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BACK TO BASICS
Here’s a Kapampangan feast without the caramel and the fat


Burong isda with mustasa leaves, vegetables, and grilled fish Raised by a nationalistic Caviteño grandfather, whose biases were based on memories of the Philippine Revolution handed down by his Rayadilyo-uniformed elders, I was trapped in an anti-Kapampangan household. Things tamed down a lot when my teacher-aunt, the first in the Sacramento family with a college degree, married Uncle Pepe from the foothills of Mount Arayat. Grandpa was impressed by his son-in-law’s nationalistic roots, being closely related to Luis Taruc who was still in the mountains fighting for Filipino peasants at the time. Rich, meat-heavy Kapampangan dishes soon spiced up our family’s peasant menu courtesy of Acheng, a Candaba native who joined Auntie Seria’s household to look after the children. READ MORE, SAVOR MORE...


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Back to basics
Here’s a Kapampangan feast without the caramel and the fat


Village cook Cynthia Lozano Abadiano

MANILA, AUGUST 1, 2015 (MANILA BULLETIN) by Sol Vanzi July 30, 2015 (updated) - Raised by a nationalistic Caviteño grandfather, whose biases were based on memories of the Philippine Revolution handed down by his Rayadilyo-uniformed elders, I was trapped in an anti-Kapampangan household.

Things tamed down a lot when my teacher-aunt, the first in the Sacramento family with a college degree, married Uncle Pepe from the foothills of Mount Arayat.

Grandpa was impressed by his son-in-law’s nationalistic roots, being closely related to Luis Taruc who was still in the mountains fighting for Filipino peasants at the time.

Rich, meat-heavy Kapampangan dishes soon spiced up our family’s peasant menu courtesy of Acheng, a Candaba native who joined Auntie Seria’s household to look after the children.

READ, SAVOR MORE....


kilayin


bringhe

Acheng’s meat dishes typically began by caramelizing sugar in hot oil before adding garlic, onion, and tomatoes for the familiar ginisa into which the meat browned.

That first step gave the finished dish the familiar brownish-yellow-orange tinge associated with fiesta and party dishes. The burnt sugar added depth even to the simplest menudo.

After a few years, all Kapampangan dishes began to look and taste alike, differing only in the kind of meat used.

Rolled beef was morcon, chicken was apritada, pork was asado, and liver with pork was menudo.

Those fat-laden dishes were what I dreaded to encounter at a reunion of Los Indios Bravos friends hosted by balikbayan Danny Galang at his family home in Cutud San Antonio, Mexico, Pampanga recently.

Much to our surprise, we were served genuine Kapampangan food with nary a hint of caramel or rendered fat.

The greaseless buffet catered by Lailanie Esguerra was all-Kapampangan: pindang damulag (carabeef tocino),
turmeric-colored bringhe,
kilayin,
pulutok,
burong isda,
fresh mustasa leaves,
boiled eggplant and ampalaya,
grilled hito and tilapia, and the ubiquitous
pulutan sisig.

Dessert was creamy-white corn tibok-tibok.



PHOTO COURTESY OF BAKEHAPPY.COM ---bakehappy.net1600 × 1101Search by image Tibok-Tibok is a Kapampangan specialty. It's milk pudding usually made from carabao's milk.

Village kusinera Cynthia Lozano Abadiano shares some recipes.


Cynthia Lozano Abadiano

KILAYIN

Cut 1 kilo of pork and 1 kilo of pork liver into strips. Marinate for 30 minutes in 2 cups of vinegar, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1 teaspoon black pepper.

Drain pork and liver, reserving marinade. Heat oil in the thick pan.
Brown pork and liver in batches.
Sauté onion and garlic with the last batch.
Add reserved marinade and all the browned meat.
Bring to boil, cover, and simmer until meat is tender, about 15 to 25 minutes. Season to taste and garnish with fried garlic.

PULUTOK (BOPIS)

Boil together 1/2 kilo of pig head, 1/2 kilo of heart, and 1/2 kilo of lungs for 20 minutes, or until almost tender.
Cool meat and chop or dice.
Sauté in oil with garlic and onions, hot pepper, and bay leaves.
Add 1 cup of vinegar, 1 cup of stock, and diced bell pepper.
Simmer on high until almost dry.
Season to taste and color with achuete if so desired.

BURONG ISDA

Clean and dice 1 kilo of freshwater fish (dalag, bangus, gurami, martiniko, or tilapia).
Mash 2/3 cup of salt into the fish.
Cover and let stand for three hours.
Cook 3 cups of rice in 6 cups of water.
When cool, stir in 2 teaspoons of angkak (fermented red rice).
Handmix salted fish, and pack the mixture in clean glass or clay jars.
Cover well and allow to ferment from seven to ten days.
When ready to serve, scoop a cup of buro and sauté in garlic and onions.



Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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