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11 October 2008


What could be more Filipino than halo-halo on a hot summer day? From the word halo meaning "mix", it is a delightful ice cooler that spurns happy memories of waiting at the roadside stand while the neighborhood seller makes a batch. I spent a lot of summers in the province; we would eagerly wait for the arrival of the afternoon as it cools up and we can continue our street games interrupted by the midday sun. And then we would exclaim how great it would be to have a mug of halo-halo to escape the sweltering heat. The grown-ups would most likely acquiesce, with orders for themselves as well!

The magic of halo-halo is in the ingredients themselves which though simple, are very Filipino, and when mixed together, becomes a medley of color and flavor!

boiled saba (a banana variety used in cooking), diced into small cubes
boiled kamote (sweet potatoes), diced into small cubes
langka (jackfruit)
gelatin, cooked as per directions and diced
Sweet corn (canned variety will work)
coconut meat, scrapped off the shell into noodle-like strips

pinipig (rice crispies)

shaved ice
evaporated milk
ice cream (optional) - tropical fruit flavors (such as mango or coconut) will do nicely

For the quantities, approximate depending on how much you will be serving. For four tall glasses, for example, a couple of saba, 3 medium kamote, and so on, will suffice.

Get a tall glass (or something similar used for ice cream sundaes), place a tablespoon of sugar, about 3 tablespoons of tablespoons each of the saba, camote, langka, gelatin, sweet corn, coconut meat. This will create nice layers. Top it all up with crushed ice. Pack the ice in. It's ok if it creates a mound above the rim of the glass if you don't have ice cream. Pour evaporated milk and swirl it about and finally top it off with ube.

If you have ice cream, place the ube before the ice, make room for a scoop of ice cream to top your creation.

Then, sprinkle with rice crispies!

I can just imagine getting a spoon, gingerly plunge the spoon into the ice and try to mix it all up without creating a lot of mess, and enjoying my halo-halo one spoonfful at a time...

PS The halo-halo in the photo is from a trip to a local fastfood restaurant, the last halo-halo I can manage to have before we left for New Zealand. It was one of the many food items on my wishlist.

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