Here’s another dish which I recently tried in Boracay, Philippines when I travelled there in April 2014; tofu sisig. I first tasted Tofu Sisig in Mesa, one of the more ‘atas’ restaurants serving modern Philippines cuisine when we asked the hotel caretaker on whereabouts to eat authentic Filipino food.
Sisig refers to sizzling. It usually is a dish made from parts of pig’s head and liver, usually seasoned with calamansi and chili peppers. In this case, there’s no pork here, as it’s made with only tofu. It comes in a sizzling pan, piping hot with sweet, creamy sauce.
Tofu Sisig in Mesa, Boracay
It had a sweet, salty sauce and creamy as well. At that time, I couldn’t figure that it was mayonnaise, it could have maybe be condensed or evaporated milk; like our version of ‘nai you’/butter sauce ala chinese style. Until I did a little google and found out that it has mainly mayonnaise and oyster sauce for the saltiness. Serving on a hot sizzling plate also makes it easier to eat as the creamy sauce can sometimes be a bit gluggy if the dish is cooled.
The one in Boracay was sweet! I mean, I do realize that there’s quiet a bit of sugar in Filipino cooking, especially the use of condensed milk in desserts!
Recipe adapted from Sassy Chef.
AFF Philippines : Tofu Sisig
- 500-gram pack Chinese firm tofu
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ white onion, chopped
- ½ bell pepper, finely chopped
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- 2 tbsp water
- 3 tbsp oyster sauce
- 1 tsp sugar
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- 2 red chilies, sliced
- Heat oil in a deep pan.
- Cut up the Chinese tofu into small cubes and fry in hot oil until golden brown. Drain in paper towels.
- In a bowl, combine mayonnaise, oyster sauce, sugar, and pepper. Mix well, and add water until desired thickness is achieved. (I added 1 more tbsp). Adjust taste accordingly.
- Heat the mayo mixture in low heat while stirring for two minutes, then add the bell pepper and continue stirring for one more minute.
- Take your heated sizzling plate and add a small amount of vegetable oil. Saute garlic and onions until cooked, add in the tofu and mayo dressing and mix well.
- If not using a sizzling plate, pour excess oil from the pan (from frying), with a little oil left, sautee garlic, onions and bell peppers. Once they sweat, turn to low heat, add in the mayo sauce and let it cook for 1 minute. Pour in the tofu and toss.
- Sprinkle with sliced chili and more onions.
I brought it to lunch and just heat it up. The sauce was still alright. I used pressed tofu / like beancurd, you can use Japanese firm tofu but definitely not silken tofu as it will be difficult to fry up.
I am submitting this post to Asian Food Fest – Philippines hosted by The Sweet Spot.
I’ve been finding more reasons to cook lately with these challenges. First it was the 365 challenge (which is still on-going and I just had specific dates) and then now it is by The Cookbook Club . The chosen cookbook was Adam Liaw’s Two Asian Kitchens. I have yet to go get the book as… ahem… well.. I am limited to buy only 1 cookbook per month and my quota this month is full! So maybe next month I’ll get it OR well, you know, it’s my birthday next week and I accept any cookbooks as gifts. ><
From the list, I chose 3 items, everything looks so good I wanted to do all but you know, time doesn’t tip me well. I picked the Sugar cane ice cream, Sataa Andagi and Gona Chanpuru. I knew where to get sugar cane juice as there’s a stall that squeezes fresh sugar cane juice at the weekly night market just on the same row of my house. So I knew perfectly that dish wouldn’t be a problem for me. But I had to wait till Tuesday to get it as the market is only on every Tuesday. So after work, I came back a bout 8pm-ish. Went to the market and …….. O.o!!! No more sugar cane juice!! They came and left and I had no sugar cane juice! *sourgrape* So there, no sugar cane ice cream for now.
So then I did the other 2 dishes. First up. Goya Chanpuru.
Goya Chanpuru is an Okinawan stir fried dish containing vegetables, tofu, meat or fish , luncheon meat, bitter melon/ gourd and egg. Seems like a one-pot dish that goes well with either white rice or porridge/ congee. In the introduction of this dish, Adam mentioned “… I was at first very hesitant about a stir-fry containing luncheon meat -but there’s no point in being a snob about food when it tastes this good.” Well, luncheon meat is indeed very addictive. Love to just dip them in egg and pan fry them, eat with porridge. Yum!!
