LP9: Pinoy-Style Chicken Liver Steak

Awful offal, I assume, includes heart, liver, lungs, animal’s entrails, plus tails, feet, and heads. This practice or custom of preparing offal dishes may (or may not) be a reflection of a culture’s economy and resourcefulness.

When we were young, Dad maintained a poultry farm in our backyard and distributed dressed chickens to wholesalers and neighbors. So just imagine offal overload. Our meals were full of chicken parts – not only the prime and choice parts. Think of adobong paa ng manok, chicharong isaw ng manok, chicharong balat at taba ng manok, dinuguan using chicken blood. (Chicken feet cooked in vinegar, salt, garlic, pepper and soy sauce, chicken chitlin/skin/fat cracklings, chicken blood stew.) The best would be adobong atay at balunbalunan – the most widely eaten lamang loob. A lot of people say that in chicken nothing is wasted. But of course, not everybody likes what it offers. I for one wouldn’t dare touch a chicken head. I’ve tried it and I don’t wanna ever look back though I would lovingly go to the nearest dim sum restaurant for chicken feet.

So it was like our meals were full of chicken feet than we ever wanted – adobong manok with adidas (dish cooked in vinegar, salt, garlic, pepper and soy sauce), tinolang manok with adidas (ginger stew), fried whole chicken complete with adidas. You name it we had it that for years I couldn’t bring myself to eat chicken until I was about 16. The chicken feet? Till the time I discovered dim sum in my early 20s.

Source: My Childhood Food Memories

I’m not one of those who stay away from offal dishes though I seldom cook such as I tend to be the only one who enjoys ‘em. Lasang Pinoy 9, hosted by Cia over at Pabulum, is all about lamang loob or innards and again I was tempted to buy the intimidating chitlins (check out my adobong isaw for LP6) but decided to cook the less controversial chicken liver instead. Chicken liver steak – mala bistek. (Read: Too busy with work I have no time to go to a decent supermarket to buy ingredients.)

Bistek is a Filipino-style beef steak typically made with strips of sirloin beef cooked in soy sauce, calamansi juice and onion rings. Sometimes we substitute beef with pork while using liver makes a good appetizer. Here’s how I did mine as I remember it the way my sister cooked it the last time she visited me here in Beijing.

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LP6: Adobong Isaw

My chosen field is said to be a man’s world. Back in college where one interacts with more males and t-squares than females, important and close friendships between opposite sexes is as natural as breathing. And after each semester of hard work and sleepless nights, breaks and summer vacations were celebrated with parties full of booze. (Parents, no need to worry. As long as you know who your kids’ friends are there is no reason to panic.)

The 1st time we had a drinking spree at home was my 19th birthday and that day marked the beginning of a series of inuman either with friends and relatives. My parents were always there enjoying every bit – mom drinking liters of cola while dad with just half a bottle of beer that’s consumable for the whole night.Social drinking eventually played a huge part in my kind of work for a lot of reasons. Dealing with colleagues, clients, consultants, suppliers, contractors, even laborers. Also like Ting said, drinking is a way of unwinding. It’s a person’s way of de-stressing from a hard day’s knock although now it’s been quite a while since I went into such a pinoy-style gathering and my tolerance to alcohol has diminished considerably.

Pulutan is a kind of food that is served as accompaniment to a drink. It comes in different kinds like meat, fish, nuts, chips. It’s prepared in different ways… fried, steamed. Basically, it is anything that makes drinking enjoyable.

Too bad I forgot what Dad & Mom normally prepared for pulutan. My guess, menudo or inihaw na tilapia (broiled tilapia over live charcoal). With my friends, I do remember that isaw has always been a favorite. It could be IUD (chicken intestines) from a street vendor (IUD photo is courtesy of GUTS. GRIT. GUMPTION.) or crispy chitterlings as prepared by my friend’s mom. Here in Beijing we occasionally go to this English bar with Pinoy musicians, an equally Pinoy chef, and among our favorites are sisig (a sizzling dish of spicy chopped pork head & liver) and chicharong baboy (pork rinds).

However, when it comes to pulutan it’s the other way around over here as it is alcohol that accompanies food. The Chinese traditionally drink while eating so you can imagine the scenario as it’s considered improper to say no to the host especially if he’s our Client. Gan Bei! ( Pronounced ‘gam bay’, meaning ‘dry cup’) You are expected to empty the glass. The good thing is that drinking with food decreases the rate of alcohol absorption and may also reduce the amount consumed.

For LP6, here is the recipe of our carinderia adobong isaw ng baboy (stewed chitterlings, chit’lins or pork intestines, whatever) as I remember it from my Dad. It’s not standard turo turo (eatery) food but a delicacy especially popular with the common masses served as pulutan. Oh was I glad to find that the chitlins being sold here in supermarkets are really clean.

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