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When I was younger, we used to make big batches of soup dishes whenever it’s Sunday. It’s a family tradition to share one special dish on weekends when everyone is home. One of our favorites would be the KBL, which is short for Kadyos, Baboy, and Langka. How to cook KBL is pretty easy — it’s the ingredients that matter.
- Related: Why Family Meals are Important
What KBL Stands For
KBL stands for the three main ingredients of this dish.
- K is for Kadyos or Kadios, which is Pigeon Peas in English
- B is for Baboy or Pork meat. Legs and tail are often used
- L is for Langka or Jackfruit. The unripe one is used in this recipe
The name itself does not say anything about how KBL is cooked, but Ilonggos already know what dish this is with the simple mention of these three letters.
For us, it means a huge pot with steaming brown soup that satisfies not only the tummy but also the heart. It is often eaten with steamed white rice because the soup is already dark maroon-brown because of the kadios. Even the pork is stained this way.
Soured with a local fruit called batwan and given a kick by some green chili, we just have an emotional attachment to this dish. It means comfort, love, family, and sharing a meal. Even when you eat it alone in a Bacolod restaurant serving native Ilonggo cuisine, you will certainly feel a wave of emotion washing over you.
Batwan: Souring Agent for KBL
In Bacolod City and most parts of Western Visayas, we use a lot of batwan in our homecooked meals.
Batwan (or batuan), or Gamboge (Garcinia binucao) in English, is a tree similar to the Mangosteen fruit.
Not only is batwan very abundant in the island of Negros Occidental, we prefer the taste because of its unique character. It does not only provide sour notes and acidity to the dish, it also turns the soup a bit creamier in consistency.
How to Cook KBL (Kadyos, Baboy, Langka)
There really is no exact measurements when cooking KBL. It’s up to you to estimate how much you want to prepare. Like for a family of four, how much pork would you need? Then you can adjust your other ingredients.
But here are the basic components of the KBL — an Ilonggo favorite dish.
KBL Recipe: An Ilonggo Dish
- Pork hocks * (legs), blanched
- Hot water for boiling
- Salt **
- Kadyos (pigeon peas), rinsed and soaked***
- Unripe jackfruit, sliced
- Batwan fruits
- Green or red chili
- Lemongrass leaves, tied in a bunch
- Kamote tops, optional
*Note: Pork cubes or ribs may also be used. Just make sure that you include some pork fat because it adds to the flavor of the dish.
** There are those who use artificial pork flavorings as well as pepper and vetsin (umami). But the native way of cooking would just to season with salt.
*** Soaking the kadios will remove the phytic acid–a natural substance found in plant seed. It is considered an anti-nutrient because it hinders the absorption of iron, zinc, and calcium in the body. Phytic acid may then promote mineral deficiencies.
KBL boiling in the pot in our kitchen. Watch the video below,
This process is how our cook at home does it. Other cooks may have different procedures but the outcome is pretty much the same.
- Clean and blanch the pork with a little salt. Discard the broth.
- In a big pot, boil water and add the blanched pork slices and the drained kadios. Make sure the water level has covered the pork.
- Season with salt and bring to a boil until meat is cooked.
- In another pot, boil water. Add some salt and blanch the unripe jackfruit slices. This will remove the sap, which has quiet a bitter after taste. Remove from the water, drain, and set aside.
- Check the pork if it is tender enough. If you are using pork hocks, the skin should become jiggly.
- You may need to add more hot water if you want more soup. Adjust the seasoning. Bring to a boil again.
- Add the blanched jackfruit slices, batwan, lemongrass bunch, and green chili.
- Bring to a boil until the jackfruit and batwan are tender. Stir gently to let the batwan disintegrate and mix into the soup. Serve hot with steamed rice.
Note: If you are adding kamote tops, stir it in when everything is cooked and cover. It will just wilt with the heat. No need to cook.
Health Benefits of Kadyos or Pigeon Peas
Kadyos (or kadios) is pigeon pea in English. It is scientifically known as Cajanus cajan. It is a very old crop that goes by a variety of names, like Congo pea, Angola pea, and red gram.
Meanwhile, the Philippine variety appear to be small black beans to Filipinos, which is why it earned its moniker, black-eyed peas. Affordable, nutritious, and delicious, kadios is a a popular ingredient in Ilonggo cuisine.
Homecooked dishes like KBL (Kadios, Baboy, Langka) and KMU (Kadios, Manok, Ubad) feature this humble pea.
Pigeon pea is a good source of protein, dietary fiber, and various vitamins and minerals, such as:
Furthermore, kadios also has a very high folate content. This is good news for pregnant women, especially for most mothers and homemakers who are concerned with the tight family budget! Research shows that 100g of mature raw pigeon peas provide 114% (76% for pregnant women) of the daily requirement of folate.
Jocelle’s Food Trip In Bacolod City
Here in Bacolod City, I learned that Atty. Jocelle Batapa-Sigue and husband Atty. Arnel Sigue usually cook big batches of KBL every Sunday. They do it because they have an abundant supply of kadios regularly. The KBL is Atty. Arnel’s family recipe and he is the one cooking this dish on weekends.
Whoever wants to order can just pick up hot KBL in take out containers from their residence in the Bacolod East Area. Remember, it’s only available every Sunday — a wonderful dish to share with the whole family.
From My Kitchen: Other Recipes in this Blog
Want to cook some more? Check out some of the other recipes found in this blog. Just click on any of the links below:
- Cha Misua | Chinese Birthday Misua Recipe
- Easy Boneless Lechon Belly Recipe for the Family
- Balut Recipes for the Craving Mama
- Kitchen Hack: Baked 40-Clove Garlic Chicken Recipe (Modified)
- Cooking with Crab Fat Paste (Aligue)
- Creamy Baked Scallops with with Sliced Potato Recipe
- Health Benefits of Oyster Mushrooms + Recipe
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