Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Filipino meets Korean meets Chinese meets Yummy.

Magandang hapon!!! Hey there friends and enemies keeping an eye on me. I hope your day is going well unless I hate you in which case I hope you are currently being force fed balut (vegans hide your eyes: Balut is Filipino fertilized chicken eggs with gooey chicken fetuses inside). Yum! I sure hope you brought your appetite! Anyways, enough talk of eating babies. Let talk about other super delicious things. 

I love Filipino food. Even though we have a pretty decent size Filipino community here in Seattle, there aren't very many restaurants to snack on the food. There are a few places out in the sticks but I don't want to brave the suburbs. Every time I leave the city (unless I'm going out into the wilderness to forage or soak up nature or bury the bodies) I am bluntly reminded: "Don't leave the city. It's scary out there. They'll eat your brains out there." There is one little joint in the market (called Pike Place Market if you don't live here) in the back of a cheapy "Oriental" dollar store market which consists of around ten beat up stools and a greasy, steamy window containing hot pans of beautiful Filipino delicacies. It's called Oriental Mart (or Ate Lei’s place depending on who you talk to). Grab some pancit (Filipino noodles) or chili beef and chat with the hilarious owner. There are different specials all the time depending on what Leila (the owner) felt like cooking. Everything I've ever had there was delicious and made with love and care.

However, in the summer months I tend to stay away from the market. I can't deal with the hordes of khaki cargo shorts and socks and flip flops that stagger around the cobblestones like lost, blind, sun-burned lobster-pig hybrids doped up on a volatile mix of cheese samples and big gulp sized frappuccino shakes. "OMG is that the very first Starbucks ever? Let's block traffic and take 17,000 pictures. We only have 90 billion Starbucks on our block back home so this is a real treat!" Ugh, I'd rather eat broken glass infected with ebola than deal with that shit show. Anyways, sorry for that outburst. In the winter months when the market becomes a little more local and quiet I love going there and filling my belly with some chicken adobo and pancit bihon. Last time I went there Leila smiled affectionately and said "My niece is one of you, referring to the fact that I'm a transgender woman." She then pulled out a picture of a pretty Filipino girl. "See, she's pretty like you." she said lovingly. I smiled and nodded and then she said "Eat the chili beef. I just made it."  I always feel welcome when I stop by. Slightly awkward, but totally welcome.

Anyways, this summer I made a sort of Filipino/Korean version of Pancit Canton to stave of my hunger for Filipino chow. It came out pretty damn damn delicious. I think Leila would have even liked it. 

Pancit Canton with Kim Chi and Beef

one package of pancit flour canton sticks/noodles (12oz)
1/4 lb bacon, chopped
1 lb. ground beef or thinly sliced top round
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 white onion, diced
1 cup kim chi, thinly sliced
1 red Korean chili (or what ever chilies you like), thinly sliced
2 cups beef broth
2 tbsp oyster sauce
1/2 tbsp fish sauce
4 tbsp soy sauce
kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper tt

In a large saute pan or wok over medium high heat add the bacon and cook until rendered (4-5 minutes). With a strainer remove the bacon and set aside. Leave the bacon fat in the pan. Add the onion, garlic and chili and saute until translucent (3-4 minutes). Push the vegetables to the side and add the beef. Cook until browned and mix with the veggies. Add the beef broth, soy sauce, oyster sauce, and fish sauce and simmer for 3 minutes. Add the noodles and simmer until noodles are cooked through (about 4-5 minutes). Toss in the bacon and kim chi and serve. Garnish with fresh basil if you like. Masarap!!! xoxo