Angel Wings Clams, Panara and Other Ilonggo Dishes

Thanks to Chef Pauline Banusing, I now know how to make a delicious aligue sauce which I can use to enhance a plateful of prawns or shrimps.  That’s the recipe in my DIY column in today’s issue of the Philippine Daily InquirerPrawns with Aligue Sauce.

IMG_8642: Lukon (Prawns) with Aligue

Prawns with Aligue Sauce

Aligue is a Filipino term referring to the orangey roe-like fatty tissues found inside crabs or shrimps.  For this recipe, the aligue used comes from tiny crabs called talangka. It is very tasty and rich, though quite loaded with cholesterol and fats.

Chef Pauline shared her recipe for this dish after I tried it during the press preview for Mandarin Oriental Hotel’s latest food fest: Diwal and Other Ilonggo Flavours. The dish is quite simple to prepare, and with two cups of bottled crab fat (taba ng talanga) as the base of the sauce, you’ll have plenty of leftover aligue sauce after you’ve used the required amount for the prawns.

Which is just fine because you can use the leftover sauce to make other dishes. Mix it with cooked rice, for example, and serve the rice with chopped tomatoes, pickled mangoes or achara (pickled green papaya). In addition, Chef Pauline suggests blending the aligue sauce with some cream and using it as a sauce for pasta.

I would also suggest spreading some aligue sauce over grilled eggplants and serving this with steaming hot rice.  Or use the aligue sauce to complement grilled fish such as tilapia, hito (catfish)  and dalag (mudfish).

If you’re not using it immediately, store the aligue sauce in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator.  Chef Pauline says you can even freeze it. Just thaw and bring to room temperature before using.

If you’re using bottled taba ng talangka (Chef Pauline says she uses fresh ones, which are readily available in Iloilo), be sure to buy a good brand.  My own favorites are the ones sold in Cabalen Restaurant, Milky Way Restaurant and Claude Tayag’s brand, which is sold in supermarkets.

IMG_8632: Chicken Inasal

Chicken Inasal

IMG_8610: Sinugba

Sinugba na Lokos

The Ilonggo foodfest at the Mandarin Oriental’s Paseo Uno restaurant will start tomorrow (May 25) and will run until June 3.  Among the dishes Chef Pauline will prepare are:chicken inasal,

chicken tinuom (steamed chicken cooked in banana leaves), sinugba na lokos (grilled squid stuffed with lemongrass, cilantro, ginger and tomatoes), kinilawin na tanigue na may tuba (Spanish mackerel steeped in native mountain vinegar), and her favorite comfort dish, KBL (a soup of kadios (black beans), baboy (pork) and langka (jackfruit) in a broth slightly soured by indigenous seeds called batuan.

Diwal: Angel Wings Clams

Diwal (angel wings clams)

A grill station will also prepare oysters from Aklan and the rare shellfish called diwal (angel wing clams), which will be flown fresh daily from Capiz. Another cooking station will fry bite-size panara, a light empanada with a filling of bean sprouts, served with native vinegar.

IMG_8615: Yema Cake

Yema Cake

And of course there will be rich desserts such as the scrumptious yema cake with its topping of egg yolk custard and swirls of white icing and IMG_8618: Prazo de Mercedes with Ube Fillingbrazo de Mercedes with ube filling.

IMG_8657: Chef Pauline Banusing

Chef Pauline Banusing

Hailed as the foremost authority on Ilonggo cuisine, Chef Pauline is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America.  In Iloilo she runs Al Dente Ristorante Italiano, 101 Luna Steak Room, Freska Ilonggo Seafood, Maki Japanese Restaurant, Brewery, and Steps of Rome.  Her catering service is always busy with weddings and birthday parties.

To view Chef Pauline’s recipe for Prawns with Aligue Sauce, see today’s DIY column in the Lifestyle section of the Philippine Daily Inquirer (page  C3  ) or click on the following link:

(Ilonggo food will be part of Paseo Uno’s lunch and dinner buffet May 25 – June 3.  Price of buffet is P1818+ per person on Sundays through Thursdays, and P2,200+ on Fridays and Saturdays, inclusive of the luxury buffet.  Call 750-8888 for reservations.)

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