Monday, February 9, 2015

My recipe for Philippine salad



On Saturday, I had four friends over for a long and also long overdue dinner.

It was a rather unusually stressful weekend but I was in the mood to cook and to have friends at home instead of meeting up at a restaurant, so I asked everyone to come over instead.

My version of a Moroccan chicken tagine with lemons,
using lemons I pickled myself last December

All I wanted last weekend was comfort food. So for Saturday night, I made a Philippine kare-kare and a Moroccan tagine for lunch. And never mind if the menu clashed, as far as I was concerned.

To make matters even more un-seamless, I decided to do a Philippine salad buffet as a starter, and then serve home-made vanilla ice cream with a chocolate sauce I'd made from bitter chocolate and sea salt.

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EVERYONE LIKES THE PHILIPPINE SALAD

I've only done this Philippine salad a couple of times for dinner parties in recent memory, but each time, it's been a pretty big hit. The previous time, which was about a week ago, an ambassador and his visiting guest from overseas had come over for dinner and they'd loved this Philippine salad.

What's in it, you may be asking. It's so simple.

But it's so nice that everyone likes it. On Saturday, even the guys had second servings.

WHAT'S IN A PHILIPPINE SALAD



The prerequisites are green mangoes, salted egg, tomatoes and Philippine fish sauce. The Philippine fish sauce should be the sweet kind rather than the salty one, and I usually fry the fish sauce in a bit of coconut oil just before serving.

This makes all the difference.

Then I add cucumbers, pork crackling, grilled eggplant and onions.

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FORMAL VS. INFORMAL

If it's a formal dinner, I take out the onions and pre-arrange everything individually on plates. But if it's an informal dinner with friends, I just put bowls of everything on a lazy susan so everyone can help themselves and adjust the taste of the salad to how they like it.

It also means I can just sit and relax for most of the evening, for just another fun dinner party in my never-ending, and never-endingly eventful #Travelife. And, boy, this sure was one weekend I really needed that...



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