Our romance with the pork we set aside for a while.
It’s a weekend and what better time to cook, eat and de-stress.
Here are two recipes that are simple to cook. Fire the stove and forget… until they are cooked, of course.
First up would be steamed suaje – large, succulent shrimps cooked in moist heat.
The first two recipes were cooked by NegrosSugar.
Let’s call in the ingredients.
1 kilo suajue
How to do it.
Clean the shrimps. If I were to do it, that would mean cutting off the antenna. NegrosSugar just left them on, however.
Put in a steamer, salt and steam, of course, until cooked.
Very simple to know when cooked, if the shrimps turn red, then that’s it.
Next would be the bat-shaped dried fish.
Very simple dish, again.
Danggit is rabbit fish that is reputed to be the queen of fishes in Cebu City because it is the most abundant, in dried form, in the markets.
Most delectable when fried.
Just buy half a kilo and fry a few of those depending on how many you and your cohorts can eat.
These two dishes would be best served with a dip.
So next would be
Sinamak is spiced vinegar that is most popular in Bacolod City and Iloilo as a dip for almost anything.
“Bisan ano lang, sinamak ang sawsawan” or you can dip anything in sinamak.
The iconic container of sinamak is the lapad or the rhum bottle. It is filled with ginger, garlic, green and red chilis and langkawas.
The chili that imparts the greatest bite is known as kutitot. It is the small one. The long ones are known as paitan.
When the chilis and its cohorts are snug inside the bottle, vinegar is added.
And it is at this point that I will daresay that there is no substitute for pure, coconut vinegar with balok – the powder from nipa that imparts the orange-y color to the vinegar.
Now that the background on sinamak
Fried sinamak, on the other hand, is like the chili-garlic sauce found in Chinese restaurants.
Here is how I did it.
Get some paitan chilis, about a cup of it, three large ginger cloves, three onions and ginger roughly the size of two thumbs will do.
Put on some glasses if you don’t want to get teary-eyed all over the kitchen because there’ll be onion chopping action in the first part.
Chop the onions, garlic, ginger and chilis finely.
Heat about half a cup of oil – canola is best – in a pan.
Add the chilis and ginger first – this is because garlic and onion tend to cook faster.
When the chilis and ginger appear to be half-cooked, add the chili and the onions and continue cooking until the garlic is cooked just right meaning it looks almost brown.
The biggest mistake here is to overcook the garlic because that would mean calling in the cats to eat the stuff. Not good.
We don’t say “bon appétit” like the French, we say manamit nga pagkaon!