Binatog is a Laguna delicacy made of warm boiled corn and grated coconut. I got my first taste from a neighbor who sells this delicacy in our place. She would go down the street and shout “Binatog”. If we want to buy some, we’d shout “Binatog” as well and she would come at the gate and we’d get our fill.

I haven’t had binatog for several years so it was a pleasant surprise to find a vendor selling binatog during our visit to the Sta Cruz palengke. I wasted no time buying and eating and interviewing the vendor how she made it. First the corn variety are the white sticky ones unlike the yellow sweet corn favored by most. The kernels are dried then boiled. In between these steps is treating it with apog to whiten the kernels as well as to soften the skin of the kernels. To assemble the binatog, the vendor shapes a piece of banana leaves into a cone, scoops the boiled corn kernels till the cone is filled, adds a dash of salt and tops it with grated coconut.


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  1. says

    What a cool custom – if I shout at my neighbour – he’d shout back at me too but somehow I get the feeling the police would be involved.

  2. says

    That does sound good. I haven’t tasted anything like it.
    I like the selling process, kinda reminds me of buying peanuts at a baseball game.

  3. says

    I love this stuff. When I visit the Philippines this would be the first thing I try finding. I want to visit our local palengke in QC now.

  4. says

    goodness! i often used to go to the palengke with my lola when i was a kid. binatog was one of the those palengke treats that i’d often ask my lola to buy. i remember the binatog vendor well, because i called her “lola edios”, and being LB born and bred (including the my mom and her ancestors before her), she was a very distant relative. now it makes me wonder how “lola edios” is now. wow, really brings back memories. i hope i can find me some binatog when i go to the palengke.

  5. Inspector says

    Binatog is another type of cooking that originated from South America and brought to the Philippines and other countries during the Spanish colonial occupation. Although the traditional added ingredients have been somewhat modified to fit the Filipino taste, the process of treating the corn kernel as the main ingredient is practically unchanged. If you show “binatog” to someone from the southern states of the USA, he should be able to easily recognize it.

  6. Inspector says

    I forgot to mention that they call it “lye hominy” in many US southern states and “posole or pozole” in Mexico and other South/Central American ountries. The corn kernels are generally soaked in water lye for a day or two to remove the hard outer covering and to allow the corn kernels to swell. After thorough washing with water to remove the lye they are then cooked in boiling water.
    Canned preserved hominy can be bought in several US and Mexican grocery stores.

    The process of adding milk, sugar and grated coconut meat is uniquely a Filipino style though and that is what is locally known as “binatog”.

    Hominy is also sometimes fried with spices or added in meat stew.

  7. Mudhooks says

    I want to try and make Binatog! It sounds delicious!

    Hominy corn was grown by the Iroquois Indians, here in Canada, as well as the US for more than 1000 years.

    In order to get the tough husks off, the corn is lyed. Some people use the commercial lye process but traditionally (and very often nowadays, still) they use hardwood ashes. They put good clean hardwood ashes (making sure nothing was burned but wood in the fire) and mix it with water and soak the kernels for a couple of days. It has to be used soon or frozen because it tends to go “sour” and doesn’t taste good.

    With more and more Latinos in many large cities, you can easily get canned white and yellow hominy. The white is always more tender.

    When you go to PowWows (traditional Indian festivals) all over Canada and the US, you can almost always find Corn soup which is sometimes a thick meat soup and sometimes thin, with white hominy corn and red or white kidney beans. Its smokey flavour is unbeatable!

    I make the thick type, myself, using pork hocks (pig ankles), a piece of salt pork well soaked to remove a lot of the salt, beans, Indian rice (and sometimes white rice), onions, garlic, and hominy corn. A piece of fry-bread or bannock, or “scone” (a thick doughy bread baked in an iron skillet in the oven) and you have a hearty winter meal guaranteed to warm you up!

    Hominy corn is also used to make Bean bread (sometimes called corn bread but it is more beans than corn — this is not at all like the American baked bread made with ground yellow corn). A mixture of red and white kidney beans and hominy is steamed and then cut in slices and can be toasted or fried and eaten with soup. You can also eat it sweet with butter and maple syrup on top… Mmmmm….

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