Thursday, November 11, 2004

Sisterly Yours

My older sister and I used to race each other to the table to get to the milkfish bellies (whether in sinigang-tamarind soup, or stuffed grilled bangus). When she came home late from her law school study sessions she wailed because I got to the bellies first. We have a similar predilection for garlic-vinegar dips though I've since gone over to the superspicy side.
This sauteed bean sprouts dish was one of our childhood favorites. It can also be used as a lumpia (spring roll) filling. When she came to visit with her 3 kids (wow we had 6 in the house last Thanksgiving!) I made her my version of togue guisado (to make up for the bangus-belly-hogging days. I've matured?). She called it "pork with bean sprouts"...I even made her a dip.

Sprinkle about 3 cups of bean sprouts in 2 tsps. of sea or kosher salt, set in a colander over a bowl and let sit for at least 30 minutes. This makes the togue exude its excess water and crisps it up for stir frying. Rinse and drain thoroughly.
Chop up one slab of pork belly or other fatty piece of pork. Set in wok with enough water to cover and 1/2 tsp of salt; bring to a boil. Simmer until pork is tender and water has evaporated.
Add 1 tbsp. of oil and brown the pork. Add 2 cloves of garlic, finely minced. Add chopped up shallot or onion, finely chopped shrimp. Cook until onions are translucent. Splash water and soy, or chicken broth, about 1/4 cup total. Add drained bean sprouts and 2 julienned scallion stalks, green and white parts.Stir fry quickly about 3 minutes. Add cubes of firm tofu (brown first if you like).
Serve with coconut vinegar-cracked peppercorns or bird chili-crushed garlic dip.

#2 son has taken a liking to "tofu cheese" and takes all the cubes...