Welcome to Isla Kulinarya. We are on the last week of the month with our featured region--- the Ilocos Region. In the last issue, we have shared with you an exotic dish called Pinapaitan or Papaitanalong with some of the key facts about the province of La Union, also known as the "Surfing Capital of the North". This week, we bring you yet another interesting cuisine from this region called Dinengdeng. We will also be highlighting another province in the region known for its Milkfish-- the province of Pangasinan.
The province of Pangasinan, located 250 kilometers or roughly 156 miles north of Manila is bordered by the provinces of Zambales and Tarlac on the south, Nueva Vizcaya and Nueva Ecija to the east, La Union on the north and the Lingayen Gulf to the west. It's name was derived from the word "asin" or salt due to the vast salt making industry of the province. It has extensive areas devoted to salt making and aquaculture along the coasts of Lingayen Gulf and South China Sea. Other than the salt industry, the province is also a major producer of mangoes, rice, milkfish and bamboo handicrafts.
A trip to Pangasinan will not be complete without visiting the Hundred Islands National Park--- a marine park composed of a cluster of more than a hundred islands off the coast of Alaminos City in the Lingayen Gulf, most of which are small and uninhabited islands. Some of the bigger islands have beaches where visitors can spend the day or camp out for a picnic.
Some of the tourist attractions in Pangasinan include the following: the Cape Bolinao Lighthouse, Port Bolinao Lighthouse, the Tara waterfalls, and Bolinao Museum in the town of Bolinao; the pristine Balingasay river and Antong Falls in the town of Sison; the Urduja House in Lingayen; the Salasa Church in Bugallon; Mount Balungao in Balungao; Manleluag Spring National Park in Mangatarem; Sanctuario de Senor Divino Tesoro in Calasiao; Redeemer’s Cross, Agno Umbrella Rocks and the Lingayen Gulf War Museum in the town of Lingayen. The province is also home to several caves--- Cacupangan cave in the town of Mabini, Cindy’s cave in Bolinao and the 200 meter Villacorta Caves in the town of Villacorta with waterfalls, pools and rock formations. Furthermore, the coastline of Lingayen Gulf is blessed with numerous beaches for tourist and vacationers to explore.
If you are planning to visit the province during summer, you'll be up to a great treat as several feasts and festivals are celebrated in Pangasinan, including the Pistay Dayat or Sea Feast, the Bangus Festival, and the Mango and Bamboo festivals.
Now for our featured dish, we bring you another authentic Ilocano recipe called Dinengdeng which is a bagoong based soup dish that is similar to Inabraw. The ingredients which include a mixture of vegetables such as squash, okra, ampalaya, eggplant and camote are combined to make a healthy yet satisfying dish.
Here for the enjoyment of Filipino Americans is another Ilocano dish called,Dinengdeng, brought to you by Island Pacific’s Isla Kulinarya.
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Preparation Time: 45 minutes
2 cloves Garlic, sliced thin
1 pc Onion, large, sliced 1/8” thick
½” Ginger, washed, peeled, chopped
6 Tomatoes, large , chopped
½ tbsp Fish Sauce (Bagoong Isda)
½ tbsp Shrimp Base (Sysco) or Knorr cubes
1 pc Jalapeno pepper, seeded, diced ¼”
1 pc Milk Fish (Bangus)
1 ½ lb lb. scaled, cut into 6 pieces, blackened over the grill
4 pcs Baby bitter gourd (Baby Ampalaya), cut into half, lengthwise, then cut
1 ½” slices
4 pcs Baby round Eggplant, sliced into halves
1 pc Kabucha (squash) , medium, skin on, diced 1 ½”
6 pc Okra, trimmed
4 oz Jute leaves (Saluyut)
tomatoes. Simmer for 3 minutes.
Add fish sauce (Bagoong Isda) and Shrimp base (Sysco) or Knorr Shrimp cube.
Cook for another 3 minutes
Add Jalapeno pepper, simmer for 3 minutes.
Add fish and simmer for another 3 minutes. Add the rest of the vegetables
and cook for 10 to 15 minutes.
Note: Do not stir with a spoon. To mix, shake and toss the pot vigorously.
Gently and carefully lift the fish from the pot. Serve.
top of the vegetable. Pour broth over top.
Next week, in observance of Thanksgiving, we will be sharing with you our Thanksgiving recipes prepared and created by another talented Chef-- Chef Ryan Bergunio. Don't miss it!
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