"Kusina" = Kitchen; "Manang" = older sister

A Filipina's unabashed chronicle of her adaptations in the American kitchen. Includes step-by-step photos on how to make pan de sal, ensaymada, pan de coco, siopao, hopia, pandelimon, pianono, atsara, crema de fruta,etc., and if you are lucky, you will find videos too!

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Saturday, March 27, 2010


Last week I was emailed by a reader requesting for a post on Binangkal, which is popular in Cebu. I had no idea what it was, but I was intrigued enough, especially with some craving to make some munchies soon because I was not making any the past weeks due to the dust all over the house as my husband was working on our sunroom.

Plus, I needed a break too. Cooking/baking has always been therapeutic for me. So I tried this recipe I had been eyeing since last week. I wanted to decrease the ingredients but the list makes it hard to do that. So I followed the recipe. I had a lot of dough to start with, but since I had no idea what binangkal was, except that it was pretty much like doughnut in that it was fried dough, I thought it would be just fine as the first batches could be a learning phase for me.

True enough, pingpong-sized round dough dropped into the medium hot oil gave me darkly browned binangkal with uncooked middle dough. How could I come up with cooked middle without burning the outside? I came up with this solution: smaller dough, flattened somehow into discs. Rationale: Flatter dough means the heat will be close enough to the middle to cook that part well. The smaller dough ensures cooking the middle part without burning the outer.

I had the extra advantage of having the puffing up of the middle part as a visual cue that the middle is getting done. That was quite unexpected but very effective means of assessing the doneness (aside from brown color at the outside).

Kids approved it, and especially enjoyed these treats with maple syrup. Hubby tried it and said it was different, then got a can of Pepsi and had some more binangkal. So I guess he kinda liked it, although it was "different." It is wonderfully crunchy on the outside (Hey, Claire, you will not break your teeth with this one, I promise!)


5 Cups All Purpose Flour
5 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder (preferably Calumet)
1 Box Dark Brown Sugar GH (2 1/2 cups)
3 Whole Eggs
1 Small Can Evaporated Milk (2/3 cup) + 2 tbsp milk (whole milk or if you have extra evap milk)
1 tsp Vanilla


Mix dry ingredients thoroughly until fine (I used the food processor in pulses.)
Mix remaining ingredients: eggs, vanilla, milk.
Combine all dry and liquid ingredients by hand.
Add more milk if it is too dry until you obtain the correct consistency. The dough should
be stiff enough to mold into a ball. Don't make it too wet (read on and you will see why).
(Adjust to your preferred Binangkal size).
Lay the pinched dough on aluminum foil.
Get a cup of tap or filtered water as preferred (this is why you should not make the dough too wet in the first place).
Dip two fingers of your hand and wet the palm of the other hand for molding the dough.
Pick up each dough and roll between both palms of your hand to shape into balls.
Roll dough in a bowl of sesame seeds then press between fingers to make them flat (depressed more at the middle than at the sides). When done, you are ready to fry.
Heat your frying pan in high heat then lower to Medium-LOW when you begin frying because the pan must be very hot to start. You can try one first to gauge your own stove and adjust in the next batches. Start with few, try to open some and see if you already like what you have before going full blast with more per batch.
Place only about 6-8 pieces per batch. Once all have floated, wait until the top parts puff up and crack, then tip over to cook the other side. Count about 30 seconds once you have tipped over all pieces. Take note of which ones are the first, as they are the ones to get out first. Check to see doneness of the underside (should be uniformly browned, not whitish in the cracks. (My video below is quite different at I tipped too soon just by counting. It will be more reliable to wait for puffing up of the middle before tipping over.)
Prepare a cooling wire rack over a cookie sheet to hold cooked Binangkal for cooling purposes and to let excess oil drip.
Line your storage container with paper towel. Store in airtight container when completely cool.
The Binangkal will keep for a week (according to recipe source).

To Mercie, I hope you will like this!


  1. thanks for the recipe. this is a cebuano delicacy (i'm from cebu) and been craving it.. he secret for it not to brown so much is to cook it at a low temperature. it's going to take more time but it ensures that the mid part is cooked.

  2. ilan pcs nagagawa po?

  3. We tried your recipe, but ours didn't look as nice as in your picture. When we put the binangkal in the oil, they got 2x bigger, split open, and lost nearly all the sesame seeds. Do you know why ours got bigger when heated? Are they supposed to? How did you get most of the seeds to stay on?

  4. Hi Anonymous,

    I just received a comment on my yt video from jayschif saying "Do you have a recipe for your binangkal? We tried to make it with baking powder and baking soda, but the balls got 2x bigger, split open, and lost nearly all the sesame seeds when we put them in the oil. How did you get yours to keep all the seeds?"

    Are you the same person?

    My recipe does not have baking soda. Maybe yours expanded too much due to the added baking soda.

    Did you also follow exactly my procedure? A lot has to do with the method. Did you make sure your hands were wet before you rolled in sesame seeds? Did you pay attention to the following excerpts? "Roll dough in a bowl of sesame seeds then press between fingers to make them flat (depressed more at the middle than at the sides)" and "Heat your frying pan in high heat" then reduce the heat to medium-low. I think the most important part there was the flattened disks when deep frying. Also, try to further reduce the heat so it will gently expand and not "crack open." Hopes this helps.

  5. Do you guys know what carbonato means? this lets the binagkal have a great cracks, this is available in cebu not sure in Manila, trying to look for it but cant find it.

    1. Maiq, I just suddenly realized carbonato might mean sodium bicarbonate, which is baking powder. True enough, google carbonato and baking powder together and you will get a result that says so. having said that, this recipe has baking powder already. Now for Dobrin, I still don't know what that is.

  6. try this ingredients, this would help for sure.

  7. Hi Maiq. Thanks for the tips, but I have no idea where to start looking for carbonato or dobrin, so I probably will not ever get to try your ingredients. :(

  8. hello po. ilang pieces po ang nagagawa?

    1. APOL, sorry I did not count. Let's just say sandamakmak for a family of 4 (actually only 3 ate).

  9. Hello Manang,

    Salamat sa recipe. AKo siyang suwayan og himo og mao pa lang ni akong first time pag himo. My grand mother used to make Binangkal when i was a kid. And now its my turn kay ang akoang bana nga naka tilaw pastilan ako nay gi hasol:). SO i hope na ok ang resulta kabalo nka pag first time.. Thank you & GOd Bless!


    1. Hi Ohara, thanks for your comment. There is one problem, though...I am not Bisaya so I did not get what you were trying to say...I think it is very positive, though...haha!

  10. Manang,

    What is "3 While Eggs"?

    Do you mean egg whites?

    Please clarify.

    Many thanks.


  11. How many days or month mag last yung binangkal mo?thanks,God bless

  12. hi. kelangan pa bang rest ang dough ng binangkal (like bread dough for two hours)?


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