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Sunday, May 21, 2006

Pinoy Cooking

I recently heard a comment that most foreigners do not like Filipino cooking because it is too oily. Admittedly, we do have dishes that require alot of oil. Take for instance the Crispy Pata. This is pork leg boiled, hanged to dry then dipped in a panful of oil to become crisp. Or the Bicolano version of adobong manok sa gata which is chicken cooked in coconut milk with vinegar, ginger, shallots, and loads of red chili peppers. Or the Bulalo which is boiled beef shank cooked into soup with spices and some vegetables. Of course the crispy pata will be a little oily because it has been browned in it, the adobo because of its gata (coconut oil), and the bulalo because of its bone marrow.

However, it is possible not to make most filipino recipes not too oily. The Crispy Pata can be done cooked in very hot oil so that the oil is not absorbed by the meat. The Bulalo can be cooked without the bone marrow and only spare ribs are used with its fat totally stripped off. The Adobo and adobong manok sa gata can be cooked without the fat either. As in fact, there are Filipino dishes that do not require any oil at all. Here are some recipe of Filipino dishes that can be prepared by the health conscious for a family gathering:


Ensaladang Talong (eggplant salad in vinegar)
4-5 pcs. Eggplants, broiled and skinned
1 pc onion, coarsely chopped
2 medium sized tomatoes, coarsely chopped
thumbsized ginger, slivered
1/4 cup vinegar

Combine all. season with salt and pepper.

Ensaladang Lato (Seaweed Salad)

1/2 kilo Lato or any seaweed (note that some seaweeds need to be blanched before using)
1 pc onion, coarsely chopped
2 medium sized tomatoes, coarsely chopped
thumbsized ginger, slivered
1/4 cup vinegar

Combine all. season with salt and pepper.

Main Course

Inihaw na Bangus

1 pc Bangus (about 1 kilo, do not remove its scales!), its back sliced past the midbone
1 pc onion, chopped
1 pc tomato, chopped

combine the onion and tomato. Put the mixture inside the Bangus Belly reaching from the back of the fish. Carefully put the fish back to its original form and broil it over some charcoal. You may add some salt to it.

Nilagang Baboy

1 kilo Lean pork meat, cut up to about 1 cubic inch (1 inch on each side)
1 onion, sliced thinly
some peppercorns
salt to taste
Cabbage, cut into 4 (don't remove the core)
Baguio Beans
1 large potato, cubed about the same size as the pork

Boil the pork till tender with the onion and peppercorn. Season with salt. Add the potato and boil some more for about 3 minutes. Add in the beans and boil for about 1 minute. Add in the cabbage and wombok and simmer for 1 minute. Serve hot.

Adobong Manok sa Gata

1 kilo Chicken breast, cut up into serving pieces
1 large onion sliced
4 cloves of garlic, pound and skinned
about 2 inched ginger, peeled and sliced thinly
2 cups Coconut milk
1/4 cup vinegar

combine chicken, onion, garlic, ginger, and vinegar. cook covered over very low heat. do not uncover until about 15-20 minutes after. when chicken is cooked, add coconut milk. simmer for a few more minutes stirring occasionally.


Tropical Salad

1/4 cup Calamansi or Lemon juice
6 tablespoons sugar or Sugar substitute
Tropical fruits of choice cut up into 1 inch cubes
low fat whipped cream (optional)

combine calamansi and sugar or substitute. Mix until sugar is dissolved. pour into the fruits. Serve topped with whipped cream

Enjoy your meal!

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