‘Beringhe,’ a festive rice dish
While it’s not uncommon for paella to be served in parties and restaurants, its Filipino cousin, the beringhe (or bringhe) is more rarely seen.
Made with sticky rice and coconut milk, beringhe is paella with a tropical flavor. Rustic rather than cosmopolitan, it’s nevertheless a sumptuous dish made more festive with a rich assortment of ingredients such as chicken, green peas, carrots, sausages, hard-boiled eggs and raisins.
One restaurant that serves beringhe in its buffet is Cabalen. Specializing in the cuisine of Pampanga, Cabalen makes its beringhe with pure malagkit or sticky rice and coconut milk. It complements the other dishes in the buffet, a merry smorgasbord of lechon, caldereta, tapa, longganisa, sinigang and other popular Filipino dishes.
I’ve adjusted Cabalen’s recipe for beringhe to make it easier to prepare at home. I’ve combined the pure malagkit rice with regular rice and use a combination of water and coconut milk.
To get a taste of the real Cabalen beringhe, visit any of its restaurants in Metro Manila, Cebu and Pampanga. In addition to the usual Kapampangan food, Cabalen is serving Ilonggo cuisine as graduation special this week and Holy Week, with chicken inasal as one of the anchor dishes.
¾ k chicken, sliced into serving pieces
1 c coarse salt
150 g chicken liver and/or gizzard
1 c regular rice
1 c sticky rice (malagkit)
2 tbsp Star margarine
1 large onion, diced
1 whole head native garlic, chopped
2 tsp turmeric powder
2 tbsp patis
2 c water
1 c coconut milk
1 c green peas
1 carrot, sliced into strips
1 red bell pepper, sliced into strips
1 green bell pepper, sliced into strips
8 pc Vienna sausage, sliced into halves diagonally
2 eggs, hard-boiled
1½ c raisins
Mash the chicken with salt and rinse under running water. Drain and set aside. Wash chicken liver or gizzard well and set aside. Combine regular rice and sticky rice and wash three times under running water. Set aside.
Heat the Star margarine in a wide casserole or a paellera. Sauté onion until wilted. Add garlic and sauté until golden brown. Add turmeric and patis and stir in the chicken and chicken liver. Cover and simmer for two minutes.
Add water and coconut milk and bring to a boil. Let boil around one minute, then add the two kinds of rice, distributing evenly around the pan. Simmer until rice is fully cooked and has fully absorbed the liquid, around 15-20 minutes. Add peas, carrots, bell peppers and Vienna sausage in last five minutes of cooking.
Garnish with sliced hard-boiled eggs and raisins. Serve warm.
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