Let’s take a look at Mariah, Carlos and Ramon’s daily lunch! Tuyo with Kesong Puti and more.
Japan Foundation staff from seven Southeast Asian countries and Japan report with pictures and videos about what they had for lunch for five days. You will hear “Delicious!” in each language in the video. Catch a glimpse of their local food culture while you enjoy the reports.
When Japanese colleagues ask me about Filipino food, I tell them, “Boodle fight is a taste of home.” They’re amazed by how a large variety of food is served on a banana leaf. The term originated from the Filipino military where a variety of food is served on a long table and people usually eat with bare hands, or kinamot in Bisaya. In the island of Mindanao, most meals are prepared fresh. And if you’ve gone island hopping in the Philippines, you’ll be familiar with the array of dishes. My starter is the Sinuglaw, a dish made of grilled pork belly and fish ceviche. I will also have Ensaladang Talong, also known as Eggplant Salad. For the main course, I will have Liempo, or grilled pork belly, and Sinugbang Tuna Panga, or grilled tuna jaw. The island is home to some of the most delectable fruits, and a meal isn’t complete without one – sweet mangoes, bananas and pineapples, as well as juicy pomelo and the King of Fruits, durian! (Writer: Carlos)
Going back to my province, this is what my parents prepared for me. My favorite Sinigang! Whenever I go to different places in the Philippines, Sinigang is always on the top of restaurant menus. This is the Filipino dish that I grew up with! Sinigang is an authentic Filipino food that is the “world’s best-rated vegetable soup” according to Taste Atlas, an international food and lifestyle website, outranking 161 other dishes from different countries. The Sinigang is famous for its sour taste from the ingredient sampalok (fruits of the tamarind tree), which is mixed in water, oil, and salt with other vegetables such as green pepper, cabbage, tomatoes, and sliced onions. This recipe has pork as its main ingredient but other proteins and seafood can also be used. This is one of the most popular cuisines in the Philippines. (Writer: Ramon)
I love Sisig not just because of its crunchy and chewy texture, but also because of the philosophy behind it: “No ingredient goes to waste.” Sisig is served in many restaurants because it uses uncommon parts of the pig such as its face and cartilage. It’s often served on sizzling plates, and a raw egg is cracked over the plate while it is still hot. The fragrant aroma and crackling sounds of the Sisig makes it a feast for the senses, and I’ve burned my tongue many times eating it fresh off the plate. But of course, I have no regrets. (Writer: Mariah)
To me, Lomi evokes the feeling of eating at a restaurant while on a long road trip to see my relatives in the province. It’s a Filipino equivalent of ramen where noodles are served in a rich soup, and it has many versions in the Philippines. The broth of Batangas Lomi is thicker and gooier than other kinds of Lomi, because it’s mixed with sweet potato starch. You have to eat this fast while it’s hot, or else the soup’s consistency won’t be as savory. You can also tailor the flavor to your liking with sour calamansi lime, toyo (soy sauce), or chili. Top the bowl off with crunchy “chicharon” deep-fried pork skin, and you’re good to go. (Writer: Mariah)
Tuyo with Kesong Puti
“I need a mid-day energy boost,” I usually think when it’s time for lunch on a busy day. Tuyo and kesong puti is often the perfect meal for this. Tuyo literally means “dry”, and drying fish in the sun is a common method of preservation in the Philippines because of its tropical climate. When it’s time to eat, the fish is fried to make it juicy and crispy. The sharp taste of the fish is complemented by kesong puti or Filipino white cheese made of unskimmed carabao milk. Its creaminess complements the crunchy texture of the fish. The tomatoes provide a fresh burst of tartness that rounds up the journey of flavors on one plate. (Writer: Mariah)