your lo­cal

A primer on fancy food­speak (and se­cret in­gre­di­ents)

Scout - - CONTENTS - By NICCO SAN­TOS as told to MARA SAN­TIL­LAN MIANO Photography by PA­TRICK SE­GOVIA

Fried man­tou is a type of bread, in­fused with lard so it be­comes re­ally moist. Baby egg­plants are fully grown de­spite their size. I never used them, and I only started work­ing them be­cause they were in sea­son. They’re slightly more bit­ter than the regular ones. To make it more bal­anced, I added ponzu (which is any cit­rus, with soy sauce), and added yuzu (a rare and costly cit­rus from Ja­pan) to make it aro­matic, zesty, cit­rusy. I added tem­pura crumbs for tex­ture, and mascarpone cheese for sour and sweet rich­ness. Fun fact: The an­nual Span­ish chorizo out­put weighs more than 10,800 adult male African ele­phants, or more than 406 Boe­ing 747’s. I can’t tell you what’s in the sauce, but I’ll tell you it has egg. Men­taiko is pick­led salted cod roe, very ex­pen­sive. It has an umami qual­ity—a mix of salty and smoky fla­vors. I love its taste and wanted to repli­cate it us­ing the se­cret sauce that mim­ics men­taiko. A don­buri that is good for you. I first smoked the salmon but found it to be too salty, so now I use sashimi-grade Nor­we­gian salmon, cooked medium. With fish as tasty as salmon, you don’t want to over­cook it. Oboro is pick­led fish, fla­vored with sugar. Slighty sweet and pink. Ebiko is fish roll. It’s like sushi on steroids. The process is metic­u­lous, and tim­ing and tem­per­a­ture is cru­cial. I find the typ­i­cal white rice too heavy, so I re­placed it with or­ganic black rice sautéed with shi­itake to add meati­ness, tex­ture and fla­vor. Slow-cooking short ribs is quite popular be­cause it’s an easy way to turn cheap cuts into very ten­der, vel­vety meat. Chimichurri is an Ar­gen­tinian green sauce typ­i­cally served with meat, and is made with pars­ley, gar­lic, olive oil, vine­gar, oregano and spices.

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