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Filipino Food Is Fantastic!


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#61 kuan

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Posted 03 December 2004 - 05:59 AM

My evil trick is to seek friends with similiar interests. Over at my Pinoy friend's house, I've had Pancit Bihong, Kari-kari, Lengua, Adobo, some kind of tapioca pudding with brown sugar dessert, Rellenong manok (a Christmas tradition) Lumpia, and a bunch of other stuff. All of it was great except for the stuff that comes out of a jar called Ba'gu'ong? (spelling) If you thought Belachan was smelly, you should try this stuff!

#62 Raquel

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Posted 03 December 2004 - 07:55 PM


Hi Prasantrin,

My mother's family is from Bacolod... Negros Occidental.  Is that near Talisay?
I don't have a vivid memory of the region.  The last time I was there to visit was in 1976!  All I remember are the little Changi (sp?) stores on every block and the little Filipino chocolate candies that they sold.  I also have fond memories of women walking down the street every morning with baskets on their heads calling out, "Isda!  Isda!"

I have not been aware of any other use of coconut milk in a Filipino savory dish except for this Adobo sa Gata.  Every other coconut related dish that I know of is a dessert (i.e.  Halo Halo, Bibinka, Macapuno Cakes, etc.).  I'll ask my mom about the possible Bicol origination though, and come back to the thread...

Where is Bicol?  I wish I knew more of the layout of the Philippines!

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I think it's the southern part of Luzon. The food of Bicol is much more South-east Asian-ish than the rest of Filipino food--they use more coconut milk and the food tends to be spicier. An example of a dish from Bicol is here .

Talisay is just outside Bacolod. That's where Katabla is (the family sugar cane farm). Actually, I lived in Bacolod for a year when I was 10--way back in '79. I was at St. Scholastica's. I remember those women, too (though probably not the same ones!)! We bought a lot of fish from them! I also remember buying Chippy's and Eucalyptus candies from those stores. Your mother's family aren't, by chance, related to the Kilayko family, are they?

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Hi again Prasantrin-

I got a hold of my mom and asked her about the gata savory dishes. She said there was one other coconut dish that my grandmother made called Ginat-an : Jackfruit, coconut milk, beans, pork... This might be another Bicolano dish, but my mom swears that the rest of my Visayan family makes it.

As far as the family names go, she knows a Tutay Kilayko (one of the deans @ ONI... now UNO). Also, my uncle... Rudy Ramirez... knew alot of the Kilayko family.
My mother is good friends with someone from Talisay... Ciocon family.
Do any of the following family names ring any bells? Ramirez, Larracas, Genise

Edited by Raquel, 03 December 2004 - 07:59 PM.


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#63 NulloModo

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Posted 03 December 2004 - 08:58 PM

That Radical Chef website linked on page 1 is awesome.

I am definately planning on cooking/adapting some Philipino recipes soon.
He don't mix meat and dairy,
He don't eat humble pie,
So sing a miserere
And hang the bastard high!

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#64 SobaAddict70

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Posted 14 July 2005 - 08:33 AM

That's interesting.  My mom never fried chicken afterwards, although I do half fry and no fry, depending on my mood.  (I'd say I prefer wet adobo to dry, but either is fine.  The recipe below compromises between the two styles.)  --Soba


distilled vinegar
water
garlic (preferably whole or slightly crushed)
bay leaves (2 or 3 is fine)
salt to taste
pepper to taste (whole black peppercorns are even better -- I like a lot of peppercorns)
chicken, cut into serving pieces
mushroom soy
oil

Combine vinegar, water, garlic, bay leaves, salt and pepper or peppercorns in a large pot or dutch oven, and bring to a boil.  Add chicken and cover.  Bring to a 2nd boil.  Reduce heat and cook for 45 minutes to an hour, or until chicken is tender.  (I prefer our chicken literally falling off the bone.)  Sprinkle with soy sauce and cook for another five to ten minutes.  Remove chicken, and reduce till slightly thickened.  Meanwhile, fry chicken till browned.  Return fried chicken to pot, toss to coat with sauce.

Serve IMMEDIATELY with steamed rice.

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Time for bumpage.

I've been craving this for a while now, and this weekend is just the perfect excuse to make it.

What Filipino dishes have you had lately?

#65 Jaymes

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Posted 14 July 2005 - 08:47 AM

It is really puzzling why Filipino food is not better-known in the U.S.  There are certaintly more people of Filipino descent here than people of Thai or Vietnamese decent, yet Filipino restaurants don't have nearly the same level of visibility as Thai or Vietnamese restaurants.  . . .

I think you are correct in your assessment of the differences between the cuisines you mention. I wonder if maybe Filipinos are less likely to go into business on their own, compared to people of other nationalities? That's just a guess. I would imagine that certain ethnic groups have more of a business tradition than others.


I read somewhere that the Thai government subsidizes Thais that open restaurants in foreign countries. The theory is that getting folks around the world hooked on the food will increase awareness of Thailand, which will, the theory goes, inevitably increase tourism.

Although I have absolutely no knowledge that that's factual.

