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Authentic Filipino Recipes
Authentic Filipino Recipes

In Filipino homes, as in most Asian cultures, food is seldom served in individual portions, as rice and other side dishes are normally placed on the table for diners to help themselves. Small amounts of these dishes are eaten with copious amounts of fragrant fluffy boiled rice or glutinous sticky rice. It is thus difficult to estimate the exact number of portions each recipe will provide. As a general rule, however, the recipes in this book will serve 4 to 6 people as part of a meal with rice and three other dishes.

Filipino seasonings
The amounts of fish sauce (patis, which is salty and very pungent), bagoong, Filipino vinegar (suka), sugar and lime juice given in the following recipes are to be taken as approximate guides, not absolute measures. Bear in mind that you can always increase the amount of seasonings when tasting the food just before serving, whereas if you overdo it in the initial stages, it’s too late to reduce the seasonings later.

Pickles, relishes and sauces
The relishes and sauces given on pages 25 to 29 can usually be stored in a well-sealed glass jar in a refrigerator for a week or in a freezer for 3 months. Some of the basic recipes also serve as appetizers or side dishes as part of a main meal, like Eggplant Sauce, Green Papaya Pickles and Green Mango Relish. It is not unusual to find a few bowls of dips and sauces on the dining table at any one time.

Many Filipino ingredients are now available in supermarkets outside the Philippines—like fish sauce (patis), fermented baby shrimp or fish paste (bagoong), coconut cream and lemongrass. Look for ingredients that are more difficult to find in Asian or Filipino specialty shops. You can also check the mail-order/online listing on page 112 for possible sources. If an ingredient is still difficult to locate, see pages 18 to 22 for possible substitutes.

Time estimates

Time estimates are for preparation and cooking, and are based on the assumption that a food processor or blender will be used.

Tips on cooking Filipino food
Most Filipino cooking begins with a fragrant stir-fry of garlic, onions and tomatoes before all the other ingredients go in. Also, bottles of bagoong, patis and vinegar (suka) should always be kept handy in the kitchen. Filipinos tend to include the young leafy greens from root and spice plants as vegetables—such as cassava leaves, tamarind leaves and chili leaves. 

Although difficult to come by, they provide a taste and texture to Filipino dishes that is quite unique. Chilies such as bird’s eye chili (siling labuyo) may cause irritation to the eye. Ensure that you always wash and dry your hands well after handling them. When cooking with vinegar do not stir the mixture or cover the cooking pot until the vinegar has boiled. This prevents the dish from having the “raw” taste of vinegar.

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  1. This menu is fantastic, It sure will help everyone who’s looking for a perfect menu like this. Thank you for sharing this recipe.