A few weeks ago, I said to some friends, whom all of them are not Filipino, that I officialy like Filipino food. They were surprised about that because all of them find it very hard to like Filipino food.
That is true.
That was me, 15 months ago.
It wasn’t love at the first sight with pork adobo, menudo, and beef caldareta.
I had to ask my brain to give me information on how I had to enjoy Filipino food.
I always felt there was something odd with the taste. If it is not too sweet then it would be very sour. I almost gave up and declared to myself that Filipino food wasn’t my thing at all.
To be honest, that time I felt disappointed to myself that I wasn’t able to eat Filipino food with joy.
I am a food enthusiast, can’t enjoy a food? That is a NO.
So I decided that I would eat Filipino food, every single day. Yes. Every single day for months!
Either I bought, I cooked or my helper bought food for all of us to try together. Yes, my family had to eat the same as well.
It was a very magical experience for me and my taste buds.
Day by day, week by week…
I got to know about sitaw, ginataang langka, callos, pusit, kare-kare, bagoong…
I felt like I was in a “date”. It was a very complicated relationship but slowly but surely I began to know the taste, the smell, the red line of all the ingredients…and the relationship builds. The taste and the smell starts to be familiar and the more I eat, the more I feel in love.
Call me crazy, but not everyone will do what I do, putting a lot of effort to get to know of Filipino food.
Now, when I see Filipino food, I kinda can imagine how is the smell and the taste. No, I don’t know all the ingredients but because I am already so familiar with the food, I know the taste already.
One of my friends said “You take food seriously” and the other said “I love your taste buds. They are so open to any taste.”.
I love food. It is including the history, the culture, the habit, and I watched so many food documentary. So far, Cooked by Michael Pollan is one of my favorite documentary movie.
Food is not only about eating, it is larger than that. Food is one of the most magical thing in this world.
The universe wants to connect with us through food. Every human being has their own habit and culture regarding of food. It connects us with the universe.
Here we go, my 5 most favorite Filipino Food with calories estimations in each food.
Yes. People who know me, know me well that I love food and fitness (It is another story to tell). I track all of my food and my drinks. I count my calories intake. It sounds crazy but it gives me control on what I eat and drink and still be able to enjoy! I want to know what and how much the food and drink go inside my body.
1. Bulalo Soup
I never forget my first encounter with Bulalo Soup in Tagaytay!
The taste reminds me of oxtail soup but the taste is more compact. But when it goes in your mouth, the taste become soft. Maybe because there is pechay and corn in the soup. That makes the soup has a fresh taste and it doesn’t feel heavy.
It is a very comfort meal. I can eat it for breakfast, lunch or (and) dinner…
Calories of half cup : 263. It seems a lot for half cup but it is worth the taste especially for breakfast and after that you go to the gym for 1,5 hours of strength training!
(This picture, I got it from http://www.chowking.com)
2. Ginisang Sitaw
Ginisang means stir-fried. Sitaw is green beans. So literally means “Let’s stir fry those green beans with anything that seems delicious!”.
People will be using three most common ingredients: onion, garlic and tomatoes then add ground pork. “Ma sarap!” (Delicious!).
When you put onion, garlic, tomatoes, fish sauce and black pepper… the taste will be deadly delicious. Sometimes I cooked it with oyster sauce and the taste would be like Chinese stir fried green beans, but less complicated.
If you eat ginisang sitaw, generic, 1 cup, it is only 80 calories. It is a very light meal but if you eat it with white long-grain rice and fried egg then the calories will be 350+ !
Callos is a stew made of beef tripe, chickpeas, bell peppers and sometimes chorizo and some other stuff like ox feet. They cook it slow in paprika – tomato sauce.
I never cook this dish.
Whenever I see Callos in the restaurant menu, I always choose it.
Oh, my dear friends, this food gives me happiness in a second. It taste sweet, spicy and salty, well-balanced! It is 395 calories for 1 cup. It is like running for 50 minutes with 8,4 kph (7,2 min per km).
Conclusion: The calories is not as heavy as it looks. 🙂
4. Steamed Eggplants and Okra with Bagoong
Finally I found a great bagoong… It is ready to eat bagoong from bario fiesta! Since then, I always have spicy bagoong in my kitchen. I like more the shrimp bagoong than fish bagoong. For me, it taste like sambal roa in Indonesia.. not the same of course (please don’t kill me).
Bagoong has a very sharp taste and steamed eggplants and okra make it balanced in its taste. When you eat it with rice… Sarap!
The steamed vegetables won’t give so much calories but bagoong will add a lot of calories on that dish.
1 tablespoon of bagoong : 100 calories.
5. Puto !
A steamed rice cake.
It is so addictive that I can eat a lot of it. It is sweet but not sweet. It doesn’t taste heavy. It is really my guilty pleasure. Yummm!!
This is a quite tricky snack. It looks very innocent and sweet but it gives a lot of calories.
According to myfitnesspal app in my phone, homemade puto of 33g is 160 calories!
(This picture, I got it from google : Yummy PH – Youtube).
Other than 5 food mentioned above, I also love sinigang, adobo, menudo, beef salpicao, pusit, pici-pici… and many many more!! 🙂