food news: MALUNGGAY for NATIONAL VEGETABLE

Malunggay for National Vegetable

malunggay

A Filipino backyard wouldn’t be complete without a Malunggay tree planted on it.

The House of Representatives declares a bill recognizing Malunggay as the National Vegetable of the Philippines and designating November as the National Malunggay Month every year.

Pangasinan Representative Gina De Venecia authored the House Bill 2072 or the Act Declaring the so-called “Miracle Vegetable” as one of the country’s national symbol. The said bill explains the medicinal benefits of Malunggay as an effective remedy against many kinds of diseases alongside with its vitamin and mineral contents which makes it a highly nutritious vegetable.

Malunggay with a scientific name of “Moringa Oleifera” have many medicinal uses. It relieves constipation, prevents intestinal worms, restores good skin condition, aids in gout and rheumatism, controls blood pressure, increases milk production for lactating mothers, contains anti-aging components, boosts immune system, increases semen count, heals ulcer, strengthens eye muscles, promotes good night sleep, and has anti-cancer compounds which is phytochemicals to name a few.

Pan de Malunggay

pan de malunggay

Some bread like the famous “Pinoy Pandesal” nowadays were added with powderized Malunggay leaves for a more nutritious breakfast.

Malunggay on Filipino Dishes

Monggo with malunggay leabes

Malunggay leaves and even its pods were added as main ingredients in some Filipino cuisine such as “Monggo with Malunggay”, “Bulanglang” or a simple vegetable soup, and Ilocanos “Dinengdeng” or a bagoong (shrimp paste) soup-based dish with vegetables added with fried or grilled fish.

malunggay pod

Malunggay seed pod also called as “Hagod” in some parts of Luzon, Philippines.

Photos by: Sukito San

News Source:

http://www.interaksyon.com/article/82447/malunggay-for-national-vegetable-de-venecia-pushes-house-bill

http://www.philstar.com/news-feature/2014/03/11/1299673/house-passes-bill-declaring-malunggay-national-vegetable

http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/584628/house-oks-bill-making-malunggay-national-vegetable

http://health-benefits-of-malunggay-leaves.blogspot.com/

http://medicinalplants101.blogspot.com/2011/11/malunggay.html

food moment: NEW YEAR TABLE

New Year Table

New Year Fruits

Celebrating New Year with just delicious food isn’t enough if you’re not sharing and eating it with your loved ones. It’s really your family and friends that you’re dining with… on your New Year’s table that counts.

New Year Cake

Welcoming 2014 with a bang! Happy Bountiful New Year!

Photos by: Sukito San

food tool: LANSUNGAN

Puto Bumbong Steamer

“Lansungan” plays an important part in making “Puto Bumbong”, a famous pinoy violet or purple-colored rice cake delicacy which is commonly sold during Christmas season specifically every “Simbang Gabi” or “Misa De Gallo”. “Lansungan” is a cylindrical-shaped “puto bumbong” steamer made of stainless steel or tin sheets with three circular holes on top where bamboo tubes filled with glutinous rice will be inserted and then wrapped with cheesecloth for steaming. Other “lansungan” has one, two, and four vent holes depending on the size of the steamer.

Photo by: Sukito San

food recipe: TINOLANG MANOK

tinolang manok

One of my favorite Filipino dish is the appetizing “Tinolang Manok”. My father always cook it every weekend because he loves chicken dishes with broth. So, here’s how he does his specialty cuisine.

