Safeng or sabeng tastes and smells just like the German Sauerkraut. The main difference lies with the fact that Germans use Cabbages, while Igorots add Sweet Potatoes or Cassava.
Sweet Potatoes or Camote
Freshly gathered ears of Corn (Not the dry ears, but the just right ones. Young ears are also acceptable.)
Boiling Rice Froth or "Am"
Bananas, preferably the frying bananas type with emphasis on the "Minaleng" Specie (I don't know the scientific name, okay?) For replacement, use either the "Saba" type or the "Dipig" type. Do not use the "Senorita", Red Bananas, or the "Lacatan" types. The Cavendish variety is usually a no-no, but some prefer adding it)(optional)
Extra Rice, preferably the Sticky or glutinous variety
The amount of ingredients vary, and depends from taste to taste. For a measured number, use this:
10 liters of spring Water(Mineral Water, if there is Any. Perrier can be a substitute)
1 and 1/2 kilo of Camote
1 and 1/2 kilo of Cassava
1 kilo of Fresh Corn
around 1/2 liter of Am (cook around 1/2 kilo of rice, but add more water than usual.The froth and some of the liquid while it is boiling is taken - known as Am).
around 10 pieces of Ripe frying bananas
The 1/2 kilo of rice you cooked.
One small Squash (weighs around 1/2 to 1 kilo)
Container: Now this is one heck of a choice: You must use a clean earthenware container, with a wide coverable mouth. It must not be lead-glazed. If you don't have one, a clean Iron container is next prefered. DO NOT USE LEAD,PLASTIC OR ALUMINUM CONTAINERS! A cover is also needed.
Preparation of Safeng
Put Spring water inside the container, and fill it to around 4/5ths of the total capacity - (Clean,cold tap water will do, But let the water stand for 24 hours to let the chlorine evaporate. Cover it with either cloth or a screen.) Next peel the Camote,the squash, the bananas and the Cassava and then slice them into pieces (About 1/4 inch thick). If the ears of corn are very clean (No insects, no damage, No insecticide, no dust) remove the stem, if there is any that has been left. Do not unshuck the ears totally. Open it halfway, but leave the covering. Do not remove the hair. Now put all the ingredients, including the Am and the extra rice, into the container. Seal the container. The resulting soup is ready in one week.
Druing the whole process, make sure all the ingredients are clean.
HOW THEN DO I DRINK IT?
Straight up... or sip by sip.. whichever you would prefer. Using a clean dipper, stir the soup. Then get some of the resulting liquid, transfer to your drinking container, and drink it. It was noticed that drinking this also stops Loose Bowel Movement(LBM). When the container is halfway empty, put in fresh water, additional cooked rice, and three pieces of bananas. Let stand for three days before getting some of the liquid. This is good up to four times replenishment.
There are many variations to the making of Safeng, but the preceding recipe was mentioned a lot by the acquaintances who drink Safeng. This recipe belongs to Ikit ay Marya Tsullipas, and is a favorite of Safeng drinkers of the Ayochok Clan. I have noticed that there are some Cordilleran tribes that do not know about this/nor are makers of this. I have some acquaintances from the Basao and Saclit tribes, and they've never made or drank safeng. In times of hardship, the Bontocs were once known to make this liquid, and use it for food, until times got better. Oh... I know my Mother is laughing... see, I still prefer Tapey to Safeng.