I’m not new to Asian foods or cooking with Asian ingredients, although my knowledge of Filipino food was almost non-existent before I knew we were moving here. I’m trying to get familiar with a lot of the most common dishes that I see around. Its very meat-based with vegetables (mostly) taking a back seat….unlike Greek food which uses a lot of veggies…so I am not as eager as I usually might be to try cooking it. But that’s a sweeping statement and when our kitchen stuff gets here, I promise to be more creative and give it a go.
In the meantime, my quest since we’ve been here is to try all the different fruits as they come into season. Mangos and pineapples here have an excellent reputation, and for good reason…they are delicious. Bananas come in many different varieties, large and small…yellow, pinkish and green. Turns out a proper tree-ripened banana tastes great really ripe. (Chicquita bananas taste starchy and weird if you let them go completely yellow…so that was a great taste treat surprise.) Giant bunches too! Its fruit smoothies for breakfast here, practically every day. Gunabayo (or Soursop) is an aggresive looking green fruit that is showing up in the markets. I had to google “exotic fruits” and scroll through pictures in order to identify it. Here it is:
Turns out Soursop is a lot more delicious than it looks and it smells wonderful. Also, it seems to have been part of a number of medical experiments to test its alleged power to kill cancer cells and the results are very positive and interesting. The fact that you probably didn’t know that is a subject of a lot of controversy.
Tonights dinner is going to be a Capon from a free-range farm in Northern Luzon (We went to a wonderful weekend organic weekend market – post to follow); vegetable rice; green beans in coconut sauce; fresh mango salsa and Soursop for desert:
Small Calamansi limes are everywhere and add a sour component to a lot of dishes. They’re smaller than key limes, taste “limey” but have their own distinctive flavour:
Just cut a few of them in half and squeeze away:
I used them to add to the mango salsa (look at the colour!):
And to add flavour (along with garlic) to the oven-ready Capon: