Saturday, May 4, 2013

Kansi - A Local Dish

Copyright 2013 LtDan'sKitchen blogs
Kansi, or to aptly describe it is a soured beef stew. It has been praised to high heavens by almost everyone I know and I have tried it a few times to say that is does taste good but it was not until I decided to make my own version did I realize that I have been eating this dish ever since when I was little. It is actually something my Mom used to cook on Sunday lunches but I never really knew it by name, just by taste. Sadly, this realization brought down the novelty of the dish to something very mundane. Still, this is one tasty dish and is definitely worth a try.

Batwan Fruit
Copyright 2013 LtDan’sKitchen blogs

In essence, the dish is similar to the Tagalog Sinigang (Soured Stew) except for a few key ingredients. The souring agent for Kansi is a fruit locally known as batwan instead of the often used tamarind fruit. The batwan fruit gives the stew a mild sour flavor which is balanced by the citrus aroma of fresh lemon grass.  Also, the vegetable used is unripe langka or jackfruit which adds to the simplicity of the dish. The dish is finished off with annatto oil which gives the signature orange tinge to the broth. 

Unripe Jackfruit
Copyright 2013 LtDan’sKitchen blogs
Looking at online recipes, I combined a recipe using ginger in the broth and Market Man's version which invloves pre-cooking the beef shanks to remove any debris formed when parboiling the meat (bone-in). I hope that in a couple of hours, my family will be enjoying a hot bowl of Kansi despite the summer heat. I'm sure a cold bottle of Coke will be enough to bring balance to this steaming hot dish.


4 lbs beef shanks
2 onions, diced
6-8 garlic cloves, minced
4 stalks of lemon grass, tied into a bundle
1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
6 cups beef broth
2 lbs fresh batwan fruit
2 lbs unripe jackfruit, sliced
2 Asian chili peppers
salt and pepper
2 tbsp brown sugar
4 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp annatto seeds + 4 tbsp vegetable oil

1. In a large pot, boil the beef in enough water to cover them. Season with a 
    tablsepoon of salt and cook until the beef has released most of the debris 
    from the bones. Remove the beef pieces and wash with water. Set aside. 
    Pour the broth into a large pot through a sieve.

2. In another large pot, heat the vegetable oil over medium high heat and 
    saute the garlic and onions. Season with salt and pepper and cook until 
    softened. Return the meat pieces and brown. Add the ginger and the 
    lemon grass and pour in the beef broth.

3. Add enough of the boiling broth to cover the meat and bring back to a 
    boil. Once boiling, lower the heat to medium low and simmer covered 
    for 2 hours or until the beef is tender. 

4. Set aside the pot of beef and ladle about 4 cups of the broth into a small 
    pot. Add the batwan and cook until softened. Once softened, mash with 
    a fork or potato masher and pour the liquid back into the large pot over a 
    sieve. Add more broth if necessary to extract all of the soured broth and 
    pulp from the batwan. Check for flavor and add the sugar to balance the 

5. Return the big pot into the flame and add the jackfruit and the peppers. 
    Cook uncovered until the jackfruit is cooked. Check for seasoning and 
    adjust with salt and pepper.

6. In a small pan, extract the annatto oil by frying the annatto seed in the 
    vegetable oil over low flame. Cook for 2 minutes and set aside.

7. To finish the dish, add the annatto oil into the stew and serve steaming 
    hot with steamed white rice. 

No comments:

Post a Comment