Recipe: Give Childhood Treat Binatog a Fresh, Modern Spin

Childhood summers in my mother’s provincial home constituted of long, lazy nap-filled afternoons, raucous games of tag, and the naughty habit of wolfing down plastic cups of binatog like it was the last meal my cousins and I would ever have on earth. Much to my lolas dismay, we’d be puffed up from all the corn and coconut, pass up on dinner, and brave the sinister shadows as we crept into the kitchen late at night to snack on dinner’s leftovers.

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Today on Pepper we’ve taken the iconic corn street snack, and reinvented it as a breakfast dish and a sophisticated dessert. Our Binatog Omelet comes fired up with chilies and mellowed down by briny, tangy feta. We also added some knobs of butter for good, creamy measure. And for dessert, we took more binatog kernels and used them to accessorize a classic panna cotta, just like at Cocina Peruvia, but served with some homemade gooey latik and golden coconut crumble to boot.


Binatog Omelet

Total Time: 30 minutes
Yield: 2-4 servings, estimated


  • 1 cup binatog kernels
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 tbsps butter
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • 4 tbsps cilantro, chopped
  • 2 red chilies, sliced thinly
  • salt, to taste


  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil.
  2. Add in the binatog kernels, and boil until cooked and tender.
  3. Drain the binatog and set aside.
  4. In a bowl, whisk together the eggs and salt.
  5. In a pan, melt half of the butter and pour in half of the eggs.
  6. Continue to cook the eggs over a low-medium heat, stirring until it begins to set.
  7. When the omelet is almost fully set and the bottom slightly browned, slide the omelet onto a plate.
  8. On half of the egg, add on half of the binatog, feta, cilantro, and chili.
  9. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.
  10. Fold over and serve.

Binatog Panna Cotta

Total Time: 1 hour (plus overnight)
Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients: Latik

  • 1 cup coconut milk

Procedure: Latik

  • In a saucepan, cook the coconut milk until it boils.
  • Continue to stir until the mixtures separate, and the solids begin to brown.
  • Take the pan off the heat and drain the solids from the oil.
  • Set aside.

Ingredients: Coconut Crumble

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup desiccated coconut
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup melted butter

Procedure: Coconut Crumble

  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir together. The mixture should be loose.
  2. Bake in a 375F oven for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
  3. Set crumble aside to cool.

Ingredients: Panna Cotta

  • 1 cup binatog kernels
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 tbsp powdered gelatin
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup white sugar

Procedure: Panna Cotta

  1. Put the binatog and the milk in a small pot.
  2. Bring the milk to a boil, and then turn off the heat.
  3. Put a lid on the pot and let the binatog infuse for about 30 minutes.
  4. Let the mixture cool completely, then strain the milk and set aside the binatog.
  5. Sprinkle the gelatin over the milk and let it bloom, about 5 minutes.
  6. In a saucepan on low heat, add in the milk and gelatin mixture until the gelatin is completely melted.
  7. Add in the heavy cream and the sugar, and continue to cook until the sugar has dissolved.
  8. Evenly distribute the binatog kernels into serving bowls, ramekins, or glasses.
  9. Pour the panna cotta mixture evenly into the containers.
  10. Chill the panna cottas in the refrigerator overnight.
  11. When the panna cottas are chilled and completely set, serve with the coconut crumble, latik, and more binatog kernels.

What other recipes do you think would work well with binatog? Tell us with a comment below!


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