Ingredients:

3 tbsp olive oil (cooking oil will do if there’s no olive oil available)

1 pc red or white onion, small diced

1 head garlic, crushed and sliced

1 small ginger, julienned (cut into strips)

1 pc green papaya, cut into thin pieces

1 sheaf sili leaves

1 pc whole chicken, cut into 8-10 pieces

4 cups of rice washing (the third wash)

5 stalks of malunggay leaves (optional)

small amount of salt or patis to taste

Procedure:

1. Saute’ onion, garlic, and ginger in olive oil for 2 minutes.

2. Add chicken, then stir and cook for 5-6 minutes.

3. Pour the rice washing and let it boil, scoop and remove the foam. Then, simmer for 30 minutes.

4. Add the sliced green papaya and simmer for about 10 minutes.

5. Season with salt or patis according to your desired taste.

6. Add the sili leaves and stir… followed by the malunggay leaves (if there’s any) for a different twist.

7. Remove from heat and transfer into a serving bowl then serve.

Important tip:

When you add the sili leaves and the malunggay leaves or any leafy vegetables in a dish while cooking,

DO NOT COVER the pot to attain a lively green color of the leaves.

Photo by: Sukito San

food recipe: How to Make “KUNDOL” or WINTER MELON Candy

kundol

A “Kundol” vine growing on my sister’s backyard starts to bear lots of  fruits. We usually pick the young ones and cooked with other vegetable dishes or as a yummy soup that taste a little sweet when eaten. Since it’s plenty, my mom decided to make candies out of the mature ones for a change. Commonly known as “kundol” in the Philippines and popularly heard as one of the vegetables mentioned in a local “Pinoy” folk song “Bahay Kubo”… this fruit vine was known in other English names as winter melon, white gourd or ash gourd. It has a protective white powdery covering on its fruit and you can see and observe that when you touch it. Anyway, here’s how my mother made her “kundol” candies.

INGREDIENTS:

sliced kundol

sliced “kundol” or winter melon

lime

lime

sugar

brown sugar

clean water

PROCEDURES:

peeled kundol

1. Peel off kundol and wash it afterwards.

2. Slice it into halves and remove the seeds in the middle.

3. After removing the seeds, slice the halves into another half and have it diced in small pieces according to your desired shapes.

sliced kundol in lime solution

4. Soak diced kundol overnight in clean water mixed with enough amount of lime solution. The lime will make the kundol candies crunchy enough to munch and to neutralize its taste as well.

5. The next day, remove the soaked kundol from the lime solution using a strainer.

6. In a separate big pot, boil water which is half amount of the pot mixed with brown sugar. The amount of brown sugar that you’re going to add depends on how sweet you want your candies to come out.

diced kundol cooked in water and sugar mixture

7. Next, put diced kundol in a big pot together with the water and sugar solution.

8. Keep on boiling it until the water and sugar solution runs dry or when the kundol completely absorbs the sweetness in the solution.

9. Take a bite and remove it from heat when it’s crunchy and dry enough to be eaten. Cool it down and store in glass containers or candy bowls.

kundol candy

Enjoy eating your dessert and taste its sweetness with your family and friends while watching your favorite movies at home. Happy eating!

Photos by: Sukito San

Recipe by: Prime Bermudez

food feature: SUGARCANE or “TUBO”

sugarcane

“Sugarcane” commonly known in the Philippines as “Tubo” is native to tropical regions of South Asia and the primary source of sugar around the world aside from sugar beets. Sugar which is extracted from its fibrous and jointed stalks and when fermented can produce ethanol which is the type of alcohol found in alcoholic beverages. Its scientific name is “Saccharum” and was among  in the species and family of tall grasses which is perennial or sturdy enough to survive while being the largest crop that grows 6 up to 19 feet tall. The global demand for sugar reinforces the sugarcane agriculture to be primarily driven into priority. The main product from sugarcane is sucrose which is an organic compound and popularly known as table sugar. Brazil was the biggest producer of sugarcane in the world followed by India, China, Thailand, Pakistan and Mexico. The Philippines is also a sugar-producing country… and sugarcane is widely grown in the islands of Luzon, Mindanao, Negros and Panay. Sugarcane crop is sensitive to the type of soil, irrigation, climate and its harvest period depending on its varieties as well as the fertilizers used in its growing stage.

