Smells like hell, tastes like heaven!
Nope, I am not referring to Davao's famous Durian. A true son of Pateros will only have one thing in mind when you say these words - ABNOY!
If balut is the "famous" delicacy of Pateros, abnoy may lay claim of being the "infamous" counterpart. If the uninitiated finds eating duck embryo revolting, wait till they hear what we do with rotten duck eggs.
Rotten. That's what it is. Abnoy is made from fertilized duck eggs that did not fully develop. As it begins to rot from the inside, it emits an odor most foul. But trust the people of Pateros to come up with the most fascinating foods even out of rotten eggs. Thus was born the bibingkang abnoy.
So, if you are ready for a Fear Factor experience, head for Pateros and get yourself raw abnoy eggs from any of the friendly balutans in our town. Once safely home, start your gastronomic adventure. Here's my favorite recipe for bibingkang abnoy:
What you will need:
- abnoy eggs from Pateros
- minced onion
- chopped tomatoes
- chopped kimchay
- ground pepper
- rock salt
- banana leaves - optional
- Break the eggs and pour contents on a bowl. Be warned that the eggs will smell - and smell really bad. Don't say I didn't warn you on this.
- After you have recovered from the initial shock, or if your nose had adjusted to the pungent smell (whichever comes first), beat the eggs as you would for an omelet.
- Mix in the rest of the ingredients. Set aside.
- Heat an omelet pan lined with banana leaves wide enough to spread over the cooking area. Pour cooking oil and let stand for a few seconds, or until hot enough.
- Pour the mixture into the pan, over the banana leaf until about 1/4 inches thick. Let stand under moderate heat until the top portion is slightly cooked, then flip over. Let stand until both sides are brownish.
- Poke with a fork to check if the inside is already cooked.
- Take out from the pan and serve warm, with spicy vinegar on the side. Great with steamed rice or as bar chow. Some people from Pateros would prefer it with bahaw na kanin, or cold rice from yesterday.
- A variation on cooking the abnoy mixture would be to steam it as you would a puto or siopao. Still another delicious way is to go unconventional by baking it in a traditional bibingka table top clay oven, with embers from charcoals on both the bottom and top sides. Now, think twice before trying this outside of the Philippines (that is, if you can find a stateside abnoy), as your exotic-food-challenged neighbors could find its differently abled aroma quite offensive. Too bad there's no other way to eat it other than straight from the pan.
* Photo of bibingkang abnoy courtesy of lafang-list.bluechronicles.net, while that of slices being sold in Pateros is from the collection of Elmer Nocheseda.