Apr 25, 2013

FILIPINO Cuisine In Hawaii

Ground Pork with Long Beans & Squash
Note: I used fingerling potatoes in this photo 
instead of squash, but squash is better.
Click on photo to view larger
The Republic of the Philippines lies right in the heart of Southeast Asia, between the Pacific Ocean and the South China Sea. The Philippines has 7,107 islands extending more than 1,056 miles (1,700 kilometres) in the direction of the Equator. 

Filipinos have been in Hawaii for over 100 years. The importation of Filipino workers for the sugar plantations began around 1906. Then as now, the Filipinos have become a very vibrant community and very much a vital part of Hawaii's past, present and future. Recent census reports showed that Filipinos surpassed Japanese as Hawaii's largest ethnic group. 

The Filipinos I've known here on Moloka'i, are wonderful, friendly people, that understand the value of hard work and have a love for life and family. That's the beauty of living in America, we are a nation of many nationalities, a melting pot of creative people looking for freedom of speech and a way of life that is better than any other. 

One of the benefits of a multi-cultural society is that it is a multi-culinary society, a society filled with delicious recipes handed down from generation to generation, melding into a whole new fusion of flavors. That's what Tasting Hawaii is all about, exploring the foods and food history that make up Hawaii's mixed plate, including Filipino cuisine, and sharing those recipes with you.

Filipino Recipes:
Pico de Gallo
Pico de Gallo is basically a salsa that I like to serve right in the middle of a ripe avocado, served with a spoon. Naturally it also goes well on fish tacos, burritos, roast pork, or with grilled fish or shrimp. Somehow Pico de Gallo sounds sexier than salsa.

4 medium tomatoes, diced
1 medium red onion, diced
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1 teaspoon minced garlic, or more if you like
1 jalapeno pepper, chopped finely
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon salt

In a large bowl, combine tomatoes and onion. Gently toss to mix. Add the chopped cilantro, garlic, and jalapeno. Pour-in the lime juice and sprinkle with salt. Mix well. Makes about 3 cups.

Pork-Shrimp Lumpia
(Lumpiang Shanghai)
Lumpia (Filipino spring rolls) are almost always present at every Filipino family gathering as an appetizer. Lumpia are similar to Chinese egg rolls, but lumpia have less filling and are much thinner.

1 pound ground pork
1 pound shrimp (shelled, deveined, ground)
1 onion, minced
8 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup carrots, finely chopped
1 cup cooked long rice noodles
1/2 cup shiitake mushrooms, minced
3 egg yolks (save the whites to seal wrappers)
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon sugar

about 75 lumpia wrappers
canola oil (enough to cover 4 lumpia when frying)

Mix everything together and put into a wok or saute pan and cook on medium heat for about 10 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. This process can be done a day ahead of time and refrigerated. Place a lumpia wrapper on a plate with a pointed end facing you. Spoon about one heaping tablespoon into the lower-middle of a wrapper. Spread the filling into the wrapper horizontally. Pick up the corner nearest you and roll the mixture towards the middle. Fold both sides inward over the mixture, then continue to roll until you have about an inch left of the wrapper. Using your finger, brush the edges with a little egg white or water to seal completely. Make sure it is tightly secured. Repeat this process placing the finished rolls in a deep baking dish (casserole) with the sealed side downwards. Heat oil in a wok or saute pan to 350˚F and fry several lumpia at a time until golden brown. Do not overcrowd the rolls to allow them to brown evenly. Makes 75 lumpia.

Filipino Oven Roasted Pork
(Lechon sa Hurno)
This recipe was taken from my first cookbook, "The Beauty of Cooking on Moloka'i"

1 (3 to 5 pounds.) boneless shoulder picnic roast
Hawaiian sea salt or Kosher salt

Marinade Ingredients:
fresh sprigs of rosemary leaves, chopped
zest of 1 lemon
juice of 1 lemon
3 tablespoons of honey
2 tablespoons of soy sauce
2 tablespoons of wine vinegar
1 tablespoon salt and pepper
1/4 cup olive oil

Gravy Ingredients:
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon of flour
1/4 stick butter
olive oil
salt to taste

Mix together marinade ingredients and marinate pork shoulder for several hours. Preheat oven to 350˚F. Remove pork from marinade and pat dry (save the marinade). Rub generously with salt. Transfer to a roasting pan and bake 40 minutes per pound. Brush skin with some of the marinade every 1/2 hour, then with the fat drippings from the pan every 10 minutes during the last hour, making the skin crisp. Increase oven heat to 450˚F. Roast pork for about 20 to 30 minutes more or until golden brown. The skin should be crispy. Internal temperature reading should be 170˚F. Remove from the oven. Cover with foil and let stand for 10 minutes. During this time prepare the gravy; put all the juices and marinade in a pot, add water to the flour, stir to dissolve. Heat the juices in the pan. Stir in the flour mixture. As soon as it starts to thicken add the butter, stir. Slice pork and pour gravy over and serve. Makes 8 to 10 servings.

