30 Jul2006

lp1

Mixing too many ingredients, flavors, cooking methods, etc. can very easily result in a horrific meal. lp6Luckily, this experimental Pan Asian Fusion Meal I created for Lasang Pinoy 12 , turned out remarkably good. I didn’t go to the market that day with a specific list in hand. Instead, I just bought things that looked good, sounded interesting or I thought I might be able to use. I didn’t even have a menu in the morning and it evolved as the day went by and I looked at what was in stock in the fridge along with market purchases. By 4 p.m., I decided on several dishes, looked up some recipes, decided to modify where I thought appropriate and by 7 p.m. this meal was on the table…

The idea was to create a “fusion” meal with dishes from several Asian countries and possibly even some more western ingredients. I wanted more of “tasting menu” where you could get “hits” of flavors but not have to eat everything in succession, like courses at a formal meal. So here was the menu that evening. lp2We had a Spicy black bean mussels, recipe mostly inspired by that Chinese/French fusion king Ming Tsai of Blue Ginger Fame. This dish was an absolute home run. The delicious mussels came with a highly intense, flavorful broth which had white wine, black beans, tomatoes, fish sauce, chicken stock, herbs such as basil and chives. I had never made this before and was absolutely shocked by how good it turned out. Guests ate every single mussel served. How fusion was this? Huge green lipped New Zealand mussels, French white wine, Chinese black beans, Thai fish sauce, and Mexican Jalapenos were just some of the ingredients used!

Next up was a salad of Pako (Fiddlehead Fern) Salad with a simple Vinaigrette. I bought several bunches of pako which are plentiful at this rainy time of the year and cut off only lp4the tips which were blanched for a minute or so and then immediately plunged into ice cold water to stop the cooking and to brighten the color. This was then drained and kept in the fridge until just before mealtime. I dressed the ferns with some excellent Italian Extra Virgin olive oil, French champagne vinegar and a generous sprinkling of some pink Himalayan salt that I picked up on our recent trip. This was a bracing, refreshing and sharp crisp salad that was a perfect counterpoint to the rich meat and the intense mussels. How fusion was this? Fiddlehead ferns from local forests were matched with Italian Oil, French Acid and Himalayan sodium!

For the meat, I went a bit over the top. At the market I purchased 1 kilo of locally grown Wagyu (Kobe style beef) beef, yakiniku cut. About 30 minutes before dinner, I marinated the beef (which had to be patted dry as almost no meat in the Philippines seems to be aged properly and always has a very high water content) in chopped garlic, Kikkoman soy sauce, sugar, mirin (Japanese rice wine) and a lp6touch of sesame oil, some hot chilli powder and lots of sesame seeds. This is a classic yakiniku preparation which I always thought was a Japanese dish but is otherwise referred to as Koren beef barbecue… At any rate, this was grilled over high heat for just seconds on each side and brought to the table just as it was cooked. There were several waves of yakiniku delivered to the dining table… The meat was tender, tasty and wickedly rich. The yakiniku marinade was perfect and though I loved the wagyu, you could only eat so much. I had planned on 200 grams per guest but they only consumed about 100 grams each. In addition to using the marinade for the beef, I took some of the leftover marinade and I brushed it over some chopped leeks, red bell peppers (capsicum) and some fresh asparagus and also threw those on the grill briefly. The grilled vegetables tasted great as well though I have to admit that of the four dishes so far, this was the least distinct or memorable.

All of this was served with a bowl of steamed Thai Jasmine rice. Overall, I thought the meal rated quite high and it is something I would definitely do again. Considering that there were ingredients from the seas, rainforests and fields, perhaps the only thing missing was some fowl or flying beings…maybe some fried crickets will do the next time around! And dessert was brought by our guests… a delicious homemade tiramisu! Please visit other Pinoy food websites with entries to Lasang Pinoy 12!

 

COMMENTS:

  1. Wilson Cariaga says:

    MM. . . i always look for “pako” in the market but markets here in QC don’t have them. . . where can i get “pako”?

    The meal you prepared is simple yet complexity is on the taste and ingredients, this is what makes it perfect, not overdone and very pleasing. . . yummy

    Jul 30, 2006 | 6:09 pm

     
  2. Jean says:

    Ah, I could never pull of a nice dinner like this despite the fact I’ve got a collection of Japanese ware. Every Friday night here at my household I always play “house” and try to serve the family Japanese style cuisine. For some reason, my attempt to make it presentable bombs.

    Jul 30, 2006 | 9:53 pm

     
  3. connie says:

    Wow! That is one wonderful looking dinner. The plating is absolutely brilliant. I definitely love Korean Barbecue or Bulgogi as they call it, I preferred it grilled. It’s usually eaten with sides of different veggies, the fern salad is wonderful and just as perfect replacement for the veggies, and how I miss having pako salad. Tiramisu for dessert…..heaven!

