Pinangat ng Bicol ( Tilmok, Tinulmok or Tinuktuk) is the Bicolano local language for coconut meat. Another main ingredient of this recipe is shrimp. The preparation of Pinangat starts with combining coconut meat and shrimp meat.
Other spices is added after the meats are thoroughly mixed. The mixed “meats” are then put inside banana leaves and tied in banana strings then steamed. The aroma of the cooked coconut and crabs inside the leaves are aromatically mouthwatering. This delicious dish is a favorite among locals and becoming known even to tourists. A must try!
Pinangat ng Bicol (Tilmok or Tinuktuk)
½ kg freshwater shrimp, peeled and seasoned with 1 ½ tbsp salt
600g meat of young coconut (about 5 young coconuts), grated
2 onions, chopped
2 tbsp. grated ginger
6 cloves garlic
Few pieces of chillies
20 to 30 fresh taro leaves (should be intact with no holes)
kitchen string with which to tie each pinangat
6 to 8 stalks of lemongrass (lower white portions only), smashed
3 to 4 cups Pure coconut milk
For the sauce/ topping:
2 cups thick coconut cream
5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
4 shallots, finely chopped
2 stalks lemongrass (lower white stalks), sliced
salt to taste
3 to 5 spring onions, finely chopped
Combine the shrimp, grated young coconut, onion, ginger, garlic and chillies and chop them together using a large knife or cleaver until the mixture looks like cornmeal. I used the food processor for this task.
Wrap 2 to 3 tablespoons of the mixture in two (overlapping) taro leaves and tie each with a kitchen string. I did not have kitchen string so I made use of the stalk of the taro leaves.
Line a heavy-bottom pot with the smashed lemongrass and arrange the pinangat pieces on top. Pour the thin coconut milk over the pinangat.
Cover the pot and simmer over low heat, shaking it once in a while to prevent burning. The pinangat is done when the taro leaves are already soft or when all of the thin coconut milk has evaporated.
While the pinangat is cooking, boil together in a separate saucepan the thick coconut cream, garlic, shallots and lemon grass.
Season with salt and simmer until the mixture resembles a thick creamy sauce. Sprinkle the spring onions on top and remove from heat.To serve, arrange the pinangat in a wide platter and top with the sauce.
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Photo by Joel Olivera