Monday, April 18, 2011

Featured Recipe: Hipon sa Gata (Shrimp in coconut milk)

Featured Recipe: Hipon sa Gata (Shrimp in coconut milk)
Prepared and created by Chef Reggie Torres

Chef Reggie Torres has a long and distinguished career in the culinary arts industry. He has lived in Paris, France for three years and has mastered the French menu interpretation along with preparation of classical French cuisine and advance French pastries.
He has traveled Europe learning and honing food design, Hors d'oeurves, theme buffet, tallow sculpture, meat and fish decorations. He has worked with Chinese instructor Kem Home, blending Eastern and Western influences and with Italian Chef Giovanni Leoni, mixing the northern and southern Italian cuisine.

Holy Week culminates the Lenten Season that started on Ash Wednesday. Holy Week begins on a Palm Sunday, which is the day that we remember the "triumphal entry" of Jesus into Jerusalem, exactly one week before His death and resurrection.

In remembrance of this event, Catholics all over the world celebrate Palm Sunday wherein palm leaves or palaspas of different designs are waved in the air and blessed by the priest before the beginning of each masses. This represent Jesus’ entrance in Jerusalem, wherein he was greeted with Palm leaves by the people. As the Bible reveals, when Jesus entered Jerusalem, the crowds greeted him by waving and covering his path with palm branches. After the palm leaves are blessed, Pinoys hang the palaspas by their doors until the next Ash Wednesday as a sign of welcoming
Jesus into their homes. 

Aside from preparing to meditate somewhere faraway for the Holidays that falls
on a Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, some Filipino families usually hold the
Pabasa during Holy Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday, wherein groups of readers
exchange reading verses about the Passion of Christ in a chant-like manner.
Because the reading of pabasa could take for days depending on the reading
tempo, several meatless dishes are served for the volunteer readers. Among the
popular table fare include dishes out of vegetables like the chopsuey or fish
like the rellenong bangus (deboned milkfish), or other seafood like the hipon sa
gata (shrimp in coconut milk).

When a food is cooked in “gata,” it is done with coconut milk. Aside from
shrimps, several main ingredients like squash, fish, sweet potato, mud crabs,
are also preferred; thus calling it ginataang + (whatever it is cooked with). In
the Philippines, Pinoys prefer serving the shrimp with its shell because they do
not mind eating with their bare hands (kamayan). Hipon sa gata is also a very
flexible dish, for squash or green chili peppers can also be added until the
flavor is perfect to taste.

Isla Kulinarya shares with you another meatless recipe that you can prepare this week-- Hipon sa Gata.

Hipon sa Gata (Shrimp in coconut milk)


Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Serves 4

2 tbsp     ginger, sliced thinly
2 cups    coconut milk
1 cup      chicken stock
2 lbs       shrimps, large
1             sili (chilli), chopped
2 tbsp     patis (fish sauce)
1 tsp       sugar
1/2 cup   fresh cilantro leaves

1. In a deep pot, combine ginger, coconut milk, chicken stock. Bring to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes
2. Add shrimp, add sili (chilli). Simmer for 5 minutes.
3. Add patis (fish sauce), sugar.
4. Serve with cilnatro

Next week, we continue on with our featured recipe from Region 3 or Central Luzon. Don't miss it!

Isla Kulinarya lets you explore the islands, taste the food, and relive the
memories--- all made possible by Island Pacific Supermarket. Go and visit an
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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Lenten Recipe: Kinilaw or Kilawin na Tuna

Featured Recipe: Kinilaw or Kilawin na Tuna
Created and prepared by: Ramon Gumapac
Cook at Island Pacific Supermarket

The featured recipe was created and prepared by veteran and seasoned cook, Ramon Gumapac. Ramon, a native of Batangas, has been cooking Filipino dishes for more than 15 years now. He is one of the cooks whipping up sumptuous native Filipino dishes at Island Pacific Supermarket.

WHEN someone mentions about the foods in the Philippines, "odd" usually comes to mind. Such perception is brought about by having Pinoy foods like the world-famous balut (fetal duck egg), adidas (chicken feet), isaw (chicken intestines kebab),  Dinuguan (Pork Blood Stew), and Kinilaw na Isda (Raw Tuna Salad).

To cook in "kinilaw" means to make the meat edible by soaking it in vinegar and adding salt and other spices when the meat becomes opaque in color. The vinegar acts as a cooking agent in this process.

The oddity of Filipino dishes to a foreigner's eye was also observed even during the Spanish period, as published in the book called the Philippine Food and Life narrated by Gilda Cordero Fernando. The book narrated an account where an Ilokano group were sailing along with the English crew of the navigator Thomas Cavendish's ship and "right after the [English]  sailors threw all the intestines of goat into the sea, the Ilokano assistants dived into the sea for these goat intestines so that they could prepare for their kilawin--- dipped or cooked in bile sauce or broth. The chronicler, who was ignorant of what the Filipinos were preparing, described the dish as "a disgusting mess."

The absence of refrigerators back in the olden days also pushed Filipinos to come up with a variety of ways to preserve their food; thus, coming up with the idea to marinate the meat in a vinegar solution . This is where the adobo, paksiw, sinigang, and kinilaw and many other Pinoy foods that are cooked in vinegar solution came about.

 Pork and beef can be used in making kinilaw, but for this week's issue we are sharing with you a recipe on kinilaw na tuna. Aside from being an ideal meatless dish, many  are fond of the  kinilaw na tuna because it is very simple to make and requires no use of heat.

Here for the enjoyment of our kababayans is the Kinilaw na Tuna.

Kinilaw Na Tuna
Prep Time: 30 mins
Soaking Time: 50 mins
Serves 2

1/4 kilo of yellow fin tuna fillets
a thumb-sized piece of ginger, peeled and sliced
1 red onion, thinly sliced
2 jalapeño, cut diagonally into 1/4-inch thick slices
1 red or green bell pepper, diced
1 c. of vinegar
salt and pepper

Wash the fillets and trim any remaining skin and bones. Cut into one-inch cubes. Place in a glass bowl and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Mix well. Pour in the vinegar and mix well. Cover loosely and chill for about one hour.
Drain the fish. Add the kalamansi juice, chili peppers, bell pepper, ginger and onion. Mix well and chill for another 20 minutes. Mix well and serve cold.

Note: When eating kinilaw, remember to eat each piece of fish with a few pieces of onions as well. It makes the experience of eating kinilaw really memorable.