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.
Asian Food Fest: Indochina hosted by Kelly has ended with lots of entries. Hop on over here to see more of the entries. Now let’s move to another part of Asia, the Philippines! I’m glad to host even though I’m not familiar with Philippines cuisine at all. Before I went to Boracay in April this year, I only have very little knowledge about the Filipino Cuisine. Well, it still is a something new for me and I’m hoping to learn more with all the entries submitted this month.
Asian Food Fest is a virtual event where we cook dishes for each designated country/region of the month right in the comfort of our own kitchen and share it on Facebook. Everybody is welcomed!
The Philippine cuisine had its influence from Malay, Spanish, Chinese and American culture. Spain’s culture is one of the most influential on food in the Philippines. Spanish colonizers and friars in the 16th century brought with them produce from the Americas like chili peppers, tomatoes, corn, potatoes and the method of sauteing with garlic and onions. Spanish dishes were eventually incorporated into the Philippine cuisine with the more complex dishes such as arroz a la valenciana (similar to a paella). Spanish chorizo also influenced to having Philippine longganisa (sausage).
Having said that, the type and flavour of food eaten varies from area to area in the Philippines. The staple food in some areas are rice whereas it may be cassava in some. Rice is most commonly available in every meal in the Philippines. The Bicol people of the southernmost portion of Luzon and western Mindanao Muslims are the only groups that extensively use hot peppers in their cooking. (more…)
Managed to catch up on the last day for AFF Indochina. I guess among all parts of Asia, Indochina’s food didn’t have much appeal for me accept for the Vietnamese Banh Mi (baguette sandwich), Bun Thit Nuong (Grilled Pork Vermicelli) and Banh Xeo. I came across these 3 when I was studying in Sydney. Well I must say that I have widen my palate and food knowledge when I was in Sydney because it was so culturally vivid with so many towns of different ethnics living there. So there would be a town, with lots of Vietnamese residence, living and operating food stalls, markets there. I haven’t been to Vietnam yet so that would probably be the closest to original since the shops there are operated by Vietnamese themselves.
Since coming back, I have never had any good Vietnamese food, or maybe I just don’t eat out often enough. I realize with the Vietnamese cuisine, alot of fresh herbs and leaves comes to place. The use of mint, basil leaves and coriander are very much common in alot of dishes. With Banh Xeo, it’s no surprise to wrap them up with raw crunchy bean sprouts, grilled prawns or pork.
I remember having a really crispy Banh Xeo in a Vietnamese Restaurant in Sydney and I’ve always wanted to try to make it. But just never did. Haha. If you want to have a look at my “to-cook” list, I’d take years to complete it.
Banh Xeo, these crispy pancakes have their bright golden yellow hue from a magic ingredient called tumeric, and it’s fragrance from coconut milk. Southern-style bánh xèo contains coconut milk and certain Central regions skip the turmeric powder altogether. They are served wrapped in mustard leaf, lettuce leaves or banh trang wrappers, and stuffed with mint leaves, basil, fish leaf and/or other herbs, and dipped in a sweet and sour diluted fish sauce; Nuoc Cham.
It is relatively easy to whip up, whether for a single person’s meal, or to share. Mine was however not that crispy. It had a crepe like texture with crispy sides. I adapted the recipe from this site.
AFF Indochina: Banh Xeo (Vietnamese Crispy Pancakes)
- 90 (1/2 cup) rice flour
- ¼ tsp ground turmeric
- 120ml coconut milk
- 90ml ice cold water (plus extra if necessary)
- Oil for frying
- 200g of cooked pork or chicken finely sliced
- 100g of cooked medium sized prawns, shells removed
- 100g of bean sprouts
- Freshly sliced chilli
- Mixed herbs including mint and coriander (cilantro)
- Lettuce (optional)
- 1 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 tbsp line juice
- Chopped chilli to taste
- ½ tsp sugar or to taste
- Small pinch of minced garlic
- Combine all the ingredients for the batter and mix until smooth. Then set aside for about 1 hr until the batter thickens.
- Make the dipping sauce (nuoc cham) by combining all the ingredients and set aside. Season and taste.
- Heat a cast iron pan over high heat and add 1 tsp of oil until sizzling
- Stir the batter and add some batter to the pan, swirling it round to cover the base of the pan.
- Cook until the underside is golden. Flip pancake over for a quick 10 seconds.
- Then decant pancake onto a plate and spoon in various toppings of your choice and fold over and keep the pancake warm.
- Continue frying the batter adding in a tsp of oil for each new pancake till all the batter is gone.
- Serve warm stuffed pancakes with more herbs, a salad and the dipping sauce.
I am submitting this post to Asian Food Fest – IndoChina hosted by Kelly Siew Cooks