Filipino Cooking Methods

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Filipino Cooking Methods are cooking processes consisting basically of boiling (nilaga), grilling (ihaw), roasting (lechon) and steaming (halabos). These four Filipino cooking methods are the foundation of Filipino cookery.


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Cooking methods

Although the present cooking methods seem complex with varied influences from the Chinese, the Malay, the Spanish and from other foreign settlers of the Philippines, Filipino cooking methods are still distinct and simple.


  • Typical of a Nilaga or boiled dish that is best-loved by many Filipinos is bulalo. It consists of boiled leg bone marrow with cartilage attached, meat and cabbage.


  • Ihaw or grilling is the best means of preparation for cooking fish, chicken, and meat. It is cooking directly on the heat of fire from the charcoal.


  • Lechon or roasted pig is one perfect example of roasting which is found in most Filipino fiestas, and other important celebrations. Chicken meat is also roasted and is known as lechon manok (roasted chicken).


  • Steaming is done in a bowl-shaped pan and the dish is wrapped in banana leaves or foil to preserve its flavor and moisture. It was also one of the ancient ways of preserving food done by the Filipinos.


  • Adobo was already practiced before refrigeration became a common practice. It is a special Filipino dish consisting of pork, chicken, fish, seafood or vegetables in vinegar with garlic and pepper.


  • Kinilaw or preserving raw fish, meat and also vegetables through marinating or cooking it in vinegar, salt and pepper. The Visayans are known for kinilaw na isda or fresh fish. Kilawing kambing (goat steeped in vinegar and spices ) is popular among Ilocanos and Pampangos.


  • Ginataan is another distinctive Filipino cooking method and term. This is a Filipino term for any dish cooked in coconut milk. Many ginataan dishes are prepared and preferred by the Bicolanos. Best-known are the Ginataang Puso ng Saging and Hipon sa Gata.


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