#66 SuzySushi

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Posted 14 July 2005 - 01:34 PM

There's a large Filipino community in Hawaii (roughly 15% of the total population, according to the 2000 Census -- and about 85% of the Filipinos here are Ilocano). Plenty of Filipino restaurants, most serving home-style food. I don't know of any upscale Filipino restaurant.

Filipino food -- especially popular dishes like pancit, lumpia, and adobo -- has made it into the general local culture. Same with baked goods like ensaimada. Every supermarket has a section for Filipino foods in its "Oriental" aisle. One of the local ice cream chains has an ube (purple sweet potato) flavor. There used to be a Filipino bakery (sadly out of business, though there are several others around) where my husband once ordered an ube roll cake as my birthday cake: lavender cake with purple filling and lavender buttercream frosting! (That really wowed our guests!)

The most recent Filipino foods I've had were puto (bought at a local supermarket -- I ate one, put the rest in the refrigerator, and when I looked again, the whole package was gone!), pancit, and pinacbet (a real favorite of mine -- I pluck out the bittermelon, though, and give that to my husband, who adores it). I also tasted squid guisado, but decided against ordering a whole portion (it tasted much too "fishy").
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#67 Pan

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Posted 14 July 2005 - 04:00 PM

Ube is taro, and I like it very much. I actually haven't had any Filipino food for some time. I tried the newish Filipino restaurant in my neighborhood a few months ago, and had a mixed experience. I remember liking my appetizer, but their Adobo was overly salty for my taste. Is it supposed to be really salty?

#68 SuzySushi

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Posted 14 July 2005 - 05:00 PM

Ube is taro, and I like it very much. I actually haven't had any Filipino food for some time. I tried the newish Filipino restaurant in my neighborhood a few months ago, and had a mixed experience. I remember liking my appetizer, but their Adobo was overly salty for my taste. Is it supposed to be really salty?

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Here, ube is the word for purple sweet potato. It's not a form of taro. It's very similar to the purple Okinawan sweet potato. Both are sold in supermarkets here. Imported ube jam (for desserts) is also readily available.

Edited to add: Pan, you might be thinking of a Filipino dessert that uses ube and taro. I'm not sure of its name... It's a lavender-colored coconut tapioca pudding that also contains cubes or ube, taro, and chewy mochi (sweet rice) dumplings. Kinda' strange to Western tastes, but I love it and would eat it frequently if it weren't for the cholesterol count!

Edited by SuzySushi, 14 July 2005 - 06:53 PM.

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#69 baranoouji

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Posted 14 July 2005 - 05:59 PM

I just made chicken adobo last night!

I pretty much cribbed Reynaldo Alejandro's recipe from his book on Filipino cooking. Delicious, but I think that my oh too secret family recipe has... sugar in it.

The best part is that you end up with a sort of demi-glace the next day if you stick the sauce in the fridge. Nummy.

As far as Filipino restaurants not really catching on...

1. I tend to be (slightly) disappointed when I go out to Filipino restaurants, because I have such a fixed idea of what Food A and Food B should taste like. (Drat childhood memories.) So I tend not to go so often.

2. Most USians are not comfortable with offal meat and our (fairly) unique ideas about dessert. I took my fiancé to the Filipino festival in D.C. recently and I caught him boggling at the mais con yelo! (To me, corn is sweet, and thus can be desserty in nature.) He didn't like my offeratory sip of gulaman at sago -- just a different flavor than what he was expecting, I think.

3. USians do love lumpia and pancit, and I think it conforms to the expected ideas about Asian foods being noodly and "light." The Filipino tendency to combine flavors and foods almost randomly can be confusing! I know that my fiancé does not understand how I like champorado (chocolate porridge) with condensed milk and tuyo (little dried salty fishes) on top.

My favorite dishes are tocino, adobo, longanisa, siopao and siomai (but that's really Chinese, though?), champorado, fish balls, chicharron bulaklak, pancit in its infinite permutations, balut, turon, puto bungbung, gulaman at sago, bibingka, lechon/lechon paksiw, IUD (grilled chicken intestines, and I haven't had them in YEARS...), sinigang ng bangus, nilaga, daing ng bangus, diniguan and puto, camaron rebosado, menudo, and I think I better stop before I make myself too hungry...

PS. My uncle used to be the chief electrician on the QE2 cruise liner, and when he took us to the galley, it was the most amazing Filipino spread ever. As it turned out, the cooks were Filipino, and pretty much cooked what they liked. I had the best surprise lunch there belowdecks.

Edited by baranoouji, 14 July 2005 - 06:04 PM.


#70 Rhea_S

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Posted 14 July 2005 - 06:24 PM

Since I'm currently living at home, dinner is Filipino food most nights. Tonight was ginataan na manok with dilao (chicken cooked in coconut milk and flavoured with turmeric), pancit bihon, and pesang isda (a fish soup with ginger and upo -- hairy gourd?). All served, of course, with steamed rice. The chicken is one of my favourites, but I wasn't much of a fan of the fish soup. I don't think the fish was too fresh (dug out from the depths of my mom's freezer), so it wasn't for me.

