From Naga, A Brothy Noodle Dish So Good You May Forget Your Name
Choose Philippines | Sep 19, 2019
Article and photos by Rizza A. Mostar
Naga City Hotels are fully booked every second week of September with thousands of devotees flocking to the area to celebrate the Peñafrancia Festival. Visiting Naga, however, will not be complete without partaking of Kinalas, a beloved Nagueño delicacy.
Though it is not certain who started this noodle soup, Chief of Tourism Office Alec Santos shares that Kinalas can be traced back to the 1960s when carinderia owners thought of making a recipe out of spare ingredients and pig head. "Pork meat then was cheaper," he shares, "Instead of throwing away the brain, face, and ears, they boiled these parts until super soft and made a gravy out it and eventually money."
[related: In Naga City, A Whole Food Vegan Mecca]
As years passed, Kinalas became a symbol of Nagueños' creativity and resourcefulness. A dish that can be served any time of the day, especially during cold weather, Kinalas is comparable to Lomi but the thick, flavorful gravy found in the latter makes it unique and special. The dish is topped with chicharon, onion springs, and can be served with a boiled egg. Bicolanos, who are known sili aficionados, love to mix Kinalas with sili sauce and calamansi.
Kinalas vendors are everywhere in the city but there is one accredited by the Department of Tourism, the Kitchen Everywhere. At 30 to 40 pesos per serving, one can enjoy that sumptuous and satisfying Kinalas in Naga city!