Filipino Favorites: Cuisine from the Philippines

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Mags Yap is an avid photographer and entrepreneur, currently residing in Nepal. She is from the Philippines, specifically from Angeles City, Pampanga: a region that is often known as the culinary capital of the country. By nature, as a Kapampangan (the name of those who come from Pampanga), her love for food and cooking runs in the family. She grew up around parents who were exceptional cooks, who even owned and ran a restaurant that specialized in serving exotic dishes.

Filipino Adobo
About Adobo:
Adobo is the most famous Filipino dish and can be considered as the unofficial national dish of the country. There are a hundred ways to cook this dish. Every Filipino kitchen has its own adobo recipe and each version is unique on its own. Each adobo version that I have tried tastes different, and I have not come across one that is a duplicate of another. Adobo can be cooked with a variety of ingredients such as pork, chicken, seafood, and vegetables.

Ingredients
1 kg chicken , 1/2 cup white vinegar, 1/2 cup soy sauce, 4 cloves garlic, crushed, 1 tsp black peppercorn, 3 bay leaves

Method
Combine all ingredients in a large pot. Cover and marinate chicken for 1-3 hours.

Fry garlic in oil in a large wok or pot until slightly brown.

Add chicken and stir fry for about 30 seconds or so.

Add white vinegar, soy sauce, bay leaves, black peppercorn. Then bring to a boil and lower heat.

Cover and let simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Uncover and simmer until sauce is reduced and thickened, and chicken is tender, about 20 more minutes. Serve with steamed rice.

Pinakbet

Ingredients
1/4 kg lean pork, sliced thinly (optional, another variation is with shrimp)

2 tbsp vegetable oil, 2 tbsp fish sauce, 1/2 cup water, 3 garlic cloves, crushed, 1/2 cup onion, chopped, 2 tomatoes, chopped, 4-6

eggplants, sliced, 1-2 bitter melon, sliced, 1/4 kg squash, cubed, 1/4 kg okra, sliced in half, 1/4 kg long beans, quartered

Method
Heat oil in a large pot. Saut garlic until slightly brown then add onions until tender.

Add pork and saut until browned.

Add tomatoes and fish sauce, and cook for 5 minutes.

Add water and bring to boil.

Stir in eggplant, bitter melon, squash, okra, and long beans. Simmer for 15 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Salt to taste.

About pinakbet:
It is one of the most famous vegetable dishes of the Philippines. It comes from the northern Ilocos region of the country.

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