Four dishes, one precious gold

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Four traditional Filipino dishes with very familiar flavors and comforting childhood memories are given contemporary twists that make them refreshingly new at the same time.

Tupig, Sinangag, Talong and Kare-Kare. If you think you know these dishes, think again. Tupig is traditionally a grilled type of suman from Ilocos and Pangasinan that leans on the sweet, but, in this case, Tupig is savory, not sweet at all. The buko meat in the original tupig is there, but it is basically ground pork cooked with rice powder and coconut cream. Like the tupig that people know, this version is wrapped in banana leaves then grilled. It is served with sukang Iloko and buko atchara.

KARE-KARE
SINANGAG

Sinangag equals garlic rice and is best eaten for breakfast with fried egg and either tocino, tapa, longganisa, daing na bangus, danggit, corned beef, tinapa or tuyo. But the Sinangag we are referring to is “compartmentalized” into three kinds of fried rice—Bagoong Fried Rice, Adobo Fried Rice and Garlic Fried Rice—topped with mango salsa, adobo chunks, pork adobo floss and other condiments.

The first dish that comes to mind upon hearing the word Talong is Inihaw na Talong. But here, Talong is a saucy, if not soupy, dish that combines the eggplant with other green vegetables, such as alugbati, malunggay and okra. The fire roasted eggplant, which sits in the middle of the dish, creates perfect harmony with salted egg tomato emulsion, calamansi bagoong mayonnaise and pickled okra.

And, oh, delicious Kare-Kare! But, wait, the creamy kare-kare sauce is there, but instead of the traditional oxtail, you will find delectable crispy beef short ribs. This variation works wonders in terms of texture, flavor and color. The confit of beef ribs comes with crispy peanut-alamang-shallot crumbs, vegetables, chili annatto oil, creamy peanut sauce and chicharon.

TUPIG

Together, Tupig, Sinangag, Talong and Kare-Kare, as prepared by Dusit Thani Manila culinary team members Chefs Paul Samonte, Kyle Alvarez and Albert Noronio, won the gold for the hotel in the Filipino Team Challenge category of the recently concluded Philippine Culinary Cup 2018 (PCC 2018) held at SMX Convention Center in line with the World Food Expo 2018 (WOFEX 2018).

Battling with equally talented teams sent by other hotels and restaurants, the Dusit Thani chefs emerged victorious with their preparation of traditional Filipino dishes given unique twists in the country’s most prestigious culinary competition.

BAGGING the gold in the Filipino Cuisine Challenge category are Chefs Kyle Alvarez, Paul Samonte and Albert Noronio.

“It has always been our mission to empower our people to exceed expectations, and every dish that passes through our kitchens should reflect that. These awards came as no surprise because the hotel has been devoted in providing full support to maximize the potentials of our people and leverage to global standards,” says Stanley Lo, general manager of Dusit Thani Hotel.

The hotel’s executive chef, Rob van Leeuwen, adds: “Cooking for a competition is very different from cooking to serve. Our chefs needed to be driven and to really work on not just their recipes but their techniques and ingredients. It was challenging, especially the time limit, and so they underwent training for them to be able to finish everything within the given time frame.”

Some of these award-winning dishes are now available on the a la carte menu of Dusit Thani Manila’s The Pantry. Here, the chefs happily share one of the recipes that helped them bag the gold.

SINANGAG

For the mango salsa:
30 grams green mango, small-diced
30 grams ripe mango, small-diced
30 grams red onion, small-diced
5 grams chopped chives
30 grams tomatoes, small-diced
10 grams fish sauce
10 grams soya oil

Combine all ingredients.
Mix well, then set aside.

For the garlic pork floss:
5 grams soya oil
10 grams chopped garlic
20 grams pork floss

Sauté garlic in oil.
Add pork floss.
Toss well to combine, and set aside.

For the pork adobo:
300 grams pork neck
30 grams chopped garlic
30 grams chopped onion
2 pinches crushed black pepper
80 grams soy sauce
40 grams white vinegar
30 grams soya oil
5 pcs. bay leaf

Cut pork neck into half-inch cubes.
Sauté garlic and onion until lightly golden. Add pork neck and sauté until browned on all sides. Add soy sauce, bay leaf and black pepper. Bring to a boil and then lower to a simmer.
Add vinegar and continue cooking until pork is tender.
Divide cooked adobo into two.

For the garlic rice:
30 grams soya oil
50 grams chopped garlic
2 pinches salt
1 pinch white pepper
250 grams cooked rice

Sauté chopped garlic until golden brown.
Add cooked rice and cook until warmed through.
Season with salt and pepper. Set aside and keep warm.

For the bagoong rice:
25 grams annatto oil
30 grams chopped garlic
30 grams chopped onion
70 grams diced tomatoes
30 grams bagoong alamang
250 grams cooked rice
10 grams bagoong isda
5 grams fish sauce
1 pinch white pepper

Heat oil in pan. Sauté onion, garlic and tomatoes.
Add bagoong alamang, add cooked rice and stir to mix well.
Adjust seasoning with fish sauce, bagoong isda and pepper. Set aside and keep warm.

For the adobo fried rice:
20 grams soya oil
30 grams chopped garlic
30 grams chopped onion
150 grams pork adobo
3 pcs. bay leaf
20 grams dark soy sauce
250 grams rice

Heat oil. Sauté garlic and onion, then add half of the cooked pork adobo.
Add cooked rice, bay leaf and dark soya. Mix well until heated through.

For the garnish:
20 grams chopped scallions
20 grams crispy egg
10 grams fried garlic

Arrange garlic rice, adobo rice and bagoong rice in separate mounds but in only one platter. Add remaining half of the cooked adobo, mango salsa and pork floss.

“Compartmentalize” the rice and top with the different components.

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