Some Basic (But Good) Filipino Home Dishes.

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LMD Ermitaño
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Some Basic (But Good) Filipino Home Dishes.

#1 Post by LMD Ermitaño » January 18th, 2020, 11:34 pm

One of my sisters lives & works in the USA (a doctor specialising in allergies) with her own private practice. She and her husband (also a doctor - a cardiologist/surgeon), together with their daughter (my only direct niece, in junior year high school), are in town for a few days to attend a wedding; so we had dinner at our father’s house last night.
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All dishes were homemade Filipino dishes - a joint effort by my cook, and my father’s cook. Thought I’d share some of them, for whomever may be interested in typical Filipino dishes.
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Sinigang na Ulang (River Prawns in Sour Broth) - These prawns have large heads, sets of tiny pincers, and, when cooked, have a somewhat smoky taste as compared with our other types of local shrimp/prawns. The broth’s souring ingredient(s) vary depending on one’s province; and, of course, the particular home/cook. Typically, tamarind and/or tomatoes (our local ones are sour compared to those in the US/Europe), among others, are used. In our family, the broth is enriched with the juices of prawn heads & shells (pounded out in a mortar & pestle). Long chilis are added for a slight spiciness.
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Kare-Kare (Oxtail Stew) - This is a typically Filipino home favourite. Oxtail cooked low and slow in a rich peanut (or toasted rice, depending on one’s province) sauce.
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It includes assorted vegetables that are served either in the stew itself or on the side; and, in all cases, with a side of Bagoong (a pungent fermented fish paste). Our family serves the vegetables on the side.
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Tadyang ng Baka (Beef Ribs) - This is pretty self explanatory. The ribs are typically long marinated in a mixture of soy sauce, calamansi (a small local citrus fruit), chili, and garlic. They can be deep fried, grilled or baked. We usually deep fry them. In my father’s house, the dish is served with a sweetish-spicy liver sauce on the side (which I eschew).
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Lumpiang Sotanghon (Fried Vermicelli Spring Rolls) - This dish, I suspect, represents culinary influence from our Southeast Asian neighbors. It is a fried-crisp spring roll, stuffed with rice flour based vermicelli sautéed with fresh crab & shrimp meat. It is served with a sweetish vinegar relish containing grated carrots and radish. It’s actually one of my personal favourites. Guests from Japan seem to favour this dish as well.
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That’s it! Cheers!🍻
Last edited by LMD Ermitaño on January 19th, 2020, 4:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Carlos Delpin
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Re: Some Basic (But Good) Filipino Home Dishes.

#2 Post by Carlos Delpin » January 19th, 2020, 4:44 am

Tasty! Thanks for sharing the photos.

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Re: Some Basic (But Good) Filipino Home Dishes.

#3 Post by Sean Devaney » January 19th, 2020, 8:52 am

Damn that looks so delicious. Drool.

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Re: Some Basic (But Good) Filipino Home Dishes.

#4 Post by LMD Ermitaño » January 19th, 2020, 9:39 am

Carlos Delpin wrote:
January 19th, 2020, 4:44 am
Tasty! Thanks for sharing the photos.
My pleasure!
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Re: Some Basic (But Good) Filipino Home Dishes.

#5 Post by LMD Ermitaño » January 19th, 2020, 9:40 am

Sean Devaney wrote:
January 19th, 2020, 8:52 am
Damn that looks so delicious. Drool.
It wasn’t bad at all, thanks!
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Re: Some Basic (But Good) Filipino Home Dishes.

#6 Post by alan weinberg » January 19th, 2020, 9:51 pm

that was a fun tour. Those prawns are lobster-size. Great meal.

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Re: Some Basic (But Good) Filipino Home Dishes.

#7 Post by LMD Ermitaño » January 20th, 2020, 3:28 am

alan weinberg wrote:
January 19th, 2020, 9:51 pm
that was a fun tour. Those prawns are lobster-size. Great meal.
Hi, Alan. All those and more if ever you visit Manila.

