LPXI – Saba Con Hielo

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When it’s summer in the Philippines, everybody thinks of halo-halo – a mixture of sweet beans, macapuno (sweet coconut meat), langka (jackfruit), pinipig (toasted and flattened glutenous rice), saba banana, sago (pearl balls) and sugar, filled with crushed ice and milk, and topped with ice cream, ube (sweet yam) and leche flan. Not me. I’ll pick saba con hielo over any other pinoy dessert on any given day. Call it whatever you like – minatamis na saging, banana with ice, saging con yelo. I just love this stuff.

It is also a sweet, refreshing and filling snack served in dad’s old carinderia. It is so easy to prepare it’s a common snack prepared by mom back home since we were kids. Of course, freshly plucked from dad’s banana trees. How fun can it get especially during hot summer days? It’s like working real hard and getting rewarded. You need shaved ice, right? Remember this kitchen tool that works like a hand planer? Pangkaskas ng yelo. When we were old enough to use one we toned few muscles for the shaved ice we need for saba con hielo. How much sweeter can it get?Too bad until now I haven’t found a single piece of saba here in Beijing or else I would be devouring a whole lot together with Cean who eats no other fruit except bananas.

This is how I remember it. Throw in whole ripe saba bananas into a pot of water with brown sugar and simmer until bananas are cooked and the syrup is thick. Serve yourself a saba or two (or three!) in a bowl, add shaved ice and evaporated milk and voila! Sarap talaga!

Photo courtesy of my friend Mike. Syempre luto nya din.
Also, check out the round-up.

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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.

16 thoughts on “LPXI – Saba Con Hielo

  1. ay naku! of course this is one of my fave too tita kais! how could i forget! thanks for the reminder at gagawan ko ang mga bagets! this one over halo-halo for me too!…

  2. oh, I had totally forgotten about this treat! Di ba may version where there is some sort of syrup drizzled over the saba? Hmmm you just mad me want to experiment again :smile:

  3. it’s really yummy! i ate six of those while doing the shoot because the ice was melting too fast! LOL! i also experimented on that version JMom mentioned . . . will be posting it soon!

  4. maraming maraming salamat! yeah looks like everybody loves saging con yelo…

    ate cha, u can add me to ur links anytime :D i added u to mine.

  5. Pingback: ISKAndals.com »

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