Lasang Pinoy 8: Mom’s Bulanglang Ala-Eh Style

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As the youngest in the family, I was the last on the list to be asked by my mom to cook. I remember I wanted my folks to at least let me wash the rice before steaming. So if my memory is correct I was about 9-10years old when my Dad helped me through my very first experiments -  mostly stir-fried vegetables like ginisang repolyo at kung anu ano pa, chopsuey and pakbet (assorted stir-fried veggie recipes and mixed veggies with fermented anchovies). I didn’t get them all perfect the 1st time. I tend to overcook the veggies but my dad is a patient man telling me tips like which one should go 1st or what should be done to get rid of ampalaya’s bitterness. And that was the start of it all. Sometimes we would all try to figure out how to cook a dish that nobody in the family knows of.

I watched all the cooking going on, my bro and sis with what they already knew and my mom with her Batangas cuisine featuring… tadahh! Basang isda galore (sinaing, sinigang, paksiw, etc.) and bulanglang. And who would have thought I would learn a lot from Dad’s carinderia? Menudo, bopiz, adobo, dinuguan, giniling, bistek, etc. Mind you, it’s not your typical carinderia. It was more of a hobby than an income-generating business venture. Dad served home-style.

So going back to the basics, here is a recipe for what must be the easiest of them all – bulanglang. So easy any 10-year old kid could do. There’s only one type I know and it is the way my mom cooks – Batangas style. I found out that in other parts of the country they do it differently where in the vegetables are sauted with onions and garlic and flavored with bagoong and fried fish. Mom’s bulanglang is very simple where the main ingredients are boiled crisp and the result is a nutritious vegetable soup that is refreshingly pure and delicious. Perfect to be served alongside anything fried especially for our family who couldn’t be happy with a dry meal.

When we were kids, usually most of the ingredients were freshly plucked from dad’s garden like bulaklak ng kalabasa (flor de calabaza or squash blossoms), dahon at bunga ng malunggay (moringa leaves & fruits) and wild mushrooms. Beijing spring denies me a large number of tropical veggies that I would love to cook so I just decided to have sitaw (string beans) and mushrooms (oyster mushrooms, I believe) as main ingredients. One may have unripe papaya, chayote and squash in addition to those already mentioned. Use your judgment in combining vegetables to obtain an attractive color combination that suit your taste as well. I definitely like string beans, malunggay, mushrooms and squash blossoms.


a bowl of string beans, cut about 2 1/2 inches long
a bowl of wild mushrooms, juliened
a piece of crushed ginger about the size of your pinky finger
1 medium-size shallot, cut into halves (optional)

Add the ginger and shallots to a pot of boiling water (about 5-6 cups of rice stock). Season with salt and bring to a boil. Add the string beans and mushrooms and continue boiling for about 2 minutes or until the string beans are cooked al dente. Serve hot alongside anything fried – be it fish or meat. I served mine with fried leftover dumplings.

If you don’t like ginger, this one is for you. I would love to let my son give me a helping hand for Lasang Pinoy 8 but I couldn’t think of anything I would let him do in the kitchen. I believe he is still too young to handle a knife but of course he’s more than happy to do a number of things like set the table, bring all the dirty dishes back to the kitchen sink, wash the vegetables (and pour water all over as he plays kitchen). So for his contribution to LP8, here is the 2nd part of his jingle. The 1st part is here.

JS to show clip being updated.

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I am not a professional cook. My only claim to having a culinary background is a short stint as my dad’s teen ‘sous chef’ in his carinderia ages ago. Dad ran small eateries since I was a young kid - serving standard ‘turo-turo’ food ranging from the likes of menudo, adobo, pritong isda, dinuguan, binagoongan, bopis, munggo, pinakbet and giniling to merienda fares like goto, ginataan, pancit bihon, halu-halo and saging con yelo.

My father, a farmer in his hometown before working his way to becoming an accountant, definitely influenced my cooking in a lot of ways than I thought. My siblings and I were raised in a backyard full of fruit trees and vegetable garden. We spent weekends and the summer breaks running around with ducks, chickens, goats and pigs. I had wonderful memories of gathering eggs, butchering chickens, selling vegetables and the sweet aroma of preserved fruits. But my love for art led me to a degree in Architecture. Just few months after getting my license, I went abroad and lived independently at age 23. Definitely no maid, no cook, and a totally different food culture. Along the way I met lots of friends and spent what seemed a lifetime learning new tricks and recipes.

