This is Pork and Beans the Cordilleran style! Kiniing Bukel is a Filipino soup dish prepared with a type of dried smoked pork with white beans cooked with a sauté of onions, garlic together with leafy vegetables.
Kiniing is a traditional delicacy that is specific to the Cordillera region of the Philippines, particularly in the town of Kapangan in Benguet province. Many Filipinos may not be familiar with it, but for the people of this region, it is a well-known and beloved food. Kiniing is a cured pork product made from meat obtained from locally raised native black pigs. The meat is thinly sliced and then soaked in water where guava leaves were boiled, which not only adds a pleasant scent for humans but uninviting to insects which repels them, it also aids in hardening the meat. The meat is then smoked over pinewood or dried guava branches for added flavour and preservation. It is then hung in a suuban, the top of a clay stove where locals cook with firewood on a daily basis, for a month or two, but for a harder consistency it can be hung for up to a year. The end product is then stored in a traditional bamboo basket called a buatala or saket and can be stored for about a month. The practice of making kiniing dates back to before the 1940s and was originally used to preserve wild game.
Kiniing is a versatile ingredient that can be used in various dishes, the unique flavour imparted by the traditional method of processing it, is one that can only be found in Kiniing dishes. Our dish for today, Kiniing Bukel, is a soupy variant which is a common way of preparing it in the cold mountainous regions of Cordillera, like Baguio. The dish is simply made with Kiniing and Bukel, which refers to seeds, kernels, or grains, and in this recipe, bean kernels are used. The main ingredients are sautéed with typical Filipino ginisa ingredients and then boiled with leafy vegetables. Though simple in its preparation, this dish is delicious and is best enjoyed with freshly cooked rice during a cold, rainy weather.