Posts Tagged ‘Raquel Bagnol photos’

Pastil: budget meal on a banana leaf

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PASTIL was one of the first food items that I looked for when I finally got back to Davao City last month, after over six years of being away. Pastil is one of the most popular delicacies in Maguindanao and Cotabato, particularly at the public market area and at small roadside restaurants.

It is not that common in Davao City but I remembered a couple of food stalls sell it near Ecoland Bus terminal so off I went scouting for pastil. I found it at a very unlikely place—a bakery. It was on a plastic tray and there were only two pieces left. I bought one for P15 and off I went looking for my favorite partner for the pastil which is hard-boiled egg and soy sauce or better yet bagoong with a piece of sili.

Pastil is steamed rice wrapped in banana leaf and topped with shredded chicken, and one is enough for a regular meal. Maguindanaons serve pastil at any time of the day either as regular meal or snacks, so it is always available the whole day through.pastil2

Sometimes they use shredded fish but I like shredded chicken better, and you can make it extra special by adding slices of hard boiled eggs.

The banana leaf is wilted over hot embers to make it soft and pliant and then folded and sealed on both ends. It resembles suman but only it’s a bigger and flatter version.

It is considered as a budget combo meal especially by the Maguinadaons. If you travel from Davao to Cotabato City, this becomes commonly available in the towns of Matalam, Kabacan, Pikit, Midsayap, Pigcawayan and in Cotabato City.

If you are in non-Muslim areas, try looking for Halal restaurants and chances are pastil is available.

Pastil is best eaten with your hands but I use a spoon and fork. Pastil reminds me of my childhood days when our lunches were packed in banana leaves. It smells so nice, unlike the commercial smell that comes with the Tupperware and disposable lunchboxes people are using nowadays. I’m on my way to look for banana leaves. I’ve already shredded some chicken for a homemade pastil. Want to have some?

Chicken feet delights

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I grew up thinking that everybody in the world eats chicken feet, or I guess I just haven’t met anyone who shudders in disgust looking at a plate of steamed or chicken feet adobo, that is until I came to Saipan six years ago. A new American friend invited me for lunch and we went to this hole-in-the-wall Chinese restaurant in Garapan. I saw chicken feet in the menu and decided to order it. My companion looked at me as in “seriously?” like he was thinking I was kidding. I was not.

Then he asked how anyone could eat those chicken feet when you don’t know where those feet had been trampling about earlier before they were butchered. I saw he was serious so I ordered chicken wings instead. I learned that not everyone eats chicken feet and while majority of the people in China, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, South Africa, Peru, Mexico, Philippines, Middle East and Vietnam consider it a delicacy, a huge chunk of the world’s population won’t even consider taking a bite of it.

Chicken feet BBQ is very popular in the Philippines. It is usually sold in the streets when it gets dark, and is a very popular hit with kids and adults. I like chicken feet cooked adobo style—marinated in soy sauce, vinegar, onions and garlic, simmer until the feet are tender and all the liquid is drained then pour in a bit of oil to fry the chicken feet.

Chicken feet is served in several Chinese restaurants on Saipan like Guangzhou Restaurant in Garapan, (just be sure to tell the wait staff not to make it too soft and tender or else it will feel like you’re sucking on gelatinous claws (lol), Oriental Dumpling on Middle Road and other Chinese restaurants.

As soon as you get past the images of nails and claws and visions of where those feet had been before its date with the knife, you might even learn to like it.

 

 

 

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