#71 Pan

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Posted 14 July 2005 - 07:19 PM

Ube is taro, and I like it very much. I actually haven't had any Filipino food for some time. I tried the newish Filipino restaurant in my neighborhood a few months ago, and had a mixed experience. I remember liking my appetizer, but their Adobo was overly salty for my taste. Is it supposed to be really salty?

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Here, ube is the word for purple sweet potato. It's not a form of taro. It's very similar to the purple Okinawan sweet potato. Both are sold in supermarkets here. Imported ube jam (for desserts) is also readily available.

Edited to add: Pan, you might be thinking of a Filipino dessert that uses ube and taro. I'm not sure of its name... It's a lavender-colored coconut tapioca pudding that also contains cubes or ube, taro, and chewy mochi (sweet rice) dumplings. Kinda' strange to Western tastes, but I love it and would eat it frequently if it weren't for the cholesterol count!

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I'm not sure whether I've had that particular dessert or not.

I think I may have been fooled by the taste, as well as the color. I've never thought "sweet potato" when I've had things with ube in them. Vision over taste?

I guess I owe you an apology for ignorantly "correcting" you. :biggrin:

Edited by Pan, 14 July 2005 - 10:49 PM.


#72 Rhea_S

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Posted 14 July 2005 - 10:04 PM

Pan, you might be thinking of a Filipino dessert that uses ube and taro. I'm not sure of its name... It's a lavender-colored coconut tapioca pudding that also contains cubes or ube, taro, and chewy mochi (sweet rice) dumplings. Kinda' strange to Western tastes, but I love it and would eat it frequently if it weren't for the cholesterol count!

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It has various names: ginataang bilo-bilo, ginataang halo halo, ginataan, etc. Ginataan is the most generic and describes anything cooked with coconut milk. It's also one of my favourite Filipino desserts although I can't ever eat a big serving -- a bit too rich. It can be eaten hot or cold. My preferred variation includes taro, plantain, and jackfruit. It looks like a thick whitish soup with different colours floating about due to the fruit.

#73 SobaAddict70

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Posted 15 July 2005 - 05:41 AM

My favorite dishes are tocino, adobo, longanisa, siopao and siomai (but that's really Chinese, though?), champorado, fish balls, chicharron bulaklak, pancit in its infinite permutations, balut, turon, puto bungbung, gulaman at sago, bibingka, lechon/lechon paksiw, IUD (grilled chicken intestines, and I haven't had them in YEARS...),  sinigang ng bangus, nilaga, daing ng bangus, diniguan and puto, camaron rebosado, menudo, and I think I better stop before I make myself too hungry...

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Some of these I'm familiar with, but others like siopao I'm not. Could you provide a translation, please?

I haven't had champorado in years!

#74 Ninjai Fanatic

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Posted 15 July 2005 - 07:01 AM

I'm here in the PI right now...- in my motherland, and I'm sorry to say that I think Filipino foods aren't very well known in other countries..however, all of the foreigners who I know who've come to the PI just LOVE the food here.

#75 Mooshmouse

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Posted 15 July 2005 - 08:19 AM

Some of these I'm familiar with, but others like siopao I'm not.  Could you provide a translation, please?

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Lo and behold Soba: siopao. And here's another link, just for good measure. Slightly sweet steamed buns filled with either pork or chicken. I've also had a 'chicken special' that has ground chicken, Chinese sausage and hard-boiled egg. Perfect for breakfast on the run or merienda.

Hmmmm. Time to go and get some siopao. It's been a while.
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#76 Apicio

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Posted 15 July 2005 - 04:42 PM

Siopao is the Philippine version of the dimsum item called char chiu bao. They are steamed and are usually the size of hamburger or kaiser buns filled with either chicken or pork cooked in a sweetish thick gravy and dotted with slices of chinese sausage and a wedges of hard boiled egg. They are usually served paired with a bowl of noodle soup. During my university days (in the 60s) there were three preeminent siopao restaurants in downtown Manila you can go to. One was Hen Wa on Rizal Avenue and the other was the unforgettable Ma Mon Luk which first popularized this pairing and in fact served these two items exclusively for a long time right before and after the Pacific War. The third one was called Charlie’s which was famous for their beef mami (noodle soup) and beef siopao. The place was right accross the Manila Times offices in Florentino Torres. You can also pick them up from street vendors late at night but I resisted buying these because of doubtful provenance (and hygiene).

Begging your pardon for overlapping some of the previous replies.


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#77 prasantrin

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Posted 15 July 2005 - 08:16 PM

My favorite dishes are tocino, adobo, longanisa, siopao and siomai (but that's really Chinese, though?), champorado, fish balls, chicharron bulaklak, pancit in its infinite permutations, balut, turon, puto bungbung, gulaman at sago, bibingka, lechon/lechon paksiw, IUD (grilled chicken intestines, and I haven't had them in YEARS...),  sinigang ng bangus, nilaga, daing ng bangus, diniguan and puto, camaron rebosado, menudo, and I think I better stop before I make myself too hungry...

