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Filipino cuisine tips, 2 of 2

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Categories: Filipino, Tips, Dennis

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MR> In Traditional Adobo, can the sauce be reduced or thickened and still MR> be "traditional" (many cooks will adapt these recipes to their tastes, MR> but I want to be sure I am posting your authentic recipes as a starting MR> point). Actually, no. Not and remain the "traditional" form anyway. I've personally never seen Filipino cooks tinker with sauce consistency very much. There's more experimentation in the area of spice mixtures. As a matter of fact, changing which leafy green vegetable is used in a basic recipe is used to change the character of the dish. This shouldn't be surprising when one considers that the Philippines is geographically in the general region of the spice trade. Sauces, meaning manipulations of food's texture, seem to be more of a Western phenomenon. MR> What is the traditional format of a Filipino dinner - soup, salad, main MR> course or what?). See above for some of the information. The format of a meal is basically to put everything on the table at once and have a big free for all. Meals are a time to interact. A period in which the entire family becomes equal in it's enjoyment of another day's survival. The same atmosphere characterizes parties (fiesta's) where all the food is laid out buffet style. Each person then chooses what to eat and how much of each selection to eat from the presentation. [The kids are of course cautioned not to eat the desserts until after eating the real food. ] Interestingly, like many multi-course European presentations, big Filipino meals tend to stretch out in time as well giving lots of opportunity to converse. The main difference is that one just keeps going back for more when the urge hits then sit down next to someone and chat. More akin to an all day American barbecue. MR> Are Achute seeds the same as Annato seeds? I'm not sure. MR> What is mochiko (powdered rice) like and what does it do (is it a MR> thickener or flavor agent?). It's used as a thickening agent. It's optional and was in the recipe book that my mother gave me. She never used it though so as far as my cooking is concerned it might as well not be there. Still, this is one dish that seems to have a duality of texture preference within the Filipino community. [One of those, it depends on how mom made it things.] I included the mochiko for completeness sake. MR> Can you recommend any common American substitutes for some of the MR> authentic ingredients, for the sake of people living in parts of the MR> country without access to Filipino markets? Probably the best way to explain substitution is as follows: Ingredient Use Substitute Tamarind Sour Vitamin C = Lemon Juice Patis Salt Salt Ampalaya Bitter beats me? Everything else is pretty common I think. MR> I hope I am not being too "nit picky" with these questions. If you MR> think I am, let me know and I will start posting as is immediately. Not at all. Hope this was what you wanted. Regards, Dennis (Note: According to "Stocking Up III", pub. by Rodale Press, mochiko rice flour has a unique property as a sauce or casserole thickener. It doesn't separate when chilled or frozen. MR)