Thursday, June 30, 2011

Filipino food: More than just adobo

Japan is known for its sushi, America for its hamburgers, Italy for its pizza, France for its foie gras (fatty liver) and China for its noodles.

But what about the Philippines?

Through the years, several people have tried to describe what Filipino cuisine is all about, and most of them say the dish that best defines our country is adobo, or meat (from pork and chicken to seafood and offal) braised in garlic, vinegar and soy. Each household, town, province and region has a different way of preparing this otherwise simple viand.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Recipe: Celebrity chef Sam Leong's wasabi prawns

Here's a dish that is so powerful it gave a Singapore chef a career, a wife and an opportunity to travel the world.

Well, at least that's what Sam Leong, the city-state's very own celebrity chef, claimed when he held a cooking demo at the Makati Shangri-La Hotel earlier this month.

"I bring this dish wherever I go," he said.

Leong was referring to his wasabi prawns, a dish that required few ingredients and only took him 10 minutes to prepare. It was so easy to do, one would wonder how it promoted someone to master chef status.

The answer was revealed shortly after. True enough, the dish was simple but amazing -- the prawns were delicately coated in a batter that is both crunchy and hard, reminiscent of peanuts. The sauce, made from mayonnaise, condensed milk, wasabi paste and lemon juice, gave just the right amount of sweetness and spice.

It was effortlessly beautiful, like magic -- or perhaps kung fu, as others would say. No wonder it is very close to Leong's heart even if he has created tens of thousands of modern Chinese dishes.