May 14, 2011

Alokon: Birch Flowers

Alokon: Birch Flowers

Having Ilocano parents means eating a lot of native dishes from Ilocos, Cagayan Valley, and Vigan. Oh, and a lot of vegetable dishes that have just entered the mainstream cuisine here in the metro. It has been a while before my dad cooked a dish from Alokon, more commonly known as birch tree flowers. Despite the similarity in appearance to the birch family, it is actually not a relative of the birch tree.  It has been widely available only to the provinces until a few years ago, and my dad seemed amused to find it in our local grocer. Other names for this vegetable/flower are alakon, alucon, baeg, and birch tree flowers.

Alokon: Birch Flowers

My mom in Canada said that they can only buy these in frozen form, all of which came all the way from Asia. Somehow, I don't like the idea of using frozen vegetables because it ruins their natural texture. The flowers above are supposedly freshly picked (within 24 hours) and newly delivered when my dad came across it, so he took the chance and bought the greens. Then he cooked an unfamiliar dish with alokon, pork and broccoli, which tasted so delicious that I missed going to Cagayan and Ilocos.

16 comments:

  1. wow, favorite ng mama ko ito (ilocana siya),. masarap sa pinakbet, himbabao kung tawagin d2 sa nueva ecija yan:)

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  2. wow! thanks for posting this because I did not know the name of this veggies until now, but I've seen a lot of it in the wet market in 'pinas.
    Btw, you're mom pala is here in Canada,are you coming here too. :)

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  3. I have an Ilocano dad but he never had this made for us. probably walang birch flowers dito banda sa amin sa Mindanao.

    My first time to hear of the recipe. :)

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  4. wahhh, lalo ko tuloy na miss ang Pinas! my parents are ilocanoes, too...and i so love their native foods...

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  5. This is the first time I encountered this veggie!

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  6. Alokon pala tawag diyan. Una ako nakatikim ng gulay na yan noong grade 3 ako isinama ako ng kapitbahay namin sa Batangas. Yun na, di na naulit kaya di ko na rin matandaan ang lasa. :)

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  7. mukhang masarap...dpa ako nakatikim nyan....sorry for the late FTF visit.

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  8. This is the first time I heard about Alokon, and I don't think it's available in the grocery, so I wouldn't be able to try cooking this dish. I love vegetables, too, and Ilocano dishes! Thanks for the visit!

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  9. my mom's from cagayan and she cooks this alokon, i think i've tasted it before but now i forgot how does it taste, i will try again if got the chance! thanks for sharing. visiting late from FTf, sorry! have a great week! :)

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  10. i had this when i was a kid. my mom is from tarlac and my lolo used to cook this during summer when we were "forced" to stay in the province.

    i now miss those times=)

    visiting via FTF:
    http://1716south.com/2011/05/sidcor-sunday-market/

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  11. looks yummy! this is what they'd add in their Diningding! tried this vegie/flower last year when I visited my friend from Ilocos.. :P

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  12. this is the yummiest gulay ever...hmmmm love it!

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  13. i really missed this veggie, ilocano taste buds really craves for it!!!

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  14. ilocano folks really love this veggie, both of my parents were, very scarce lang nga d2 sa palawan yan!! i miss ABRA!!!

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  15. i really missed this veggie, ilocano taste buds really craves for it!!!

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  16. I love cooking this into pinakbet together with stringbeans, malunggay fruits, eggplant, tomato, ampalaya, luffa or patola, patani and bagnet. I cook this with just enough water that will not make it soupy. Instead of bagnet, broiled dalag will also make the dish truly delicious. Use patis or bagoong suited to your taste. By the way, I have an old Alokon tree in my farm that produces truly long flowers. The longest that I got today (July 7, 2013) measures 14 inches long.

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