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Bringing back our long-forgotten dishes

13 February 2017

Food fusion could either be a boon or a bane to lovers of home cooking. While some well-loved dishes from our childhood have been enhanced by the addition of some exotic new ingredients, others have suffered from the never-ending quest to turn something familiar to one that has a bit more zing or bite or crunch.

There’s been a mad rush to offer something new, something out of the ordinary, that a lot of the comfort dishes served us during out growing-up years have been lost or turned into something totally unrecognizable, both in look and taste.

Now come food sites that try to turn back the clock so the traditional Filipino dishes as we know them can once again be cooked as in the past, before fusion cuisine became a fad. One such site is Recipe ni Juan, which has brought back home cooking at its finest, meaning, exactly how our mothers, and their mothers before them, have always prepared some of our favorite dishes. No frills or fuss, but just plain good cooking.

Here are some sample recipes of those long-forgotten, but cherished dishes:

Humba

Ingredients
½ kg pork liempo, sliced in big square chunks
¼ cup water
100 ml soy sauce
¼ cup dark soy sauce
¼ cup cane vinegar
¼ cup pineapple juice
50 grams garlic
50 grams onions
¼ cup muscovado sugar
100 grams banana blossom
salt and pepper, to taste
blanched pechay, as needed for garnishing
5 pieces fried smashed banana, for garnishing

Procedure:
1) Mix liempo, water, soy sauce, dark soy sauce, vinegar, pineapple juice, garlic, onion, and muscovado sugar in a pot and cook for 1 hour until liempo is soft.
2) Add the banana blossom.
3) Allow sauce of humba to thicken. Serve with blanched pechay and smashed fried banana.

Filipino Original Fried Chicken 
Ingredients:
4 pcs. chicken quarters
rock salt
1 tsp patis or fish sauce
freshly cracked black pepper

Procedure:
1) Rub the chicken with rock salt. Rinse and drain.
2) Steam the chicken for 20 minutes. Let the chicken cool.
3) Rub the patis and black pepper on the chicken pieces.
4) Refrigerate uncovered for at least 15 minutes.
5) Deep-fry the chicken and serve with banana ketchup, Knorr seasoning or hot sauce

Pinangat na Galunggong
Ingredients:
1 lb. galunggong (mackerel scad), cleaned and gutted
3 pcs. medium-sized tomatoes,
½ cup squeezed juice from calamansi (calamondin)
1 pc. small onion, finely slice
1 thumb-sized ginger, peeled and chopped
2 cups water
1 tsp. salt

Procedure:
1) Line the bottom of a medium pot with some slices of tomatoes, onion and ginger. Set aside the remaining tomatoes.
2) Arrange the galunggong over the mixture and then lay the remaining tomatoes on top of the fish.
3) Pour in the calamansi juice and water. Season with salt.
4) Bring to a boil and then drizzle with some vegetable oil. Simmer over medium to low heat for 15 minutes or until the fish is cooked.
5) Remove from heat and transfer on a serving plate. Serve with steamed rice.

Notes:
1) Adjust your salt and calamansi until you get the desired taste.
2) After arranging all the ingredients in the pot, let it sit for a few minutes to let the fish marinate. It will allow the ingredients to be absorbed by the meat of the fish.
3) You may have patis (fish sauce) on the side for dipping.
4) Do not overcook the fish or it will become too flaky.
5) You can use vinegar and kamias (bilimbi fruit) or tamarind fruit as substitute for calamansi and tomatoes. Other unique variations use different ingredients such as strawberries and green mangoes. You may also add siling haba (long green chilies). They will produce the same sour and tangy flavor but very distinct in their own ways.
6) If you want to use other types of fishes, go for tastier and meatier but less bony varieties like sapsap (ponyfish), pompano, hasa-hasa (short mackerel), bisugo (threadfin brim), tambakol (yellowfin tuna) or matambaka (bigeye scad). If you have a bit more money to spare, try lapu-lapu


Ox Tongue Asado (Inasadong Dila Ng Baka)
Ingredients
1 dila ng baka (ox tonuge, whole)
12 cups of water with 1 tsp iodized salt
1 Knorr beef cube, diluted in 2 cups water
1 laurel leaf
1 whole onion, chopped
5 big cloves of garlic
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 small can Del Monte tomato sauce
1/2 cup calamansi juice
1/2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp hoisin sauce

Procedure:
1) Before cooking, wash the dila ng baka or ox tongue. Boil in water for about 30 minutes and then discard the water and brush the tongue until the scum is removed.
Let cool and slice evenly (preferably “pang-asado”).
2) In a pot, heat oil. Add in garlic cloves and onions until almost golden in color.
3) Add the 2 cups of water with Knorr beef cube. Simmer.
4) Add in the tongue, then the soy sauce.
5) Simmer for about 5 minutes, then add the tomato sauce, laurel leaf and soy sauce.
Simmer for 10 minutes.
6) Add in calamansi (philippine lemon) juice and sugar. Cook until tongue is fork-tender.
Before serving, mix in the hoisin sauce.

*all recipes courtesy of Recipe ni Juan

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