Category: Food Dictionary

Sigarilyas (Winged Bean)

Sigarilyas, photo by JMorton

Sigarilyas (Winged Bean)

Sigarilyas is much loved legume in the Philippines.  It is an ingredients for dinengdeng and pinakbet.  Two popular recipes from the Ilocano region adopted by the entire Philippine nation. 🙂

Young sigarilyas pods can be eaten raw in salad.

Sigarilyas is rich in iron, calcium and vitamin A & C.

 

Rice – Asia’s Staple

Jar of Basmati Rice, Photo by JMorton

Rice – Asia’s Staple

The above is an Indian basmati rice.  If you do not have a kitchen hero like the rice cooker, basmati rice is the easiest to cook, using an ordinary pan, among the various types of rice.  It is almost full-proof as long as you follow the packet’s instruction.

Just over a week ago, I found out from my sister that rice can cause diabetes.  Apparently the carbohydrates in rice can be converted into glucose in the body.   So if you are rather partial to rice at every meal, then train yourself to regularly exercise.  Sweat out that rice carb before it turns into glucose!

Tuyo – [Genus Sardinella]

Tuyo, photo by PH Morton

Tuyo – [Genus Sardinella]

Tuyo and eggs, photo by Bess Mercado

Times had changed, it certainly had.

Once upon a time, tuyo is food for the poor.  And many a television dramas had been made of poor families often grumbling about having tuyo again for every breakfast.  Only the poor ate it, tuyo was very inexpensive then.

These dramas influenced me.  There was a time when I would have fainted if my mother had offered to feed me tuyo when I was in my teens.  🙂 🙂 🙂 LOL

She remembered that time too, because when I went back home after so many years living in London, I requested fried tuyo with sinagag (garlic fried rice) for breakfast.

“Since when do you eat tuyo?” my mother asked me.

“he he he … from now!”

And I made good of that statement.  For some reason, I missed tuyo whilst in London.

Almost everyday of a month-long stay in the Philippines, I had fried tuyo for breakfast.  I just love it.

Apparently tuyo had cross-over the social divide in the Philippines.  Even the elite had taken to dining on tuyo, perhaps better presented in a silver platter! 🙂

Tuyo has a very distinctive smell.  It is rather pungent.  If you are frying it, the whole neighourhood would know! If you were the cook, you would smell of it and if you had eaten it, well you have to brush your teeth thoroughly.

Tuyo are sardines which are salted and dried.

It is so easy to cook it.  Just fry both sides until crispy.

Best eaten with runny fried eggs and tonnes of fried rice.

Sarap.

Malunggay, Leafy Superfood

Malunggay, photo by JMorton

Malunggay, Leafy Superfood

There have been a lot of studies and testimonials regarding the health benefit of Malunggay or its scientific name of Moringa Oleifera.

Studies have found that malunggay (Filipino/Tagalog name) has a very high nutritional value.  This may be true as a young child in Marag, our diet often included marunggay (Ilocano name for the malunngay).  The tree grow almost everywhere in Marag, thus providing us a microbiotic diet which complements most soupy viands in an almost vegetarian existence.  I supposed as children, we did not get sick, except for malaria, brought about by mosquitoes, which is another story. 🙂

Malunggay is a superfood as well as super-herbal-medicine.

Lactating women are advised to make malunggay soup as part of their diet to produce more milk.

Apparently 1 cup of mallunggay, in terms of nutrients, is equivalent to 10 cups of broccoli.

 

Boodle Fight – Dining Experience

Boodle Fight, photo by Carol Elep

Boodle Fight – Dining Experience

Some of you, non-Filipino, may not have heard and therefore, have no idea what a boodle fight is.

It is becoming more and more popular as a way of dining.  Well, I can tell you, it is an experience – a fun experience.

And as long as diners have sanitised their hands, 😉 boodle fight is the way forward.  It cuts carbon footprints and pollution.  No need to use plates and cutlery, saves on washing, and dumping used paper plates, which I like.  The banana leaves are green recyclable, as they are bio-degradable.

Apparently boodle fight originated from the Philippine Military, where the long dining table in the mess hall is covered with banana leaves, which were then piled up high with a variety of food.  The action men of the military then eat, cutlery-less, with their bare hands.  The idea was to eat as much as you can against the other diners.  It is some kind of survival of the fittest.  It is no place for lily-livered or passive folks.  It is a case of digging in or go hungry.

Of course, the non-military version has been honed a little differently, where being mindful of others is somehow observed, otherwise one would appear a glutton or much worse rather uncouth and may not be invited back during the next soiree. 🙂 The etiquette is you take food directly from what is in front of you.  Happy!

This boodle fight can be adapted as a way of having a garden party during the summer here in the UK or anywhere.  I would say this type of dining is better done outside as it might mess up the carpet flooring.

So cling film your garden table and then cover with baking paper.  A roll is reasonably priced and available in Tesco.  Tell file up with food.  I cannot stress it enough that soup is not an ideal food for a boodle fight. LOL

Let’s fight, the boodle fight way!

Boodle fight, photo by Arnold Gamboa

Prawns Vs Shrimp

Shrimps, photo by PH Morton

Prawns Vs Shrimp

Having grown up in the Philippines, we call these delicious crustaceans as shrimps rather than prawns.  Apparently prawns is the term used in the UK and Australia while in the USofA they tend to use the term shrimps.

I further found out that both the words: prawns and shrimps are English in origin.  The prawns are supposed to be larger than the shrimps. But to really tell a prawn from a shrimp is to look at their legs.  The first three pairs of legs in prawns have pincers while in shrimps, only the first two pairs are claw-like.

Well I don’t think I would be really bothered whether I was eating a prawn or a shrimp as they are both manna from heaven. They are both a cause for taste-buds jubilation. 😉

 Prawns and shrimps, raw and frozen, should be rinsed in very salty water and then in plain water with lemon juice.  This would remove any unpleasant smell as well as any preservative used.

Mortar & Pestle

Mortar & Pestle, photo by JMorton

Mortar & Pestle, photo by JMorton

Mortar & Pestle, photo by JMorton

Mortar & Pestle, photo by JMorton

Mortar & Pestle, photo by JMorton

Mortar & Pestle, photo by JMorton

Mortar & Pestle

I love this mortar and pestle.  They are a useful kitchen gadgets perfect for grinding and crushing spices such as the above garlic into a paste.  Perfect also for grinding whole black pepper corns.

Savoy Cabbage

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Savoy Cabbage

Savoy cabbage is a great favourite of mine amongst varieties of cabbages. It is a very versatile green leafy vegetable. It can be cooked in many recipes. Ideal as a steamed or lightly boiled accompaniment with roast dinners.

Because of its robust and fleshly leaves, it is perfect to used to hold a roulade.

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