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Tuesday, February 16, 2010


"Hey, who made the pinakbet?"

"That isn't pinakbet. That's bulanglang."

"Looks like pinakbet to me. What's the difference?"

"No bagoong."

Given that Lent starts... tomorrow, now would be a good time to start planning those meatless Friday meals (let's not get into the whole "but seafood is a meat blah blah blah" nonsense. Seafood was given the green light and I'm going with it).

As with any Filipino dish, there are tons of variations. My dad's version (he calls it Batangas style) calls for cooking the vegetables in shrimp liquid. To get the liquid, you take shrimp heads with some water and pound them in a mortar and pestle. Strain the liquid and add to the pot. Vegetables you add to this dish include, squash, tomatoes, green beans, eggplant, bitter melon and spinach. Whatever floats your boat. Bring the liquid to a rolling boil and cover until the vegetables are cooked.

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