Twice I have heard foreigners comment negatively on Filipino food, and my instinctive reaction is “Are you dumb?”
Isn’t it a bit unfair to judge an entire cuisine only after a week’s stay, without possibly even sampling traditional home cooking? Honestly, these are the kind of people I would sell to Satan for a piece of dried fish.
Let me set you straight: We have food other than pork, and even if we don’t, how bad can that be? Lechon, motherfucker.
Rice or kanin is the ultimate staple, and food is mostly a matter of what goes with rice, or what is locally known as ulam.
Here is the first part of some of my favorites. Believe me when I tell you all these taste like they came out of God’s kitchen. Have I ever let you down? Believe, crispies.
Tokwa, fried tofu with a most amazing onion, garlic, and chili gravy, made from a mixture of oyster sauce and mayo. If I die tomorrow, this will be my last meal.
Hipon, steamed shrimp, really sweet, seasoned with salt; lots of fantastic seafood here from fish, mussels, squid, crab, to the son of The Kraken. I am allergic to seafood but risk life every time. These are just so damn good.
Hagod, absolute celebration of vegetables, sauteed with a bit of pork but it is optional, all dressed in a heavenly sauce made of bagoong or ridiculously glorious fermented shrimp paste.
Nilaga, bony bits of beef and vegetables, peppercorns, simmered for hours to produce an immaculate broth, best eaten on cold days; also good when you are desperate for comfort in a bowl.
Ginataan, the star can be any protein, even vegetables, cooked in fresh coconut milk, spicy and so creamy you can go to bed with it. Life changing.