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Friday, March 4, 2011

Filipino Cooking

Chicken cooked in coconut milkImage via Wikipedia
By Juvy S. Iliwiliw

            Here is what Miriam Razon-Estrada, the chair of the Nutrition and Dietetics Department of the Adventist University of the Philippines has to say with Lutong Pinoy or the so-called Filipino way of cooking.

            Surely, there is no place like home. And one of the things we miss whenever we leave home is the home-cooked food. Filipinos who now reside in other countries surely miss Filipino cooking.
            Filipino foods have numerous indigenous and foreign influences. They can be characterized as a fascinating blend of Spanish, Malay, Arab and Chinese cuisine. Spanish-inspired dishes are paella, caldereta, and morcon. Chinese influence is evident in such dishes as pancit canton, lumpiang Shanghai and hopia.
            The regions in our country have their culinary specialties. But the indigenous coconut cookery is the most common and popular.
            Coconuts are used generously in Filipino cuisine. Coconut dishes originated from the Malay culture. Filipinos are fortunate because fresh coconut milk come cheap, the Philippines being the world's second largest producer of coconut products.
            All food groups can be cooked in coconut milk - meat, fish, poultry, root crops, grains, fruits, and vegetables. Coconut milk is also great for mouth-watery desserts like biko, suman, and bibingka. With the demand of coconut-based dishes, manufacturers have made them available in cans like the "Bicol express," sardines gata, and tuna in coconut milk.
            Coconut is rich in fat. Fat is concentrated source of energy, giving 9 kilocalories per gram. Of all the nutrients, fats may have the worst reputation, but like carbohydrates and proteins, they are indispensable in the diet. It is generally recommended that 20-30 percent of the total energy allowance should come from fats.


You will need:

1/4     kilo  young langka meat, cubed
1        medium onion, chopped
3        medium tomatoes, diced
1        tablespoon calamansi juice
1/3     cup coconut cream
          Green onions, chopped
          Salt to taste

Here's how:

1. Boil langka until tender.
2. Drain water and slice langka meat thinly.
3. Add onion, tomatoes, calamansi juice, salt and coconut cream.
4. Toss.
5. Garnish with green onions.

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