(Chicago) - One of the major (major! ) effects of food blogging to me is that my appreciation of Filipino food has grown significantly. How many times I denounced my homeland cuisine whenever I was asked if Filipino food was my favorite cuisine. I gave bulls**t reasons such as Filipino dishes are oily, unhealthy or whatever crap. I am guilty as charged, like many others.
No matter how often we deny or shy away from Filipino dishes, we crave for it; we long for those crispy skin of lechon and crunchy, yet juicy lechon kawali. Well, if you’re a Filipino and you grew up with your “nanay” or “lola’s” cooking, Pinoy food taste is physiologically embedded in your tongue. Instead of running away from your native food, just embrace it, savor the flavors and enjoy every bite while you can.
One of the mainstays on Filipino dining table especially during special occasions such a Fiesta, Christmas, etc, is menudo. To us, it means a dish of diced pork, liver and vegetables. But to Mexicans, menudo is a savory and spicy tripe soup.
Here’s my adaptation of Amy Besa’s recipe of menudo which I tweaked a little to make it closer to how I remembered it done back home – with that “carinderia” flavor that makes the dish very comforting without those fancy gourmet gimmicks.
- 3 lbs picnic pork – cut into ¼ -inch cubes
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 6 cloves garlic, chopped
- 6 small ripe tomatoes, chopped
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1 large potato, cut into ¼ -inch cubes
- 1 large green pepper, cut into ¼ -inch cubes
- 1 large carrot, cut into small cubes
- ½ lb liver (chicken or calf’s), cut into ¼ -inch cubes
- 6 hotdogs, sliced diagonally
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 1 teaspoon ground pepper
Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Saute garlic and onion until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and cook for 3 minutes. Add pork and cook for 5 minutes. Add chicken stock and tomato paste. Turn the heat to high and bring to a boil.
Add potatoes, carrots and green bell pepper. Bring to a boil and then lower heat to medium. Simmer for 10 minutes, uncovered. Add liver and hotdog and cook for 4 minutes until liver darkens in color. Add fish sauce and ground pepper and simmer for 2 more minutes. Add more fish sauce to your liking.