Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Filipino food,good

I spent the holidays in sunny Florida, visiting my wife's family.

We stayed with my brother- and sister-in-law, Mike and Winnie, in St. Augustine for the first few days, before heading to Orlando for the Disney thang.

Winnie is from the Philippines and she served us a lot of Filipino dishes during our stay.

We ate spring rolls (frying in the wok to the left) and pancit, a noodle dish with vegetables and meat, nearly every day, and white rice was a part of every meal.

Winnie made her pancit (pictured right) with two kinds of noodles -- rice and wheat; cabbage; carrots and seasoned pork.

A few days before Christmas, Mike and Winnie threw a birthday party for my nephew Ian. Winnie was up early marinating pork and fish and preparing other dishes, including more pancit, spring rolls and rice. Winnie was also making some kind of soupy black dish that she was reluctant to tell me about... We'll get to that one later.

More after the jump!

Guests arrived with even more food, including a beef stew with bok choy, potatoes and ginger and oxtail soup with bok choy in a peanut-butter-based broth (pictured left).

The oxtail soup wasn't as rich or sweet as I had thought it would be. I guess I was expecting satay. One of the Filipino guests pointed out a pungent black shrimp paste and suggested I add some to the soup. It had a very salty and unfamiliar taste, and I'm not sure I liked it. But as with most unfamiliar foods I try, I am determined to keep trying it until I do like it!

Another guest brought a tray of little rice puffs, or puto. (pictured right) They were spongy and a little sweet.

Winnie told me they were to go with that black mystery dish, now revealed to be dinuguan, a pig's blood stew with pork offal, vinegar and spices. (pictured below)

Now you see why she had been hesitant with the details.

But I'm an intrepid eater and wasn't put off by the idea of eating pig guts -- no worse than scrapple or hog maw, right? I scooped a healthy portion over some rice and tucked in.

It was mild-tasting and fragrant with lemon grass and ginger. I gobbled it up quickly and mopped that last of the black stew with puto, to the apparent amusement and pleasure of the Filipinos around me.

There was a lot more food -- pork kabobs, pork chops, marinated salmon -- but I had just a little of each to save room for dessert.

Suman is a sticky, sweet dish made from rice, coconut milk and brown sugar. (pictured right)

Winnie made a big batch in a pan, but another guests brought some wrapped and steamed in banana leaves.

This cassava cake (pictured left) was made with finely grated cassava (yuca), eggs, sugar, coconut milk and condensed milk. It reminded me of coconut custard pie filling.

And I almost forgot to mention the beer. I washed down all that delicious Filipino food with the number one beer of the Philippines, San Miguel Lager.

San Miguel is a typical, light-bodied, yellow lager from a tropical location. You know how it works -- exotic location, boring beer.

But this one seemed a little sweeter and fuller bodied than other tropical beers like Corona, Presidente or Red Stripe.

But when you're on vacation and the temps are in the mid-eighties, light tropical lagers can really hit the spot.

Here's some history about the beer and its maker from the San Miguel Website:

"Established in 1890, La Fabrica de Cerveza de San Miguel, Southeast Asia’s first brewery produced and bottled what would eventually become one of the bestselling beers in the region. Within the span of a generation, San Miguel Beer would become an icon among beer drinkers.
San Miguel Corporation is the largest publicly listed food, beverage and packaging company in the Philippines. Founded in 1890 as a brewery, the company has over 100 facilities in the Philippines, Southeast Asia, China and Australia.

By 1914, San Miguel Beer was being exported from its headquarters in Manila to Shanghai, Hong Kong and Guam. A pioneer in Asia, San Miguel established a brewery in Hong Kong in 1948, the first local brewer in the crown colony.

Today, San Miguel Beer–the Company’s flagship product–is one of the largest selling beers and among the top 20 beer brands in the world. While brewing beer is the company’s heritage, San Miguel subsequently branched out into the food and packaging businesses.

From the original cerveza that first rolled off the bottling line, San Miguel Corporation has since diversified to produce a wide range of popular beverage, food and packaging products which have–-for over a century–-catered to generations of consumers’ ever changing tastes.


RiP666 said...

wueeenakk tenan

Kautsar said...


Hip-Hop said...

yoo...pasti sob

Bayu 'The Maniac' said...

klihatannya enak nih ...
psan satu yah ..
hehehe ...

argun said...

WOW....! your posts make my stomach hungry :-(
I hope you to serve food for me :-)

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