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Cebu Food: Binangkal

If you are looking for a kakanin that speaks a lot about Cebu and is distinctly “Bisaya” then that would certainly be Binangkal. For the “sosyal” (elite) people, they call it Sesame Balls or Fried Bread. But for us true-blue middle class Cebuanos, we simply call it Binangkal. This native delicacy has been a staple snack for everyone since you can find Binangkal almost anywhere. Plus, it is so affordable and it can really fill your hungry tummy in no time. Historians have stated that Binangkal is the favored food of the farmers or the laborers since it has a long shelf life and is proven to make anyone feel full right away.

I grew up eating Binangkal for snacks especially right after school and I was always amazed with its unique taste. For me, it tasted like bread with a hint of fried rice and with a bit of a Chinese kick because of the sesame seeds. Just one Binangkal can take the hunger away. I like it most when it is still fresh from the pan and with extra sesame seeds. I would always choose the ones that are not too hard on the surface because I know that the Binangkal would be a bit chewy on the inside.

Although there are now plenty of snack choices to choose from, I would still prefer eating Binangkal because it brings back a lot of good memories. I also think that Binangkal shows the Cebuano’s trait of being thrifty and practical. Good traits that should be emulated by everyone. So, while I’m munching this Binangkal, check out this Binangkal recipe (courtesy of www.filipinodesserts.net) that you can try at home:

2 ½ cups flour
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
¾ cups brown sugar
2/3 cups water
2 tbsp oil
Sesame seeds


Sift the dry ingredients first then mix brown sugar, water and oil then add to the flour mixture. Blend all ingredients well. Take small bits of batter using a teaspoon then gently roll in the sesame seeds. Fry in deep hot oil until golden brown.

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