The burning question at about 11a.m. was â€œWhat to do with all the stuff I got at the market this morning?â€ I messed around until about 11:30 a.m. and realized I needed to get cooking pronto or lunch wouldnâ€™t be on the table until very late. We fired up the barbecue and we grilled some pork barbecue that I bought from Inengâ€™s (uncooked/frozen). I must say that I am not as happy with Inengâ€™s compared to their first year of business, as I find their barbecue now to be less weighty, less lean and overall less good. Their cheaper sticks look like one piece of stretched out pork skewered in a wave pattern on bamboo. Nevertheless, the frozen packs of 20 medium-sized sticks are convenient and great lunch fast food when my daughter has friends over (as she did today).
To serve with the pork barbecue, I made a Bicol Express from the brilliantly good-looking siling mahaba or pangsigang. I used some of the leftover coconut milk (freeze it!) from all the bibingka experimentation over the last two days, added some thicker canned coconut milk and used bagoong (shrimp paste) instead of daing (dried fish) as the main flavoring agent. It turned out well and since we removed half of the seeds, it was spicy but not painfully so. It went really well with the sweet barbecue. I have a more detailed recipe for Bicol express here. And please, no comments on the origin of the name, it has already been discussed here. Actually, one of my readers has sent me the number of Cely Kalaw who is the lady who coined the name â€œBicol Expressâ€ to begin withâ€¦I really need to get my act together and give her a call.
The second dish that I made this lunchtime is a simple bean sprout stir-fry. It took about 5 minutes and it was quite tasty! To make, just heat up a large pan and add vegetable oil until very hot then add chopped pork (I used several pork chops worth) and toss vigorously. Add some chopped onions and garlic then some Kikkoman soysauce and lots of ground pepper. Add the bean sprouts and continue tossing over the highest heat possible. Add the juice of one or two lemons, more soy sauce, 2-3 tablespoons of butter and/or several teaspoons of sesame oil and toss until just cooked. It should still have crunch. I topped this off with some chicharon as if I needed more cholesterol but it was delicious. You know you have something going when a couple of ten or eleven year olds eat your vegetable stir-fryâ€¦