Posts Tagged Filipino food

Sinamak (Spiced Vinegar)

My entire family loves to cook – from my mom, to my siblings and I, down to our nephews and nieces. Our love for food has transcended all generations. But my favorite cook was probably my Dad.  I remember watching him on some Sundays as he made his favorite kinilaw or tokwa’t baboy. Dad loved to eat and enjoyed preparing his meals as well.

an assortment of cured fish from Cebu

an assortment of daing (cured fish) from Cebu

My Dad was born in Cebu and was quite adept with Visayan cooking. Visayans are known for curing their food, especially seafood and my Dad was in love with cured fish or as we call it in the Philippines, daing. Knowing that his love for this cured fish would affect his health, he wittingly found a solution so that he could continue his love affair with this salty fish. He would soak the cured fish in water to remove some of the salt and would dry them out in the sun again. This way, he could enjoy his food (almost) guilt-free! But that’s not all – these salted fish meals were not complete unless paired with his favorite condiment, his revered spicy vinegar or sinamak in the Visayas.  Dad (and I cannot stress this enough) LOVED his vinegar. He couldn’t eat his meals unless his small bottle was beside him. In fact, whenever there was a new house helper who was not aware of this, he made it known to them by giving this short speech said in Filipino, “In my life, only three things matter – GOD, FAMILY and VINEGAR.”  Yes, we were only a notch above vinegar.

shallots, ginger, garlic, chili, and peppercorns  - ingredients for sinamak

shallots, ginger, garlic, chili, and peppercorns - ingredients for sinamak

I seem to have inherited my Dad’s love for this spiced vinegar  and also look for it whenever having your usual Visayan breakfast. So when I looked for it this morning and realized that we had run out, I did what my Dad would’ve done – I made my own bottle of sinamak.

So this is for you, Daddy. I miss you.

Sinamak (Spiced Vinegar)

Sinamak (Spiced Vinegar)

Sinamak

  • 10 shallots, peeled
  • 1 garlic head, peeled
  • 1/4 cup peppercorns
  • 1/4 cup ginger, sliced
  • vinegar
  • salt
  • chilis

Combine all ingredients in a bottle and steep for 2 weeks before using.


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Friends and Food

Filipinos are hospitable by nature. We take pleasure in welcoming people into our homes where friends can indulge themselves in good food and lively conversations. This was quite evident during my three-day weekend at a friend’s beach house.

the famous montemar sunset

the famous montemar sunset

I met N and J early this year when a mutual friend invited us to their beach house in Montemar. To say that they are the most gracious and generous hosts is an understatement.  Each weekend spent at their home has become quite memorable and has nurtured what I hope will become a lifelong friendship. Considering that we only met a few months ago, I consider N and J to be very dear friends.

indoor dining room at the best beach house

indoor dining at the beach house

N and J never fail to amaze us with the food that comes out of their kitchen. Diets go out the window and everybody succumbs to the culinary experience that should not be missed in this warm home. So as a way of showing our appreciation (and also because N thought it would be a fun idea), we decided that during this next trip, that we would all take turns in preparing a meal. Luckily enough, everyone in the group seemed to have natural flair for cooking so this was something to look forward to. Unfortunately, I was not able to document all the dishes since I was too eager to sample the cuisine. Good thing Mister M remembered to take pictures of the other dishes so not all was lost.

I was in charge of the first lunch and my menu consisted of simple and familiar food – chicken pork adobo and gising-gising. I read several recipes for gising-gising and saw that most variations used ground pork. Since one of our friends was a vegetarian, I substituted it with bagoong. The result was a very flavorful and delightful dish that had to be paired with rice. It was also a very good match with the subtly lemon-flavored adobo. Although the gising-gising was a little too spicy for the warm weather, it turned out to be a crowd pleaser and made everyone down their beers faster.

gising-gising

gising-gising

Gising-Gising

•    3 bundles Baguio beans, chopped
•    3-4 green chilis, chopped (*Miss Mai Mai’s  note: You may also seed the chili’s to lessen the heat.)
•    1 large onion, finely chopped
•    3/4 c. coconut milk
•    2 tbp. bagoong
•    2 tbp. cooking oil

Saute onions in cooking oil until transparent. Add bagoong and Baguio beans and sauté for three minutes. Add coconut milk and simmer for five minutes.

Here are some of the dishes prepared by our friends.

* Photos courtesy of Mister M.

best lamb stew i've ever tried

best lamb stew i've ever tried


Dory with lemon and dill prepared by Dr. O

Dory with lemon and dill prepared by Dr. O


inihaw na liempo reminiscent of Manang's in Ateneo, also by Dr. O

inihaw na liempo reminiscent of Manang's in Ateneo, also by Dr. O

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