🐟 WEEK 2: Sour
This week we're taking on the sour flavour profile using the souring agent tamarind which comes from a scraggly, hardy tree thought to have originated in Africa but thrives in the windswept, coastal areas of the Philippines. We'll be exploring this flavour with a Seafood Sinigang dish which is known for its sour broth. This dish is best served family-style in one big pot straight from hob to table with everyone helping themselves. In true Filipino style, you have your accompaniments - this version is served alongside fluffy, jasmine rice and patis (fish sauce) but you can have some fun getting creative with your condiments.
📺 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 - Seafood Sinigang
Filipino cuisine is known for its creativity as a result of its geography and climate, rich in tropical fruits, spices, herbs and seafood, so don't be afraid to add your own twist on Seafood Sinigang. Budgie explains how you can substitute certain ingredients playing around with produce you find at your local market and different souring agents.
Ingredients Introduction - Seafood Sinigang
Get to know some of the iconic flavours of the Sinigang and how they're produced and harvested. Have a think how you can combine the Filipino pantry with your own local, fresh produce.
Time to get cooking! - Seafood Sinigang
It's time to move over to the hob and start creating your Seafood Sinigang and delicious Filipino sour broth. This dish often has strong memories for many Filipino people connecting them to family and community so it's one to get others involved with (both for the making and the eating!).
Share with the community
Budgie is on hand in the Rassa community pages to answer any questions and help with inspiration, whether you're looking to experiment with different souring agents or want to swap out some of the vegetables for alternatives local to your area. It's also a space where you can share your progress, creations and photos with the rest of your group.
💭 Creative Inspiration
Creating Kinilaw with Gene Gonzalez
This raw fish dish celebrates the seas surrounding the Philippine islands. It is native to the Philippines and has similarities to the Latin American ‘ceviche’ except that it also uses vinegar to help ‘cook’ the fish without heat.
📖 Further Reading
If you want to know more about Sinigang, have a read of this unofficial national dish of the Philippines, different souring agents and the identity of the dish in the national psyche.
The Science of Souring
What is the science behind souring? Cuisines across the world have found distinct purposes for sourness, from cutting through fat, cleansing the palette and preservation.