Pacific Rim, Weeks 12 and 14: Filipino, and a post-final hot pot
So here, I present to you the photos from my last two weeks of class, with notes at the bottom. Of course, Week 12 was near and dear to my heart because we focused on traditional Filipino dishes. Clockwise from pancit canton at top: Philippine Shrimp and Pork Lumpia, Adobong Isda sea bass, then catfish, white rice, Philipino Pork Adobo, Philippine Style Fried Rice Longanisa
Adobong Isda, Catfish and Sea Bass in Tangy Sauce
Philippine Shrimp and Pork Lumpia
Hot and Sour Shrimp with Watercress and Walnuts
Philippine Style Fried Rice Longanisa
Hot pot veggies.
Hot pot meats (chicken, NY Strip, and shrimp in chicken stock).
Sweet potato slices.
-If you don't have a nonstick pan, fish can stick pretty easily unless you use enough oil and enough heat. Sear it hot and fast, and when it's ready to flip, it will go right on over.
-Adobo dishes are distinguished by their generous inclusion of vinegar. My mom, along with millions of other old school Filipino moms, stick with the fail-safe white vinegar, but wine vinegars, cider vinegars, and even balsamics add a more complex depth of flavor. It's also a good way to add that acid that pro chefs are always talking about to make dishes brighter--you don't have to be stuck with citrus, especially if you just don't have any on hand.
-Our fried rice, woefully, was mush because we used fresh rice instead of rice that had been chilled first and it's starchy outsides to solidify to protect it from dissolving into mush while cooking. The flavor was fine, but the texture was a bummer.
-Woks are wonderful for deep frying, especially lumpia! Just make sure you get your oil good and hot, or your food will just soak the oil up while it slowly, slowly fries.
-This hot pot was awkward for me, dipping what was supposed to be one skewered item at a time into the simmering stock to let it cook, then eating it fondue style. Anyone who eats fondu with me laughs--I skewer bunches of stuff (like those skinny sweet potato slices) at once and dunk it all in. Otherwise, eating takes forever. Maybe that's why fondue places charge so much money--a single dining event can take hours. Eventually, I have multiple items on multiple skewers going, and my table in class that night had to untangle a slew of skewers to figure out what was what and whether or not it was done. It was also hard to monitor how much we were eating. I wish I'd done it differently: Last New Year's Eve, I had the pleasure of "doing hot pot" with my Hun and his parents in the traditional Taiwanese style. When we got to his parents' house, the broth was already on and the veggies were cooking away, rounding out the broth. We added all sorts of meats, from chicken to fish balls to shrimp, adding more flavor to the broth. At the end, we dumped a lovely load of cellophane noodles into the broth so they could soak up all that awesome flavor. It was as good as dessert! Anyway, after our meal, as we were all cleaning up, we found out that a couple of our classmates had wised up and just dumped all their fixings into the stock to make soup, then used a strainer to fish it all out. Smart!