Kilawing bangus with salted duck egg’ and other Ilocano summer flavors | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

Kilawin Bangus, Summer Salad of Ilocano Backyard Fruits and Vegetable with Sea Grapes, Kilawin Hipon (Center), Daing na Espada with Manga Ensalada, Adobong Saba

CATERER Julius Manzano of Agoo, La Union, and I go a long way, over 25 years. We are not only town mates but very good friends. Our love for food and cooking sustains us.

When he visited recently, we reminisced about happy times on the beach and the picnic food, including kilawin.

So, when we went to the market, we picked all the familiar Ilocano ingredients, especially the vegetables.

We were not going for traditional or authentic. Instead, we wanted to make dishes that would scream summer. We also wanted to inject some exciting twists to traditional fare.

On our menu were kilawing hipon and kilawing bangus. Julius also mentioned adobong saba—a recipe many families apparently cook during Lent to serve on meatless days. This intrigued me.

We also decided to whip up some salad made from sea grapes (ararusep) and Ilocano backyard fruits and vegetables. But we opted to veer from the classic way of eating it, that is, with “KBL”— kamatis, bagoong, lasona (shallots)—as my dad enjoyed it.

There was likewise an appetizer, daing na espada, fried and served with a green mango salad.

Julius and I were very happy with the results. The dishes were very “in season”—fresh and meatless!

We are sharing the recipes of that happy day with you.

Kilawing Hipon

Vinegar mixture:

¼ cup sukang Iloko

¼ cup regular white vinegar

1 tablespoon minced ginger

1 tbsp sugar

1 teaspoon fish sauce

1 rock salt, to taste

2 tbsp calamansi juice

Combine and adjust seasoning to taste.

Set aside.

Take ½ kilogram jumping shrimps (suahe), peeled. Slowly remove the head so that you can take some of the reddish portion; this makes the kilawin more delicious.

1/3 cup sliced shallots

2-3 tsp ginger, minced

1 piece red chili, sliced

1-2 pieces of green chilies, sliced



Pepper, dash


2 tsp green onions

2 pieces of kamias, thinly sliced

Shallots, sliced

Coriander leaves

Red chili, sliced

Green chili, sliced

Pour boiling water into the shrimps and let sit for no more than 5 seconds.

Drain the shrimps and let cool.

Add the shallots, ginger, chilies, vinegar solution.

Season to taste with salt, sugar and pepper, and refrigerate.

Before serving, garnish with green onions, kamias, shallots, coriander leaves, more chilies for color.

Kilawing Bangus
with Salted Egg

Vinegar solution:

1 cup sukang Iloko

½ cup regular white vinegar

1 tbsp ginger, minced

1 tbsp sugar
3 tsp rock salt
2 tbsp calamansi juice

Pepper, dash

Mix to combine.

Season to taste.

Divide mixture in two.

Take ½ k bangus, cleaned, scaled, head, fins and tails removed, then slice into ½-inch strips.

2 tbsp green onions, sliced

1/3 cup shallots, sliced

2 salted eggs, mashed

2 tbsp mixed ginger

Red and green chilies
Pako, washed and dried
Salted egg, for garnish, thinly sliced

Pour half of the vinegar solution on the bangus.

Mix well and let sit for 10 minutes.

Drain the fish and add the remaining half of the vinegar solution.

Add the green onions, shallots, salted eggs, ginger, chilies.


Before serving, arrange pako on a platter.

Over it, spoon the kilawing bangus.

Garnish with thinly sliced salted eggs, thinly sliced shallots, more chilies for color and diced tomatoes.

Adobong Saba

8 pieces of saba, not too ripe

2 tbsp oil

¼ cup chopped white onion
2 tbsp chopped garlic
1/3 cup soy sauce

1 piece bay leaf

3 tbsp panucha or 3 tbsp brown sugar

1 tsp whole peppercorns

1 cup water

Peel the bananas and slice diagonally in the center.

In a wok, add in 2 tbsp of oil, and sauté ¼ cup of chopped onion and 2 tbsp of chopped garlic.

Add the bananas, and mix until they are coated in oil.

Add 1/3 cup soy sauce, 1 piece bay leaf, peppercorns, 3 tbsp panucha or brown sugar, and water.

Cook until the saba is coated with the mixture, 10-15 minutes.

Season to taste.

Daing na Espada
with Mango Salad

3 tbsp panucha dissolved in 3 tbsp of water

1 tbsp peanut butter

3 tsp chopped garlic

A few slices of red chili



Cracked pepper

3 green Indian mangoes, shredded

1/4 cup fried pusit/squid, crumbled, for garnish

Chilies for garnish

Coriander for garnish

Combine panucha, peanut butter, garlic, chilies, sugar, salt and pepper.

Adjust seasoning to taste.

Before serving, pour over mangoes and garnish with coriander leaves, chilies and fried pusit.

Daing na espada cut into 3- to 4-in pieces, fried.

To serve:

Arrange green mangoes on one side of the platter.

On the other side, arrange the daing.

Use the daing to scoop the salad.

Summer Salad with Sweet Sukang Iloko Dressing

8 pieces sitaw, cut 3 in long

5 baby talong, cut 3 in long

4 sigarilyas, sliced diagonally 3 in long

1 small bundle kamote tops

1 small ampalaya, thinly sliced

3 pieces makopa, sliced

½ cup singkamas, sliced

1 cup sea grapes

10 small shallots, whole

2 pieces suha, snipped into bite-size pieces

Katuray flowers, fresh, optional

Kalunay flowers, blanched

Blanch the following vegetables: sitaw, baby talong, sigarilyas, kamote tops, ampalaya.

After blanching, shock the vegetables in ice water.

Drain and set aside.

Pour dressing over the vegetables, and chill in the refrigerator.

Before serving, arrange the cold vegetables in a serving platter.

Garnish with makopa slices, singkamas, sea grapes, shallots, suha, katuray and kalunay flowers, garlic.


1½ cups water

1 cup sugar

2-3 tbsp rock salt, adjust to taste

¾ cup sukang Iloko

Pepper, to taste

Combine ingredients in a saucepan.

Bring to a boil.

Simmer for 15 minutes or until slightly thick.

Season to taste.

Cool before pouring on veggies.

Adjust proportion of water and sukang Iloko to taste, as the balance will depend on the vinegar.

Julius Manzano caters in La Union and neighboring provinces; tel. no. 0905-2961996.

Kilawin Bangus, Summer Salad of Ilocano Backyard Fruits and Vegetable with Sea Grapes, Kilawin Hipon (Center), Daing na Espada with Manga Ensalada, Adobong Saba
Kilawin Bangus, Summer Salad of Ilocano Backyard Fruits and Vegetable with Sea Grapes, Kilawin Hipon (Center), Daing na Espada with Manga Ensalada, Adobong Saba
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