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Tocino is my favourite Filipino breakfast! I like longanisa, too, but only particular ones. I also like Filipino-style chorizo. I've never particularly cared for pancit, but love lechon and the big fried pork hock--can't remember what it's called now. Crispy pata? I love fried bangus, but only if it's from the fatty stomach part.

Sans Rival is still my favourite Filipino dessert, though, even though it's not really filipino. Brazo de Mercedes is my mother's favourite.

I was thinking...I think Filipino food is much better known in Canada than in the US. In places like Winnipeg, which has a huge Filipino population, there are plenty of cheap Filipino restaurants. The other day my mother and I were at a Filipino buffet, and most of the people eating there were caucasian.

#78 touaregsand

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Posted 16 July 2005 - 11:51 AM

Hi again Prasantrin-

I got a hold of my mom and asked her about the gata savory dishes.  She said there was one other coconut dish that my grandmother made called Ginat-an : Jackfruit, coconut milk, beans, pork...  This might be another Bicolano dish, but my mom swears that the rest of my Visayan family makes it.

As far as the family names go, she knows a Tutay Kilayko (one of the deans @ ONI... now UNO).  Also, my uncle... Rudy Ramirez... knew alot of the Kilayko family.
My mother is good friends with someone from Talisay... Ciocon family.
Do any of the following family names ring any bells?  Ramirez, Larracas, Genise


Raquel-

Do you have any reccomendations for LA eateries. I know there are places in Eagle Rock, Glendale and K-Town.

#79 Stagiaire

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Posted 17 July 2005 - 12:56 AM

Here's my take on why Filipino food hasn't really taken off outside of the Philippines, actually a confluence of factors:

1) Philippine cuisine is primarily "peasant food" but not in a pejorative sense. Unlike other Asian countries witha history of "elevated" cuisine from which to draw inspiration for restaurant style food (i.e. Imperial/Royal cuisines of China, Thailand, Japan, etc.), Philippine cuisine simply evolved from everyday cooking of the common folk. Everything is served family style with nary a thought given to presentation. It is actually not presentation friendly.

2) Most of the dishes are braises and stews or other heavily sauced dishes. And the sauces, for the most part, are very runny/liquid. This makes the dishes hard to plate, especially for individual service (vs. family style). At the end of the day, plating is not really a part of the food culture.

3) Rice is a major part of a Filipino meal. Filipino food actually is seasoned aggressively due to the fact that rice will be eaten with all the dishes. This adds an additional dimension to difficulty in plating...having to serve a separate bowl of rice or having that same glob of rice on every plate doesn't quite lend itself to fine dining.

4) Even in the Philippines, there are very few examples of local fine dining restaurants, I guess for the most part due to the reasons stated above. It then makes it hard to "export" something that you do not really have to begin with. For the most part, Filipinos east Filipino food at home, and go out to have Thai, Japanese, Chinese, French, etc.

5) Philippine cuisine itself isn't as "Asian" as the rest of its Asian neighbors. Normally Asian food is characterized by light, bright, refreshing food. Filipino food goes against that notion and is thus harder to qualify. The influence of the Spanish who occupied the Philippines for 400 years is very evident in the cuisine, and a Asians actually find it more Western than Asian although it has some similarity to Malay cuisine.

6) At the end of the day, again due to the reasons above, most restaurants opened outside of the Philippines cater mostly to the Filipinos in the area and tend to be downmarket. Cendrillon might be an exception but I don't really consider Cendrillon to be authentic despite what (Gary) Barawidan states several pages back. I actually worked with him at some point (and we've actually had this discussion) and know that he's born and raised in NY so his reference is Filipino food in NY.

I believe that 2 things need to happen before Filipino food goes mainstream (1) first it must go through a process of refinement which is slowly happening now in the Philippines (in the past few years, a whole generation of Filipino youngsters have gone to cooking schools all over the world, learned french technique for the most part and are now applying it to Filipino cuisine...no more boiling to death as is normally the case...simmering is beginning to enter the culinary vocabulary). A Filipino restaurant rennaissance has been taking place in Manila (the capital of the Philippines) and Filipino food has never been better nor more exciting. (2) a lot more thought must be put into presentation (especially in the prep phase where it would actually make the most impact on plating) before its ready for its international debut. And I say this because admittedly Filipino food is hard to appreciate from a non-Filipino perspective. (I can explain this further if it doesn't quite make sense to you)

Somewhere on the 2nd page, SKChai makes sense of all of this and I wholeheartedly agree with him.

===

A few comments on several other posts:

Soba,

- "adobong rellenong" isn't a dish. I think what you were trying to get at was Adobong Manok which is chicken adobo. You might be confusing it with Rellenong Manok. Manok = Chicken, Relleno = reference to a ground stuffing preparation.

- The indian version of adobo (with coconut milk) you refer to is actually an adobo variation from the south (Bicol and Visayas, I think) and has it's influences coming more from Malaysia and Indonesia rather than India.

- The peeled hard boiled egg is usually a component of another (though similar looking) dish called asado. At least that's what I've seen.

===

Pan and others,

- ube is actually purple yam and it has more in common with Camote/Kamote than potatoes or taro.

===

oh, and the correct terms and spellings are Philippine, Philippines, and Filipino.

