Kulinarya Cooking Club (KCC). [Oh, I love that!]
The hosts of this power pack months’ challenge compose of Oggi of I Can Do That!, Day of Chef by Day, Ray of Wok with Ray and yours truly, Boyet of Reel and Grill. Collectively, we have chosen the theme – colors yellow, red white and blue taken all together in honor and consideration of the Philippines’ celebration of the significant Ninoy Aquino Day on 21st August 2011 and National Heroes Day last 29th August 2011. Although a little late, it has good intensions so therefore it is permissible. :)
While complying with the colors yellow, red and white is quite easy with the abundance of food ingredients which come naturally in such hues, the requirement for a shade of blue provided the difficulties, restrictions and depth to the challenge. While it intends to squeeze the possibilities, it added excitement and necessitated the dispatch of deeper imagination, creativity and ingenuity on the part of the participating KCC members.
For my humble entry, I decided to dwell on the aspect of patriotism by trying [hard :)] to prepare an authentic Filipino dish, with some tweaking of course, which will somehow project the true image of the Philippine flag which incidentally also have the color yellow reminiscent of Ninoy Aquino. Your impression of the photos located far above and immediately below this will be the testament if I was able to realize my plan. :-)
“ensaladang labanos” is an easy salad dish made from thinly sliced white radish, chopped tomatoes, cucumber and onions and seasoned with sea salt or fish sauce or “patis” or like in the case of my first version, with “alamang” or salted shrimp krill. Usually eaten as a side dish in a main meal, the crunchy salad dish goes very well with fried or grilled fish, meat and other seafood.
While radish which is referred to as “labanos” in the Philippine language comes in different varieties, most Filipinos are familiar with the long and very whitish variety usually added in “sinigang” (pork stew in tamarind) for its unique balancing taste. For me, the natural taste of “labanos” is not really very pleasing but since it is loaded with vitamins and minerals such as ascorbic acid, potassium, vitamin B6, riboflavin and calcium to name a few, I developed my appetite to the watery vegetable.
Like before, I am using the variety known as “mooli” here in Sri Lanka. It is the large white radish variety (although what I purchased appear to be just baby ones) popularly called “daikon” or Japanese radish or Chinese radish or sometimes Oriental radish. This is a better tasting radish with lesser astringency, at least according to my taste buds. :)
As history will tell us that the shade of blue in the flag have been the point of disagreements in the past, it is also our biggest obstacle in making the dish. So we are constrained to ask some help from the magical red cabbage to provide us with natural food coloring enough to be classified as blue. In addition to the ingredients above therefore, we shall need a small red cabbage.
Kulinarya Cooking Club. Oh, I can’t be prouder. Enjoy! c“,)