Last Tuesday night, we hosted a Filipino dinner for our folks here in Chicago. We promised a 7:00pm dinner but didn’t make it because the chicken (for the Adobo) didn’t cooperate that much (frozen in the first place). So we finished preparing by 8:00pm, using Iron Chef moves. I was cooking three dishes at the same time and since we only have two stoves each room, I am almost back and forth each room to check rice and hard boiled egg cooking at Richelle’s room. Richelle and Reyn were cooking dessert on the fourth stove then.
(lol you noticed that this post is in English, you will understand a little later xD)
Here’s what we prepared:
Shrimp Sinigang (see Wikipedia entry)
Chicken Adobo (see Wikipedia entry)
Turon (in Filipino: Tu-ron; here in the US: TRON, lol; see Wikipedia entry)
Initially, as I told Meg and Megan, I was nervous. First because I don’t usually cook for that many people and second is that the Filipino taste is something different (and may not like it lol). I feel that somehow they like it (or just being polite lol). Margaret (Meg xD) actually even ask for the recipe of the Sinigang. To be honest, I didn’t pull out the Adobo well because it was just a little off to where I wanted to be. It’s still good to say the least (pulling my own chair hehe).
It was a night of stories, trivias and jokes as well. From mangoes, punch card programming, microchip implants, raising daughters, sexy cheerleader, cellphones in contact lens form, the conversion of Farenheit to Celsius vice versa and many more (and about what Anthony’s missing).
This dinner can be also a part of the send off party for Ashley who will be deployed to South Africa for SABMiller. Good luck, safe trip and enjoy the experience Ashley!
Here are more pictures:
So for the real purpose of this post…
It seems that they like the Sinigang since Margaret asked for its recipe. I can’t remember who but someone asked me, “Do you usually cook this elaborate dish?”. I know I answered “Yes” that night but I think its an incomplete answer because I should have said, “Yes but this is just easy to do actually”. So the following day I gave her the secret ingredient, the pack of Knorr Sinigang Mix (Tamarind Soup Base) which was bought here (’cause our own stock ran out). I also promised the recipe which I haven’t made since this one. I admit I don’t usually ‘follow’ recipes. So please bear with me hehehe.
Shrimp Sinigang (cooked with instincts)
What you need:
A pound (or 1.5lb if you wanted more) of Shrimps (shell on, head on).
2 Liters of Water
2 Large Tomatoes (or 3 small ones), sliced an inch thick
1 Medium/Large Onions, sliced into two
1 foot long Daikon (White Radish), peeled and sliced an inch thick
1 pack of Tamarind Soup Base (for the easy method) or 3-5 Tamarinds, just wash (for the long method)
1 bunch of Water Spinach leaves (which we can’t find here in the US that’s why we picked Spinach instead)
Salt to taste (and Fish Sauce if you want)
1 Eggplant, sliced an inch thick
1 bunch (5-10 strings, depends on how much you each veggies lol) Yard Long Beans (String Beans)
*Taro Corms are added usually (and only) for Pork Sinigang for thicker soup
**Sinigang can be cooked with Beef, Pork, Fish (esp. Bangus/Milkfish) and Shrimp
1. Heat up the water in a pot on high heat up to almost a boil. For Pork, Beef and Fish; we usually cook the meat first in the water.
2. Add the Daikons first because its the one which cooks longer (for Pork sinigang, Taro corms are much longer to cook). For that ‘Long Method’, also add the tamarinds.
3. Add the Onions and Tomatoes once it starts to boil.
4. Add the Shrimps.
5. As the Shrimps cook, add the pack of Tamarind Soup Base or take the tamarinds off the pot and squeeze it using spoon on a strainer to extract the juice. You can also add a little of the broth itself to help juicing the tamarind. Do not crush the seeds for they are bitter, only the fruit itself and its skin. Once you think you juiced it pretty well, add that extract back in the pot.
6. Add salt (and Fish sauce which doesn’t smell good but taste good) to taste.
7. Check if the Daikons are cooked using a fork (see if it is soft to bite) and if the shrimps are cooked (orange in color, they do cook fast).
8. If it’s good, add the Spinach and turn off the heat immediately. Cover the pot. Wait around five minutes to let the remaining heat cook the greens.
9. Voila! Dinner is served.
10. For added Filipino touch, eat along with steamed rice.
I hope I didn’t miss a thing on this one. lol.
Behind the scenes…
Richelle didn’t ate that much that night because she was shy to let the guys see how she love Sinigang in general. And did I say me too?
Due to the absence of peeler here in the hotel, it seems that I became better peeling using knives. Necessity Richelle. lol.
Until next dinner…