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Old 01-21-2019, 07:15 AM
teela brown is offline
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Going to a Filipino supermarket today. What should I buy?


I'm going to a terrific supermarket today - Seafood City in San Jose. I've been there once and was gobsmacked at the beautiful seafood department they had. It looked like a miniature Tsujiki fish market. The seabream I bought that day were superbly fresh.

I'm planning a fish dinner tonight and so I'm going back for some more of that great fish. I'd like to buy more stuff, but I confess that I'm ignorant of Filipino cooking. I think the only Filipino dish I ever ate was some lumpia years ago, which I liked. Is anyone here in the know about what I should look out for? It's many miles away and I don't get there often and I want to take advantage of any good and unique products.
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Old 01-21-2019, 09:22 AM
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Find yourself some bangús. The bangús (milkfish) is considered to be the national fish of the Philippines. If you want a true Filipino experience, it behooves you try it. A good Filipino supermarket will have at least some frozen fillets. If they're really good you can also find the whole fish.

WARNING WARNING WARNING

The fish is extremely bony, with lots of tiny, irritating bones and spines. You can get boneless fillets, which these days are almost invariably bone-free. If you're truly adventurous (or truly Filipino) go for the whole fish, but be forewarned that you'll have to eat it extremely carefully. You can do a lot more with whole bangús, but I hesitate to recommend it to someone who's never encountered it before. The fillet should be fine.

What can you do with bangús fillet? You can rub a little salt on it and fry or grill it. Use some vinegar as a dipping sauce (coconut vinegar if you can get it) or maybe squeeze some calamansi over it. If you like heat, then cut up a hot pepper and add it to the vinegar. For something a bit more elaborate, you can steam it with some slivers of ginger, a sprinkle of light soy sauce, and a drizzle of sesame oil; add some green onions and/or cilantro if you like. Serve with plain steamed rice.
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Old 01-21-2019, 09:28 AM
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Look up some recipes before you go. Typical foods are things like pancit and adobo, and of course lumpia.
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Old 01-21-2019, 11:23 AM
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I visited the Philippines once and what I remember is that green mango juice was frequently served. I loved it, from what I recall it was very refreshing, reminiscent of tart apple juice.
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Old 01-21-2019, 12:09 PM
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If you like hot sauce try this...

Suka Pinakurat - A spicy coconut vinegar dipping sauce from the Philippines.
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Old 01-21-2019, 03:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teela brown View Post
I'm going to a terrific supermarket today - Seafood City in San Jose. I've been there once and was gobsmacked at the beautiful seafood department they had. It looked like a miniature Tsujiki fish market. The seabream I bought that day were superbly fresh.

I'm planning a fish dinner tonight and so I'm going back for some more of that great fish. I'd like to buy more stuff, but I confess that I'm ignorant of Filipino cooking. I think the only Filipino dish I ever ate was some lumpia years ago, which I liked. Is anyone here in the know about what I should look out for? It's many miles away and I don't get there often and I want to take advantage of any good and unique products.
Look up recipes and choose one with ingredients that sound appealing to you. Or even better, if there's a food court there, try out some samples of what looks/smells good to you. Like most ethnic cuisine, there's tons of variations of "Filipino" food, especially since the Philippines is comprised of multiple islands.Adobe is a staple, but even that varies from region to region. I once had lunch with a couple of Filipino friends and the food one friend ordered was unrecognizable to my other friend who was from a different region.
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Old 01-21-2019, 07:55 PM
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Filipino Staples I keep in my pantry:

- fish sauce
- banana ketchup
- calamansi extract
- Datu Puti cane vinegar
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Old 01-21-2019, 08:53 PM
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Edit: Adobo not Adobe! *Sigh*

Yep lingyi, clay bricks are delicious!

Last edited by lingyi; 01-21-2019 at 08:54 PM.
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Old 01-21-2019, 10:23 PM
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I'm more familiar with Thai, but Hawaii does have a large Filipino population and many restaurants. All I can tell you offhand is adobo is great and stay away from balut.
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Old 01-21-2019, 10:28 PM
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Originally Posted by lingyi View Post
Edit: Adobo not Adobe! *Sigh*

Yep lingyi, clay bricks are delicious!
The CPO in charge of the mess deck on one of my subs was Filipino, and although his lumpia were fantastic, both his chicken and pork adobos tended to leave the meat kinda dry, almost chalky. So adobe wasn’t that far off.
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Old 01-21-2019, 10:42 PM
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Side note: When we were here in school in the early 1990s, Marcos' body was still here, and I think Imelda still lived here. I was led to understand that in general, the Filipinos who supported Marcos came to Hawaii, while Marcos opponents went to California. In general.
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Old 01-22-2019, 12:03 AM
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Maybe the ones that accompanied the family. I remember a LOT of protest posters that read “No Aloha For Dictators.”
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Old 01-22-2019, 12:38 AM
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Originally Posted by kaylasdad99 View Post
The CPO in charge of the mess deck on one of my subs was Filipino, and although his lumpia were fantastic, both his chicken and pork adobos tended to leave the meat kinda dry, almost chalky. So adobe wasn’t that far off.
Probably was used to tough and stringy native breeds, which require a lot of cooking to be palatable.
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Old 01-22-2019, 01:16 AM
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@Teela Brown

Please tell us what you ended up buying. And just out of curiosity, wonder if they had goat. I've always wondered where people got goat in Hawaii, assumed it was direct off a farm or hunted, but at one chain store/supermarket (Don Quijote) in a neighborhood with a large Filipino community (Waipahu, Hawaii) I saw frozen 1/2 goat in the freezer case. I found it amazing not because it was goat (they had smaller roasts and legs also), but because it was a whole side! I didn't look at the price, but it must have been for special occasions.

Last edited by lingyi; 01-22-2019 at 01:16 AM.
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Old 01-22-2019, 08:34 AM
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I bought:

A couple of whole sea bream. They were so fresh they looked like they were caught that morning. The nice people there gutted and scaled them for me.

Giant batch of chicken wings, pre-cut-up and minus the tips, at a bargain price.

Several cans of different tropical fruit juices - mangosteen, guava, coconut.

Filipino shrimp chips - yum!

Banana cream cookies.

Banana ketchup.

Some frozen lumpia.

Produce: Gai choy, guavas, plantains.

We had the sea bream last night, done Japanese salt-broil style. They're so good that they'll put you off other kinds of white fish. The banana cream cookies were okay, but they tasted a bit like banana Lifesavers. The shrimp chips are addicting and the bag is almost all gone already. I'm going to have some mangosteen juice as my afternoon snack today.

I didn't see any goat. They had a massive quantity of pork cuts to choose from, though.

That's a great supermarket. Silicon Valley Dopers, you should try it out, especially if you love fresh fish.
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Old 01-22-2019, 09:37 AM
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You should try making your own lumpia. It's not that difficult and is much better than anything you can buy frozen.
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Old 01-22-2019, 11:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teela brown View Post
Silicon Valley Dopers, you should try it out, especially if you love fresh fish.
They opened a Seafood City pretty close to my place here in Chicago about 2 years ago. I went a few times shortly after the opening and was very impressed with the appearance as well as variety of fish. The food court was bustling and what I saw there looked good. The aisles didn't have much of interest but we're spoiled by a large variety of Asian supermarkets around here. I'm not terrifically familiar with Filipino cuisine but my limited exposure has been positive, though perhaps tending more sweet than I'd prefer.

I haven't been back lately but maybe this thread will change that soon.
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