Filipino Brekkie for Dinner

Every Sunday (schedules allowing), we go to Bobby’s Mom’s for Sunday dinner (btw, if I were referring to my mother, it would have read, “Sunday Dinner at Mum’s”). Mom doesn’t cook that often, but when she does, it’s always amazing and not an evening to be missed. On the other hand, we are all fortunate that when she isn’t cooking, my brahder-inlaw, Rodnie is conjuring up something amazing as well.

Since being adopted into a Filipino household I’ve been enjoying so many delicious and new (to me) foods – like my unhealthy obsession with patis (fish sauce – and I do put it on everything!) and milkfish (pictured above). This past Sunday dinner, Mom made us all happy campers when she told us we were having Filipino breakfast for dinner! So many of my favorites all in one feast!

And boy, did she and Rodnie deliver! And I’m going to honest and admit it, it’s usually all about the longganisa for me (top left pictured above). It’s a sweet, juicy and garlicky little sausage that you will savor for the next few hours–if not the next day (seriously… it repeats on you, and a little ashamed to say it, it’s even enjoyable then. It’s kind of like, “eerrp-mmm… I mean, excuse me!”). Of course no longganisa-based meal would be complete without tomatoes with patis and garlic fried rice. New for me was a new meal accompaniment, salted eggs (bottom left pictured above), which you eat in tiny amounts to counter-balance some of the more fatty and rich flavors in dishes like (my other brand-new-favorite) tocino (bottom left pictured above). Tocino is a thinly sliced pork that is sweetened and cured then pan fried. Since it’s cured, it is a little like bacon, but sweeter. And delicious even cold the next day!

Something a little more intriguing to me was bitter melon and pork stir-fry. I really enjoy bitter melon. As it’s namesake would imply, it’s very bitter, but surprisingly hearty. Of course, pairing it with pork doesn’t hurt. I mean, who doesn’t love to eat pork? Well, other then vegetarians and vegans… and I guess pigs. Finally for dessert, bibingka. It’s a cake, basically made from rice flour and coconut milk, and from what I understand, other ingredients vary greatly. Ours was super moist and almost custard-like. At this point in the evening I was miserably-full, but if there is a promise of something sweet to finish a meal, I’m in!

As usual, such an amazing meal. And as always, I left with a full stomach and feeling fortunate to have such giving and wonderful people in my life. Even though I was stuffed and dangerously close to falling asleep on the car ride home, I was already looking forward to lunch the next day and my baon (more Tagalog that has become part of my vernacular. This one is probably my favorite… look it up!).

In almost every large city in the US you can find a Filipino restaurant. The prices are usually pretty cheap and totally worth hunting out. I highly recommend Yelping it. Adventure out and try it if it’s something you’ve never had before. You’ll be glad you did!

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