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Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Lasang Pinoy 2: Cooking Up A Storm

I think it’s fitting that this month’s LP theme has to do with weather. After all, food and weather go together right? When it’s hot, we eat or drink something cool. When it’s cold, we fill up on warm goodness. Being where I am, I don’t experience typhoons, or even hurricanes (although I think Hurricane Hugo or Andrew might have come high enough the coast). What we do get up here however, is rain and snow. Sometimes really bad, but of course, not as bad as other places.

Even more fitting is the fact that fall has truly set in here at school – cold in the morning with slight warmth in the afternoon that dissipates as soon as it comes in. What do I yearn for while I make that trek to classes in the cold morning?


Starts off soupy, but slowly turns into thick mush. I love topping it with lots of fried garlic, scallions, and some tofu mix my titas make when they have goto. I don’t really use patis, but I definitely make up for that with lots of pepper.

Tita E really is the expert when it comes to goto. I think she used to have a little stand and sold it after school back in the Philippines. At least I think so? The story rings a bell, so that must be it. When I was still living at home, she would call me up whenever she made a batch, and I quickly drove over and stayed until I could eat no more. She always made big batches so I was always sent back home with some “baon” (sp?) for my mom and dad.

It was probably around high school when I took the plunge and tried to make my own goto. Each time the results were a tasty disaster. I would end up adding too much rice and instead of a small pot of the soup, I’d have a huge stock pot of it that would last me a month. I made it once during undergrad, and I think I still had the same problem.

But now I’ve got it figured out. Because the rice acts like a sponge, less is more. And in my case, I need less since I’m the only one eating it. BUT WARNING. Proper storage is essential. Because chicken and chicken broth is used, it is susceptible to spoilage, very fast. My grandma’s pancit has this problem as well, and it’s a shame when I’m starving and can’t have it or suffer if I try. Coincidentally, there was an episode of Good Eats that dealt with this very problem. His solution is to put the hot stock into a cooler that’s half full of ice. He also filled some small bottles with water and froze them ahead of time. He placed these frozen bottles into the pots to help cool the stock down even faster. I thought of doing that with goto, but I thought that would just be too messy. I left it near an open window (it was cold out) and crossed my fingers. Next time I will listen to AB.


1 ½ lbs boneless chicken breast
2 large onions, finely chopped
1 whole bulb garlic, minced
1 ginger root, cut into matchsticks
1 32oz. container Chicken stock
1 32oz. container Vegetable stock
1 ½ cups sweet rice, or any short grain rice
3-4 scallions, chopped
¼ cup Olive oil
Salt, pepper to taste
Fish sauce (optional)
Fried tofu (optional)
  1. Heat up a large put and add oil. After a minute add garlic and fry until brown, but not burnt. Place on paper towels to absorb excess oil.
  2. Add onion and ginger into the pot and cook until the onions are translucent. Cut up chicken into strips and add to pot and cover. Season with salt and pepper to your liking.
  3. When chicken is cooked, add chicken and vegetable stock and turn heat up to med-high heat. When the liquid start to boil, add rice and saffron and turn heat down to low and simmer for 35-40 minutes, or until the rice is cooked.
  4. Top soup with scallions, garlic, tofu, and fish sauce.

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