Kadyos, Baboy and Langka, a Negrense dish playfully nicknamed KBL, has been passed on from one generation to the next using local ingredients.

Kadyos (Pigeon pea) is a perennial legume that can easily be grown. It can be planted by the corner of your wall or perimeter area and it will thrive all year round. But of course, we know kadyos more as dried.

Baboy (pork) is a great source of protein and delight. Finding pork in many Negrense dishes, like the KBL, is no surprise.

Langka (jackfruit) can be enjoyed two ways, as a fruit when ripe and as a vegetable when young. For this dish, we use unripened langka.

To complete the dish is an ingredient called batwan (Garcinia binucao). Batwan is a souring ingredient that grows from a tree of the same name that is said to be found in the islands of Negros and Panay only. It is known to be a relative of the mangosteen.

The amalgam of the unique rich collagen quality coming from the beef shank, in combination with the starchiness of the langka and kadyos, deliver a striking fragrance that can only come from this dish.

The best kadyos are the ones newly harvested. It is the beans that bring out the purplish color into the soup and once cooked, has a certain sweetness to it and releases a delectable smell that whets one’s appetite.

In KBL, the cut pork can be the one close to the bone, like the hock or ribs, and the pork belly. The fact that these parts of the meat are packed with flavor, choosing them makes it tastier and fork-tender. When mixed with other ingredients of KBL, the pork’s saltiness and sweetness leave a velvety quality of natural flavors.

Adding the langka into the mix as a vegetable makes it more interesting and delicious. With the texture and the ability to absorb the taste of the kadyos, baboy and the batwan, once eaten, the langka gives out a splash of flavors that are all at once sweet, salty, and sour.  Paired with rice, it can be a perfect meal.

KBL can be found in popular restaurants in communities throughout Negros Island and is commonly cooked in homes. You can try it on one of your trips when you visit. However, it doesn’t hurt to try cooking KBL at home.

Negrense /neg-REN-se/ n. the people of Negros Island in the Philippines. The island is divided into two provinces, Negros Oriental to the east and Negros Occidental to the west.

1 Tbsp. oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 medium onions, chopped
Water for boiling
½  kg. pork, cleaned
¾ cups kadyos (if dried, soak for at least 4 hours)
6 slices langka
2-3 batwan, according to taste
Salt to taste

In a large pot, sauté the garlic in oil, then add the onions.
Place pork in enough water, cover the pot, and boil.  
Halfway through the desired tenderness, add kadyos and langka.
Allow the kadyos to release its color and stain the pork.
Once pork, kadyos, and langka are tender, add batwan.
Add salt to taste.
Cover, continue boiling until desired tenderness is achieved.

Makes 2 servings.

Recipe shared by Nanay Lucita Divino Tonato
77 years old
Head cook of the Velez-Gamban and Locsin-Gamboa families

Nanay Luz has been cooking family recipes that have been passed on for generations. She learned how to cook from her mother at a young age and became proficient with some of the heirloom recipes of the families she worked with.

Text by: Massah Gonzales-Gamboa
Photography by: Project Twenty Six
Food Styling by: David Dadivas

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