Budgie takes you through the ingredients you need for his inihaw (”grilled” in tagalog) street food dish - best enjoyed with a cold San Miguel beer since they’re the perfect beer/finger food (pulatan). You’ll notice the classic combination of Filipino soy sauce and cane vinegar reappear but with a few American influences which have lingered from the Second World War including banana ketchup and the use of fizzy soda in marinades.
Banana ketchup - it is a staple condiment in Filipino homes which helps cut through heavier dishes with a sweet, tanginess and it tells the story of the country’s long-standing fight for independence. During the Second World War the Philippines was exposed to American influences and the food chemist Maria Orosa could see the country becoming heavily reliant on imports such as the tomato. Due to a mix of tomato scarcity and an attempt to end this dependence on American imported goods, she turned to the fruits of the islands as an alternative, and so banana ketchup was born (colloquially referred to as banana catsup).
Calamansi juice - this citrus fruit is native to the Philippines and has a unique flavour which is a tart combination of lime, lemon and orange. Calamansi is a key part of 'sawsawan' which is a generic term in the Philippines for dips for dunking meats into, used for its acidity and freshness. It's also juiced to make a refreshing drink or as part of marinades. It feeds into the country's preference for sourness, a cooling taste which is thought to be linked to the tropical climate which is suitable for fermentation leading to the creation of sour flavours and distinguishes filipino cuisine from other Asian cuisines. Its use in many of today’s well-loved dishes, is down to a spark of creativity born out of poverty, as it was a way of souring dishes based on what was available to housewives at the time.
Filipino soy sauce - the filipino word for soy sauce is 'toyo' and it was introduced to the Philippines by Chinese traders. Traditionally soy sauces are made from a mixture of soybeans and raw wheat starch which is traditionally left to naturally ferment for seven or more days, before adding a salt solution and filtering. Filipino soy sauce has a more "liquidy" texture, a darker colour, and a saltier taste compared to varieties from other Southeast Asian countries. In filipino cooking it's often used to add a salty flavour and is often combined with vinegar as the base for many dishes and dipping sauces, including the Adobo.
Filipino cane vinegar - this is the most common type of vinegar in the Philippines and is a fairly mild vinegar. It’s popular on many of the islands where sugar cane is grown, as a high amount of juice can be extracted from a fairly small amount of sugarcane and its extensive use was historically due to the need for preservation without refrigeration. Your box includes a vinegar from the brand Datu Puti which has cultural significance, recognised as the dominant vinegar brand in the country, well-loved through the generations as well as in Filipino kitchens across the diaspora. The brand name is a combination of the founder’s mother’s surname (Datú) and the tagalog word for the colour white (puti) which is the main colour of the traditional palm.
BBQ Pork Skewers: