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Grandma's Kitchen:

  Fiesta – Filipino Style

    by L. Consing-Rutaquio
A major part of Philippine history is a record of the various foreign inhabitants that passed along their varied cultures and customs. Examples are the Indonesians with their adventurous nature, the Chinese for their business trademark, the Spanish for their leadership and bravery, and the Americans for their knowledge and education. All these specialties blended together have influenced Filipinos in arts, fashions, and philosophies, as well as in food preparation and flavor.

Filipino cookery is still highly characteristic and national. To the Filipino, there is no substitute in all the world for it. One must remember that the Filipino’s hospitality is one of a kind and unrivaled anywhere else. A Filipino thinks nothing of starving himself or getting into debt to be a perfect host. This tradition especially is apparent at fiesta time. Beginning with lengthy food preparations, these are occasions where work is begun days and nights ahead, from killing the pigs, chicken, and cows, to setting a lavish table from breakfast time to the late hours of evening. The fiesta is always a special occasion for thanksgiving.

Below is one of my favorite special Fiesta recipes, Pancit Guisado.

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Pancit Guisado
  Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cup boiled chicken (flaked)
  • 1/2 cup boiled shrimp (sliced into long narrow strips)
  • 1/2 cup boiled pork (sliced strips)
  • 1/2 cup cooked ham or Chinese sausage (sliced into strips)
  • 1 cup cabbage (shredded)
  • 1 cup string beans (sliced into strips)
  • 1 cup carrots (sliced into strips)
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup oyster sauce (diluted)
  • 2 1/2 lbs. fresh egg noodles or dried Pancit Canton
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 medium sized onions (sliced into strips)
  • 1 lemon (cut for garnish)
  • 1 cup shrimp juice or chicken broth
  • Salt and pepper to taste.
Saute separately the garlic, onion, shrimp, pork, chicken and ham (or Chinese sausage). Set aside a portion of each for garnishing the dish. To the rest, add soy sauce, oyster sauce, shrimp, chicken broth, salt and pepper. Simmer for about five minutes. Then add the string beans, carrots, and cabbage, mixing well and simmering until almost dry. Blanch the fresh noodle in boiling water for two minutes and fry in lard. Add to the mixture. (If using the dry Pancit Canton, just add them to the mixture directly after the mixture of meat and vegetable.) Mix together while simmering. Add, mix and simmer until noodles are cooked. Arrange on a platter and garnish with the previously set aside fried garlic, onion, shrimp, pork, chicken and ham. Also add slices of lemon.

And now let the fiesting begin!
This is part of our continuing series, "Grandma's Kitchen." Future articles will focus on cooking from different Asian countries, with an emphasis on traditional home cooking – the kind that brings forth memories of love and warmth from days past.

Other recipes from Grandma's Kitchen:

Soybean Magic
Chinese Kitchen Medicine
Filipino Party Foods
Healthy Summer Eating
Inarizushi
Vietnam’s Chicken in Lemon Grass
Korean Homestyle Cooking
Prosperity for the New Year
The Fine Art of Korean Cooking
The Ever Pan-Tropic Bamboo and Indonesian Soup
Tofu Bubble and Chinese Cabbage
Shrimp Hui Tofu
Fighting the "Baby Fat" Blues with Asian Food
Connie's Cuisine
Eat Drink Man Woman - Starring .... Food
Asian New Year's Recipes
More Asian New Year's Recipes

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