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Friday, March 5, 2010
I went to the Philippinnes for the first time just before Chinese New Year. There was a production start up at an important new account and I had to go to lend support. Despite all the kidnapping tales and stories about rifles-armed gurkhas guarding factories, I actually found myself looking forward to my first trip to Manila. Long before I had any idea that the new account would commercialise in Manila, I had known exactly what I wanted from Manila - Tabang Talangka- the famous crab fat/crab roe that I had first read about at Chubby Hubby's guest blog by Amy Ma.
Hence, when my trip was set to take place, I contacted Trissa for advice on where to eat and what to buy when I am in Manila. I touched down in Manila at about 4pm and had a business appointment at 7pm. The hour or so in between, I headed straight to the nearest super market.
Priority was of course, the Crab Fat- which I got but as I browsed through the aisles, I started to understand a little about the Filipinos' eating preferences. One particular section I lingered over for a long time were the shelves for Corned Beef...
I was in awe. It was clear, Filipinos love corned beef. Unlike in Singapore, where we probably will get 2, at most 3 brands of corned beef at the supermarket - they devote a whole aisle to Corned beef - of different brands, different packing sizes and different forms. What first lured me into the aisle was the tiny 100g corned beef cans - smaller than our smallest sardine cans, they were selling for S$0.50 (which is US$0.35). I thought the small packing was brilliant as it is extremely convenient for quick snacks or one to two person. Then, they have Corned beef chunks, corned beef flakes and corned beef in extra long shreds... I was dazzled... For fun, I bought 2 tiny cans of flaked CB and a mid sized can in extra long shreds.
When I got back and shared my observation with my Philippinno HR director, he affirmed my observation and told me the tiny cans are convenient for snacking and that I can mix them with egg white and make corned beef hash.. There were no directions but I wondered about his suggestion. When I googled on corned beef hash, I did not come across any recipes that are made by pan frying CB with egg white. Instead, there are many recipes that called for corned beef to be cooked with onions, potatoes, tomatoes etc. Filipino versions almost always serve these with rice - and very often, you find this topped with an egg either poached or fried and almost always with a runny yolk.
Hence, armed with these impressions, I set out to experiment without following any recipes in particular... and with that, I have consumed my first mini can of flaky corned beef... and... whisper whisper, corned beef hash tastes amazingly good with rice - I was rather taken by suprise.
1x 100g can of corned beef flakes
2 cloves garlic
1/2 bowl cooked white rice
1 medium sized potato
1. I peeled and shredded the potato into ribbon shreds with my Microplane Ribbon cheese grater. Many recipes used diced potatoes. Soak shredded potato in salt water.
When ready to cook, drain potato and squeeze dry.
2. In a hot frying pan add oil and fry onion and garlic quickly. Add corned beef and continue to fry. Add potato and mix well in the frying pan. Flatten 'hash' into a flat pancake. Let pancake fry to brown and crisp texture.
3. Lay this on white rice. Separately, fry an egg to set egg white. Egg yolk should remain runny. Top this on the Corned Beef Hash.
* There is already too much seasoning in the corned beef, hence I did not have to add any more salt. However, I believe a little pepper would work well.