June 20, 2016

vegetarian fresh lumpia

Aside from Filipino adobo, there are other traditional dishes and snacks that deserve a prominent place in Philippine cuisine. Lumpia is one of them. Unlike the crispy deep-fried lumpia that most people know and love, this type of lumpia is a more of a vegetable dish. Yes, there's a fresh lumpia version and this is the actual filling that goes inside it. I hope this will not be confusing to those who are more familiar with the crispy type of lumpia.

This vegetable lumpia filling may also be served wrapped in fresh lumpia wrappers similar to a savory crepe. I like it both ways but the fresh wrappers are hard to find and I've never been successful making them. Served minus the wrappers, this dish is called "lumpiang hubad" or "naked lumpia" much like the term "naked burrito" when served in a bowl without the tortilla wrap.

This was my version of a vegetarian lumpia (shown above) which had tofu. Cut a block of tofu into 1/2" thick slices. On a tray or plastic cutting board, arrange the tofu slices side by side on a clean towel or sheets of paper towels. Cover with more paper towels and place a cutting board on top. This process will get rid of excess water and prevent splattering when frying the tofu. Dice the tofu and pan-fry in a small amount of oil until lightly browned.

Pork, chicken or shrimp may be added but it's also traditional to add small dried shrimps (called hibe - pronounced as hee-beh) for a more distinct flavor. Rehydrate the hibe in hot water before using. The slight orange color was from annatto seeds  or achuete.

For the recipe, please refer to my 2010 post for Lumpiang Sariwa.

June 15, 2016

seafood night

As far as I'm concerned, I can eat seafood almost everyday :-) Coming from a country of many islands, I was introduced to fish and shellfish early on. My mother's favorite were blue crabs. She would just steam and serve them with a garlicky vinegar dip very much like what I served with these Alaskan crabs.

Alaskan King crabs served with garlic vinegar dip
salmon escabeche 

Another one that instantly brings me back to my childhood is Escabeche, as shown above. Back in Manila, our preference for this dish was "tanigue" fish or Spanish mackerel.