BRINGHE is the Filipino version of the Spanish paella. It is steeped in Philippine history, having been eaten by some of the most well-known Philippine heroes, and originates from the Northern provinces of Pampanga and Bulacan. It draws its yellow color from turmeric, or luyang dilaw, as the Spanish paella owes its orange color from the very expensive saffron. Bringhe, according to Kapampangan chef, artist, painter and sculptor Claude Tayag, is the only savory rice cake in the country, and so, hailing from Pampanga, he has his own version of it.
Chef Claude’s version is a small bringhe patty almost the size of a regular Pinoy hamburger, topped with a piece of crispy crablet. He thought of this because he has taken note that Filipinos love to have their bringhe with a little tutong (golden ‘burnt’ crust at the bottom) and they love to have a generous topping on it. And since he has observed, in many of his cooking demos, that when the bringhe is served in its usual form, the leftover bringhe is often all rice and without any topping left. So he thought of serving his bringhe patty style. This way, he gives diners a generous portion, with a little tutong underneath because the patties are individually cooked on a skillet, and with a nice crispy crablet for its topping.
This is also how he prepared and served his Bringhe in the cooking class he recently conducted at The Maya Kitchen, titled From a Kapampangan Palate to an Artist’s Palette, as part of the cooking school’s Culinary Elite Series.
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 cup glutinous rice, pre-soaked in water for 30 minutes
1 cup regular rice
2-3 cups chicken stock or fish stock
2 cups kakang gata (thick coconut cream or first extraction)
50 grams turmeric, grated finely and soaked in 1/2 cup water, then pressed and run through a fine strainer
patis (fish sauce) and pepper to taste
Claude ‘9 Taba ng Talangka
Claude ‘9 Inasal Marinade
Maya All Purpose Flour
oil for deep-frying
1. In a nonstick frying pan, sauté garlic and onion in a little oil, and add in glutinous rice and regular rice. Continue sautéing.
2. Pour in chicken stock or fish stock.
3. Add turmeric extract, and season with patis and pepper.
4. Simmer over low heat until rice is cooked, stirring occasionally.
5. When rice is cooked, divide into 1/3 cup portions.
6. Place each portion on a piece of banana leaf, and flatten to an approximately 3-inch medallion. Repeat process to form more bringhe patties.
7. Heat skillet and place banana leaf-lined bringhe cakes on it. Cook until some charring appears on the leaves’ edges, producing a golden brown crust at the bottom.
8. Top each bringhe patty with a teaspoon of taba ng talangka (crabfat).
9. Sprinkle with chopped chives and top with a fried crablet.
10. To prepare the crispy crablet, season with Claude ‘9 Inasal Marinade, dredge in Maya All Purpose Flour, then deep-fry in hot oil until golden and crispy. Remove crablets from oil and drain off excess oil on paper towel.