Thursday, August 10, 2006

"Nilaga" (Chicken and Pork in Herbs and Vegetables Soup)

One of my variations of the dish called “Nilaga”. It’s a soup but always serve as a main dish. In Parañaque, where I grew up. Nilaga is cooked always with kinchay not just whole peppercorns. It gives the soup a different but enticing taste.

Chinese celery “kinchay” is an elongated head of crisp celery-like stalks and light green leaves. It has a strong and sharp taste, good for making soups.

  • 3/4 kg pig’s tail or pork spareribs
  • 6 cups of rice wash
  • 1 large red onion, quartered
  • 1 chicken cube
  • 1 tsp rock salt
  • 2 pcs of sweetcorn, about ½ a kilo or more
  • 2 leaves of Pandan, tied in a knot
  • 15 pcs of whole peppercorns
  • 3 pcs (250 g) chicken wings
  • 3 small (250 g) potatoes, cut into two
  • A bunch (25 g) Chinese celery (kinchay), remove roots
  • 150 grams of cabbage, cut into large wedges
  • 150 grams of Chinese pechay, cut into 2” length
Here’s how:

In a thick bottom casserole, put the first-two ingredients. Cover. Place over high heat. Before it boils remove scum as it arises. Bring to boil. Add the next-six ingredients. Mix. Cover and bring to boil again. Reduce fire to low, simmer for 25 minutes.

Place the chicken and potatoes. Mix. Cover. Simmer for another 25 minutes. Add Chinese celery, cabbage and Chinese pechay. Cook for 8 minutes more or until veggies are half-cook.

Serve hot.

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