the Fat Kid Travels: Coron, Palawan
I told myself that this year i would build my youtube channel more and focus on developing food content with other people on cam (not just me), because i truly believe diversity and collaboration makes everything better. So you can expect a new youtube channel (please subscribe!) On youtube.com/thefatkidinside . The 2nd goal i set for myself this year is to develop more Filipino content that will speak to our fellow Filipinos and our international readers as well.
I came out of a restaurateur conference yesterday with brand new optimism that my thoughts about Filipino food are valid and supported by other people. Amy Besa, owner of the famed Purple Yam in new york, and author of Memories of Philippine Kitchens, explained that most Filipino don’t understand Pinoy food and that our food shouldn’t be classified by dishes but rather by flavour profiles (i wrote a post about this back in 2011). Furthermore all the awesome, rare local produce we do have (heirloom corps, etc.) aren’t visible in markets because most people don’t consume them. This could be due to a lack of understanding or just a lack of interest. Asides from that, people who are making great local products (salt blocks for example, or fermented fish/shrimp pastes) feel the need to sweeten or add colorants to their beautiful products to be able to sell them faster ( some fish sauce vendors add caramel syrup and coloring to their natural sauces). Again this is because of a lack of understanding.
So through videos and the blog, i want to document my discovery of Filipino food so that others can benefit from it as well.
I will be diversifying my content and tapping people who know more than me, to create interesting yet still entertaining videos. So please keep reading and watching!
Last weekend i went to Coron, Palawan for my friends bachelor party and we just decided to travel like how people used to travel in Palawan. Rent a bangka (small boat) with some local boat men and guides and just make up our itinerary as we go. We basically had the sea in front of us and told the boat men where we wanted to go and asked him to bring us on deserted islands (usually guarded by an 1 island caretaker) to sleep in tents at night. We went to far flung villages to buy our produce and ingredients to cook our meals and had a large cooler full of beer with ice (very important). Here is a video of one of those instances, and after it my favourite recipes for Kilawin (seafood ceviche) and sinigang (sour broth soup). Again, these recipes are my interpretation of Filipino flavour profiles and will probably vary wildly from what you are used to.
KINILAW or KILAWIN
The recipe is really quite simple. For about 300 grams of fish fillet (we used barracuda) chop it up nicely into clean cubes (about 1.5cms), mix it with some real vinegar (made from fruits or vegetables), about 1/2cup of it, add in some chopped shallots, chopped spring onions, 1 long green chili chopped, a tsp of sesame oil, a crack of salt and pepper and 2 tsp of fish sauce. Mix everything. Let sit for about 15mins. Before serving toss in 5tbsp of coconut milk and some toasted sesame seeds. I usually like to serve mine on a bed of ripe avocado.
For sinigang, there are many different variations with various souring agents and a switch of proteins. I like mine with Beef Short Rib.
Start by taking your soup pot and caramelize about 1kg of short ribs (bones are ok) seasoned with salt and pepper. Once brown set aside.
Keep a nice thin layer of fat in the pot. We are going to use it to fry.
Chop a handful of garlic and fry it.
Add about 7 cups of water,a handful of chopped guava and 100grams of tamarind pods. Bring to a boil and then simmer for about 20mins or until the level of tartness is where you want it. Strain and keep the broth. Add your short ribs, bring to a boil and simmer for 45mins. Add in 1/4 cup of calamansi juice. Add in 2 tbsp of fish sauce, 1 sliced red onion, 1 chopped red chilli, about 10 sliced cherry tomatoes, about 1/2 a kgs worth of cleaned taro root in thumb size pieces and simmer for 1 1/2 hour. Right before serving boil a piece of bok choy per bowl served. Taste. If you want it more sour, add in some lime juice.