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#80 Apicio

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Posted 17 July 2005 - 04:07 AM

Thanks to stagiare for doing the bulk of the analyzing for me. Although it has puzzled me since I started thinking about food, I have not really sat down and fleshed it out like you have done. I simply chalked it to: 1. We have not really worked on the style side of presentation;
2. The better dishes are labour intensive; 3. We are not chauvinists. The Filipinos community is a very open and welcoming group even when it comes to food; we travel to and settle in other places but hardly ever wither in the absence of our every-day food (say unlike the Japanese, for example). But the more important question for me (and here I know I am going on a tangent), is why does Filipino cuisine have to go mainstream in the first place? I shall keep it to myself if I happened to hit upon the mother load. It bugged me no end when my Filipino customers rave about my empanada because their friends liked them. Why does our food have to be validated by others before we begin to think better of it? Specially by the mainstream that presumambly allowed the proliferation of McDonalds, Burger Kings and Krispy Kremes around the globe.


Gato ming gato miao busca la vida para comer

#81 prasantrin

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Posted 17 July 2005 - 05:09 AM

But the more important question for me (and here I know I am going on a tangent), is why does Filipino cuisine have to go mainstream in the first place?  I shall keep it to myself if I happened to hit upon the mother load.  It bugged me no end when my Filipino customers rave about my empanada because their  friends liked them.  Why does our food have to be validated by others before we begin to think better of it? 

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I don't think it has to go mainstream, but perhaps the desire to have it go mainstream is a result of that subconscious inferiority complex that so many Filipinos have. There used to be a joke going around BBS about different Asian ethnicities..."You know you're [fill in the ethnicity] when you..." All the other ethnicities ended with something like "...when you think you're the best in the world" but the Filipino one ended with something like, "...when you want to be American." Having people enjoy Filipino cuisine is one way Filipinos can feel better about their culture--it seems to me that so few (in or outside the Philippines) really do.

About food...would you like to share your empanada recipe? I'm still looking for a good one!

#82 Apicio

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Posted 17 July 2005 - 06:52 AM

To prasantrin, I refer you to a recent thread titled Empanada and another older thread about dan tarts (chinese custard tartlets) where I posted our puff pastry crust recipe. When you are ready to try them, pm me and I shall walk you through it.

Further to the restaurant topic, I recall an article about a second generation Chinese American with an Ivy League pedigree asking her dad why he went into the restaurant business probably wanting to confirm her romantic assumption that it was a longing for the food he had known as a child but instead received a frank reply that it was to make a living. The food business is a toilsome craft (un metier penible), most Filipino immigrants anywhere in the world have more than a passing acquaintance with the English language (part of our not being chauvinist, no doubt) with them and thus have more choices about the way they are going to make their way in the new world they have chosen. The other groups dont have as much.


Gato ming gato miao busca la vida para comer

#83 Stagiaire

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Posted 17 July 2005 - 02:38 PM

...most Filipino immigrants anywhere in the world have more than a passing acquaintance with the English language (part of our not being chauvinist, no doubt) with them and thus have more choices about the way they are going to make their way in the new world they have chosen.  The other groups dont have as much.

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I really don't think it's that simple. With the current pay scales in the Philippines, place, harldy anyone can get ahead working in the food industry. Working your way up in that industry is simply unheard of. Of course there are exceptions to that rule, but for the most part, that's the reality. The only way of making money in food is owning the restaurant/business. So those migrating for financial reasons would not be coming from that subset of society who are in the food profession (as they wouldn't have the finances to migrate). Those of means who choose the profession would normally either hire cooks to man their kitchen and just go on and manage the business, or those who want to be a bit more involved go to the US and France to get their culinary degrees, stage or work a year or two or three, but then go back home and open their restaurants. So there aren't too many that migrate to open restaurants, especially those that are in pursuit of gastronomy as against getting into the food business a basic form of livelihood.

An example of this is that while I was doing my stage at Per Se, there was only one other Filipino in the kitchen who was born and raised in the Philippines. The chefs would always kid around that we were there doing due diligence in preparatation to actually buying Per Se at some point. They would always point to our knife rolls filled with Masamotos and Misono UX-10s and to the fact that we were the only two people in the kitchen who didn't think twice about wearing Rolexes in the kitchen (no they were clearly not of the bling bling variety). I would like to think that the initial fear of Filipino spoiled brats running amock in the kitchen gave way to acceptance mainly because they realised that we weren't there for the benefit of our resumes or for financial gain (we weren't paid) but simply because we were motivated by nothing other than passion for food. But I digress. A lot.

