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How Filipinos Cook Their Food
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by: Lutongbahay.com
 

Boiling (nilaga), grilling (ihaw), roasting and steaming (halabos) are the four cooking methods that are the foundation of Filipino cookery. It was only during the Spanish era that Sautéing (guisado) or frying in oil and lard came into use and eventually became part of Filipino cooking. At present, these cooking methods conform with the modern-day demand of healthy food and cooking for most Filipinos.

One of the basis for many of the best-loved Filipino dishes is boiling or nilaga. The most famous of the many nilaga is bulalo, which consists of boiled leg bone containing marrow with cartilage attached, plus meat and lettuce. How the bulalo will turn out after boiling would depend on several factors which include the texture and consistency of the beef, the sixe and quality of the bone, and the duration of boiling time in liquid that is little else but water, salt and pepper.

Another significant cooking procedure in Philippine cookery is steaming. The process of steaming is usually done on a wok. Most dishes to be steamed are first wrapped in banana leaves. It is important to remember that the leaf should be wiped clean and then softened in hot water before being wrapped around the food. Subsequently, It will add subtle flavor to the food and preserve its moisture.

In the days before refrigeration became common practice, the adobo served as a delicious way of preserving food. Adobo is a special dish where preparation includes cooking of pork, chicken, fish, seafood or vegetables in vinegar with garlic and pepper.

Another delectable dish that was made out of preserving is kinilaw. Ingredients of this dish include raw fish or prawns that are marinated or "cooked" in vinegar, salt and pepper. Fresh fish are used by the Visayans for kinilaw while the Ilocanos and the Pampangos prefer kilawing kambing – goat steeped in vinegar and spices.

A perfect example of the Filipino roasting process is the lechon or roast pig. This festive treat traces its roots either from the Spaniards who introduced the delicacy, conchinillo asado (roast suckling pig) or our Polynesian neighbors who practiced roasting whole pigs on hot stones.

Lastly, a distinctive Filipino cooking term that should not be forgotten is the ginataan. Ginataan is the generic term for any dish cooked with coconut milk. Examples of the vast variety of dishes that can be made using coconut milk include Hipon sa Gata and Ginataang Puso ng Saging.

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April 30, 2017

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