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Food and Leisure

What makes the best Adobo? Pancit? Sinigang? Chef Gino Gonzalez explains

Deni Rose M. Afinidad-Bernardo - Philstar.com
What makes the best Adobo? Pancit? Sinigang? Chef Gino Gonzalez explains
At the new menu launch, Chef Gino (left) presented his own takes on favorite Filipino fare: Pataron (pata and Chicharon in one); Banana Turon con Leche (Turon dipped in coconut milk shaved ice); Lecheroon (a combination of Leche Flan and Macaroons); and Crispy Tadyang ng Baka (like a deep-fried Sinigang na Baka), among others.
Philstar.com/Deni Rose M. Afinidad-Bernardo; Kuya J/Released

MANILA, Philippines — When Sinigang, Pancit and Lumpia made headlines recently after being named as among the best food in the world, it sparked a new interest on an old debate: Which place or region in the country produces the best Adobo, Pancit, Sinigang, Nilaga, Sisig and other trademark Filipino dishes?

If you were to ask celebrity chef Eugenio “Gino” Gonzalez, Jr., he has a simple answer: Mom or grandma knows best!

“Well, totoo naman, at the end of the day, ang best Adobo ‘yung niluluto ng nanay mo, ng lola mo. Best Sinigang ‘yung nakain mo. Kanya-kanyang interpretation ‘yan eh. I think it’s a matter of appreciating every version. Kasi nga, sa’ting Pinoy, ang best ‘yung luto ng nanay natin, ng lola natin. So wala talagang tatalo du’n!” he expounded in a recent exclusive interview with Philstar.com during the launch of his new “Bida” creations for Filipino restaurant chain Kuya J.

“Kailangan lang ma-appreciate mo ‘yung iba-ibang version… may ibang pang-asim ng Sinigang, ibang sahog. Pero masasarap naman sila lahat talaga eh.”

At the new menu launch, Chef Gino presented his own takes on favorite Filipino fare: Pataron (pata and Chicharon in one); Banana Turon con Leche (Turon dipped in coconut milk shaved ice); Lecheroon (a combination of Leche Flan and Macaroons); and Crispy Tadyang ng Baka (like a deep-fried Sinigang na Baka), among others.

He shared what for him is the best Filipino Adobo: “The best Adobo, sasabihin ko, ‘yung Kapampangan Adobo namin! Ano ‘yan, Adobo na patis at suka lang, walang toyo. Nagbra-brown s’ya dahil sa dahan-dahan na pagluto.”

The best Pancit, for him, is Pancit Luglug: “Para s’yang (Pancit) Malabon pero me Adobong squid ink sa taas. Very Kapampangan pa rin, may kamias para may konting asim.”

As for best Sinigang, he said: “Mahilig ako sa Sinigang na kakaiba ‘yung pang-asim. Kunwari, kapag nasa bandang Panay Island ako, ang ginagamit ko ‘yung Batwan. Tapos kapag nasa Baguio naman ako, ang ginagamit ng mga Ilokano ‘yung rattan root, ‘yung binuko, ‘yun ‘yung pang-asim ko.”

“So kapag nasa iba’t ibang lugar ka, hanapin mo lang ‘yung masarap na pang-asim. Mahilig ako sa maasim na Sinigang eh. So tinotodo ko ‘yung mga ingredients na ‘yan,” he advised.

He could go on and on with what he thinks are the best versions, but for him, in general, “Talagang Filipino cuisine is the best!”

RELATED: 'Elevated' Filipino food shines in new Kuya J, Chef Gino Gonzalez collaboration

CHEF GINO GONZALEZ

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