SUGARCANE  JUICE

tubo

When I was a kid, we were taught to have a taste of sugarcane juice by means of chewing. The stalks were chopped for about 12 inches as the rind was then removed. Next, its internal tissues were bitten then sucked while being chewed and spitting out the pulp afterwards.  Presently, you don’t have to do it the hard way as that. it is now commercially available in malls particularly in “CARICA” stalls, wherein the juice from the sugarcane were naturally extracted with the use of sugarcane machine for cane processing and pressing then placed in a bottle for a more comfortable consumption as a plain beverage without the chewing part. Plus the fact that the said juice is free from any chemicals, artificial food color and flavoring.

sugarcane in mall

Drinking sugarcane juice have many health benefits such as an alternative remedy for sore throat and flu. It’s good for our digestive system which can prevent constipation due to its rich potassium content. It also decreases our body’s bad cholesterol which in return can refresh and energize us. To add up, it can strengthen our stomach, kidney and heart. Best of all, it can help us prevent and fight cancer because of it’s being alkaline in nature. Moreover, it hydrates our body quickly. Regular intake of its juice can naturally boost our immune system, improve our intestinal health, breaks kidney stones and prevents hypertension to name a few. Drinking  a delicious and natural sugarcane juice can give you a healthy and sweet life ahead!

Photos by: Sukito San

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sugarcane

http://www.netafim.com/article/sugarcane–philippines

http://beautyhealthtips.in/best-health-benefits-of-drinking-sugarcane-juice/

food recipe: PININYAHANG MANOK

pininyahang manok

“Pininyahang Manok” or Pineapple Chicken is a famous Filipino dish among fiestas, celebrations, and special occasions and even in simple family dinner. It is best served with steamed rice. Here’s how to cook it the easy way!

INGREDIENTS:

1 kg whole chicken, cut into pieces

1 can pineapple chunks with syrup

1/2 cup evaporated milk

2 tbsp vegetable oil

1 head minced garlic

1 piece diced onion

1 piece diced red bell pepper

salt and pepper to taste

PROCEDURE:

1. Season chicken with an enough amount of salt and pepper and sear it in vegetable oil until golden brown. Then, set aside.

2. Sauté onion and garlic in the pan. Add pineapple chunks with its syrup then transfer it to a pot.

3. Add seared chicken, then simmer for 30 minutes.

4. Add diced red bell pepper, then simmer again for 15 minutes.

5. Add evaporated milk, simmer it for a while and season with salt and pepper according to your desired taste. Serve hot.

Photos by: Sukito San

food trivia: “TAGAY” and “PULUTAN”

tagay

Tagay” simply means “cheers” or “to have more shots” of liquor! It is also called sometimes as “Inuman” which is the another Filipino term for “drinking session”. In the Philippines, “tagay” became a traditional custom for the Filipinos especially among men. It is usually done with peer groups or welcoming new friends and most of the times in welcoming a man to be the newest member of the family as he will marry one of the family’s daughter which is commonly initiated by the father or the brothers of the soon to be bride.

beer

It is being practiced in a manner where the drinkers will sit around the table and take turns drinking the alcohol from only one glass or shot glass. The “tanggero” also seats among the drinkers within the circle, and is the one responsible for opening the bottle and pouring the alcohol in the glass for the drinkers… and that’s in circling order as well. The participant drinker can say “pass”, if he or she thinks that the alcohol is already taking effects on him or her. Effects such as dizziness, feels like puking, or simply not sober anymore in his or her behavior. While to lessen the effects of alcohol among the drinkers, they have “chasers” with them on the table. “Chasers” are anything liquid that can minimize the taste of alcohol in the mouth and was drunk after swallowing the liquor. Some of these chasers are juices, iced tea, sodas or softdrinks, or even plain cold water. Others prefer to have hot soup for comfort. Some folks wanted to have their own glass or bottle of light alcoholic drink or a simple “jack coke” cocktail which is a combination of cola and small amount of brandy if they already knew by themselves that they cannot handle heavy drinking and they just wanted to be in the circle of drinkers for companionship.

