Not a lot of people in Metro Manila, or Luzon for that matter, know the tabon tabon. It’s a fruit native to Northern Mindanao and Camiguin, so it is a bit hard to find around here.

The fruit is used mainly for kinilaw/kilawin. They need to be used within 10 days of picking or else they get really tough. It’s a hardy fruit that doesn’t need cultivation to grow. The flavor is quite hard to describe and that’s because of its anaesthetic properties. It numbs the mouth and leaves a tingly feeling on your tongue. The reason why this fruit is added to kilawin is because it removes the “langsa” (not fresh fishy smell/taste) of fish. It also has antibacterial properties that help make raw dishes like kilawin safe to eat.

Watch and learn more about the tabon tabon in my video below!

Recipe ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp of Tabon Tabon pulp
  • 1/4 cup coconut vinegar
  • 1 tbsp of ginger, thinly sliced
  • 1 red chilli, sliced
  • 4 tbsp minced red onions
  • 2 tbsp minced green onions
  • 4 tbsp calamansi
  • 1/3 cup spiced palm vinegar

If your vinegar isn’t spiced, feel free to season with salt, pepper and sugar to your taste. Instructions are in the video above!

What do you guys think? Let me know what other dishes can be made with tabon tabon in the comments!

Erwan Heussaff
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