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Reinventing Philippines street food

 
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When my daughter visited Cebu, I let her sample the different bananas. Then my wife said that we still have to go to Mindanao at some point so that we can have purple bananas and yellow flesh bananas from her village. She likes both of them better than the ones I was raving about.

We won't go there to buy a few bunches of fruit. We will bring pups to plant on our own farm.

Yes, much of that food does look awesome. Unfortunately for me I've only been exposed to it through my computer screen. But I have been to many restaurants owned by people from that part of the world. It's unfortunate that Philippine cuisine has been so thoroughly corrupted by fast and packaged foods... But I haven't been everywhere. There are still lots of good healthy food to be tried in little towns all over the country. I've mostly been exposed to what people are eating along the road sides in a fairly large city. So we eventually will be redistributing some Filipino street food, rather than Reinventing it.

When sitting down at a place that served mostly slop, I asked an acquaintance if his grandmother made food like this. "No, she was a good cook☺"
 
Dale Hodgins
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I think I just invented a new Street Food. Sweet potato is a pretty good food, but not a lot of protein. The seeds of squash are high in protein.

Earlier today, I prepared a squash for the oven. I decided to roast a sweet potato and the seeds of the squash. I put the seeds in the bottom of a stainless bowl, followed by the sweet potato on top. A sugary goo, oozed from the sweet potato and coated all of the squash seeds. This seems to have prevented the seeds from scorching. Unfortunately, my gluttony kicked in before I thought of making it a regular dish and took this picture. It was good.

I think this would be best done in a coconut shell.
.....
Side note. I used the words goo and oozed together back there. I challenge you to find another way to make something grammatically correct, using the letter o, 4 times in a row. :-)

Found a bunch more things made with banana leaf.
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roasted sweet potato in bowl
roasted sweet potato in bowl
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banana leaf bowls and trays
banana leaf bowls and trays
 
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Dale Hodgins wrote:
Side note. I used the words goo and oozed together back there. I challenge you to find another way to make something grammatically correct, using the letter o, 4 times in a row. :-)



When I finish cleaning up this shampoo oops, I'll give that a shot..

Turns out the best options are taboo; oodles is a nice safe word though!
 
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As a Filipino-American, this entire thread is really awesome for me to read through. Keep up the good work, Dale!
 
Dale Hodgins
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William Fredrickson wrote:As a Filipino-American, this entire thread is really awesome for me to read through. Keep up the good work, Dale!


Hello William. Most of my bad street food experiences happened in or around the city of Cebu. I found it much better on Bohol. You probably know where there may be a better food culture than what is available around Cebu. They seem to have perfected the lechon pig. I think Manila has more International influences. Cebu has plenty of that, unfortunately that influence seems to have come from North American fast food.
 
Dale Hodgins
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Now I'm just going to post a bunch of pictures, of things that Nova has made, and the ingredients she uses.

We both gained a little bit of weight during my three month visit. Nova has cut her rice consumption to less than 1/4 of what it used to be.

She has become much more fit and trim.

She has warned me that we must get plenty of exercise, when we buy a farm, because otherwise she will make me fat. Even when I'm not hungry, she often starts cooking something and then plops a plate of something very good, in front of me. Not wanting to be rude, I eat it. :-)
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Deep-fried banana with brown sugar
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Empanadas
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Eggplant smothered in scrambled eggs
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She sent this picture and said she
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Fried Chicken
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William Fredrickson
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Dale Hodgins wrote:
Hello William. Most of my bad street food experiences happened in or around the city of Cebu. I found it much better on Bohol. You probably know where there may be a better food culture than what is available around Cebu. They seem to have perfected the lechon pig. I think Manila has more International influences. Cebu has plenty of that, unfortunately that influence seems to have come from North American fast food.



Yeah, my mother is from Cebu Island and whenever we visited we street from the local Julies or street food vendor. Whenever we visited the city, we really did not eat that much from the food there except in western food places. And yeah whenever there is Filipino gathering, lechon pig is usually mandatory.

 
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Beware of splinters from the bamboo oolong tea!
 
Greg Martin
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Nooooooo!  Ooligists robbed the robin's nest!  (ok, that was a serious cheat....but look at all those o's!   (Thanks for that bit of fun Dale!)
 
Dale Hodgins
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Greg Martin wrote:Beware of splinters from the bamboo oolong tea!



At first I was trying to relate Greg's comment to the street food theme. Then I remembered my challenge.
.....
Sweet potato, yam, cassava and squash fries.

French fries are very popular in the malls. They're also crazy expensive. 80 pesos for a decent size serving. So, many people working in the mall could spend their entire days in come on 5 servings.

Potatoes are very expensive, as compared the sweet potatoes, yam and cassava. I didn't see anyone making fries from those other things, yet they are quite common here in Canada. And here, the standard Andean potato is cheap. They are usually twice the price of the others, in the Philippines, because they are an exotic import.

I would want to find the stiffest varieties, since people aren't going to want soft squishy fries. Many people have gone home, hoping to have something unique, and their mom has cooked up a whole bunch more sweet potatoes, the same as the night before. A much healthier choice than rice, but it's usually something that is eating along with the rice. Nobody says, "let's go to a nice restaurant and have some sweet potatoes."

If it's not to be considered poor people food, the fries would have to be presented differently and spiced differently. There would need to be a variety of sauces. They like gobbing everything up with ketchup and other things. Horrible orange powder that they call cheese, is common at the malls. We could use our own goat cheese.

Fries are something that could easily be presented in a banana leaf cone.

We would want to make regular french fries available, but they would have to cost more. In this case, the less expensive one will also be the healthier choice.
 
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cassava makes a fabulous fry (as well as things like cake when grated up). We do a goodly amount of roaasted sweet potato fries here and I don't think I've ever seen anyone turn up their nose at a nice thick country fries sweet potato with lots of good spices on them, even though sweet potato here in Brazil is more commonly seen as a (blah) dessert item.
 
Dale Hodgins
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Good to know that cassava makes a good fry. It's the simplest to grow and most prolific crop available.

It contains cyanide that can be reduced when cutting it into small pieces and allowing them to air out. Fries cook up more crisply when they are allowed to surface dry before cooking. Cooking also reduces the cyanide. Improved varieties have low levels of the poison.

One other candidate is the tuber of chayote squash. I've been told that they taste like potatoes. Not sure how well they hold their shape.
 
Greg Martin
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Dale Hodgins wrote:

Greg Martin wrote:Beware of splinters from the bamboo oolong tea!



At first I was trying to relate Greg's comment to the street food theme. Then I remembered my challenge.



Hehe....sorry about that Dale et al.  I could have made that a bit clearer!
 
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