Sira-sira store: Pinoy favorite

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Friday, April 25, 2014

THE Holy Week celebration got me back to some Pinoy dishes that have become favorite table “companions” at home.

Everybody knows how to make eggplant salad: toss together mashed eggplant with sliced red onions, garlic, tomatoes and vinegar. The salad is done. It’s very simple.

My cousin Donna upped the recipe a bit to make it interesting, by mixing another Pinoy favorite, the salted red egg. Below is the recipe, plus one more item that you can play with.


Eggplant con red egg. For the salad, have on hand two eggplants; one red onion, sliced (or you can use Spanish onions, which have milder flavor); three ripe tomatoes, sliced; and one salted egg, chopped. For the dressing, mix together lime or lemonsito juice, one clove garlic (crushed), vinegar (around three tablespoons), finely chopped ginger (thumb-size), one red chili (to taste), sugar (to taste); dash of Ajinomoto (optional); and around two teaspoons coconut milk (or more).

Roast the eggplants, peel and sliced into cubes or strips. Mix all the ingredients for the salad, except the egg, and chill. When time to serve, mix all the salad ingredients with the dressing and top with the egg. Drizzle with coconut milk.

Monggo soup with a twist. Mung beans, also known by Pinoys as monggos, are easy to prepare. The soup is very much acceptable to kids who are picky when it comes to vegetables or anything that resembles the dreaded greens.

Kids don’t seem to mind it when the cook adds kamunggay leaves, agbate and cubed kalabasang pula. The recipe here uses a flavoring agent called sofrito (recipe provided).

The main ingredients are: 250g green mung beans, soaked overnight in water; six tablespoons sofrito (or to taste); one liter water or meat stock (chicken or pork); three teaspoons patis (don’t confuse this with toyo or soy sauce).

Optional ingredients: shrimps, pork sliced into cubes, chicharon, kamunggay leaves and kalabasang pula.

Sofrito: one kilogram tomatoes, seeded, chopped; 150g shallots, finely sliced; 50g garlic, crushed; three teaspoons cooking oil; three teaspoons patis; cracked black peppercorns (to taste); and one rounded teaspoon sugar (optional).

To make sofrito, saute shallots until soft. Add the tomatoes and cook on a low heat until the tomato skins curl. Mash while sauteing. Add the garlic and season with patis, sugar and peppercorns. Cook well on a very low heat until the sofrito has reduced by half.

This can be used as base for sauces and soups, grilled food or as relish.

To prepare the monggo soup, boil the beans in water or stock till tender (add more water or stock if needed). Add the sofrito and crush some of the beans to thicken soup. Add the shrimps, pork or vegetables if using.

Here’s another method: Saute sliced onions and garlic. Then add shelled and deveined shrimps, cubed lean pork and sofrito. Add the boiled monggo beans and stir for two minutes, then add the chicken stock or water and any vegetable you are using.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on April 26, 2014.


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