Wednesday, September 3, 2014

A Filipino Specialty

In case you did not know, the Philippines are a bunch of islands in Southeastern Asia. It has been under both Spanish and American control, but is now its own republic. The past Spanish influence can be seen in the name which was derived after King Philip of Spain. Most of the 10,000,000 Filipinos are of Austronesian descent, very closely related to Malays and Indonesians. Tagalog is the official language (I actually met a woman who speaks Tagalog this summer!), but is only the first language of one third of the people. Cebuano is another commonly spoken tongue of the Bisaya people. There are 173 other native languages of the Philippines, with all but four of them still spoken today. Spanish and English were also introduced during the various years of their control over the islands. Spanish has lent 4,000 words to Tagalog, so you can still see its influence today.


Now let's get on to the food.


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Adobo is the national dish of the Philippines. It can be made up of pork, chicken or beef with a vinegar- soy sauce. The name has Spanish roots, but the cooking method is purely Filipino. The sweet and tangy sauce goes well over rice, and the chicken cooks up nicely. This is one of those cook it and forget it meals that you could make again and again.


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Adobong Manok
serves 4
2 pounds chicken, cut into pieces (breast or thighs)
1 cup onion, thinly sliced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
4 tbsp oil
4 tbsp soy sauce
½ cup white vinegar
2 bay leaves
1 cup water
salt and pepper, to taste

Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion, sautéing until golden. Put the chicken in the pan and cook each side until browned, about 1 minute per side. Pour the remaining ingredients into the pan, reduce the heat to a simmer, and then cook covered for 30 minutes. Uncover the pan and cook for another 15 minutes. Remove the chicken and onions, bring the sauce mixture to a boil over medium high heat, and cook until the sauce thickens. Serve the meat and sauce over rice.
 
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