Assorted Filipino Dishes
My last blog about Marinduque cuisine was about 8 months ago. A comment from an OFW worker in Facebook aroused my curiosity of what is written about Philippine cuisine in Wikipedia. Here's a summary for your reading pleasure. Caution: Do not read if your are hungry!
Philippine cuisine consists of the foods, preparation methods and eating customs found in the Philippines. The style of cooking and the foods associated with it have evolved over several centuries from its Malayo-Polynesian origins to a mixed cuisine with many Hispanic, Chinese, American, and other Asian influences adapted to indigenous ingredients and the local palate.
Filipinos traditionally eat three main meals a day: agahan or almusal (breakfast), tanghalían (lunch), and hapunan (dinner) plus an afternoon snack called meriénda (also called minandál or minindál). Dishes range from the very simple, like a meal of fried salted fish and rice, to the elaborate paellas and cocidos created for fiestas.
Macrine, Carenna and ELanie and the Roasted Pig (Lechon)
Popular dishes include lechón (whole roasted pig), longganisa (Philippine sausage), tapa (cured beef), torta (omelette), adobo (chicken and/or pork braised in garlic, soy sauce, and vinegar or cooked until dry), kaldereta (meat in tomato sauce stew), mechado (larded beef in soy and tomato sauce), pochero (beef in bananas and tomato sauce), afritada (chicken or pork simmered in a tomato sauce with vegetables), kare-kare (oxtail and vegetables cooked in peanut sauce), crispy pata (deep-fried pig's leg), hamonado (pork sweetened in pineapple sauce), sinigang (meat or seafood in sour broth), pancit (noodles), and lumpia (fresh or fried spring rolls).
Malayo-Polynesians during the pre-Hispanic era in the Philippines prepared food by boiling, steaming, or roasting. This ranged from the usual livestock such as kalabaw (water buffaloes), baka (cows), manok (chickens) and baboy (pigs) to various kinds of fish and seafood. In a few places, the broad range of their diet extended to monitor lizards, snakes and locusts. Filipinos have been cultivating rice since 3200 BC from their arrival of the Austronesian people from Southern China Yunnan Plateau and Taiwan, when they settled in what is now the Philippines. They brought with them rice cultivation and a lot of other various traditions that are used in forms today. Pre-Hispanic trade with other Asian nations introduced a number of staples into Philippine cuisine, most notably toyo (soy sauce) and patis (fish sauce), as well as the method of stir-frying and making savory soup bases.
The arrival of Spanish settlers brought with them chili peppers, tomatoes, corn, potatoes, and the method of sauteing with garlic and onions, which found their way into Philippine cuisine. Although chili peppers are nowhere as widely used in Filipino cooking compared to much of Southeast Asia, chili leaves are frequently used as a cooking green, again distinct from the cooking of their neighbors. They also used vinegar and spices in foods to preserve them due to lack of refrigeration. Spanish (and Mexican) dishes were eventually incorporated into Philippine cuisine with the more complex dishes usually being prepared for special occasions. Some dishes such as paella or arroz de valenciana remain largely the same. Some have been adapted or have come to take on a slightly different meaning. Arroz a la cubana served in the Philippines usually includes ground beef picadillo. Philippine longganisa despite its name is more akin to chorizo than Spanish longaniza.
While there were some Chinese in the Philippines before the Spanish, a significant Chinese population grew only after the Spanish established themselves. Chinese food became a staple of the panciterias or noodle shops that sprang up in the nineteenth century, but were often marketed with Spanish names. The influence of comida china (Chinese food) is seen in dishes like arroz caldo (congee), morisqueta tostada (an obsolete term for sinangag or fried rice), and chopsuey.
Today, Philippine cuisine continues to evolve as new techniques, styles of cooking, and ingredients find their way into the country. Traditional dishes both simple and elaborate, indigenous and foreign-influenced, are seen as are more current popular international viands and fast food fare.
As with most Asian countries, the staple food in the Philippines is rice. It is most often steamed and served during meals. Leftover rice is often fried with garlic to make sinangag, which is usually served at breakfast together with a fried egg and cured meat or sausages. Rice is often enjoyed with the sauce or broth from the main dishes. In some regions, rice is mixed with salt, condensed milk, cocoa, or coffee. Rice flour is used in making sweets, cakes and other pastries. Other staples derived from crops include corn and bread.
Fruits are often used in cooking as well. Coconuts, coconut milk, coconut meat, tomatoes, tomato sauce, and bananas are usually added to meals. Abundant harvests of root crops occur all year round. Potatoes, carrots, taro (gabi), cassava (kamoteng kahoy), purple yam (ube), and sweet potato (kamote) are examples. Kamote and a certain type of plantain called saba can be chopped, dusted with brown sugar, fried and skewered, yielding kamote-cue and banana-cue which are popular caramelized snacks.
Meat staples include chicken, pork, beef, and fish. Seafood is popular as a result of the bodies of water surrounding the archipelago. Popular catches include tilapia, catfish (hito), milkfish (bangus), grouper (lapu-lapu), shrimp (hipon), prawns (sugpo), mackerel (galunggong), swordfish, oysters (talaba), mussels (tahong), clams (halaan and tulya), large and small crabs (alimango and alimasag respectively), game fish, sablefish, tuna, cod, blue marlin, and squid/cuttlefish (both called pusit). Also popular are seaweeds, abalone, and eel.
The most common way of having fish is to have it salted, pan-fried or deep-fried, and then eaten as a simple meal with rice and vegetables. It may also be cooked in a sour broth of tomatoes or tamarind as in pangat, prepared with vegetables and a souring agent to make sinigang, simmered in vinegar and peppers to make paksiw, or roasted over hot charcoal or wood (inihaw). Other preparations include escabeche (sweet and sour) or relleno (deboned and stuffed). Fish can be preserved by being smoked (tinapa) or sun-dried (tuyo).
Food is often served with various dipping sauces. Fried food is often dipped in vinegar, soy sauce, juice squeezed from kalamansi (Philippine lime, calamondin, or calamansi), or a combination of all. Patis (fish sauce) may be mixed with kalamansi as dipping sauce for most seafood. Fish sauce, fish paste (bagoong), shrimp paste (alamang) and crushed ginger root (luya) are condiments that are often added to dishes during the cooking process or when served.
My mouth is starting to water( salivate) now and my stomach is starting to growl, so I better finish this blog and run to the Kitchen or call a Chinese Restaurant. There are no Filipino restaurant nearby. The nearest one is about one hour drive from our house here in Northern California. Bon Appetit to All!
Welcome and Mabuhay
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