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Coconut Milk And Cream Are The Stars Of These Homecooked Provincial Dishes

No matter how sophisticated your taste in food becomes, your mother’s home cooking still resonates like no one else’s, no matter how refined. In spite of his classic French training, Chef Raul Ramos still revels in preparing the lutong bahay dishes that his mother used to cook for their enormous family. At his provincial resthouse (and soon-to-be private dining destination) called Kinalimera in Liliw, Laguna, Chef Raul cooks the following gata-intense dishes taking full advantage of the bountiful produce, including an overabundance of coconut, that grows in his property and the surrounding farmlands.


Shrimp with Aligue in Coconut Cream Sauce

Serves 4

  • 3 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onions
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 kilo medium shrimps, trimmed
  • 1/4 cup aligue (crab fat)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups coconut cream
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • wansuy (coriander), for garnish
  • siling labuyo (bird’s eye chili), for garnish

1. In a pan, heat oil and sauté onions and garlic until fragrant. Add shrimps and cook until color turns pink.

2. Add crab fat and sugar. Stir until crab fat is incorporated with the shrimps. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Pour in coconut cream. Let simmer for about 5 minutes.?

4. Transfer to a serving dish. Garnish with wansuy and siling labuyo before serving.


Crispy Pork Sinantolan

Serves 4

  • cooking oil, for deep frying
  • 1/2 kilo whole pork belly, boiled
  • 3 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 1 cup fresh alamang (baby shrimp)
  • 2 cups grated santol
  • 1 1/2 cups coconut milk
  • 2 siling labuyo (bird’s eye chili)
  • 3 green chilies
  • 2 1/2 cups coconut cream
  • salt and pepper, to taste

1.In a deep-frying pan, heat cooking oil and deep fry pork until golden in color. Set aside.

2. In a skillet, heat oil and sauté onions, garlic, and ginger until fragrant.

3. Add fresh alamang and stir until pinkish in color, about 5 minutes.

4.Add santol, coconut milk, and siling labuyo, and let simmer for about 15 minutes.?

5. Add green chilies, then pour in coconut cream. Season with salt and pepper. Simmer and stir occasionally until oil comes out of the coconut cream, about 45 minutes.

6. Transfer to a serving dish. Serve on the side with the crispy pork belly, topped with santol, and hot steamed rice.


A longer version of this article appeared in FOOD Magazine, Issue 3, 2017

Recipes by Raul Ramos

Photos by Pat Mateo