Wednesday, October 20, 2010

ISLA KULINARYA: The Ilocos Region's Native Cuisines

Featured Region: Region I-- The Ilocos Region
Featured Recipe: Pinapaitan or Papaitan  (Mixed Cow's Innards Soup)

 In the last issue, Isla Kulinarya featured a delectable dish from Ilocos Sur called Dinakdakan --- grilled pigs head and face marinated in pigs brains. We have also briefly shared with you some interesting information about  the province such as  its geography, climate, culture, and economy.

This week, we highlight another province from this region which is La Union  and we 'll share with you another exotic dish called Papaitan or Pinapaitan.
The province of La Union, which is 6 hours north of Manila, is bordered by Ilocos Sur in the north, Benguet to the east, Pangasinan in the south and the South China Sea in the West. It traces its origin back in 1854 when a Royal Decree was issued by Queen Isabella of Spain on April 18, 1854, creating this province.The name La Union was derived from the union of various towns from the different provinces such as the 9 towns of Pangasinan, 3 towns of Ilocos Sur and the villages of  Eastern Pais del Igorotes that stand on both sides of the western foothills of the Cordilleras. La Union was already a bustling and important trading port, especially for gold, dominated by Chinese and Japanese merchants, long before the Spaniards came in 1572.

The province maintains itself through agriculture, manufacturing, and service industries. They produce products such as soft brooms, rice wines, dried fishes, and baskets. Visitors and natives  of La Union expect the climate to be relatively dry from November to April and wet from October to May.
The province of La Union, is also known as the “Surfing Capital of the North”. It made a big splash in the local and international surfing community at it is now one of the favored surfing sites in the Philippines after Siargao in Mindanao. Surfers will concur that La Union beaches have decent surf breaks. On good days waves can reach up to 8 ft to 10 ft. San Juan, Tuboc, Bacnotan, and Darigayos are popular surf destinations in the province. Though the surf is inconsistent, on a good day, waves can be  totally awesome!

Other than surfing, La Union also prides itself with  Botanical Gardens found in San Fernando City. These Botanical gardens showcase different pavilions in a sprawling ten-hectare facility ---a Fernery, Palmery, Fragrance Garden, Sunken Garden, Evergreen Garden, Arid Paradise, and a Shade Garden – with flora and fauna that are indigenous only to the Philippines. Truly, La Union is a haven of paradise for the adventure-seeking and nature loving individuals.
Indeed , the Botanical Gardens and the beaches that boast of excellent world-class surf breaks offer a welcome respite from the humid and sometimes searing hot weather of the province.

Now for our featured dish, we bring you Pinapaitan or papaitan , which is an authentic Ilocano recipe.
Pinapaitan or Papaitan  is said to be a product of the Ilocano’s resourcefulness, which traces its history back in 1800s when the Spanish friars at that time would get the best parts of the meat and the Filipinos would be given the left-over cuts. Being resourceful people that they are, Ilocanos are well-known for maximizing possible food sources for their cuisine, including,  believe it or not, innards. Papaitan derives its name from "pait" meaning bitter and is made with either beef or goat and consists of internal organs such as liver, small intestine, tripe and lungs, plus papait  or intestinal juice or apro or bile. Beef or goat innards are boiled , then seasoned with bile, fish sauce and other condiments.

Here for the enjoyment of Filipino Americans is an exotic dish called,Pinapaitan or Papaitan brought to you by Island Pacific’s Isla Kulinarya.
Papaitan or Mixed Cow's Innards Soup
PAPAITAN CARNE (Baboy/Baka/Kambing)

Yield: 8-12
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 hour 43 minutes


2 pt Water
1 pc Ginger, 1/2” chopped, ½” sliced
2 pcs Onion, 1 quartered, 1 chopped
4 cloves Garlic, 2 chopped, 2 sliced
2 pcs Bay leaves
1 tbsp Peppercorns, black
1 tsp Thyme (dried)
1 tsp Tarragon (dried)
1 lb Tripe
1 lb Intestine
1 lb Pig’s cheek and snout
1 lb Pig’s liver
1 lb Goat’s meat (kambing)
2 tbsp Cooking oil
1 cup Water
½ pkt Sinigang Mix (Sampaloc)
1 tsp Fish Sauce (Patis)
1 tsp Shrimp Base (Sysco)
1 tsp Chicken Base (Sysco)
2 pcs Bitter gourd (ampalaya), large, chopped
3 pcs Hot pepper (Siling labuyo)


 Return to a low boil for 20 minutes
Add all the meats. Bring back to a boil, and simmer for 30 minutes to tenderize.
In a colander, pour all the contents of the pot to strain and drain.
 Rinse thoroughly with warm faucet water. Slice all the meats to bite sizes. Put aside.
While timing the grilling procedure, place bitter gourd in a blender and puree (you can also use a stick blender). Strain juice.
Grill meats until golden brown
In a wok, pour oil. When heated, sauté sliced ginger, sliced onion and sliced garlic.
Saute until onion is translucent and the garlic lightly browned.
In the wok, sauté all the meats for 10 minutes. Add water, sinigang mix, fish sauce, shrimp base and chicken base. Cook for another 10 minutes until sauce is reduced.
Add hot pepper and the juice of the bitter gourd (ampalaya juice).
Saute for 3 minutes more.
Stir to get bitter result.
In a large stock pot, pour water. Bring to a boil. Add ginger (chopped), onion, garlic (chopped), bay leaves, peppercorns, thyme, and tarragon.

Catch us again next week as we feature another Ilocano recipe, you'll surely love. Don't miss it! Mangan tayon!

Isla Kulinarya lets you explore the islands, taste the food, relive the memories -- all made possible by Island Pacific Supermarket. Go and visit an Island Pacifc near you with branches in Southern California located at Cerritos, Canoga Park, North and South Vermont in Los Angeles, Panorama City and West Covina;  Union City and Vallejo in Northern California.Check out our website at Stay connected with us-- find us on Facebook @island pacific market, follow us on Twitter @islandpacificUS and  Blogger @island pacific market. For your comments, suggestions and request for recipes that you want us to feature, please email Presyong Sulit... sa Island Pacific. 

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