🍜 WEEK 10: CHINESE
Moving on from the Spanish influences from last week’s lesson, to a region slightly closer on a map to the Philippines - Pancit Palabok is a noodle dish first brought to Manila by Chinese merchants. But just like all Filipino dishes, the locals have made it their own with bold flavours, loads of protein and some really special ingredients. Unlike the Spanish influence which spread throughout the Philippines amongst the elite, the ingredients of the Chinese dishes were instead much more affordable and accessible to the average Filipino and so the influence entered into wider society ground level up.
📺 Watch and Learn - Rassa Stories
Gene takes you deeper into two of the biggest cultural influences on the Philippines - Chinese and Spanish. The Spanish influence came from the elite and trickled down leaving behind a wave of bakeries specialising in rich pastries. The Chinese influence was bottom-up coming from the traders who immigrated over and Gene shows you some of the dishes which you can find today in the heart of the oldest Chinatown in the world in Manila.
Explore Binondo - the oldest Chinatown in the world
Chef Gene takes you around Binondo in Manila which is recognised as the oldest Chinatown in the world. Explore the wide range of dishes which over time have adapted to Filipino tastes.
Visit a classic Filipino panaderia
Gene gives you a peek inside his family's traditional Spanish-era bakery - a lasting influence of the Spanish colonial period.
📗 Lessons For The Week
Recipe Development - Pancit Palabok
Rex takes you through the layers that go into this classic noodle dish, heavily inspired by the waves of Chinese immigration that came through the Philippines. Noodle dishes are prevalent across the country, but Pancit Palabok is unique in the way it’s served (with the flavourings served on top rather than stirred through) and the addition of a shrimp infused sauce.
Ingredients Introduction - Pancit Palabok
This dish has a long list of toppings - this is a big part of Filipino food culture where the meal preparation doesn’t finish in the kitchen but instead at the table and at the hands of the person who is going to eat what the cook has made.
Get Cooking - Pancit Palabok
The stock of this noodle dish holds a lot of the flavour before you then finish off with a wide range of textures, flavours and colours for your toppings. The islands of the Philippines aren't short on delicious seafood but have a look at what's local to you and have fun experimenting!
Share with the community
If you have any questions, around what noodles to use, cooking seafood or perhaps how to make a vegetarian alternative, ask away in the community forum and share with the rest of your cohort your creations and challenges.
💭 Creative Inspiration
Exploring Pancit Variations
Pancit dishes take on many regional forms throughout the Philippines, have a watch as Chef Gene takes you through a few of them giving you inspiration for how you can make this dish your own.
Influenced by Chinese dim sum culture Siopao has become a snack favourite in the Philippines. They have become indigenised and are typically filled with the flavours Filipinos like to eat - from Spanish sausage to mushrooms.
📖 Further Reading
Have a read of how you can train yourself to think like a chef when putting your own dishes together from how to find those moments of inspiration to getting the ideas down on paper.