What is a special occasion without one special dish? Here’s one delicious celebration meal staple that’s sure to delight your taste buds but won’t leave you guilty after.
1 banana blossom bud, blanched
4 garlic cloves, peeled, crushed, and minced
1 yellow onion, peeled and chopped
2 eggplants, sliced
2tbsp mushroom seasoning dissolved in 1/2 cup water
2-3 tablespoons achuete or annato powder, fully dissolved in 2 cups water
1 cup ground toasted peanuts or peanut butter
½ cup ground toasted black rice mixed in 1 cup water (make sure there are no lumps in the mixture)
2 tbsp coconut sugar
1 small bunch of sitaw cut to 2-inch slices, ends removed
6 pieces dried snow fungus or tenga ng daga, soaked in water
1 cup tofu skin, boiled and sliced
1 bundle bokchoy, washed and bottom sliced off
1. Peel outer layers of banana blossom until you reach the pale pink, tender bud. Have a large bowl of salt water nearby. Oil your knife and cutting board to prevent sap from sticking. Cut off stem and slice bud in half lengthwise. Cut in chunks and immediately submerge the banana blossom in salt water. Soak for at least 10 minutes. Discard water and rinse thoroughly.
2. In a large pot, dry saute the onions, when the onions started to stick to the pan and become translucent deglaze by adding a bit of water, add the garlic and continue sauteing until fragrant. Add the mushrooms and tofu skin and cook for around 1 minute.
3. Add banana blossom, eggplant, water, vegetable broth, and achuete mixture. Mix and simmer until eggplant and banana blossom are tender.Mix in ground peanuts, coconut sugar and rice mixture. Simmer for 10 minutes. If sauce gets too thick, add more water one cup at a time until consistency is creamy.
4. Adjust seasoning by adding more vegetable broth or ground peanuts to taste.
5. Add long beans and bok choy. Put to a boil and turn off heat.
6. Serve hot preferably with unpolished rice or vegan bagoong
*On toasting and grinding the peanuts and rice, toast rice and peanuts on a pan over medium heat. Constantly stir for about 15 minutes or until rice and peanuts have turned fully light brown. Pulverize using a food processor or high speed blender.
You could use peanut butter instead of toasted peanuts. Just make sure the peanut butter is mainly peanuts and water.
Recipe shared by Chef Keith Yabres of PlantLab MNL
And of course, Kare-Kare won’t be any good without bagoong.
1 cup shiitake mushrooms
1 head of garlic, chopped
200 g tausi or salted black beans (reserve the brine)
6 roasted nori sheets
2 siling labuyo or chilli flakes
1/4 cup coconut sugar
2 tablespoons achuete oil (optional) or you may use atsuete powder
1. In a food processor, blitz the mushrooms, tausi and nori sheets until everything is well incorporated and resembles a fine mince.
2. In a heavy-bottomed pan, heat the achuete oil and fry the garlic until golden. Add the chilies.
3. Add the mushroom mixture and saute for more or less 5 minutes. Add the tausi brine.
4. Add coconut sugar, mix and season to taste.