Now living in Auckland, I am a work-from-home mum who juggles time between work, fun and family - in pursuit of work-life balance. No matter how busy I am, I love the idea of cooking for my family. My blog chronicles home cooking greatly influenced by life outside my home country from Southeast Asia to Beijing and Auckland. And most of the time, being busy also means easy (sometimes quick), affordable meals.

17 thoughts on “Lasang Pinoy 8: Mom’s Bulanglang Ala-Eh Style

  1. Aha, that’s another version of bulanglang. I’m on the lookout for variations since ours is like sigang but sweeter with the use of fruits like santol and guavas. Hmmm…

    Cute talaga ni Cean! Hehehe!

  2. Uyy, ngayon ko lang nalaman pwede rin pala ang mushroom sa bulanglang. One of Aldrin’s fave veggies is mushroom, kaya ita-try ko talaga ito.

    Galing-galing naman ni Cean, cutey katulad ni mommy niya.

  3. Cute-cute naman ng anak mo! :grin:

    Love bulanglang! Buti na lang marami kaming tanim na gulay sa back yard namin. We can have fresh malunggay leaves and fruit, talbos ng kamote, and even squash blossoms ‘pag feeling veggie kami!

  4. bulanglang is one of my all time favorites, it’s so simple yet so satisfying. masarap din ang combination ng himbabao and bayabas and camachile, which my lola used to make. sige nga makapagluto nga nyan mamaya; i’ll put some rapeblossoms too and a bit of daikon leaves to make it extra flavorful, and maybe some slices of lotus root as well. :smile: your so passionate about cooking, iska :grin: keep it up!
    kisses to the pogiboy cean :razz:

  5. i remember my mom sometimes makes this dish so I know how it tastes like and I like it since it’s almost like my fave sinigang sa bayabas but i haven’t tried cooking this myself and if i do, malamang ako lang ang kumain..alam mo naman marco…

  6. That’s certainly a different kind of bulanglang from what I know. It looks and sounds very healthly with all those veggies.
    Cute naman ni Cean :wink:

  7. Oo nga Karen & Celia, few years ago I have no idea there are other versions of bulanglang. I am really interested to know.

    Lani, maybe mushroom doesn’t really belong in a bulanglang dish. Maybe because we had lots of them wild mushrooms around kaya lang naisama? Hmmm…

    And I share a liking with this peasant dish with Midge and Atinna here. With all those available veggies around you Midge nakakainggit talaga. Atinna I haven’t tried those veggies you’ve mentioned. The next time I get back home I will ask about them.

    Ces buy few grams of this and that and try cooking good for one person only. Hehehehe

    Marketman, thanks for dropping by. The simplicity of this dish is what makes it special…

  8. hayaan mo iska, pag nakahiram ako ng bata dito sa tabitabi baka makahabol pa sa round-up hehehe kung walang bata pwede na lang ba isip-bata? :lol: maize, maize, i know :mrgreen: sensya na po.

  9. Oh, I just love vegetables cooked simply. My lola does a similar dish too, with the ginger, akin to her ilokano dinengdeng. I’ll have to ask her what it’s called.

    Your cean is sooo cute! I just love that age he’s in now :-)

  10. First time to visit this site – looks delicious but ginger is too powerful a spice for me.

    I love the clip of Cean – makes my heart smile.

  11. I’ve never heard of this bulanglang version before… amazing! I’ll be home for Easter and will definitely make this for my mom with squash flowers and local mushrooms served with pritong isda as you described… mmm… Thanks for sharing!

  12. our bulanglang (Laguna) is really ginger only, just like yours. the shallots or onions are also optional. my mom makes them with LOTS of sitaw and paayap. yummy with fried fish on a rainy day!

  13. JMom, i hope u wud b able to chek the name of that idsh that’s similar to bulanglang. and yes, cean is so sweet at 5 :)

    hi sha! we miss u! katuwa nga e naglabasan ang mga bata for LP8.

    Mita, i hope u will like this simple veggie soup. how i miss squash blossoms!

    hi george! thanks for visiting! i know what you mean when you said that ginger is too strong a spice for you. it goes the same for us so i try to use it in small amounts. here i use a small piece and ofcourse, i don’t boil it too long para d matapang ang luya. and if you prefer not to have ginger at all, this is for u.

    stef, palagay ko nga pareho kac batangas and laguna magkatabi lng naman dba? :)

  14. hello!im tanya,28 yrs.old now in abroad!…i just wanna know the recipe of bulanglang na baboy,kapangpangan style!i hope that you can mail me back!more power and godspeed!

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