Today finally came the day when I could gather a flag from a completely new continent – so far FoodAndFlags has met some European and South American countries, but now it also has Asia in the repertoire! Currently I’m in Kassel, Germany, with one of my best friends, Iris. She happens to be “the best of South-Eastern-West” (as her Dad says), because she is half Filipino and half Dutch and was born and raised in Germany – so summing up, comes from a very multicultural background. Exactly because of this, she has been travelling a lot and also loves to do it, probably will visit many more countries in the future. I will try to join her so I can share as many flags with you guys as possible! Iris is very ambitious, likes sports, good movies, good series – we are watching so many together, you would not believe -, and she is really just super fun to be around. If you’re lucky you might meet her once, but for the meantime you can prepare the dish we made together today.
The Philippines, also known as “the country of the hundred islands” is very famous for its hospitality and love for foreigners. The Filipino love to cook, eat and party – sounds like the place to be! As I have seen today, they also don’t overcomplicate cooking. We prepared some afritada, which mainly contains very basic ingredients, except the banana sauce. You can get it either in The Philippines or some Asian markets. It’s very tricky though, because it does not have either the colour or the smell of banana, but supposedly contains 40% of it.
So, you start by putting on some water and rice to boil, using a pot or a rice cooker. We used the rice cooker, which I personally have never done before, but is a way easier method. Then you just chop chop chop everything, carrots, potatoes and meat into blocks, onion and garlic into tiny pieces. Next, you boil the potatoes and the carrots – first only put in the potatoes and after around 5 minutes the carrots, because that needs less time. Keep an eye on your rice! After your veggies are soft, you heat up a few drops of oil in a pan. Start by frying the garlic until golden brown, then add the onion and wait for the same tone. Add the meat, and keep stirring it until done. Cover the pan and wait as long as the liquids of onion, meat and oil evaporate. How is your rice doing? Good? All right. So, now you put your banana sauce and some water in the pan – you want it to have a dark red colour, the consistency depends on your preferences. At the end, you add the veggies and some pineapple with a bit of its juice. Boil it for a little while, then you are already done!
This meal is not only delicious but also very filling, nutritious and you can make a big portion of it ahead for a few days. We made way too much ourselves, so it is coming back with us to The Netherlands tomorrow.
So far this has been the most international flag. I would actually like to name it 30 countries, as I’m writing this post abroad at Iris’ place where you can find all these cool things from all over the world, let it be a matryoshka, shells, table, food or pictures. I also always enjoy seeing where someone grew up, so getting a taste from the Filipino cuisine just made it even nicer. Thank you for cooking, Iris!
The Filipino would say kain ka ha, meaning Eat more and enjoy!