Also, much like other third world countries, the social structure is best depicted by a very steep triangle where the top 10% represents the number of people controlling the 90% of the country's wealth while the bottom 90% would have to make do with sharing the balance of 10% of the country's wealth. This then leads to a society which is the farthest thing from egalitarian. It's almost as though that society has accepted this and the mantra seems to be "No, not everybody is created equal." Sad, really. Anyway, against that backdrop, historically there simply aren't that many "haves" who would considering toiling in a kitchen to make food for others. Owning it, sure, but working in the kitchen, hardly. On the other hand, the "have nots" who are in the kitchens have no need to refine the cuisine. What for? It tastes good. That's all you want food to be. Besides they have other problems to worry about other than making something, which will be consumed in 10 minutes anyway, look pretty. I know this sounds harsh but if you've been to Manila in the past decade, you would know that to be true. But then again, things are changing. With more Filipinos travelling, some migrants coming back home, the internet, TV and all that (Food Network is now shown in Manila too!), the acceptance of food as a professional pursuit has been gaining acceptance. As a matter of fact, in the past 5 years or so, at least two culinary schools have been set up in Manila.

If you go back to Manila these days, you will sense a sort of revolution in Philippine cuisine. The Filipinos who have gone to culinary school in the past 8 or so years have now reached the point where they have matured as chefs and earned the discipline to run a proper kitchen (juxtaposed to the first wave of these "new" Filipino restaurants basically run by kids fresh out of CIA without much kitchen experience....needless to say, being there wasn't much of a dining experience and most of them were boarded up in no time). The process of refinement I was referring to earlier is well its way.
Although there isn't anything near fine dining yet in the true sense of the word, I think it's on the right path....it will only be a matter of time...

Sorry for the long stream of consciousness post...just had to throw it out there....

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#84 Apicio

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Posted 17 July 2005 - 03:55 PM

I am grateful for your thoughtful and though provoking post stagiaire. My quote was not clear enough though. What I meant is that because of the relative facility with the English language of most Filipino immigrants, they find a much easier way to earn a living than going into the food business. It was a propos that that I added a comment about the challenges facing a person running a food business.


Gato ming gato miao busca la vida para comer

#85 prasantrin

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Posted 17 July 2005 - 04:30 PM

...most Filipino immigrants anywhere in the world have more than a passing acquaintance with the English language (part of our not being chauvinist, no doubt) with them and thus have more choices about the way they are going to make their way in the new world they have chosen.  The other groups dont have as much.

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I really don't think it's that simple. With the current pay scales in the Philippines, place, harldy anyone can get ahead working in the food industry. Working your way up in that industry is simply unheard of. Of course there are exceptions to that rule, but for the most part, that's the reality. The only way of making money in food is owning the restaurant/business. So those migrating for financial reasons would not be coming from that subset of society who are in the food profession (as they wouldn't have the finances to migrate).


I think perhaps I interpreted Apicio's post differently. I thought what he was saying was that the average Filipino immigrant, because of having greater ability to speak English, was able to get more work outside the food service industry. To me, the average Filipino immigrant is one of the greater 90% of the population which controls a mere 10% of the wealth. In Canada, at least initially, the average Filipino immigrant was an English-speaking skilled worker. At first it was garment factory workers, and later nurses. These people came with job offers in their fields. I think this agrees with what Apicio was saying. Initially, at least, Filipino immigrants were able to avoid working in the food industry because they a) could speak English and b) had skills which allowed them better paying, higher status positions. In my experience, not a lot of Filipinos from that upper class would even bother to emigrate--why would they when they had far more power and more status in the Philippines than they would anywhere else in the world?

Also, much like other third world countries, the social structure is best depicted by a very steep triangle where the top 10% represents the number of people controlling the 90% of the country's wealth while the bottom 90% would have to make do with sharing the balance of 10% of the country's wealth. This then leads to  a society which is the farthest thing from egalitarian. It's almost as though that society has accepted this and the mantra seems to be "No, not everybody is created equal." Sad, really. Anyway, against that backdrop, historically there simply aren't that many "haves" who would considering toiling in a kitchen to make food for others. Owning it, sure, but working in the kitchen, hardly. 


Ain't that the truth! Many of those "haves" also don't have a lot of experience eating or cooking Filipino food on a regular basis. My mother comes from a family of "haves" (though her immediate line is probably in the bottom of that upper 10%) and she didn't even learn to cook until she was married and living in the US (she was 29...). She also remembers the family cook making more European-style foods than anything else. They were even eating pizza in the 40's or 50's and were drinking Spanish-style hot chocolate made with freshly roasted cacao beans. I also remember her once saying that foods like mongo and pancit were, more or less, peasant foods (though she denies ever saying that). "Haves" would certainly never want to do anything that might associate them with the "have nots." When those who have the power to promote Filipino foods have disdain for, or prejudice against, those very foods, they are not going to do a very good job of promoting them.

If you go back to Manila these days, you will sense a sort of revolution in Philippine cuisine. The Filipinos who have gone to culinary school in the past 8 or so years have now reached the point where they have matured as chefs and earned the discipline to run a proper kitchen  (juxtaposed to the first wave of these "new" Filipino restaurants basically run by kids fresh out of CIA without much kitchen experience....needless to say, being there wasn't much of a dining experience and most of them were boarded up in no time). The process of refinement I was referring to earlier is well its way.
Although there isn't anything near fine dining yet in the true sense of the word, I think it's on the right path....it will only be a matter of time...

Sorry for the long stream of consciousness post...just had to throw it out there....