Green Papaya Chicken
This is one of my favorite Filipino recipes. It is important to find rock hard, dark green papayas for this dish, with no sign of any yellow-orange on them.

2-3 tablespoons canola oil
1 small yellow onion, minced
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced 
2-3 pound whole chicken or parts cut into bite sized portions, remove skin
2 tablespoons fish sauce (patis)
3-4 cups water
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups peeled and cubed unripened (green) papaya
2 cups fresh spinach, chopped (optional)

Heat the oil over medium heat in a large pot. Add the onions and saute until transparent, about 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and saute another 2-3 minutes. Add the chicken pieces and saute another 5 minutes to partially cook and lightly brown. Add the fish sauce and stir well. Add water to cover the chicken and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 25-30 minutes, stirring and skimming off fat and scum occasionally. Add cubed papaya and simmer another 5-10 minutes until papaya is tender. Remove from heat, salt and pepper to taste and stir in the chopped spinach. This dish will be soupy when done. Serve with hot white rice on the side with Tamari sauce. Makes 6 servings.

Filipino Fried Chicken Wings
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup cornstrach
2 tablespoons salt 

4 eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 bunch green onions, chopped
10 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup Aloha shoyu (soy sauce)
1 teaspoon sesame seeds, optional

5 pounds chicken wings

Combine the first 4 ingredients together, then add remaining. Rinse chicken wings and pat dry before adding to the batter. Marinate overnight. Deep fry until golden brown. Makes 10-12 servings.

Pork Adobo
This is considered by many as the Philippine's national dish.

2 pounds pork belly
2 tablespoons garlic, minced
5 pieces dried bay leaves
4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon whole pepper corn
1 cup water
salt to taste

Combine the pork belly, soy sauce, and garlic then marinade for at least 1 hour. Heat the pot and put-in the marinated pork belly then cook for a few minutes. Add water, whole pepper corn, and dried bay leaves then bring to a boil. Simmer for 40 minutes to 1 hour. Put-in the vinegar and simmer for 12 to 15 minutes. Add salt to taste. Makes 4 servings.

Pork and Peas
Filipino pork and peas are a favorite combination in Hawaii, as is the unique blend of seasonings in this almost complete meal. Just cook some rice and your meal is done.

1 large boneless pork butt cut into 2-inch cubes
1 yellow onion, diced
1 whole head garlic, peeled & crushed
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup shoyu (soy sauce)
3-4 bay leaves 
2 cinnamon sticks, split in half
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1/2 bag frozen green peas
2 large red bell peppers, sliced length-wise into strips
salt & pepper to taste

Remove part of the fatty layer of the pork butt. Cut up into 2-inch cubes. Marinate pork with the next 6 ingredients. Marinate this for 24 hours. In a large, very hot, wok, stir fry the pork. As the pork is half way done cooking, about 5-7 minutes, add in the tomato sauce; you don't want this dish to have a powerful tomato flavor, this is used primarily for color. Taste to see if it needs more salt and/or pepper. Add the peas and the peppers and stir until hot. Serve with steaming hot white or brown rice. Makes 8 servings.

Pork Sparerib Stew
3-4 pounds of pork spareribs, cut into rib pieces
1 teaspoon coarse black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
4 cups water
1, 10 3/4 ounce can Campbell’s cream of chicken soup, or chicken stock
1 large yellow onion, peeled and sliced
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1 inch of fresh ginger, minced
15 whole black pepper corns
3 bay leaves
3 potatoes, peeled and cut into large pieces
3 carrots, peeled and cut into bite-size pieces
1/4 head of cabbage, cut into wide slices
2 small heads baby pak-choi, cut into bite-size pieces
3 tablespoons fish sauce, (patis), or to taste

Put the pork rib pieces in a pot and sprinkle coarse black pepper, and salt. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar. Toss the ribs 2-3 times in the pot and set aside for 15 minutes for meat to marinade. Next pour in the water, enough to just cover the ribs. Add the chicken soup and bring to a boil on high heat, then reduce heat to a simmer (leave pot uncovered). Add onion, crushed garlic, ginger, black pepper corns, and bay leaves. Continue boiling spareribs for 1 1/2 hours then add potatoes and carrots. 10 minutes later add the cabbage and pak-choi. Simmer for another 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add fish sauce to taste. Makes 6 servings.

