The Divine Diva is also a divine cook
KITCHEN SPY - KITCHEN SPY By Heidi Ng () - November 16, 2006 - 12:00am
Zsa Zsa Padilla is looking better than ever. She does not look a day over 40! She attributes looking good to mesotherapy, wushu exercises (which she did a lot of prior to filming the much-anticipated gay superheroine comic adaptation, Zsa Zsa Zaturnah), and eating healthy. She actually has an abdominal six-pack these days.

Arriving an hour early for the cooking shoot, as she was afraid of getting stuck in traffic between her house in Marina and Edsa Shangri-La hotel, she brought with her all the ingredients needed to make her own chicken pork adobo and kare-kare. She came to the shoot wearing no makeup, with only her assistant Flor and her mother, who is visiting from Las Vegas. Her mother was sent by her sister to take care of her as Zsa Zsa is set to have urethral surgery in a few weeks. Because of the impending surgery, she has to postpone two shooting days of Zsa Zsa Zaturnah. The movie will be released in December and critics are saying it looks like a definite hit, with Pops Fernandez and Rustom Padilla also in the cast. Based on the graphic novel by writer/art director Carlo Vergara, the movie is the official entry of Regal Entertainment to the 2006 Metro Manila Film Festival and is directed by Joel Lamangan.

"The experience has been really nice, different, and a real challenge," she says. "Remember that I have metal rods in my back from another operation? I went on a six-month workout, learned basic wushu. We did lots of contact wushu and kami talaga," referring to the action scenes she does in the movie.

The movie is a combination of action, musical, and comedy. The movie seems perfect for this actress who started her stint in showbiz with Dolphy in Mga Anak ni Facifica Falayfay. She went on to record several albums, starred in dramatic movies, became a television host, and probably realized her full potential for comedy only recently with Mano Po 4, for which she won best actress trophies at The Film Academy of the Philippines’ 24th Luna Awards, Guillermo Mendoza Foundation, Tanglaw Awards, and Metro Manila Film Festival. Drama for Zsa Zsa will take a backseat for now as Bituin Walang Ningning just wrapped up a few months ago with viewers glued to their TV sets for the finale episode.

Aside from her role as lugubrious has-been diva Rosamia on the ABS-CBN soap opera, the singer/actress is also best known for her role in Batang PX, winning another best actress plum at the 16th Film Academy of The Philippines Awards, Gawad Urian, and Star Awards for Movies.

So proud are her parents that her mother tells me her father, retired boxing referee Carlos Padilla, still tapes his daughter’s TV episodes even though Zsa Zsa has been in the business for more than 20 years. She is the only child in her family who pursued show business. Even though she may play the diva in her roles and has reached a certain status in the industry, she is still the designated cook in her own family and does her mother’s labada – far from diva-like in any way.

Her skills in cooking were honed because of Jane Quizon, her sister-in-law, who taught her cooking when they were staying in California while Dolphy was sick. Dolphy has a family recipe jokingly called "Wagnatuy," a combination of afritada with pork, chicken, chorizo bilbao, hotdog and bell peppers. She sticks to Pinoy food because Dolphy loves them especially if she puts a lot of puso ng saging in the kare-kare. She can also do a mean baked bangus, chicken curry, mechado and sinigang. "You are not Filipino if you don’t know sinigang," she says, and we all agree.
Zsa Zsa And Dolphy’s Kare Kare
1 oxtail

2 heads onion

5 cloves garlic

5 tablespoons extra crunchy Peter Pan peanut butter

390 grams puso ng saging

110 grams sitaw

160 grams pechay

Boil the oxtail overnight. Throw out the boiled water, and boil a second time with onions until the meat becomes soft. In a casserole, heat two tablespoons cooking oil, and sauté the onion and garlic. Add the boiled oxtail, and the water it was cooked in. Add salt to taste. Blend in the peanut butter depending on the desired color and taste. Add the sitaw and puso ng saging. Add the pechay last because it cooks faster.
Adobo
1.5 kilo pork spareribs

15 pieces laurel leaves

3 cups soy sauce (Kikkoman)

1 cup vinegar

1/2 cup crushed garlic

Marinate overnight spareribs with the soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, and laurel leaves. The next day, panfry the meat before adding to the pan with the marinade. Simmer at low heat.
* * *
Special thanks to Neil Rumbaoa and Lorna Martin of the Edsa Shangri-La Hotel.

BITUIN WALANG NINGNING CARLO VERGARA CARLOS PADILLA DOLPHY FACIFICA FALAYFAY FILM ACADEMY OF THE PHILIPPINES METRO MANILA FILM FESTIVAL ZSA ZSA ZSA ZSA ZSA ZATURNAH
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