Best,

N
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Re: Some Basic (But Good) Filipino Home Dishes.

#8 Post by CJ Beazley » January 20th, 2020, 7:31 am

Those prawns are huge.
Noel, you mention ‘depending on what your province is’, what is yours?
It's C(raig)

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Re: Some Basic (But Good) Filipino Home Dishes.

#9 Post by Kenny H » January 20th, 2020, 9:23 am

Oh yes a side of all of that, please. Looks and sounds delicious! Definitely will give that oxtail a go.
H0eve!kamp

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Re: Some Basic (But Good) Filipino Home Dishes.

#10 Post by LMD Ermitaño » January 20th, 2020, 9:53 am

CJ Beazley wrote:
January 20th, 2020, 7:31 am
Those prawns are huge.
Noel, you mention ‘depending on what your province is’, what is yours?
Hi, Craig!

Yes, and they can get much bigger - those we usually have grilled. I'm not crazy about them though. I much prefer the smaller saltwater ones; my favorite being the "suahe" which I like boiled live and a bit undercooked. They taste naturally sweet. Nothing quite like them.

I, myself, am Manila born and bred; but my father's maternal side (Monreal) hails from the province of Albay (in the Bicol region) and his paternal side (Ermitaño) from the Cavite/Tagaytay areas. My mother's side (both paternal and maternal: Debuque and Divinagracia) are from the island of Panay, specifically the province of Iloilo (as far as I can recall, anyway, as my maternal grandparents passed away when I was quite young; and I never became close to them).

Best,

N
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Re: Some Basic (But Good) Filipino Home Dishes.

#11 Post by LMD Ermitaño » January 20th, 2020, 10:03 am

Kenny H wrote:
January 20th, 2020, 9:23 am
Oh yes a side of all of that, please. Looks and sounds delicious! Definitely will give that oxtail a go.
Make your way to Manila, and you'll have them in spades! Just let me know when.

I'm not sure, though, if you'd care for the accompanying bagoong - very few foreign (non-Asian) friends of mine do. I recall a late uncle of my wife (a very nice German fellow to whom I was close) who had lived around 40-50 years in Manila - he couldn't stand the stuff; but was happy to eat kare-kare without it. I, personally, can't/won't eat kare-kare unless accompanied by a certain type of bagoong.

Best,

N
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Re: Some Basic (But Good) Filipino Home Dishes.

#12 Post by Scott Watkins » January 20th, 2020, 3:55 pm

Looks like a fantastic lineup! Love the oxtail stew which reminds me I need to make some oxtail stock for a french onion soup recipe :)
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Re: Some Basic (But Good) Filipino Home Dishes.

#13 Post by johngonzales » January 20th, 2020, 5:11 pm

LMD Ermitaño wrote:
January 20th, 2020, 10:03 am
Kenny H wrote:
January 20th, 2020, 9:23 am
Oh yes a side of all of that, please. Looks and sounds delicious! Definitely will give that oxtail a go.
Make your way to Manila, and you'll have them in spades! Just let me know when.

I'm not sure, though, if you'd care for the accompanying bagoong - very few foreign (non-Asian) friends of mine do. I recall a late uncle of my wife (a very nice German fellow to whom I was close) who had lived around 40-50 years in Manila - he couldn't stand the stuff; but was happy to eat kare-kare without it. I, personally, can't/won't eat kare-kare unless accompanied by a certain type of bagoong.

Best,

N
I’m half-Filipino and even I don’t like bagoong. Kare-Kare alone, yes. Patis yes. My sisters, mom, and I hated when my dad even brought out bagoong to eat on HIS food.

I like all the usuals, Dinuguan aside. My family favorite, in part because I very rarely get it, might be Caldereta. Our family makes it with beef, and uses both some liver and some peanut butter.
5FB6BFFB-6F17-4826-BBB0-08C7AEF882D8.jpeg

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Re: Some Basic (But Good) Filipino Home Dishes.

