How to cook TRADITIONAL binatog white corn kernels: Recipe+ingredients

by Joost Nusselder | Updated:  August 21, 2022

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One of the most popular Filipino snacks and street foods is binatog, or boiled white corn kernels. Binatog is a common street food in the Philippines, typically marketed by street vendors from house to house in large metal containers.

Binatog Recipe (Boiled White Corn Kernels)

The binatog recipe is made up of boiled white corn kernels and crowned with freshly-grated coconut, salt or sugar, and margarine upon serving.

Binatog is a very easy goody that you can prepare alone in 30 minutes or less! The only step of making this dish that’ll take a lot of your time is the part where you’ll be removing the corn kernels from the ears.

Though it’s quicker and easier, don’t use a knife when removing the corn kernels, as you’ll want to keep the kernels whole and not cut up.

Binatog
Favorite Asian Recipes
Favorite Asian Recipes

One of the fastest ways to do this is to simply use a fork. Just push the fork teeth between the corn kernels and mildly drag them on the cob. In a few minutes, you’ll have corn all set for boiling!

Binatog Recipe (Boiled White Corn Kernels)

Binatog recipe (boiled white corn kernels)

Joost Nusselder
This binatog recipe is made up of boiled white corn kernels crowned with freshly-grated coconut, salt or sugar, and margarine upon serving.
4 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Snack
Cuisine Filipino
Servings 3 people

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup boiled white hominy (corn)
  • 1 tbsp salted butter melted
  • 1 tbsp grated coconut
  • 1 tsp sugar or more to taste

Instructions
 

  • Mix the boiled white corn kernels, butter, coconut, and sugar in a bowl.
  • Add more sugar to taste.
  • Hominy usually comes canned, but the corn kernels also come dried.
  • Rinse canned hominy with water and boil in a pot until kernels burst open (about 10 to 15 minutes). When cooking dried hominy, soak dried kernels overnight in water.
  • Rinse, place in a pot, and cover with water.
  • Simmer for a few hours until kernels burst open. Then serve.
Keyword Binatog, Corn
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Check out this video by YouTuber Princess Ester Landayan to see binatog being made:

Cooking tips

Well, despite being a fairly simple recipe, there are still some tips and tricks you could use to make your dish taste nothing short of perfection. Here they are so you can improve your binatog!

Always use fresh corn kernels

Using fresh corn kernels is good for 2 reasons. First, they’re very easy to cook, and second, they taste as great as they can get!

Besides, they aren’t as hard to find either. So always make the extra effort and get this main ingredient as fresh as possible. You won’t regret it!

Never overcook

When it comes to cooking corn kernels, the one thing you want to carve in your mind is to never ever overcook them! It’ll make them very hard and chewy instead of soft.

That said, every single minute you give it past the recommended time is ruining the dish.

Use freshly grated coconut

Using freshly grated coconut as a topping ensures that you get the best taste out of your binatog. When it’s not fresh, coconut can taste sour, which again, can totally ruin the whole taste of the dish.

The dessert is meant to be sweet or salty, not sour!

Homemade Binatog

Also check out this pan de coco recipe, which is coconut bread and a great mid-afternoon snack

Variations and substitutions 

If you’re someone like me who’s used to intensely flavored dishes, perhaps the light flavor of binatog might not be enough to satisfy your craving for that extra kick.

Luckily, while the dull flavor makes the dish a little less attractive for flavor savvies, it also allows for some creative experimentation to give it that much-needed smack your tastebuds want. 

The following are some exciting customizations you can make to binatog to make it more tasteful.

Binatog with condensed milk

A light drizzle of condensed milk instead of salt gives binatog a sweet taste. The signature creaminess goes exceptionally well with the corn kernels and freshly grated coconut.

Though it’ll make the dish taste something completely different from original recipe, it goes without saying that it’s downright amazing! 

Binatog with cheese

Is there anything that wouldn’t taste good with the cheese? I think not, and binatog is no exception!

Cheese is another good combination you can pair with corn kernels, giving a wholesome texture and a pleasant rich taste to binatog. To provide the dish with a more balanced taste, top it with cane crystal juice. 

Binatog with coconut milk

Instead of cooking the corn kernels in plain water, this variety of binatog cooks them in coconut milk. This gives more creaminess to the corn, along with a very rich taste.

Top it with coconut and condensed milk, and there’s nothing that tastes better. It’s like a combination of everything good about binatog. Simply perfect! 

How to serve and eat binatog 

Usually eaten as a dessert, binatog is served differently on various occasions. For example, if you’re eating it as an afternoon snack, you should serve it with coffee, as the flavors of both match so perfectly. 

If you’re eating it as a merienda, you should pair it with something more flavorful, like calamari or maruya. Just make sure that the side dishes complement the flavor of your dish. 

For example, only serve it with calamari if the binatog is sweet and with maruya when it’s salty. A combination of similar-tasting dishes will result in either an extremely sweet or salty pairing; both aren’t so desirable.

Regarding toppings, it really comes down to your preference and choice. You can either top the boiled corn kernels with butter, grated coconut, margarine, salt, condensed milk, or even cheese. However, you should stick to coconut if you want to experience the traditional taste of the dish. 

Similar dishes to binatog

Binatog is undoubtedly one of the most delicious dessert recipes from Filipino cuisine, but it’s not the only one! So if you love binatog, the following are some other mouthwatering Filipino recipes with corn kernels you should try.

Ginataang mais

“Ginataang mais” literally translates to “corn in coconut milk.” It’s a sweet corn and rice gruel that’s eaten both in the winter and summer, either warm or cold.

You can also use evaporated milk instead of coconut milk, with other complementary ingredients, including latik, pinipig, jackfruit, butter, and vanilla.

Although the dish is eaten as a comfort food, you can also serve it as a merienda. 

Suam na mais

Despite the fact that suam na mais isn’t a dessert, it’s still one of the most delicious recipes that use corn kernels! So I couldn’t help but include it here.

It’s a soup with sliced pork, shrimp, and some vegetable leaves, and is served hot. Just so you know, it’s one of the most iconic winter comfort foods in the country. 

Maja blanca

Maja blanca is another sweet Filipino dish made with corn kernels and coconut milk. It has a very thick, gelatinous texture, thickened by cornstarch, with a very delicate, sweet corn flavor.

The dish is easy to make and serves as a great holiday dessert in both the winter and summer. 

You’ll love binatog if you love corn

Binatog is famous in the Philippines for many reasons.

Some people eat it simply for its taste, while others out of love. The unique selling method of binatog has made it more of a nostalgia dish among adults, who eat it once in a while just to refresh their childhood memories. 

In any case, it’s one of the most commonly eaten and arguably among the most delicious desserts in Filipino cuisine, and anyone who gets a bite of it is going to love it!

Now go get the ingredients and give the recipe a try. You’re definitely going to like it! 

Also check out this homemade burong mangga

Check out our new cookbook

Bitemybun's family recipes with complete meal planner and recipe guide.

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Joost Nusselder, the founder of Bite My Bun is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with Japanese food at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.