Saturday, June 8, 2013

lagat na puso

Lagat na puso is the Capampangan sautéed banana heart.

To prepare, one puso ng saging (banana heart) is trimmed of hard sheaths (outer layer). The trimmed banana heart is sliced crosswise into thin strips and sprinkled with two tablespoons of salt, mixed then set aside for about 10 minutes. 

A serving of Aling Lucing's lagat na puso in Robinson Mall in the City of San Fernando, PampangaThe cooking procedure written here is mine.
Afterwards, the salted sliced banana heart is squeezed to extract the sap and then rinsed in tap water and drained in strainer. In a pre-heated pan (or wok), 50 to 100 grams of thinly sliced pork is stir-fried till brown, then removed from pan and set aside. 

In the same pan, minced one clove of garlic and minced one small-sized red onion are sautéed, then added with 50 to 100 grams of shelled and deveined shrimps. Stirred till shrimps turn pink, and then added with the browned pork and stirred again to mix. 

A tablespoon of vinegar is added and followed with ¼ cup of chicken broth (or half chicken cube dissolved in ¼ cup water) and then brought to boil. 

When boiling starts, the sliced banana heart is added, stirred briefly to mix, and then simmered for about 5 minutes. 

Then seasoned with little amount of salt and black pepper to taste

Sunday, February 24, 2013

rellenong ampalaya (stuffed bitter gourd)


· 3 pieces regular size ampalaya (about 10inches long, & straight)

for the fillings: 
·         1 liter water (mixed with 1 teaspoon salt)

·         1 tablespoon butter
·         1 tablespoon cooking oil
·         4 cloves garlic (Taiwan, minced)
·         1 red onion (regular size, cut into small cubes)
·         ¼  kilo ground or minced lean pork
·         2 pieces bell pepper (minced)
·         30 pieces raisins
·         1 cup grated carrots
·         1 teaspoon refined/iodized salt
·         ½ teaspoon pounded peppercorn (black pepper
·         1 teaspoon brown sugar

for the batter: 

·         2 medium-sized chicken eggs (beaten lightly)
·         4 tablespoon (heaped) all-purpose flour
·         ¼ teaspoon refined/iodized salt
·         3 tablespoon water

for frying:

·         1 cup cooking oil

for the dipping sauce:

·         banana catsup or sweet chili sauce

cooking utensils needed:

·         mixing bow
·         teaspoon
·         fork
·         medium with flat-bottom frying pan
·         sharp knife

cooking procedure:

Wash clean the ampalaya and cut into halves. Remove the core/pith of ampalaya. Use the handle of teaspoon to reach the end side. 

Boil the ampalaya in water with little salt till half-cooked (do not overcook to keep it from becoming limp). Remove from boiling water, let cool, and set aside.


Heat the pan high, then sauté the garlic and onions in butter and cooking oil till garlic is lightly browned and the onion is translucent. Add the ground pork, and stir till the meat is no longer pink. 

Add the bell pepper and raisins, followed with the grated carrots, and lower the heat/flame to medium. Stir till carrot is mixed well with other ingredients. Sprinkle with salt, peppercorn, and sugar. Stir for a while, just enough to mix well, then remove pan from the stove, let cool, and set aside.

When cool, fill the ampalaya with the cooked fillings. Use the handle of teaspoon to push in the stuff. Press the filling in to thoroughly fill the cavity.

Prepare the batter. Beat the chicken eggs, add the water and salt, and then gradually add the flour. Mix well to become batter.

Take the filled ampalayas and roll them in the batter to coat.

 Heat the pan with cooking oil and fry the batter-coated filled ampalayas till the batter hardens. 

  Turn over to cook the other side, pour more batter on the ampalaya to thicken the coating. 

Cooking is done when the coating is crisp and brown.

To serve, slice the stuffed ampalaya and pour sweet chili sauce  or tamis-anghang (sweet-spicy hot) catsup on top, or serve the dip on the side.


You may add more ingredients in the fillings to make it more flavorful and special, such as shelled small shrimps, shredded chicken meat (previously fried or cooked adobo-style), minced chives, chopped spring onions, minced wantsuy, minced pickled cucumber,  etc.

If there are more fillings left, you can make a burger patty or meat balls from it. Sprinkle flour, salt and black pepper on it then mix and mold into patties or meat balls and pan fry to cook.

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Author of Philippine Food, Cooking, and Dining Dictionary. A lexicographer since the age of 14.  Filipino Linguist. Blogger with 11 blog sites. Researcher of food culture, pop culture, places, structures, transportations, churches and whatever interest him about the Philippines. Visual artist. Photographer. Traveler who had been to all four corners of the Philippine archipelago, and still setting more footprints. 

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