Tribute Thursday: Adobo

Going home from work the other evening, Prof asked me if I cooked Filipino food in my new house (more on that in another post). I was quite embarrassed to admit that the only Filipino food I know how to cook was Sinigang (sour soup) and I can’t do that here unless I find tamarind I can boil and squeeze the pulp from. And even then, I’ve never done that before. Oh Knorr Sabaw ng Sinigang, you spoiler you.

Then he says he has cooked adobo and it’s somewhat challenging because the vinegar here is not as sour as the vinegar in the Philippines. I was bewildered at that, because he was very much Malay, until I realized he was talking about CHICKEN adobo. Well, of course he was. I wanted so much to tell him how chicken adobo pales in comparison to its more popular brother, but you don’t say such things to a Malay.

And yet, dreams of adobo (the non-halal kind) have been haunting me the last couple of days. Prof asked me how I cook adobo. I said in my household, Mom cooks it with a lot of oil/sauce, which is how my dad likes it, and fries the leftovers to extra crispy, the way I like it.

No, chicken adobo just doesn’t have the same effect.



TributeThursday: Ilocos Empanada


This is still a reference to that girl (at the risk of sending her more traffic), who posted photos of this lady making Ilocos empanada with her bare hands. I have it on good authority that there is a strict rule where Ilocos empanada needs to be created with gloves on, and when I checked my old photos of an Ilocano food festival in Robinson’s Forum in Mandaluyong (yes, a mall, haha), yup, naka-gloves si Ate (Big sister is wearing gloves). Just want to address that and reiterate, Ms Rather Go Hungry is just trolling the internet for clicks. We rise to the bait, hmm.

Ilocos empanada is a meat pie with egg, shredded cabbage (I think), minced meat and Vigan longganiza (don’t you love it already), eaten hot off the fryer, dipped in vinegar. It’s best eaten in Ilocos, and I’ve never had that privilege (have only had it in the mall, and from that stall along Katipunan), although my sister and some of my friends do swear by it. It’s on the bucket list.


TBT: Vigan Longganisa is Love

This blog post pissed me off today. The food and travel blogger went to the Philippines and was disappointed in the “gross, unhealthy food.” She also says in the comments that she went to the cheap eateries to get the real local experience. I understand why she would think that way, because that’s how it is here in KL. All my friends think nothing of eating at a stall on the street. From my own upbringing in Manila, I was at first hesitant to eat KL “street food,” because, eww. Dear miss worldly-wise blogger, _I_ wouldn’t touch Manila street food with a ten foot pole. But I’m told by braver friends and family with tougher stomachs that it can be quite good – if you know where to get it.

If she wanted real Filipino food the way the locals experience it, she should have gone to a mall and eaten at Dencio’s, or Rodic’s, or C2, or the food court, for crissakes. Deadma na ang Sentro, Mesa, and Abe diba, deadma na ang Cabalen and Barrio Fiesta. If she truly wanted real Filipino food, she should have made friends with somebody whose mom/dad/yaya is a wizard in the kitchen and had dinner at their house. This is the real Filipino food experience. I read this article somewhere before that Filipino food isn’t palatable enough to make a fine dining restaurant because it’s mostly comfort food. And it’s true. You go home after your long day at work, reheat your Mom’s sinigang, and wow, all is right with the world.

This has inspired me, however, to do a throwback Thursday weekly special on one of the things I miss about my beloved country: the food. While I am LOVING Malaysian food, so much that I can see a whale emerge when I look in the mirror every morning, I cannot say it is better than Filipino food. My friend, June asked me what Filipino food is like, and I had a hard time describing in detail. And since I won’t be having some soon, might as well do a photo blog tribute.

This first appeared on my Instagram, months ago. Mom cooked it for breakfast.

This first appeared on my Instagram, months ago. Mom cooked it for breakfast.

This is Vigan longganisa. Longganisa is stuffed sausages (mostly pork). While there are different variations of longganisa depending on which part of the country you’re in, there are generally two kinds: recado (garlicky) and hamonado (sweet). Guess which kind I like, hehe. My absolute favorites are Vigan and Lucban, named after the places they originated from, as with most longganisa in the Philippines. They are an awesome breakfast food that you should eat with eggs and rice (preferably fried in garlic), and dipped in vinegar. I can eat this any time of the day. My mom buys them in the local supermarket and fries them when she knows I’ll be home for breakfast or dinner, mostly because I’m the only one in the house absolutely crazy about them. It is impossible to buy them in 7-11.