View Post


One of my cousins (second cousin, actually) is hoping to open a high-end Filipino restaurant in the Phil. sometime in the future. In his current position, though he has nothing to do with the kitchen, he has the ability to promote Filipino food to the upper class masses of the world, and he would like to do the same in the Philippines. Plus his immediate branch of the family is probably in the upper 1 or 2% of the upper 10%, so he can afford to do it. He's actually one of the few Filipinos I've met who is really proud to be Filipino--and not in a bravado kind of way.

#86 SuzySushi

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Posted 17 July 2005 - 06:34 PM

...most Filipino immigrants anywhere in the world have more than a passing acquaintance with the English language (part of our not being chauvinist, no doubt) with them and thus have more choices about the way they are going to make their way in the new world they have chosen.  The other groups dont have as much.

View Post


I really don't think it's that simple. With the current pay scales in the Philippines, place, harldy anyone can get ahead working in the food industry. Working your way up in that industry is simply unheard of. Of course there are exceptions to that rule, but for the most part, that's the reality. The only way of making money in food is owning the restaurant/business. So those migrating for financial reasons would not be coming from that subset of society who are in the food profession (as they wouldn't have the finances to migrate).


I think perhaps I interpreted Apicio's post differently. I thought what he was saying was that the average Filipino immigrant, because of having greater ability to speak English, was able to get more work outside the food service industry. To me, the average Filipino immigrant is one of the greater 90% of the population which controls a mere 10% of the wealth. In Canada, at least initially, the average Filipino immigrant was an English-speaking skilled worker. At first it was garment factory workers, and later nurses. These people came with job offers in their fields. I think this agrees with what Apicio was saying. Initially, at least, Filipino immigrants were able to avoid working in the food industry because they a) could speak English and b) had skills which allowed them better paying, higher status positions. In my experience, not a lot of Filipinos from that upper class would even bother to emigrate--why would they when they had far more power and more status in the Philippines than they would anywhere else in the world?

Also, much like other third world countries, the social structure is best depicted by a very steep triangle where the top 10% represents the number of people controlling the 90% of the country's wealth while the bottom 90% would have to make do with sharing the balance of 10% of the country's wealth. This then leads to  a society which is the farthest thing from egalitarian. It's almost as though that society has accepted this and the mantra seems to be "No, not everybody is created equal." Sad, really. Anyway, against that backdrop, historically there simply aren't that many "haves" who would considering toiling in a kitchen to make food for others. Owning it, sure, but working in the kitchen, hardly. 


Ain't that the truth! Many of those "haves" also don't have a lot of experience eating or cooking Filipino food on a regular basis. My mother comes from a family of "haves" (though her immediate line is probably in the bottom of that upper 10%) and she didn't even learn to cook until she was married and living in the US (she was 29...). She also remembers the family cook making more European-style foods than anything else. They were even eating pizza in the 40's or 50's and were drinking Spanish-style hot chocolate made with freshly roasted cacao beans. I also remember her once saying that foods like mongo and pancit were, more or less, peasant foods (though she denies ever saying that). "Haves" would certainly never want to do anything that might associate them with the "have nots." When those who have the power to promote Filipino foods have disdain for, or prejudice against, those very foods, they are not going to do a very good job of promoting them.

If you go back to Manila these days, you will sense a sort of revolution in Philippine cuisine. The Filipinos who have gone to culinary school in the past 8 or so years have now reached the point where they have matured as chefs and earned the discipline to run a proper kitchen  (juxtaposed to the first wave of these "new" Filipino restaurants basically run by kids fresh out of CIA without much kitchen experience....needless to say, being there wasn't much of a dining experience and most of them were boarded up in no time). The process of refinement I was referring to earlier is well its way.
Although there isn't anything near fine dining yet in the true sense of the word, I think it's on the right path....it will only be a matter of time...

Sorry for the long stream of consciousness post...just had to throw it out there....

View Post


One of my cousins (second cousin, actually) is hoping to open a high-end Filipino restaurant in the Phil. sometime in the future. In his current position, though he has nothing to do with the kitchen, he has the ability to promote Filipino food to the upper class masses of the world, and he would like to do the same in the Philippines. Plus his immediate branch of the family is probably in the upper 1 or 2% of the upper 10%, so he can afford to do it. He's actually one of the few Filipinos I've met who is really proud to be Filipino--and not in a bravado kind of way.

View Post



Interesting thoughts. I can see all these points.

Here in Hawaii, the emigrant Filipino society seems very much divided between the "haves" -- professionals, not only nurses, but doctors and our former governor -- and the "have nots" -- service workers like gardeners and hotel maids.

Strangely, though, none of the "haves" I've met (including the former governor) seemed like snobs. And some, I know, do cook Filipino food. A prominent woman doctor even gave a public demonstration a few years ago of how to make some Filipino sweets (purple rice & coconut milk).
SuzySushi

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#87 Stagiaire

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Posted 17 July 2005 - 08:58 PM

I'm sorry, I never meant to imply that the "haves" do not eat Filipino food. They do, of course. And quite often Filipino food is what's served in most homes on a daily basis. The cooking part though is another thing altogether. Most if not all of them have household help, including cooks. The thinking, I guess, is why reinvent the wheel when your cook could probably cook the stuff better than you ever can.

