🐂 WEEK 3: Fermented
This week you'll be introduced to the fragrant ingredient bagoong which features heavily in your average Filipino pantry. Patiently fermented anywhere from several weeks to months, it's an essential ingredient for creating the funky, umami flavour profile that's so characteristic to Filipino cuisine. The distinctive colour of this dish comes from cooking achiote seeds in oil, releasing its natural red dye called annatto, while its velvety sauce is thanks to natural thickening from the peanut butter.
📺 Watch and Learn - Rassa Stories
Have a watch to understand the context to what you’re learning. This month we’re looking at the iconic flavours which make up the Filipino cuisine from the ‘umami bomb’ that is the salted duck egg to bagoong fermented shrimp paste. Ingredients are king when it comes to building these flavours, so you’ll see Chef Gene tracing your bag of rice back to the source showing how it’s planted and cultivated. He’ll then take you on a tour of a Manila wet market, looking at fresh produce and ingredients.
Gene's Market Tour in Quezon
Gene takes you through the vibrant, fresh market produce in Quezon City which make up those iconic flavours characteristic to Filipino cuisine.
Planting Rice at Pulong Kabyawan
Rice is a big part of Filipino food culture, heavily linked with spiritual rituals and family gatherings, and your average Filipino household spends more money on rice than any other food.
📘 Lessons For The Week
Recipe Development - Oxtail Kare Kare
The Filipino cuisine has a natural love for nose-to-tail eating and the Kare Kare is the perfect dish for exploring different meat cuts as an alternative to your usual prime cuts as a more sustainable alternative. Rex guides you through how to put your own twist on this well-loved Filipino dish.
Ingredients Introduction - Oxtail Kare Kare
Rex takes you through the key aromatics in his dish including the fermented shrimp paste bagoong and annatto seeds. He also explains why he uses peanut butter over the more traditional thickening method for his broth.
Time to get cooking! - Oxtail Kare Kare
This week you'll be doing a slow braise over low heat of oxtail and using the broth with peanut butter to create a delicious thick and creamy stew. You'll also be using bagoong which is a good introduction to the funky, fermented flavours characteristic of Filipino cooking.
Share with the community
Wondering how you can use up leftover bagoong? Thinking about what alternatives you can use to oxtail? Ask the Rassa community where your fellow participants and chef instructors are on hand to help. Access the community forum by clicking the button below where you can see what others are up to and share your own creations.
💭 Creative Inspiration
Making Bagoong with Gene Gonzalez
This one is for the daring! Bagoong is known for its funk which is great for adding bold umami flavours to your dishes but if you give a go at creating your own fermented krill or fish paste at home, be prepared to open those kitchen windows...
📖 Further Reading
Learn more about the Kare Kare, exploring the origins and different cultural influences from the different geographies around the world as well as its distinctive colour developed from cooking achiote seeds in oil.
Kare-kare: The Philippine curry with a confused past
In typical Filipino homes, whipping up kare kare is reserved for special occasions like birthdays and fiestas. Learn about kare kare from its distinctive colour and aromatics to the vegetable toppings and traditional meats used.