Cooking Filipino Food: Caldereta

 

Filipino food is mostly entrees that are paired with rice. Filipinos are rice people as it is one of their top produce. Well, I have tasted quite a number of Filipino dishes as I have gathered a number of Filipino recipes. What I noticed about them is that they are all so easy to prepare. If you read Filipino recipes, you will see that there isn’t any elaborate cooking involved there. However, the food is guaranteed to be really tasty. This is why many people from all over the world get curious with how to cook and prepare Filipino food. This is why I decided to share some Filipino recipes to you.

I would want to share with you the recipe of one of the most loved Filipino dishes, Caldereta. Caldereta is a goat stew, but some people opt to use pork. It’s alright. The thing is that being able to choose the main ingredient is one of the reasons why there are so many versions of this recipe. Caldereta got its name from the Spanish word “Caldera” which means cauldron – mainly because this dish is cooked in a cauldron. But why does it have to be a Spanish word? Well, Caldereta is an adaptation of the Spanish dish of the same name. You see, the Spanish colonized the Philippines for 300 years. This recipe, among other Filipino recipes, are some of the things that Filipinos acquired from the Spanish – a very good one indeed.

So now that you know a lot about Caldereta, I think it’s time for us to cook this awesome dish!

For the ingredients, here are the things that you have to prepare. First, get your pork or goat. Prepare half a kilo and cut them into cubes. Then, get 3 pieces each of potatoes and carrots plus 2 pieces of green bell pepper. Again, cut these into cubes.  Mince 4 cloves of garlic and chop 1 medium onion. Now prepare 1 cup of coconut milk, 3 tablespoons of tomato paste, ¼ teaspoon of black ground pepper, 1 cup water, 3 tablespoons soy sauce, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 tablespoon brown sugar. Now that you have prepared the ingredients, it’s time to cook!

First, sauté garlic and onion until brown. If you have read many Filipino recipes, you will notice that most of them begin by sautéing their food. Then, you can add the pork (choose to use pork belly if it’s possible). Stir fry until pork or goat meat until it gets cooked and turns golden brown. Now you can get your soy sauce, salt, green bell pepper, and your ground pepper and mix them together. If you notice that the ingredients are already spread evenly on the dish, then you can take the next step. Add the tomato sauce, stir a little, then add the water. Mix this very well and let simmer for around 15 minutes.  As soon as the dish has done simmering, add your carrots, potatoes, brown sugar, bell peppers,  and coconut milk. Now, it’s ready to eat!

Caldereta is really tasty. The  tomato based goat or pork stew is most commonly seen being offered at Filipino buffets everywhere in the Philippines because, well, in the first place it really looks great This being said, more and more people from all over the world are interested in this recipe. This is why I am giving it to you. Filipino recipes are straightforward. Most of these Filipino recipes begin with sautéing the garlic and onion, too. The point is that Filipino food can be cooked by anyone. Once you have learned the basics of cooking Filipino dishes, you can easily and quickly whip up your Caldereta and serve it to your friends and family. I bet they will enjoy their Caldereta. Plus, you can be sure that you will get full easily.        

Cooking Filipino Food: Bicol Express

 

I was once eating at a Filipino restaurant and I saw written on a menu “Bicol Express”. I knew that Bicol is a province in the Philippines. But why is this Filipino food called “Bicol Express”? I was so curious that I asked the chef. Unfortunately, he is so busy cooking that he didn’t have the time to talk to me. So as soon as I got home, I searched for the Filipino food recipes about the dish and tried to learn more about the awesome, one of a kind food that I was able to try.

It has been two days that I have been looking for about Bicol Express. I have seen quite a lot, but I don’t have the imagination to picture how it is like to cook this. I decided to go back to the restaurant. I noticed that, miraculously, there aren’t many people eating at that time. So I went in and ordered this Bicol Express again. As soon as I finished enjoying my meal, I then again asked for the chef. Yes! He was available and I was able to talk to him. I was able to ask him about the famous dish.  And then he explained to me the story Bicol Express. The chef said that Bicol Express is the name of the train that travels from the northern part of Luzon to the southernmost part of it, Bicol. The province is famous for their spicy dishes, and since Bicol Express is a food that is based on chilies, the name Bicol Express is born.

Still, I was so astonished with how this Filipino food is. It is a pork stew that is based on chilies and coconut milk. As weird as it may sound, these recipes are just surprisingly awesome. Read on and find out how to prepare this great recipe.

Okay, so let’s first prepare the ingredients. Let’s start with preparing the pork. Get ½ kilo and cut them into cubes. Get 4 cloves of garlic and mince them. Then, get a medium sized onion and slice them into cubes. Get 2 tablespoons shrimp paste for flavor. Prepare ¼ black ground pepper and 2 tablespoons of cooking oil too. Now get 2 cups of coconut milk. If you only were able to get the canned ones, then that will do – prepare 1 can. For the chilies, get 5 red chili peppers and 6 pieces of chili fingers. So your ingredients are now ready. 

First heat your pan and add your oil. Now you can sauté your garlic and onion. When the onion and garlic are ready, add in your pork and stir fry it for up to 7 minutes. Sometimes, the pork will be cooked faster, so be careful. As if the pork turns golden brown in less than 7 minutes, that’s fine. Most Filipino recipes indicate that as long as the pork is already cooked then its fine. Then, you can now add your shrimp paste and black ground pepper. Stir them together with the pork. Now it’s time for the chilies. Add both the chili finger and the red hot peppers. Shortly after, add the coconut milk. Stir well and let the it simmer for about 15 minutes. If the sauce thickens earlier than 15 minutes, then it’s done. Sometimes the coconut milk will need around 20 minutes to thicken. The trick written in most Filipino recipes is that you should just wait for the coconut milk to thicken and you’ll know that the it is cooked. Oh and don’t forget, you should serve it while hot!

You see, Filipino food is not hard to cook. Even when you look at varying Filipino recipes, you will notice that all those are easy to cook. They are quite simple to prepare too. This is the reason why more people all around the world are learning how to cook Filipino food. Try it yourself, grab a hold of different recipes and I assure that you and your stomach will both enjoy.

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