When I was a foreign student in distant past , my foreign classmates were always curious to know about my country. Nothing beats the beauty of diversity wherein people of different walks of life, age, race and religion were put together in a nourishing environment and profound interest on one another. If could turn back the time I would do so, because it was truly an enriching experience. Most often my friends are curious about the Filipino cuisine for we are not as legendary as Thai cuisine. It is always a pleasant surprise for them to hear that in fact we’ve been colonized by Spain for 300 years and their strong influence on our cuisine is remarkable.
Sarciado is one of those Spanish influenced dishes we grew up with. Sarciado is basically a tomato based sauce cooked separately and topped on fried fishes that are more often left-over the other night. It is our way of making them appetizing again. There are various variations of Sarciado dishes that we cook like pork, beef; chicken and even boiled eggs or vegetarian sarciado.
Here is a basic meat based Sarciado dish recipe of my auntie, enjoy:
Recipe: Pork Sarciado
- half a kilo of pork cut in big chunks
- * choose the part you want: liempo if a bit fatty, kasim if a bit meaty or even the rib part is also good
- 1 kilo of fresh tomatoes
- * choose the red and plumpy ripe tomatoes. When you cut them you do not need to seed them. You just cut them in half then quarter then cut in small pieces. And put them in a small bowl.
- 1 onion chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic minced
- juice of 3 kalamansi (replace by 1 tablespoon of lemon juice)
- 3 tablespoons of soy sauce
- 3 bay leaves
- salt, pepper
- half a tablespoon of tomato paste
- some water
- cooking oil
- 3 big potatoes, peeled and quartered
- 1 tablespoon of fish sauce (patis)
- 1 teaspoon of cornstarch + 1 tablespoon of water
- Prep time: 15 mins
- Cook time: 2 hours
- Servings: 5 servings
- Difficulty: easy
In a saucepan put some cooking oil, then fry the garlic and chopped onion. Once wilted add the pork and fry for few minutes. Then add the fresh chopped tomatoes, stir and let it wilt for about ten minutes. Lower the fire while sautéing the tomatoes. Add some salt, pepper, potatoes, soy sauce, kalamansi juice, tomato paste, fish sauce and continue stirring. Pour about a glass of water and cover. Let it simmer for an hour. The longer you cook the tomatoes and the meat the better. After an hour, taste the sauce rectify the taste if necessary. Add the diluted cornstarch and water to thicken the sauce. When cooking use a cooking pot that is thick enough to avoid burning the bottom of your casserole. Look from time to time to check on the sauce, if it needs water you can add a little bit. You can cook this in advance like a day ahead and reheat it the next day. The result, you will have a tomato sauce that is really melted with all the other ingredients. Best served with steamed rice.
I will update this recipe for other Sarciado recipes :-)