    Jul 31, 2006 | 12:13 am

     
  4. Mandy says:

    where did you buy your local wagyu? do they have different cuts as well. your dishes look appetizing as usual. please adopt me or just invite me sometime! heehee. :)

    Jul 31, 2006 | 2:33 am

     
  5. fried-neurons says:

    WOW! Everything sounds so good! I wish I were one of your dinner guests. :)

    Jul 31, 2006 | 4:02 am

     
  6. Gigi says:

    Dude, you seriously are talented! Such confidence in the kitchen! I’m amazed at how the menu organically grew as you did your marketing… Talk about intuitive cooking…. I can say I cook well but I have yet to develop such boldness and creativity… This entry inspired me, MM. Thank you!

    Jul 31, 2006 | 7:57 am

     
  7. CecileJ says:

    Amen to all the comments! Yummy sounding food, great plating & table setting! (Wagyu beef is masarap. I tried their tapa. Sweetish but tender naman. MAndy: Salcedo market has wagyu.)

    MM, could you share the recipe for the mussels? Sounds delicious!!

    Jul 31, 2006 | 9:21 am

     
  8. Mila says:

    Would you ever consider doing an Iron Chef kind of event? Or do you find more inspiration in planning it out over a day?

    Amazing dishes, so classic, looks ready for a bigtime restaurant.

    Jul 31, 2006 | 9:58 am

     
  9. Marketman says:

    Mila and Gigi, I would lose it and throw a fit if I had to do an iron chef type thing…I don’t naturally cook. And I need my hundreds of cookbooks and magazines for inspiration…I can’t even make a pie crust without referring to a recipe as the propertions don’t stick in my brain… a lot of this is just chamba! I definitely need time to plan these things…heehee. Mandy, Salcedo market has wagyu, I have a post on Wagyu osso bucco that gives details… Wilson, I see pako all over the Salcedo, FTI and Farmers Markets. In QC, try the Sunday Lung Center market to get pako…

    Jul 31, 2006 | 11:17 am

     
  10. joey says:

    Everything looks amazing…and, I must agree with Gigi, such talent! I nervously plan meals over days and have to make a whole schedule for the day itself so I don’t get “lost”…sigh…but one day I will make room for some serendipity! :) Thanks for the inspiration!

    Jul 31, 2006 | 11:22 am

     
  11. Isabelle says:

    I’ve been a lurker for a long time now and I finally made my first comment. Thank you for sharing all your recipes and food experiences

    I live in New Zealand and mussels are abundant and cheap here. Please do share your mussel recipe as I’m looking for different ways to prepare mussels.

    Jul 31, 2006 | 2:21 pm

     
  12. mike says:

    this is amazing! great entry MM! i love the pako salad – one of my favourites!

    Jul 31, 2006 | 3:07 pm

     
  13. Marketman says:

    Mussel recipe coming up…I hope I can remember what I did because I didn’t follow the recipe to the letter… joey, think chamba, not planned excellence… mike, pako is one of my all-time favorites as well.

    Jul 31, 2006 | 3:34 pm

     
  14. virgilio says:

    mind sharing your mussels recipe please? thanks. i have one with ginger, coco milk, chili, coreander, and lime juice among other ingredients. need a change and yours sounds great. thanks

    Jul 31, 2006 | 4:14 pm

     
  15. Alicia says:

    Everything looks brilliant and am sure tasted even better. Your salcedo shopping cart seemed to be very similar to mine this past saturday..pako, wagyu yakiniku,..Saturday evening,did an osso buco inspired by your post a few weeks ago. I thought it came out pretty good and you are right, the value for money was incredible using the wagyu shank!

    Jul 31, 2006 | 8:03 pm

     
  16. ces says:

    divine i should say, this entry and all! anything zen anything with mussels, just buzz me and i’ll come running! thanks for joining MM! and that’s another idea/theme i have in mind too…an iron chef kinda thing and you’d be the best candidate to host it! what do you say?

    Aug 1, 2006 | 12:02 am

     
  17. iska says:

    the plating is indeed great! wish id hav the time to do that one of these days. i love the mussels! i wil go check out ur recipe…

    Aug 2, 2006 | 12:29 pm

     
  18. Lani says:

    Thanks for sharing, MM. You’re very creative!

    Aug 4, 2006 | 1:49 pm

     
  19. JMom says:

    This dinner is pure art from start to finish, MM! Wish I could have been on your gues list :)

    Aug 7, 2006 | 11:12 pm

     
  20. Dodi says:

    Hi MM!
    The latest time I tasted pako salad again was at the kinabuhayan cafe in Dolores, Quezon and I bought several bunches coming home from my overnight stay! Sarap ng pako salad!!!

    Aug 9, 2006 | 4:05 pm

     
  21. Rowena Reyes says:

    I live in Louisianna. Where is you store located?

    Apr 28, 2008 | 11:12 pm

     
 

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