I never heard of tinulmok, a less well-known cousin of the pinangat (laing) and bicol express, until i started ealing with people from Bicol. Hey, not even everyone in Bicol is familiar with this. This was a surprise discovery when someone from the office made me try it. I love coconut. But have never heard of it. It’s a little bit familiar, but something new at the same time.
I tried it, found out it was young coconut, and looooved it. It’s like eating flavored young coconut. And I have been looking to make it ever since.
On recent trips to Bicol, I would buy frozen tinulmok (or tilmok) and bring this home, only to discover that only I ate these things. I haven’t been back there yet, but I had an abundance of shredded young coconut (I have been fueling up with coconut juice since I can drink tons of this compared to water), and just decided to make it.
I always take for granted our old cookbooks at home, and rely so much on the internet, but this yeiled out very frustrating results. I have half-hashed recipes on random sites, but looking through mom’s old coconut cookbook, I find this recipe smack right among the other usual stuff.
Instead of using either talangka (small crab) or shrimp, which is already a change in the usual, I opted to use scallops since this is what we had at home. I added some minced onion, salt, pepper, and a bit of calamansi juice. I didn’t have any banana leaves, so I wrapped this in foil and steamed it for 30 minutes.
Cooled for a bit and then pulled out from the steamer basket. It wasn’t as fab as those that I have tasted. Really. But it was near enough and I won’t be afraid to try and make this again. It’s really yummy, for me at least 🙂
Not-Authentic Tinulmok Recipe
2 cups of shredded young coconut
1 onion, minced
juice of one to two calamansi, to taste
1/2 cup scallops (the small ones), thawed
Mix all of the ingredients together. Taste. It should taste like seasoned coconut. Then add the scallop. Wrap in foil ala tamales style. Steam for 30 minutes.