Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Kansi: Sinful Soup for the Soul

If there is one sinful dish that can transport you to bliss while it slowly wreaks havoc on your arteries, it is kansi. It is a soup brimming with meat so tender that it flakes at the slightest touch. The bone marrow melts in your mouth like butter from heaven and you might involuntarily groan with pleasure. The broth will be a culmination of the flavors of all the ingredients that has been simmering for hours. The soup is hearty and you can feel its warmth work its way all over your body. It’s a perfect companion for rainy days.

The dish is similar to bulalo only it’s sour because of the batwan. Batwan is in the same genus as mangosteen, they both look similar only the batwan is green and stunted. It is a fruit that is sour but is not acidic. It’s not easy to find this, and is common in local cuisines in Negros Occidental. I almost always substitute tamarind soup base for it. The richness of the marrow is complemented by the sourness of the tamarind or batwan. This adds to the profundity of Kansi.

8 cups water
½ kilo beef brisket cubed
1 beef bone marrow cut into single serving pieces
1 medium sized red onion quartered
1 tomato quartered
½ kilo young jackfruit slices
1 stalk lemon grass
¼ kilo batwan
4 long green finger chili
1 tablespoon atsuete oil

Boil water and add the beef brisket that has been cut into cubes, beef bone marrow, onion, and tomatoes. Let all the ingredients simmer in a pot until beef is tender. You can use a slow cooker and leave it for a few hours. Next add the jackfruit slices and lemongrass. When the young jackfruit slices are cooked, add the batwan and green finger chili. Season with salt then add atsuete oil (annatto seed oil). Serve hot.

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