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Saturday, July 12, 2014

Deconstructed Longanisa with Inabraw

After watching my niece compete in a Filipino Beauty Pageant I got to thinking of about the Filipino culture. Then I got hungry thinking about Filipino food. Different regions of the Philippines produce variation of cuisine that has Spanish and Asian(implying greater Asia continent) influence. On the contrary of popular beliefs that Filipino consume a lot of lechon and pork adobo that isn't always true. Being from the provence of Ilocos Norte, northern part of the island of Luzon, dishes are rustic and simple. Growing up I ate a lot of fish and vegetable dishes. Like I said, different regions eat what is readily available. However, my favorite meat dish has to be longanisa. Not the red one that most of the city folks eat but the vinegar one. When my mom cooks Longanisa she always pair it with marunggay/malunggay/moringa soup-inabraw. In a way, the inabraw helps cut through the fattiness of the meat. Secondly, you don't feel so guilty afterwards. Hey, you got your daily serving of vegetables. Did I mention marunggay is a super food?!?! 
So, this recipe is the modern and healthier version but ingredients are truly traditional. It looks modern and even gourmet looking because of the plating. Feel free to change this recipe and make it yours. 

Longanisa Ingredients
1 lb ground Berkshire pork
3/4 lb tonkatsu(thinly slice)boneless Berkshire pork chop
4 cloves chopped garlic
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar (Filipino vinegar is fine too)
coarse black pepper
sea salt
Chop the tonkatsu pork chop into small pieces. You can also use regular pork butt if Berkshire is not available . Combine all ingredients. Mix well and marinate for at least 2 days. Don't ask me how much salt and pepper to put in. I'm Filipino and we don't use measurements. If you think it's enough salt & pepper, then that's how much. 
Form marinated pork into patties and bake in oven at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. To get that nice brown crust, broil on each side for at least 2-5 minutes. 

Berkshire pork is like the Kobe of pork. It's great for this dish because we're not using a lot of fat but this type of pork gives that nice richness of regular longanisa. Click Berkshire Pork to learn more about it. If you don't know what is Kobe/Wagyu beef click HERE.

3 cups Marunggay leaves
1 cup pumpkin flowers
2 cups water
2-3 tbsp bagoong (E-Mars Brand)
Other vegetables you can put it: Chinese long beans, thin eggplants, lima beans, & saluyot(in English: corchorus)
The more vegetables, the better!
Bring water to a boil. Add the bagoong and skim the bagoong froth and discard. Add the pumpkin flowers and cook for about 2 minutes. Remove pot from the stove and add the marunggay. If you're going to put other vegetables, add vegetables that need more time to cook first. Always put the marunggay last to keep it green and it won't lose all of its nutrients. If you're putting saluyot, add it before the marunggay. For all you, Filipinos this is the ultimate super food dish! I bet you didn't know that, huh? Of course you didn't! That's just the norm at meal time. How ironic an American have to tell you to NOT stop eating marunggay.

Tomato & Onion relish
Grape tomatoes-chopped or sliced
red onions-chopped or sliced
bagoong to taste
Combine ingredients. Garnish with the longanisa or eat alone with rice!

To eat all this, you can't eat it without rice. It's not the same. To make it healthier, I use black and brown rice instead of white rice. 

I grew up eating this all my life and "super" vegetables was always abundant in our backyard. We just never labeled it. It was just a way of life. 
According to my mother, who is seriously a naturalist/hippy and don't even know it told me that we eat certain food to help combat certain illnesses and to live a healthier life. 
In my next blog, I will write about Filipino medicine and eating your way to a healthier you.

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