#14 Post by Matt Thomas » January 21st, 2020, 4:41 pm

We will be passing through Manila on our way to Mindanao. Is it worth eating at Toyo Eatery?

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Re: Some Basic (But Good) Filipino Home Dishes.

#15 Post by LMD Ermitaño » January 21st, 2020, 7:09 pm

Matt Thomas wrote:
January 21st, 2020, 4:41 pm
We will be passing through Manila on our way to Mindanao. Is it worth eating at Toyo Eatery?
I’m not the one to ask, unfortunately. I’ve had food by the chef when he was still working in Bo Innovation in HK - “elevated” Cantonese cuisine. While I’ve done the rounds of “elevated” this-or-that, it’s never really been my cup of tea.

I much prefer the traditional/classic style (my age/jadedness likely has something to do with that) - equally, if not moreso, with Filipino cuisine. That’s just me though. Thus, I never bothered going to Toyo. My wife, who is more open-minded, has; and she told me that she thought it was “just ok”.
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Re: Some Basic (But Good) Filipino Home Dishes.

#16 Post by Matt Thomas » January 21st, 2020, 8:40 pm

LMD Ermitaño wrote:
January 21st, 2020, 7:09 pm
Matt Thomas wrote:
January 21st, 2020, 4:41 pm
We will be passing through Manila on our way to Mindanao. Is it worth eating at Toyo Eatery?
I’m not the one to ask, unfortunately. I’ve had food by the chef when he was still working in Bo Innovation in HK - “elevated” Cantonese cuisine. While I’ve done the rounds of “elevated” this-or-that, it’s never really been my cup of tea.

I much prefer the traditional/classic style (my age/jadedness likely has something to do with that) - equally, if not moreso, with Filipino cuisine. That’s just me though. Thus, I never bothered going to Toyo. My wife, who is more open-minded, has; and she told me that she thought it was “just ok”.
Thanks! Any places you would recommend in Makati?

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Re: Some Basic (But Good) Filipino Home Dishes.

#17 Post by LMD Ermitaño » January 22nd, 2020, 2:52 am

Matt Thomas wrote:
January 21st, 2020, 8:40 pm
Thanks! Any places you would recommend in Makati?
If you want a wide range of good Spanish dishes, go to Terry’s Bistro (along the same road as Toyo). The owner is a good friend, Juan Carlos de Terry (the only PhD in oenology in the Philippines) who hails from el Puerto de Santa María, Cádiz, Andalusia. He’s probably the most passionate person about old Spanish cuisine I know (awarded the Encomienda del Mérito Civil by King Juan Carlos I). If he happens to be there (assuming you go), chat him up and let him know I (Noel Ermitaño) recommend his place. Be careful what you ask about any dish though - he can explain a dish’s history from Spain’s moorish times.

They also import/serve some of the finest jamón - including the highly sought Montaraz Jamón Ibérico de Bellota (aged 36 months). Naturally, they have a wide selection of wine (but no aged vintages, unfortunately).

For more casual Spanish dining nearby, diagonally across the street (in the Alegria Bldg., 2nd floor) is Txanton - a specialised jamonería with also good wine selection. They have available, among others, the jamón Pedroches gran reserva.

In the floor above Txanton (3rd) is M Dining - a wine-centric, higher-end restaurant with pretty decent (depending on what one orders - as in most any restaurant) continental dishes and a good wine selection. 2 of the main owners are wine collectors. If you see nothing on the wine list that interests you, ask the sommelier (Gigi) if there’s anything from the owners’ collections available. They also have a pretty good gin & whisky selection at the attached bar.
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Re: Some Basic (But Good) Filipino Home Dishes.

#18 Post by Nico P. » January 24th, 2020, 6:59 am

johngonzales wrote:
January 20th, 2020, 5:11 pm
LMD Ermitaño wrote:
January 20th, 2020, 10:03 am
Kenny H wrote:
January 20th, 2020, 9:23 am
Oh yes a side of all of that, please. Looks and sounds delicious! Definitely will give that oxtail a go.
Make your way to Manila, and you'll have them in spades! Just let me know when.

