Counting down to the production of Eating with Lola at the Next Stage Festival in January, I shall share some of my Lola Pinang's recipes with my own twist. An expert at making gourmet food with ghetto resources, these recipes will be kind to your wallet, but brutal on your waistline. So get your cupboards open, loosen your belts, and get cooking.
In Eating with Lola, Lola tells the story of her husband who was tortured by the Japanese at Manila's Fort Santiago during World War II. The puppet that depicts the Japanese soldiers stationed at the fort is a pair of red scissors. This was completely intentional and reflective of the attitude most elderly Filipinos have towards the Japanese. Nursing wounds kept fresh by memories of rape, torture and death, thoughts of the Japanese Occupation of the Philippines are not often met with nostalgia. The scissors are red representing blood (not to mention the Japanese flag) and sharp, much like the soldiers' bayonets of the period.
This recipe, to me, is a culinary burying of the hatchet. A gastronomic peacemaking between the two nations. Nothing like eating to build bridges between cultures. Enjoy.
1 cup cooked sushi rice
2 tablespoons datung puti white Filipino vinegar
2 longanisa sausages, boiled then fried until caramalized (I prefer Baguio sweet longanisa. Use your favourite), then chiffonade the sausages into long pieces.
1/4 diced tomato
3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon lime or calamansi juice
lime or calamansi zest to garnish
mix warm sushi rice with 1/2 the vinegar and put aside to cool.
take a tablespoon full of rice and mold into a small oval. place onto plate.
along the length of it, place 1 cube of the diced tomato, 1 long chiffonade piece of the longanisa, and garnish with the zest.
in a bowl take the lime/calamansi juice, soy sauce and the rest of the vinegar and whisk together. Pour atop the sushi or use as a dipping sauce with wasabe.
yields 4 pieces.