As I have written many times, if you live in a mid-size city or a large city, you can prepare most all of your favorite dishes in the Philippines. In Bacolod, SM, Metro, Lopues Mandalagan and Robinsons are well stocked with ingredients you will need for cooking at home.
Today for an early lunch, it was fried Lison, one of my favorite deep sea fish. It is common around Negros Occidental and Panay Island. Elsewhere in English, it is known as Whitefin Trevally. It is very popular in Japan and it is a wonderful table fish. In Japan, Lison is known as Kaiwari and trawlers go out to catch it.
The way I enjoy Lison is very simple. Lightly dust the whole fish, head, body and tail, in flour but do not dredge and cover so much. Deep fry golden brown. It is not a bony fish and is easy for foreigners to eat. Great taste as well. I don’t even dip it in tartar sauce. If I want a dipping sauce, I use Sinamak, the local version of spiced vinegar.
Burritos with a twist. Spanish Rice and Shredded Chicken Burritos. You can stuff your tortillas with Spanish rice and shredded chicken, then roll em’ up.
You will need flour or corn tortillas. I buy those at SM, Mega Mexicana brand and made in the Philippines.
If you can only find taco shells, the recipe will work. Sometimes, I eat a chili with beans taco.
La Victoria Taco Sauce is what I keep on hand and I buy it at Metro. It works on burritos and enchiladas as well. I actually prefer enchiladas.
Refried beans are available in Bacolod and I can do a lot with those!
Pad Thai Noodles is one of my all time favorite dishes. Real Thai brand Rice Stick Noodles are sold at SM. Instead of grinding peanuts, I use Jif Peanut Butter. Hey, I want to eat soon! I also use Marca Pina Patis, aka fish sauce, as one of the ingredients when I make Pad Thai. I also add both shrimp and shredded chicken when I make Pad Thai. You will also need fresh chili peppers, green onions, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, brown sugar, lime juice and lime wedges. Wow! I can already taste it.
Pork Kilawin is a local Filipino dish which I really enjoy.
You can choose the pork you like. Pork belly is a popular choice in our area. Pork with some fat on it is preferred but it is up to you. You boil the pork in water and salt according to taste, for 15-20 minutes; or until the pork is soft and tender. Slice the pork into bite size pieces while still hot.
Next, you place the pork in a bowl. Add vinegar, a little soy sauce is optional and not required. Add chopped onion and the chopped chili peppers. Serve.
I don’t plan on writing a cookbook but I wanted to share a couple of my favorites.
Country Cooking at its Best
I love the smell of hash browns cooking in the morning. Smothered with onions, covered with melted cheese, chunked with ham, diced with tomatoes, peppered with chili peppers or jalapenos, capped with mushrooms and topped with chili con carne. The perfect breakfast!
Biscuits and gravy. Biscuits made from scratch with Bisquick. White gravy with or without ground pork sausage. I like them both but not at the same time.
Tennessee Pride and Jimmy Dean style pork sausage breakfast patties. I can make those! All I need is ground pork, sage, salt, pepper, oregano, garlic, parsley, thyme and red pepper flakes. This breakfast is the pride of Tennessee!
My wife makes cracklin’ cornbread. I always have grits on hand, good for breakfast or with fried fish day or night!
I think I’ve made your belly growl enough for one day. I wasn’t hungry before this article but I am now!
I hope to see you one day, somewhere…all around Bacolod.
~ Gary ~