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Bingkahan sa Mohon

Posted by JayPee Monday, July 12, 2010

Bingkahan sa Mohon is almost an icon in Iloilo City for it is synonymous with very delicious bingka. Fulfilling one of my blog frustrations, a few weeks ago I set on a journey to rediscover this very popular bingkahan and I got more than bags and plates of it's famous bingka.
Photo courtesy of TheTrekker blog

I arrived early that time to see they were just preparing to make their famous bingka and that prompted me to have an impromptu gastronomic tour of the nearby area. When I came back an hour later, my order wasn't ready despite my reservations but I didn't mind. I mean it’s just a few minutes of waiting compared to the two times I visited the place and came out empty handed and overly frustrated.
So I took some snapshots of how these delicious bingkas are prepared to make the most out of my waiting time. Bingkahan sa Mohon only makes bingka four days a week according to one of the workers I casually talked with. Starting on a Friday they make a somewhat limited batch until Monday for it is only during these days that they have enough manpower to do.Everyone has his own chores to do and it starts with the bingka mixture. I have no idea what actually are the ingredients (I did not ask further for I assume it is a trade secret), but I’m sure there is nothing fancy in it. What makes it uniquely “Mohon” is the ratio of the shredded coconut meat with the other ingredients unlike other bingkas which have barely signs of coconut strips. It looks like as if they were making bucayo instead of bingka because of the very generous coconut strips in their concoction. This mixture is then poured in individual bingka molds made with halved tins cans with banana leaves at the bottom. One worker constantly cuts banana leaves then place them inside these tin cans for the next batch of bingkas.Then it is off to the big makeshift oven where cooked bingkas mix with the newly placed ones. There are also rectangular cans where plated bingkas are cooked using the same mixture. The heat that cooks these bingkas comes from above as it is constantly monitored and filled with wood. That explains why these (and most) bingkas have a slightly browned top while a gummy and chewy underside.
Using makeshift tools – that’s a pair of pliers by the way (lol), the cooked bingkas are then removed from the heat to cool and ready them for packaging. It’s easy to tell which ones are ready to be taken out from the oven as they are brown and differ (like night and day) to the ones still uncooked or newly placed. There are left to cool a bit on the table until such time that it one doesn’t get burned taking them out of those tin cans.Round bingkas are packed into fours and sold at 10 pesos each. The rectangular ones are wrapped in wax paper and placed in cardboard boxes and sold for 50 pesos. Both of these are good buys and competitive with the other bingkas around in price and in taste. Usually they start making them in the morning around 9 and even before they are cooked orders come in droves. So these bingkas barely stay on display as they are bought literally off the oven. Only the “remains of the day”, so to speak, are finally displayed in the streets. And it seldom happens since most of these bingkas are already sold out early in the afternoon.
So that time aside from going there early, I also contacted someone (still remained anonymous) and had my reservations for two plates of bingkas. And I still went there and confirmed it so in the end, I went home very happy and very satisfied. With two plates of their big bingkas and five packs of round ones, I did not only rediscover their bingkas but also having a first hand experience of seeing (and blogging) how these famous bingkas of Mohon are become such an icon in the gastronomy of Iloilo City.Bingkahan sa Mohon is along the national highway going to Oton and a few meters after the Mohon (Iloilo South) transport terminal. It takes less than 5 minutes to walk from the terminal. Please refer to this map. You can contact them through 0919-572-2581.


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