Saturday, June 09, 2007

We just call it "Tuhod"

Thinking of what my entry would be for Lasang Pinoy 18 was tough. Being my first entry, i was apprehensive when i saw that the theme would be Fiesta Food. I rarely go fiestas and have not been to one of the really big and popular ones. However, if fiesta really means a neighborhood party, then the dish above fits!

This is not for the health conscious. This will definitely add to your cholesterol count. Having said that - this deadly and delicious dish is something i always look forward to eating. This "Tuhod" is usually served during special occassions in a friend's house, and since they know we're all crazy about it, we get invited. Everytime this is served i try to come early - the early bird gets the marrow! For three years i tried to get the recipe but was discouraged to know that they use leaves only available in their garden, as well as forgetting to ask about it or forgetting to list it down. After finally getting to learn the recipe, i was happy to know that the leaves where not from a small plant which i assumed but rather from a big tree called Libas. Before that day, i had never heard of that tree and further research revealed two scientific names and they both claim to be Libas - Spondias pinnata & Salix Tetrasperma.

Anyway, eventually i cooked it and...of course i invited guests. It's basically shank and knee caps. I add kamto or flank steak so there is more meat. The dish calls for sauteed garlic, onions, ginger and tomatoes then slowly cooked shank, bone marrow and knee caps. Once tender, just add sinigang sampaloc mix or real sampaloc extracts, long green peppers, lemongrass and finally a whole bunch of Libas leaves.

Stir Fried Peppered Squid

A dish that usually surprises my friends is this one. Most of them are used to grilled squid, sizzling squid, calamares or adobong pusit. So, seeing this dish with lots of cracked black pepper was puzzling. That was then, now it's a favorite request.


1 large squid (Lumot)
Freshly cracked black pepper
1/2 tbsp of sugar
1/2 cup of 7-Up
Oyster Sauce


Peel the squid, scrub with salt and rinse with water. Slice the squid into 1" x 1/2" or square or whatever preference you like. I use about half a cup of cracked black pepper for this. Add half a cup of 7-Up and 1/2 tsbp of sugar. Leave this for about an hour.

Get a wok heated with oil and prepare to stir fry this really quickly. For those who are not familiar with stir frying, you can check Stir Frying Basics by Connie of Pinoycook. Squid gets tough when cooked too long and for this dish we want it to be tender. I literally count 90 seconds when stir frying this. Anything longer and chances are you'd end up eating rubber. If this happens, the options i've thought of is too cut it into really small pieces or use the food processor and turn it into either squid balls or an omellete. You basically just have to half cook it to achieve the desired results. After 90 seconds or so, remove the squid and cook the marinade. Plate the squid, pour the cooked marinade and sprinkle some oyster sauce.

For those that are hesistant because of the cracked black pepper, the addition of 7-Up neutralizes this and isn't really spicy.

Try it. :)