PULUTAN

sisig

“Sizzling Sisig”

mani

“Mani”

Of course, “tagayan sessions” wouldn’t be complete without the “pulutan” on the table.  “Pulutan” is any solid food served with the liquors on the table with the same purpose as the chaser’s. It is usually eaten once in a while and in between drinks just to lessen  and beat the taste and effects of alcohol in the mouth. Common “pulutans” usually tastes sweet, salty, chilli hot or flavorful. Examples are “mani” or nuts and “sizzling sisig”, to name a few.

Moreover, out of my curiosity, I’ve tried joining this drinking session though I really don’t drink. And I found out that its not really the taste of the beer or any alcohol that lures the drinker to always join the “tagay“… but, the sharing of life stories, jokes, good times, and companionship that goes along while drinking. Aside from the fact, that you’ll feel free to express what’s on your mind and that you’ll have an outlet on what you wanted to say without too much hesitation. To simplify it, it’s liberating to speak your mind when you’re drunk. Yet, still sober enough to handle yourself as the alcohol take its effect on you.

Actually, drinking is fun if done with good shares of talk and gaining new friends and not igniting fights and causing physical and emotional harm to anyone. Cheers… and drink moderately!

Photos by: Sukito San

food review: CHOWKING’s ORANGE CHICKEN

Chowking's Orange Chicken

One meal included in Chowking restaurant’s menu caught my attention if it really taste good as a food combination.  So, as a certified foodie… I have to try it out!

In one of their restaurant branches, I ordered their “Orange Chicken rice Meal with drink” for one person. They gave me a number in the counter and ask me to wait for it for some few minutes. Well, while waiting for my order… I just observe how their crews move and accommodate their customers. I can say that they were courteous yet fully occupied with some task. Finally, my order was served after 16 minutes of waiting. It’s quite a long wait but excusable because the food was served hot enough to be eaten and with a little apology plus a smile from the service crew who brought me my order. Aside from the fact, that I can see that the lines on their counter were longer and that there’s still many arriving customers.

Here’s my verdict for the food, I didn’t expect that a combination of the light sweetness and slight sourness of the orange taste well with the chicken. The chicken is rightly cooked and tender enough to be chewed. Although, the meal was served with few slices of the chicken meat. But, the sauce in the “Orange Chicken” compliments the chicken meat and the orange carpels and it really tastes good. I have to admit that my taste buds loved it. Moreover, it fits to be a viand on plain rice or even on fried rice… knowing that Filipinos cannot have a complete meal without rice. I’m happy that I’ve tried tasting it. Yup, why would “Chowking” include it on their menu if it’s not yummy. I should say that they’ve added an asset meal on their menu.

All I can say is that, if pineapple goes well with chicken in “Pininyahang Manok“, why not an orange with chicken!

Photo by: Sukito San

food moment: ICE SCRAMBLE a.k.a. “ISKRAMBOL”

iskrambol with chocolate syrup

When I was a kid during my elementary years… one of my favorite food that I usually buy after school that was sold in food carts placed in a styrobox along the street near the entrance of the campus is… the famous “iskrambol”.

“Iskrambol” is a slang term derived from the word “Ice Scramble”, a shortcut street call per sé. It is the Filipino version of slurpee or slushy made of shaved ice and which is usually in bright pink color. Sometimes, This sweet street food is commonly topped with chocolate syrup with sugar caramel and powdered milk.

iskrambol toppings

As time flies, “iskrambol” evolved into something classy and with many choices of toppings aside  from the said syrup. New toppings such as marshmallows, pinipig and colorful candy sprinklers. You can now enjoy it in different colors as well such as yellow, orange and green. Presently, it is already being sold in malls and open for franchising in many brand names to choose from. Definitely a yummy and an affordable treat to beat the heat of the sun.

iskrambol

Until now, eating it or just even looking at it reminds me of my foodtrippin’ fun childhood days!

Photos by: Sukito San

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