Ground Pork with Long Beans & Squash
(Ginisang Kalabasa)

1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil
6 garlic cloves, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 pound ground pork
3 tablespoons fish sauce (Patis), or to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3 roma or plum tomatoes, diced and seeded (if desired)
3 tablespoons soy sauce or to taste
1/2 cup water
1 whole bunch of Asian long beans, cut or broken into 2 inch pieces, about 2 cups
1 medium sized kalabasa, or butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into inch-long chunks

Heat oil in a deep sauté pan, or wok. Sauté the garlic and onions for about a 1-2 minutes. Add the ground pork and crumble the meat with a fork to prevent clumping as you brown it on medium-high heat. Season with fish sauce and black pepper, to taste. Add the diced tomatoes and cook for another 3 minutes. Pour in the soy sauce and water. Bring to a boil. Cover then simmer on low heat for at least half an hour to allow the meat to absorb the flavor of the liquid. Immediately add the long beans and squash, stir and cover. Simmer for an additional 10 to 15 minutes, or until the squash is tender and the beans fully cooked yet still retain some crunch. Correct the seasoning if necessary. Serve with white long grain rice (see photo above). Makes 4-6 servings.

Bitter Melon Salad
Bitter melon (ampalaya) is an odd looking gourd that is enjoyed in the Philippines, and is truly bitter. I have written about it on this website if you are looking for more information. In this recipe, bitter melon is covered in salt to remove a lot of the bitter flavor, then rinsed with water and combined with vinegar, red onion and diced tomatoes for a very different salad or side dish.

1 medium bitter mellon (ampalaya)
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 cup vinegar
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon granulated white sugar
1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
1 medium Roma tomato, diced and seeds removed
extra salt to taste

Peel, then cut the bitter melon lengthwise and remove the seeds with a teaspoon. Cut the halves into 1/4" half moon slices. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of salt and let it sit for 30 minutes. Remove the salt by rinsing with running water in a colander. In a bowl, combine vinegar, ground black pepper, and sugar in a bowl. Add the bitter melon, sliced onion, and diced tomato to the bowl. Gently mix together. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 3 hours. Great served with fried fish. Makes 2 servings.

Crema de Fruta
This is a soft cake, topped in succeeding layers of custard filling, and fruit.

Ingredients for cake:
6 eggs
1 1/4 cups cake flour
3/4 cup white sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 cup butter, melted

Filling Ingredients:
1 cup white sugar
2 3/4 cups milk
1/3 cup cake flour
5 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup water

Topping Ingredients:
1 (15.25 ounce) can fruit cocktail, drained and juice reserved
2 tablespoons unflavored gelatin

Preheat oven to 325˚F (165˚C). Butter a 9×13 inch oval, glass baking dish.

To Prepare Cake: 
Beat 6 eggs until fluffy. Beat in 3/4 cup sugar until smooth and thick. Fold in 1 1/4 cups cake flour, nutmeg and salt. Stir in melted butter. Pour into prepared pan. Bake 15 to 20 minutes, until center springs back when lightly touched. Let cool 10 minutes in pan before transferring to wire rack to cool completely. Split cake horizontally into two layers.

To Prepare Filling: 
combine 1 cup sugar, 1/3 cup cake flour, 5 egg yolks, water and vanilla in a mediumsaucepan over low heat. Cook and stir until thickened, 15 minutes. Let cool completely.

To Prepare Topping: 
Place reserved juice in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir in gelatin and continue stirring until completely dissolved. Set aside.

To Assemble: 
Return bottom cake layer to glass dish. Spread half the filling over the layer. Top with remaining layer and remaining filling. Arrange fruit cocktail on top and cover with gelatin mixture. Chill 4 to 8 hours, until set. Makes 6 servings.

Watermelon Fizz
This is a beautiful sparkling drink with all of the tastes of summer.

3 cups watermelon, seeded & cut into chunks
1 cup ice cubes
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons honey
sparkling water
watermelon wedge or ball, for garnish

Cut 2 big slices of watermelon, remove the skin and seeds and cut into chunks until you have 3 cups of melon. Place watermelon, honey, lime juice and 4 ice cubes in a blender and blend thoroughly. Strain into 2 tall glasses to get rid the pulp. Add the remaining ice cubes and add a splash of sparkling water. Garnish with watermelon wedges or melon balls and a straw. Makes 2 servings.

Mango-Papaya Smoothie
It gets hot in the summer here in Hawaii, and nothing tastes better than this cool fresh fruit shake straight from the Philippines.

3 cups papaya, seeded and chopped
3 cups mango flesh, chopped
2 cups crushed ice
1/2 cup milk, or more if desired
brown sugar (or your favorite sweetener), to taste

Start by putting some ice in a blender, and then pile the fruit, brown sugar, and milk on top. Blend until smooth and serve immediately.

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