Cross-country homecooking

I’m not Filipino but my parents were born and raised in the Philippines and I went to high school there. I don’t miss it at all. I have friends that I miss dearly, and the beaches are beautiful, but really – I have no desire to go back to sit in traffic, see the same party people over and over again, and feel like I’m missing out on life (that’s a whole other story). But I really really really miss the food. We have restaurants here but they are in Queens and not convenient to get to. So when I went to Vancouver this weekend for Grandma’s 90th bday reunion I put in a request during some downtime to have some homecooking.

This is a spot in Coquitlam, BC called Kulinarya:
Sago at Gulaman
Sago at Gulaman – basically this is Filipino bubble tea. Usually it’s scarier looking, in a black liquid w/ black grass jelly.

Sisig – all the meat and cartilage from the pig’s head chopped up and served on a sizzling platter with soy sauce, garlic, onions, and traditionally a squeeze of kalamansi.

Inihaw na Pusit
Inihaw na pusit – basically grilled squid stuffed with tomatoes. Really simple and good.

Bagoongan – pork belly cooked with green beans in spicy bagoong (fermented shrimp paste).

Ginataang Kalabasa
Ginataang Kalabasa – squash, okra, eggplant, pork, and shrimp in a coconut milk sauce. There is no such thing as vegetarian in the Philippines.

Of course we ate all of this with a giant bowl of garlic rice. My only gripe was that they didn’t actually cook the rice in garlic, they only topped it with fried garlic. I like it when the rice gets burnt a little bit…when I make it at home I even go as far as to use both fresh and powdered garlic to get the full dragon breath effect.

This was probably the best meal I ate there…we also ate a shit ton of Chinese food and after a couple of days of this my body finally revolted and wouldn’t take anymore. The only thing that fixed it was eating some of Ryan’s chorizo tacos when I came home.


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