June 18, 2011

barako finger (dynamite chili stick)

barako finger  - (ba-rá-ko fing-geyr; Tagalog delicacy) [n.] green finger chili roll \dynamite chili. 

a.k.a. dynamite chili, or dynamite chili stick in Tagalog and Cebuano

The siling labuyo (green finger chili) is cut lengthwise with the stalk remained intact, seeds removed, washed clean, then filled with cheese stick. Another version is filled with sautéed ground meat in chili sauce instead of cheese stick. The filled chili is then wrapped in lumpia wrapper (wanton wrapper).
The stem or stalk of the finger chili juts out like a wicker of a dynamite. Thus, it is also called dynamite chili because of its dynamite-like appearance.

Packs of fresh and uncooked barako fingers sold in food stalls in Caticlan Airport in Malay, Aklan.

Barako finger is deep fried and served as appetizer. It makes good partner with your ice-cold beer.
Barako finger is not too hot than one may think because siling haba (green finger chili) is mildly hot and that its seeds removed.

A heap of dynamite chilies at world-class and first picnic-inspired night food market at Glorietta's Dolphin Park in Ayala Center of Makati City.

Barako finger could be a lot hotter if the seeds are not removed. However, too much seeds would cause this appetizer to taste bitter.

Steps on how to make the simplest version of barako finger (a.k.a. dynamite chili)
A serving of freshly fried barako finger (a.k.a. dynamite chili) doused with sweet chili sauce.

The enhanced version of barako finger is lined with sheet of bacon before it is wrapped in lumpia wrapper.
The sautéed ground meat and chili sauce version can also be made intensely hot by adding minced siling labuyo (bird’s eye chili) instead of using minced Jalapeño chili or siling haba (green finger chili) as fillings.

Photos by Edgie Polistico

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June 14, 2011


taklong – (ták-long; Capizeño snail) [n.forest snail. 

a.k.a. takrong in Capizeño

A species of big-sized snail found in the woods or forested areas in Capiz and nearby provinces, mostly in moist places such as near a river or water falls. It lives on trees as this snail would eat the leaves of trees and other plants. 

It is seen crawling under the foliage and branches of trees and leaves of other plants, carrying on its back a dark brown coiling shell. 

It looks like kurakol (plant snail) or big-sized kuhol (escargot). As food, the taklong is collected and boiled in water to make it easy in pulling out its meat from its coiling shell. When boiled, the meat in the shell is pried out with a fork or pin.

Then the meat is cooked further into barbekyung taklong (forest snail barbecue) by marinading it in barbecue sauce then skewered on stick and grilled, or made into guinataang taklong (forest snail in coconut milk), guinisang taklong (sautéed forest snail) or adobong taklong (pickled forest snail). When cooked, it is gummy and tastes like chicken gizzard. 

Personal note

This one is different from kuhol. Its tastes bitter and chewy. In my case, I turned squeamish and had a thorough exercise with my jaw masticating the dish. It takes a good combination of spices and seasonings to make it at least enticing. Its bitterness is definitely due to its diet on forest green leaves.


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