“What is patriotism but the love of the food one ate as a child?” - Lin Yutang
When we watched the Masterchef episode where a masterclass featured a dish by Alvin Quah (a previous series contestant), I was inspired to make this Filipino dish. This is one of many regular afternoon tea/snacks/ treat sold by street vendors, men or women , walking the neighbourhood streets and yelling their goods – it can be taho (silken tofu in caramel/toffee syrup and tapioca), balut (boiled day old duck eggs), puto (rice cakes), fish balls and so many more. Even to this day, men and women sell these stuff in neighbourhood streets. The truth is. If you’re in the Philippines, you don’t have to make this. Because you know, at about 3pm in the afternoon, somehow, someone, will be out there outside your gate and yelling some sort of street food name. And you don’t want to make this if you’re in the Philippines because buying from the local folks helps to sustain the community.
Ginataan translated means cooked in coconut milk or coconut cream. And the word halo-halo literally means a mixture of different food items - which is mixture of the bananas, sweet potato, purple yam and some strips of jack fruit. Panlasang Pinoy has a recipe and video of how to make this sweet dish.
|I love the contrasting colours - lady finger bananas, sweet potato, ube (purple yam) and langka (jack fruit)|
|Rice flour dumplings|
|Rice flour + water = rice flour dumplings|
Here in OZ, when mum and dad miss Filipino food, we have to make it. And we make it without the recipes. Without knowing the quantities or measurement or even the methods and processes. We make it based on memory. Of how it tastes, how it smelled, what ingredients were used, and how it looked as we remember it. My daughter Sofia once asked me why do I make all these Filipino dishes mostly new to her eyes and palate. And I just have to say this. I make these so that you will know what Filipino food is like, so that you will learn and appreciate it, and hopefully keep it in your hearts forever. For even though you’re growing up Australian, you have the Filipino culture inside of you. And that includes love for food.
To make this dish, we used
4 cans 270ml coconut milk
2 sweet potato, cubed
3 pcs lady finger banans, sliced
1 large purple yam, cubed (available from Asian grocers as frozen)
1 can jackfruit slices, cut into thin strips (available from Asian grocers)
1 and 1/2 cups sugar (add more to suit your preference)
rice flour dumplings/balls (1:2 ratio of flour and water mixed together then shaped into balls)
Using a large sauce pan or pot, bring the coconut milk to a boil. Add the sugar and stir. Add the rice flour dumplings/balls and simmer until they float to the surface. Add the sweet potato then simmer for another 10 minutes. Add the bananas and jackfruit. Serve warm.