I'm not sure, though, if you'd care for the accompanying bagoong - very few foreign (non-Asian) friends of mine do. I recall a late uncle of my wife (a very nice German fellow to whom I was close) who had lived around 40-50 years in Manila - he couldn't stand the stuff; but was happy to eat kare-kare without it. I, personally, can't/won't eat kare-kare unless accompanied by a certain type of bagoong.

Best,

N
I’m half-Filipino and even I don’t like bagoong. Kare-Kare alone, yes. Patis yes. My sisters, mom, and I hated when my dad even brought out bagoong to eat on HIS food.

...

5FB6BFFB-6F17-4826-BBB0-08C7AEF882D8.jpeg
Kare-kare, when made from scratch, derives much of its taste from annato and ground peanuts so it’s relatively mild tasting. The bagoong gives it an interesting complementary flavor contrast - like Noel, I prefer my kare-kare with bagoong.

Ah, yes, bagoong. Both patis and bagoong can add a shot of salty umami goodness to food. Much like garum or the modern version, colatura di alici. Bagoong can be much more pungent, though. I find the most pungent versions are the ones like a thick liquid, closer to true garum in that it’s truly comprised of the liquid the fish has fermented in. However, many Filipinos’ idea of bagoong is the paste made with krill or tiny shrimps. This is the kind you find in local supermarkets, and Asian groceries in the US. There can be a big difference, though, between commercial bagoong and the home made variety. Pretty much all the bottled bagoong in supermarkets is jacked up with MSG - not a good sign. As to patis - one can have an extended discussion about the taste of Philippine patis compared to Thai or Vietnamese, best not go down that rabbit hole.

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Re: Some Basic (But Good) Filipino Home Dishes.

#19 Post by johngonzales » January 26th, 2020, 4:38 pm

Nico, I have family near you, in Magallanes Village.
The bagoong I grew up around was sent to my dad from my grandmother decades back. It was. Definitely more pungent than most of current market versions.
Here in the U.S., bottled versions of bagoong and patis both often have a bunch of MSG and flavorings. Also, I find that a lot of the Thai products imported here in the U.S. outperform their Filipino counterparts. Too bad.

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Re: Some Basic (But Good) Filipino Home Dishes.

#20 Post by Jay Miller » January 26th, 2020, 8:25 pm

Nico P. wrote:
January 24th, 2020, 6:59 am

Kare-kare, when made from scratch, derives much of its taste from annato and ground peanuts so it’s relatively mild tasting.
I thought annato was mainly used for coloring?
Ripe fruit isn't necessarily a flaw.

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Re: Some Basic (But Good) Filipino Home Dishes.

#21 Post by LMD Ermitaño » January 27th, 2020, 7:02 am

Nico P. wrote:
January 24th, 2020, 6:59 am
Kare-kare, when made from scratch, derives much of its taste from annato and ground peanuts so it’s relatively mild tasting. The bagoong gives it an interesting complementary flavor contrast - like Noel, I prefer my kare-kare with bagoong.

Ah, yes, bagoong. Both patis and bagoong can add a shot of salty umami goodness to food. Much like garum or the modern version, colatura di alici. Bagoong can be much more pungent, though. I find the most pungent versions are the ones like a thick liquid, closer to true garum in that it’s truly comprised of the liquid the fish has fermented in. However, many Filipinos’ idea of bagoong is the paste made with krill or tiny shrimps. This is the kind you find in local supermarkets, and Asian groceries in the US. There can be a big difference, though, between commercial bagoong and the home made variety. Pretty much all the bottled bagoong in supermarkets is jacked up with MSG - not a good sign. As to patis - one can have an extended discussion about the taste of Philippine patis compared to Thai or Vietnamese, best not go down that rabbit hole.
Hey, Nico!
Luis Manuel Debuque Monreal Ermitaño

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