As we celebrate today the valiant efforts of our heroes, we walk down memory lane – the one lined with food – to talk about their favorite dishes which you can create at home or order from restaurants.
According to historians, Jose Rizal loved pancit, tinola, and monggo. A few was written about his fondness for champorado as well. But his “most favorite”, Chef Jessie Sincioco (based on her research) earlier said was bistek, which he would eat while writing Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo.
Bistek Tagalog is made with beef slices, soy sauce, onion, garlic, and lemon or calamansi.
The beef slices are marinated in soy sauce with lemon and pepper for at least an hour, onions are pan fried until soft then set aside to fry the beef (drained) for a minute per side, then removed from the pan. In the same pan, garlic and raw onions are sautéed, marinade with water is poured, and when the liquid boils, beef slices are added, dish is simmered, seasoned with salt and pepper, and topped with cooked onions.
No time for that? Goodah!!! offers Pinoy Bistek and Lugaw Bistek. Recovery Food also has Bistek Tagalog in its rice toppings menu.
Melchora Aquino, or Tandang Sora, was said to favor classic Filipino soup tinolang manok, which she served to wounded soldiers under her care during the Philippine Revolution. Her recipe used the tastier, albeit tougher, native chicken and dried chicken blood.
Today’s tinola is usually made with chicken, green papaya or sayote, sili leaves or malunggay, onion, garlic, and ginger. To make the dish, sauté garlic, onion, ginger, then add the chicken and cook until it turns light brown. Pour rice washing and fish sauce, simmer, then add green papaya or sayote. Cook for a few more minutes, then add the leaves and season with pepper and salt (if needed).
Like to eat but not to cook? Barrio Fiesta in Greenhills and Henry’s Kitchen in Makati both serve and deliver Tinolang Manok.
The Father of Philippine Revolution, Andres Bonifacio’s favorite dish was lechon manok sa saha ng saging. The chicken was barbecued while wrapped in the outer layer of banana stalks (saha), which was said was done to prevent the smoke from coming out and alerting the guardia civil.
To recreate Bonifacio’s favorite food, use one whole chicken, ginger juice, lemongrass, salt, and saha. Rub the chicken with salt and ginger juice, then stuff it with lemongrass before wrapping it in saha. Broil over hot coals until the wrap has wilted and the chicken is cooked.
While not wrapped in saha, several restaurants offer lechon manok, most popularly, Baliwag Grill and Restaurant and Andok’s.
Ilocano hero Gabriela Silang was said to favor pinakbet (mixed vegetables in fish sauce) with bagnet (deep fried pork belly), Marcelo del Pilar liked pochero (beef or pork stew with tomatoes and saba bananas), and Apolinario Mabini’s favorite was bulanglang (mixed vegetables).