Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Kadios, Baboy and Langka

Copyright 2012 LtDan'sKitchen blogs
Kadios (pigeon pea), Baboy (pork) and Langka (jackfruit) or KBL is a well-loved Ilonggo dish and is one of the staples of our summer Sunday dinners growing up. When my grandmother on my Mom's side was in her 70s, she tilled the land next to our house and every summer, pigeon pea is one of her crops due to the fact that this pea variety is commonly grown in her hometown of Miag-ao (the same place where I now work). As one of the younger grandkids, we get the honor to harvest the pods and shuck the peas out of their pods. This was a fun activity and by the end of the afternoon, your fingers have already turned purple as well as your tongues from sneaking a few morsels of the fresh peas every now and then. 

Copyright 2012 LtDan'sKitchen blogs
The peas are smallish in size and range from a mottled purple/green mosaic to a deep purple black color. The ripe ones are the darkest in color which also means the stew you make from it turns a dark purple. The most common combination for the stew is how it obtained its now infamous name. The pork used to make this stew is of the unhealthy variety. The more fat, the better. Of course, you can go a bit healthier but bear in mind that most of the flavor comes from the fatty pieces of pork so you have two choices: first is to use a couple of fatty pieces of pork which you can later remove when you are ready to serve. A second option is to use bone in meat to add more flavor to the broth. 

Copyright 2012 LtDan'sKtchen blogs
The third component is probably the hardest one to find in the US. Kadios by themselves are hard to find but black beans make a good substitute. Jackfruit on the other hand is a do or die component of the dish. When I was still living in the US in the city of Atlanta, canned young jackfruit were sold in oriental stores for about $1.50. Take note that ripe jackfruit are also sold in bottles as strands of the now yellow-colored ripe jackfruit flesh. However, you don't want these ripe flesh for this dish. You want the unripe fruit because when young, the flesh has a firm texture and is great for stews and can be cooked as a vegetable. When ripe, the bland flavor of the flesh have turned very sweet and are best eaten as a fruit or made into a marmalade. Personally, I like to eat the ripe fruit straight from the tree which you can easily tell when ripe from the pungent odor that emanates from it. To keep the bugs out, the fruit is wrapped in a sack and allowed to grow to its full size until mature. 

Copyright 2012 LtDan'sKitchen blogs
I have been craving for this dish ever since I visited California back in 2006. I was informed they had kadios in their Filipino stores. Unfortunately, they always disappear from the shelves so I went home empty handed that time. Having issues with gout lately made me forsake this dish in the realms of "How I wish I can eat that" category except that my Dad especially asked for it this weekend. Since the peas were out of season in our city, I had to settle for dried ones so a cup of dried pigeon peas when cooked in water gave about 4 cups of perfectly cooked peas. I also had the first batch of cooking liquid discarded to get rid of all the uric acid to ensure that my gout does not flare up after eating this dish. As you can see, I cooked the stew the old fashioned way that would make my Mom proud. 

Kadios, Baboy and Langka

3 lbs pork pieces, with skin, bones and fat on
1 onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 stalk lemongrass, tied in a bundle
2 lbs young jackfruit, sliced
1 cup dried kadios, cooked
8-10 cups beef broth
4 tbsp fish sauce (optional)
salt and pepper
3 tbsp vegetable oil

1. Cook the pigeon peas in a large pot with enough water over medium heat 
    until soft when pressed between the fingers. Add more water whenever 
    necessary. Set aside. 

2. In another large pot, heat the oil and saute the garlic and onion until 
    softened. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Add the pork and saute until slightly browned. Season with salt and pepper.
    Add the lemon grass and mix in with the meat.

4. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 
    40 minutes. 

5. Check for flavor and season with the fish sauce if using or salt. Add the 
    cooked pigeon peas with the cooking liquid and simmer for another 30 

6. Add the jackfruit and cook until softened, about 10 minutes. Check for 
    flavor and serve with steamed rice.

1 comment:

  1. If one can't find kadyós/pigeon pea (Cajanus cajan) seeds in Asian grocery stores, one could try looking for kadyós seeds in Hispanic grocery stores.  The beige variety of dried kadyós seeds is sold in Hispanic grocery stores but the flavor and texture are still kadyós.  In Spanish, kadyós is known as "gandúles".

    Filipinos and other tropical Asians can also find beef liver, beef tongue, beef bone marrow, oxtails, bístek, chorízo, longganísa, lechón, lechón sa kawáli, chicharrónes, lechón manók, pig's blood and pig's intestines (for making dinuguán), tripe (for making káre-káre), tilápia, catfish, tamáles, empanádas, ensaymáda, kamóte tubers, gábi tubers, the white interior variety of úbi tubers, singkamás tubers, ripe family-size papáyas, green unripe family-size papáyas (for cooking), kalabása, sayóte, sabá, plantains, Cavendish bananas, mature coconut fruits, young coconut fruits, coconut water/juice, Manila mangoes, mango juice, avocados, sapóte colorádo, guavas, tamarind fruits, tamarind soft drinks, dáyap (limes), sweet peppers, hot peppers, dúlce de léche, léche flan, dried atswétes seeds, dried bay leaves, cassava tubers, patáni, etc., in Hispanic grocery stores.

    The flavor of Mexican dessert breads is similar to that of Philippine dessert breads.  "Pan de Molo" is like a hard version of Mexican dessert breads.

    If a Filipino store is unavailable, Filipinos and other tropical Asians might be able to find all the ingredients that they are searching for in American grocery stores, other Asian grocery stores, Hispanic grocery stores, and farmers' markets.

    Kadyós/pigeon pea (Cajanus cajan) is easy to grow in a warm (tropical and subtropical) climate. Kadyós grows well in the warm southern areas of the USA (Hawaii, Florida, Puerto Rico, Guam, Mariana Islands, and from North Carolina to southern California).  Kadyós also grows well in the tropical and subtropical Top-End of Australia.

    Kadyós is a hardy, drought-tolerant legume.  Kadyós can even grow semi-wild or wild.  Kadyós grows to be a small tree that lives up to five years.  Four kadyós trees can produce enough kadyós seeds per year to feed a family of four.

    If one has a garden in a warm climate but has difficulty finding kadyós seeds, one could set aside some kadyós seeds for planting whenever one obtains kadyós seeds.