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Marinduque Mainland from Tres Reyes Islands

Marinduque Mainland from Tres Reyes Islands
View of Mainland Marinduque from Tres Reyes Islands-Click on Photo to link to Marinduque Awaits You

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Marinduque Cuisine- The Best in the Island?


It has been almost two years since my last posting about Philippine cuisine, specifically Marinduque cuisine. But the latest posting from one of my on-line friends in FB, reminded me that food is an excellent topic any time of the year. My on-line friend who is a Caucasian American( JM) and married to a Filipina posted on his FB wall that his wife relatives from the Ilocos Region sent them fresh Lapu Lapu, Prawns and kankong ( a native vegetables), the other day. JM commented that his wife is a good cook and served him chili prawns, fish sticks and kankong sautéed in oysters sauce that night for dinner. The menu made me hungry and reminded me of my wife's recipe of prawns in garlic sauce, sweet and sour bingao and chicken cooked in coconut milk with saffron and green peppers. Bingao is an ocean fish in the red snapper family. It is more fatty than Lapu-Lapu and taste like pork with no fishy smell. The texture is similar to fresh water eels. It is very expensive and rare. I am sorry I can not give you an English name, but bingao is better tasting than Lapu Lapu. We will not be in Marinduque until the end of the year. But the first thing I will instruct our housekeeper is to look for Bingao in the fish market as soon as we arrived.

Now back to Marinduque cuisine. There are four dishes that the Marinduquenos are proud to call their very own. First, they have the ADOBO SA GATA. This is usually a native chicken cooked in coconut milk with green papaya and pepper leaves, spices and dilaw ( a yellow spice) also known as tumeric, (a cheap imitation of saffron). The native chicken is sometimes tough but has a more sweet-tasty feel compared to the regular chicken. The native recipe do not call for green, yellow or red peppers fruit, but my wife always instruct our cook to add this three kind of peppers for color/texture. This is my #1 favorite. I could eat this every week with gusto.

The second dish is the dinugu-an or Kari-kari. The Marinduqueno kari-kari has ox blood but a dryer sauce(compared to other regional blood pudding dish) and very spicy. This is a different dish from Kare, made of tripe and ox tail in peanut butter sauce with green beans. I do not know the details of how it is cook, but when Macrine's aunt give us her Kari-kari, it taste like heaven with rice cake (puto) or just steam rice (I am salivating now, just thinking about it). If you hate spicy dishes, this is not the dish for you .

The third and most delicious of the native dishes is ulang-ulang. It is made from the coconut lobster and young coconut ( shredded buko), coconut milk and a sprinkling of garlic pepper, unions and kalamansi juice( similar to lemon juice). It taste heavenly with steamed rice and noodles.

The fourth dish native to the island is "laing". It is made from taro(gabi) roots and leaves with garlic, ginger and coconut milk. Sometimes, dried fish ( dilis) or tulingan is added to the dish and a tint of shrimp paste( bagoong)


To All Married Men Readers! Do you believe in the statement that, "The way to a man's heart is through his stomach". This statement really applies to me! Comments?

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