Sunday, April 29, 2012

Pinoy Lunch for Vhie

Vhie is a very good friend of mine, and even though we don't see each other often, we always connect... People will probably not think that we're actually close. :-) It all started during our New Managers School a few years ago, which was held in an old hotel at Subic Bay.  Each of us had our own room, which uhmmm had very spooky-looking paintings on the wall.  We got to talk during lunch break and realized we both have pretty vivid, wild imagination... so we decided to become roommates and we instantly bonded.  She's quite spunky and fearless (ok, except for the creepy paintings hehehe) and gives me good advice about career and family.
We're lucky to be assigned in the US at the same time, but she's already going home to Manila three days from now!  So finally, we have lunch... I invited her and her 9-year-old daughter Ianna to our place.  Since I've been having American food in the last few days, I decided to whip up some Pinoy favorites...

Pancit Habhab, Sweet & Sour Fish, Lumpiang Shanghai, and Jasmine Rice

Pancit Habhab (a.k.a. "Pancit Lucban") is similar to Pancit Canton, but the noodles are thinner and called Lucban Miki.  It is also usually served in banana leaves, eaten using your bare hands, and drizzled with vinegar, instead of calamansi.  I learned to do this recently and has become my favorite pancit.  The trick? Use boiled pork belly stock and make lechon kawali for toppings.  It's actually good with rice.  I know right? Carbs on carbs!

Sweet & Sour Fish (a.k.a. Escabeche) is usually made with Lapu-Lapu, but it's not available here.  Instead, I bought Ocean Perch, which has a similar look and texture and it worked out just fine - except that the head was so fragile (definitely not pretty after frying hahaha).  For the sauce, this is a no-fuss shortcut version, but I think it tastes much better than making it from scratch (thanks to my Mom's ingenuity) - I used bottled Sweet Chili Sauce (Thai or Pinoy like Jufran) and lemon juice, and poured over sautéed bell peppers and onions.

As for my Lumpia, I didn't bother highlighting because it still needs polishing - i.e. the art of wrapping!  The filling is good (actually hubby's favorite and the only dish Ianna ate), but presentation needs work.  Will attempt again soon.

This is Ianna and Vhie... and me.  See you again soon mare.


  1. sarap talaga pagkain pinoy:) It was a nice gesture what you did. Inviting a friend and her daughter for lunch. Good luck to both of you!

  2. Thanks Joy... yup, walang tatalo sa pinoy food heehee!