Friday, May 1, 2009

A Filipino Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Let's Eat. Kain na tayo.

Tapsilog is a condensed word from three separate words: Tapa= cured Filipino beef, sinangag = garlic fried rice and itlog = egg. My husband calls tapa beef bacon because it's just that good. Tapa is usually eaten during breakfast along with garlic fried rice and a fried egg but I've had it for dinner many times. My grandmother made her own tapa. My mom also makes her own tapa so I learned to do the same. I cure thinly sliced and well-marbled beef strips with sea salt, brown sugar black pepper. The marinated beef sits in a Ziplock bag in our refrigerator for a day. Then, the tapa goes back in the refrigerator for another day to be "air dried." The tapa is then pan-fried and served with steaming hot garlic fried rice and a perfectly cooked fried egg.

Lunch/ Tanghalian

Kare-kare is my absolute favorite Filipino food. This Filipino stew is typically made with oxtail or tripe but I used large chunks of stewing beef for this recipe. First, I seared beef chunks on all sides and then I braised them in a flavorful beef stock. After a few hours in the pot, the beef becomes fork-tender. A packet of Mama Sita's Kare-kare mix containing roasted ground rice, ground peanuts and atsuete or annato flavoring goes into the pot. My grandmother made the roasted ground rice from scratch by roasting native mountain grown rice in her big wok and then grinding them with her mortar and pestle. To make life easier, I use a packet of Mama Sita kare-kare mix. I added a list of where I buy my Filipino ingredients in the Boston area at the end of this blog entry. This stew included (but are never limited to) the following ingredients: organic peanut butter, sliced Japanese eggplants and green beans. I prefer long beans or snake beans but I didn't have them available when I was making this recipe. It's an excuse to go back to Chinatown soon. After the veggies are fully cooked, I garnished the kare-kare with finely chopped roasted peanuts. Kare-kare is typically eaten with fermented shrimp paste or alamang. Yum.

Dinner/ Hapunan

Like I said in a previous entry, adobo comes from the word "adobar", a Spanish infinitive which means "to marinate". This quintessential Filipino entree is truly magical in every way. Every Filipino cook I know has at least one great recipe for adobo. Pork is my meat of choice for many of my adobo recipes. I braised thick bone-in pork chops in Native Filipino sugar cane vinegar, lots of freshly chopped garlic, black peppercorns, a bay leaf and good quality soy sauce. Like Kare-kare, this is a braise it and forget it kinda meal. It's best eaten the next day when all the flavors have married.

Where do I buy my Filipino ingredients in Massachusetts?

Supper 88 Market, 118 Commercial St, Malden, MA 02148
See Sun Market, 25 Harrison Avenue (between Essex St & Hayward Pl) Boston, MA 02111
Sure Pinoy Oriental Food Mart, 145 Water St., Quincy, MA 02169
China Merchandise, 120 Cambridge Street, Burlington, MA 01803

Where do get my "merienda" or Filipino snacks when I'm in Boston's Chinatown?

These Boston Chinatown bakeries have "dupes" of some of my favorite steamed and baked Filipino goodies:
BaoBao Bakery, 77 Harisson Ave. -- This Taiwanese bakery has good Chinese style siopao called "big bun" and wife cakes(lao po bing) or hopia.
Ho Yuen Bakery Inc., 54 Beach St. -- This bakery has pretty good moon cakes, coconut buns, spring rolls and puto!
Eldo cake house, 36 Harrison Ave. -- Their round cakes are somewhat comparable to Goldilocks' cakes. Goldilocks a very popular Filipino bakery in the Philippines.


Karen said...

aha, Jen reveals her secrets! :-) Thanks so much for the breakfast info - you know how I love to find out what everyone else in the world eats for breakfast...

Jen said...

You are welcome. It's funny because I like international breakfasts too. Hmmm...that's an idea for a get together.

Confession Nook said...

this is an absolute perfect meal! now im craving for kare-kare! i was actually trying to find the mama sita kare-kare mix i brought from pinas...di ko mahanap sa bagahe ko...=(..pero i have tocino mix..=)