I've been trying to do my share in promoting Philippine cuisine myself. In restaurants I've worked in, I've always brought ingredients which I think the chefs would appreciate if only they were familiar with it. I noticed that chefs both in the sweet and savory sides tend to like Philippine ingredients, even if just for the sheer uniqueness of it. The hits usually are ube/purple yam, calamansi, dalandan, tamarind leaves, and crab butter (taba ng talangka). All of these ingredients were used at Per Se sometime last year while I was there. I just noticed thought that the Pastry Chefs were more eager to incorporate the ingredients into their repertoir although the crab fat was used for several lobster dishes at some point.

JB even asked me to prepare staff meal for the entire PM shift one sunday. He specifically asked for adobo. The funny thing was, due to the ingredients I had to work with, that was the one of the most awesome Filipino meals I've ever had. The pork was marinated overnight and was cooked in the combi. It was later fried just to give it an exterior crunch. As I was given carte blanche (for the most part) in terms of raiding the larder, well, let me tell you that adobo made with Pe Se veal stock and pork cuisson (instead of water) to go with the vinegar and soy sauce makes for an out of this world adobo. Instead of using small shrimp as is commonly done in Manila for this shrimp and garlic dish called Gambas (actually a Spanish adaptation) we had to use lobster claws as we don't normally have shrimp at Per Se. On and on it went...lentils for mung beans (monggo), and salmon and cod as well as pedigreed vegetables (you know, Tokyo turnips, King James Leeks, etc.) for the sinigang...I tell you, it doesn't get much better than that!

---
edited for spelling

Edited by Stagiaire, 18 July 2005 - 12:22 AM.


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#88 Stagiaire

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Posted 17 July 2005 - 09:04 PM

I am grateful for your thoughtful and though provoking post stagiaire.  My quote was not clear enough though.  What I meant  is that because of the relative facility with the English language of most Filipino immigrants, they find a much easier way to earn a living than going into the food business.  It was a propos that that I added a comment about the challenges facing a person running a food business.

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Sorry, I wasn't meaning to contradict or argue, but rather add to and explain further. What I should have added is that migrant workers tend to be from the fields of nursing, IT, and the sciences. People working in the food industry by default and not by choice normally do not have the means to migrate thus supporting your theory....

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#89 Apicio

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Posted 17 July 2005 - 10:20 PM

"JB even asked me to prepare staff meal for the entire PM shift one sunday. He specifically asked for adobo. The funny thing was, due to the ingredients I had to work with, that was the most awesome Filipino meal I've ever had. The pork was marinated overnight and was cooked in the combi. It was later fried just to give it an exterior crunch. As I was given carte blanche (for the most part) in terms of raiding the larder, well, let me tell you that adobo made with Pe Se veal stock and pok ciusson (instead of water) to go with the vinegar and soy sauce makes for an out of this world adobo. Instead of using small shrimp as is commonly done in Manila for this shrimp and garlic dish called Gambas (actually a Spanish adaptation) we had to use lobster claws as we don't normally have shrimp at Per Se. On and on it went...lentils for mung beans (monggo), and salmon and cod as well as pedigreed vegetables (you know, Tokyo turnips, King James Leeks, etc.) for the sinigang...I tell you, it doesn't get much better than that!"

Now that’s what I would call my “repas imaginaire” for a last meal request or even for hereafter. Filipino food prepared with care and imagination by a competent and intelligent cook using the best ingredients that ample resources can assemble. In fact that’s just what I noticed when invited to dine in affluent homes in the Philippines. The dishes they serve are more or less the same ones a trained and resourceful housewife would serve except that the freshness and extraordinary quality of the ingredients used and the care with which they were prepared and served kicked them up several notches to the ideal height they so well deserve. My experience might very well be unique but Filipino food snobbery I dont recall having ever come accross. On the contrary, some of them surprised me with their penchant for Filipino food items that a lot of us tend to pass on or altogether avoid such as bagoong na alamang, tuyo or daing and the discourangingly unappetizing various buro they tend to produce at home throughout the Tagalog region. Filipino food pairing though is sublime. Munggo is simply great with escabeche.


Gato ming gato miao busca la vida para comer

#90 SobaAddict70

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Posted 18 July 2005 - 08:26 AM

Soba,

- "adobong rellenong" isn't a dish.  I think what you were trying to get at was Adobong Manok which is chicken adobo. You might be confusing it with Rellenong Manok. Manok = Chicken, Relleno = reference to a ground stuffing preparation.

- The peeled hard boiled egg is usually a component of another (though similar looking) dish called asado.  At least that's what I've seen.

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That's probably what I was referring to. Sorry for the confusion.

Not disputing you but this is a recipe for rellenong manok. As you can see, it demonstrates part of the wonder that is Filipino cuisine. :raz:

See this also:

Rellenong Manok: Baked chicken often stuffed with ground pork, ham, frankfurters, pepperoni, onion, garlic, raisins, hard-boiled eggs; stuffing ingredients vary among regions.

:blink: :blink: :blink:

I forget what asado is.