A Big O’l Bowl of Beans
You guys seriously rock.
The amount of responses i got on my previous post was overwhelming and its plain to see that we are a nation that is absolutely obsessed with our food. I read all of your comments and definitely tried to reply to all of them, you’ve taught me a lot over the pass few days, since each time i didn’t know a dish i researched its origins and how its made. What i found most fantastic was that people were proud to talk and divulge information on obscure dishes from their provinces that they would have a hard time to find elsewhere. This is exactly what i wanted; to solidify my belief that there is so much more to Filipino food than what the world knows or that even lots of pinoys know! Not only that i find it so great that not one recipe is the same; every family has its own recipe and their own techiniques; fine with me, as long as it tastes good and no short cuts are taken! (shortcuts include: broth cubes, msg, knorr, etc.). So I perused the whole list familiarised myself with all the entries and just started compiling a list so that i can try to announce what the definite top 5 most popular and loved dishes are. But before im able to complete that long tedious process (im going to cheat), im going to just pick my favourites from your favourites!
Beans are the warm fuzzy mink fur coats of vegetables. There is something about their oval shape and mushy interiors that make them so endearing to humans. One observation i’ve made is that as kids we love beans, we are constantly eating them, but then as we grow up, we lose sight of them. Call it the loss of innocence, the discovery of newer more exciting ingredients (chickpeas wooaahhh) or put it down to simple boredom. To be brutally honest, beans, just like many other childhood affections are usually burried as we get “smarter”, stronger, “better” and faster (thank you Kanye West for ruining those 4 words for me…). We seem to think that we outgrow these effects and become adults, but let me tell you, when you are completely gut wrenched, bent over and miserable the first thing you do is regress back to the fetal position on a hard, cold, tiled bathroom floor.
Enter Beans. Again.
In every region of the world you will find one bean dish that is known to all the locals and that brings back smiles long shelved and memories far replaced. France has the cassoulet, a hearty viking worthy stew with rendered pork fat and bacon bits (a personal favourite), mexico and most of south america have different versions of chilli con carne, a protein packed spiced up firecracker of a dish, South Africa has the Isophu a corn and bean soup, also known as a bowl of uummph in my language, our neighbours the Chinese use different beans in most of their desserts and what do we have in the Philippines? Well if you haven’t figured it out yet, no amount of additional litterary prowess is going to help. So without much further a due, i give you:
Marinate some sukiyaki cut pork in some soy sauce, vinegar, chopped garlic, calamansi juice and chili flakes (just enough to cover it). Boil a cup of mung beans with 3 cups of water, let absorb. When half cooked add a kamote. When all is cooked through with a little liquid left, take off the fire. In a frying pan, fry off your pork in peanut oil, when caramelized add half a white onion, 2 quartered tomatoes, 3 crushed garlic cloves and some finely chopped ginger.
When your tomatoes are mushy and your onions see through, add some of your mung beans, enough to have a balanced mix, season and add in ampalaya tops until wilted. Plate, garnish with calamansi and season with salt, pepper and fish sauce and enjoy.
This with a glass of white wine, is better than any vice you can come up with. Unbutton that shirt. you’ll need the space.