Afritada is a Filipino tomato based stew. I believe this is one of the many Spanish influenced dishes that we have. It is meat (pork and chicken are commonly used) braised in tomatoes, onions, garlic with a couple of tablespoons of vinegar. Tomato paste is then added with broth or water. Lola (my maternal grandmother) does not like to use tomato sauce as she finds it too sour. Bay leaf, salt and pepper are used to season. My family always include vinegar in our “afritada” recipe, I remember my mom and lola saying that this is what makes it different from “Menudo“.
Each family in the Philippines usually have their own recipe or way of making this dish. My recipe may differ from others but this is what makes Filipino cooking interesting.
The trinity of Filipino cooking – garlic, onions and tomatoes. The rest of the ingredients I used are potatoes, carrots and red bell pepper.
Meat of choice, you may use chicken or beef.
Dinner is served, pork afritada over rice.
This is an updated version of this recipe. I added some Spanish chorizo after placing the carrots and potatoes in the simmering stew to give the dish added flavor.
We rarely eat rice for breakfast since moving to the Northeast. Our everyday fare would normally be toast, cereal or fruits and yogurt. I was at the Asian store earlier today and saw in the freezer section a pack of chicken “tocino” (Filipino cured meat). I thought of making “Tosilog” (Tocino + sinangag + itlog) with it, a traditional Filipino breakfast. Roughly translated this is cured chicken meat, garlic fried rice and sunny side egg over easy.
“Sinangag” or garlic rice is made by browning minced garlic in 1-2 tablespoons of vegetable oil. You then add cold cooked rice, stir fry until hot and season with a little salt.
I cook the chicken tocino by adding 1/4 – 1/2 cup water with the meat in a non-stick pan. Let the water reduce considerably and wait till the meat release it’s own juice. Add a bit of oil and cook until browned and caramelized.
Tocino + Sinangag + Itlog = Tosilog
As part of my Totoro series, I decided to make my daughter a bento of Totoro’s friends. Chibi Totoro is a smaller white version of Totoro. It is also a forest guardian. Susu-Wataris are round and black furry creatures seen from the movie Totoro and Spirited away. They are also soot sprites.
For today’s bento I made Chibi Totoro onigiri, Susu-Watari onigiri, turkey meatballs from last night’s dinner, green beans and strawberries.
Our family is a big Hayao Miyazaki fan. “My Neighbor Totoro” is one of our all time favorite movie. I’ve always wanted to make a “Totoro” inspired bento, but just the thought of it intimidates me. After searching the web and finding a step by step tutorial, It finally got me excited to try.
This is going to be the first my Totoro Bento series. Here is my take on Totoro onigiri. I borrowed my daughter’s plush Totoro collection (Totoro, Chu Totoro, Chibi Totoro and Susu-watari) for this post.
Hinamatsuri or Girls Day is celebrated in Japan every 3rd day of March. To commemorate this occasion, I decided to make these onigiri in the shape of the Emperor and Empress.
As a backgrounder, this is the day when people pray for the happiness and health of their girls. They also put up a display of dolls in tiers wearing costumes during the imperial times. With the top most reserved for the emperor and the empress. The remaining tiers would hold the ladies in waiting, court musicians, ministers and guards.
The Imperial Couple