(adapted from Adam Liaw’s Two Asian Kitchens)
150g firm tofu
1/2 large bitter melon / gourd
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp neutral-flavoured oil
100g luncheon meat, cut to dices
1/2 red onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
100g pork fillet, thinly sliced
100g shimeji mushroom
60ml mentsuyu (no idea what this was so used 1 tbsp of mirin)
1 tbsp light soy sauce (oh!! totally forgot about this)
2 eggs, lightly beated
75g bean sprouts
bonito flakes to served (but I didn’t use it)
1. Wrap tofu in paper towel and put a plate on top to compress. Leave for 30 minutes to drain to prevent the tofu falling apart during cooking). I used bean curd which was slightly hard so I skipped this step. Meanwhile, cut the bitter melon in half and scoop out the seeds. Slice melon in half moons and toss in salt. Leave to drain for 20 minutes while you prepare the other ingredients.
2. Unwrap tofu and cut into pieces roughly same size as the luncheon meat. Rinse salt from melon and pat dry with paper towel.
3. Heat oil in a wok. Stir fry luncheon meat until coloured on all sides. Remove with a slotted spoon. Do the same with tofu. Lift out and drain on paper towel.
4. Add more oil if necessary, add onion and garlic into the wok. Stir fry for 1 minute until soften. Add sliced pork fillet and stir fry till browned. Add the sliced melon, mushroom, mirin or mentsuyu and soy sauce. Stir fry for 1 minute till soften. Then add luncheon meat and tofu.
5. Move everything to 1 side of the wok. Lightly whisk eggs with a fork, pour eggs into the empty side of the wok and leave to set slightly. Fold eggs over a few times, then break into pieces with the rest of the ingredients. Add bean sprouts and cook for 30 second until softened. Season with salt if need to.
6. Serve and top with bonito flakes.
And there is the Goya Chanpuru (bitter melon stir-fry with luncheon meat) Yum Yum. Simple stir-fry to whip up in less than 30 minutes.
So then the next one is Sataa Andagi. It is an Okinawan fried doughnut and it’s very easy to make. I was surprised that there’s no waiting time (like pancakes / doughnuts) The moment you’ve mixed the batter, you’re good to go.It’s crispy on the outside and it’s quite cake-like in the center. I had abit of deep-frying problem as the oil was too hot and I made the doughnuts too big. The innards weren’t really cooked and I’ve had a burnt crust already. So after a few trials, (and always read everything in the recipe) I tried using a smaller spoon or a teaspoon to scoop out the batter then fry it. It came out nicer of course without much burns. I dipped some with cinnamon sugar and was just as yummy.
(makes about 20)
(adapted from Adam Liaw’s Two Asian Kitchens)
1/4 vanilla paste (I used vanilla extract instead)
1 tsp baking powder
100g caster sugar
1/4 tsp salt
vegetable oil, to deep fry
1. Whisk egg, cream and vanilla together in a bowl. Sift flour, baking powder, sugar and salt . Fold into the egg mixture until well combined.
2. Fill a saucepan with oil (about 1 1/2 inches high) and heat to 180C. Drop teaspoonfuls of cough into the hot oil. Don’t crowd the pan. Fry for about 2 minutes until golden brown and risen to the surface. Lift outt with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
3. Ideally it’s best to serve with the sugarcane ice cream.
Deep fried doughnut balls served with ice cream. yummy. Since I didn’t make any sugarcane ice cream, I used any ice cream available in the freezer. Oh note, it’s not just ANY ice cream. It’s caramelized oatmeal and raisins ice cream to rock your world!
Or you can eat Sataa Andagi just as it is. Crispy on the outside and cakey on the inside.It’s not bread crumbs on the outside ya though it kinda looks like.
2nd post of the 365 Challenge- Saute Green Asparagus
If you’ve missed what it’s all about, you can check out my first post here (The one with Mussels in Sauce Poulette)
This dish, uses asparagus (duh) and lemon thyme. I’ve always wondered how lemon thyme would smell or taste like but I didn’t want to buy it without know what to do with it (Though I do it ALLL THE TIMEEEE) It’s kinda crazy coincidence to see the dish unpicked for the challenge. I picked it and bought some asparagus.
It requires cooking asparagus the non-usual-way-of-blanching-them, sorta like a stir fry but with lemon thyme. And you know, lemon and asparagus always worked very well together.. Like Asparagus with hollandaise sauce? or asparagus just as it is with lemon zest? But to my discovery, lemon thyme doesn’t smell very much lemony. there is a hint, but a very faint hint.
Now I have to figure what am I going to do with the remaining sprigs of lemon thyme.
Maybe I got older asparagus, I do think blanching them then dip in ice water retains the colour of the asparagus best. Nevertheless, any vege is good for you.