then put the mixture inside the internode before grilling them. The space between the charcoal and the internodes should be enough to cook them but not to the point of burning the bamboo.

Tinubong. Photo provided by Maricel Arellano Umoquit Tinaza’Time.

Though using an oven is an option, the result is never the same as grilling.

Right after the nodes are done, they are transferred to a cleaner area to cool down. Then, they will be cleaned and decorated with colorful foils to cover the openings.

Where Can You Buy It?

I received these bundles of bamboo nodes with colorful foils from my brother who just came from Ilocos for a vacation. The looks alone sent my happy hormones crazy and when I found out that they are food, I was more delighted.

Many would definitely feel the same.

This is probably the reason why the demand for these tummy fillers is high. According to my brother, he can see locals selling these in public transportations and tourist spots.

True enough, a friend noted that many households are actually making a livelihood by making tinubong. He added that his neighbor makes hundreds of pieces a day and the production will go up significantly during Summer.

Taste and Verdict

Tinubong tastes like tupig of Pangasinan. However, it’s stickier, more moist, and sweeter. The strands of coconuts are thin, which gives that exciting chewing experience. Furthermore, the creamy and explosive flavor is highly addicting.

Though it’s frustrating that you have to break the whole bamboo node to get the treats, none of the nodes contain burnt tinubong.

The taste, presentation, availability make tinubong a highly recommended product. It’s worthy to represent the Ilocandia.

Written by Ringo

I am a home base guy who loves food, writing, books, and dogs... Follow me on Twitter and Instagram.

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