This year I have tried to be more exploratory with Filipino Food. It helps to have a friend who knows your palette and can recommend flavors and combinations you would enjoy. With all the consuming I have been doing I haven’t actually learned to cook Filipino food. Lucky for me, I attended Kitchen Bootcamp by Masflex with THE Adobo Queen, Nancy Lumen and try my hand at cooking Filipino food. Nancy is a riot in the kitchen! She knows her stuff. Plus, she is fun and funny too! Walking into the Maya Kitchen I felt as if I was on a cooking show, pinch me. I was living the dream. Each student had their own station supplied with a heavy arsenal of tools and Masflex gear. I was especially taken by all the bright colors and the brass sauce pan (be careful, the handle gets hot). The encapsulated bottom premium stainless steel pots were almost too beautiful to use. I was able to bring home a stone series frying pan and chuckled while cooking because I had forgotten how a working non-stick pan cooks. Anyone else still using the same pots they got for their wedding a decade a go?
Our first recipe was Crispy Adobo Flakes. I have had fish flakes but never adobo flakes. While I enjoy much seafood I don’t love the overpowering flavor of fish flakes/floss so I was a little nervous. I am here to tell you, crispy adobo flakes are addictively good! Of course to get the right crisp you need to shred, season and then deep fry! It makes sense that is how you get it crispy but I had no idea until we actually began cooking. *You can bake or air fry for a healthier alternative. One breast made a whole plate of adobo flakes. Masarap! Use as a topping to add a crunch or just for snacking.
Crispy Chicken Adobo Flakes:
- 1 Chicken breast booked adobo style, 2 tbsp paprika, 1 C cooking oil, 1,4 C flour, 2 tbsp baking powder, S&P
- Flake/shred the breast, add seasonings (we also added more adobo seasoning) and flour.
- Heat oil until slightly bubbly. Add chicken and fry until crispy and brown.
Just like intense cooking shows there were twists thrown into every activity. Some had to sing during the activity, or have an ingredient already made, use one less utensil. I lucked out and got to have a sous chef!
Next dish was Blue Bim Bap. We used blue pea flower to dye the rice blue. It was spectacular! I don’t know why I don’t cook Bibimbap more often. It is relatively easy and super healthy with all the blanched vegetables. The trick is to have the right Korean red chili pepper paste.
My amazing tablemate Nikki Garcia of Nikkimbento creating an artwork with her Blue-bimbap. Look, so cute! The meal was so full of color and flavor.
Here’s to the start of my journey cooking Filipino food.