09 July 2008

Simple Pleasures


Food experimentation is doubly nice when you use stuff from your own backyard. We are surrounded by edibles, mostly dismissed as weeds or "just" trees. If I weren't vegetarian, I'd probably be hanging around parks and going for the pigeons.

The above dish was made by sauteeing various leafies: talinum, kulitis, young green mango leaves, kamoteng kahoy tops, malunggay, eggplant, and alugbati in a lot of garlic and ginger.

A paste of onions, sampaloc leaves (the light green small ones), wood sorrel, and another red kind of sorrel that tastes like kamias (all sour leaves with varying character) was mixed with mascobado sugar.

I combined the greens and the paste in the pan, and let them sit for awhile so they could "get to know each other". The whole thing was then topped with slices of burong mangga, which I made a few weeks ago. Around the whole "glob" I put fresh leaves of pansit-pansitan and Thai basil.

With betel leaves (soaked first in water and a bit of mascobado sugar for ten minutes) and crushed Indian papadum to sprinkle on rice.

This was laid out with some betel leaves (the same one they use for Indian paan) to make small wraps with. Locally, this vine is known as ikmo, and older people use it to when they chew nganga, along with the betel nut (bunga). It has a slightly sour flavor, and can be found in many Southeast Asian dishes.

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