4.277 Filipino Spaghetti(ni)

-Cycle 4, Item 277-
9 (Wed) October 2013

Filipino Spaghetti(ni)


by me

at home

-Oksu, Seoul-

with Dominic, the Ka twins, Ian

These are the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th recipes attempted from The Adobo Road Cookbook (ARC) (see previously 4.276 Classic Chicken Adobo...).

Filipino spaghetti is a Philippine/Italian via American (or Japanese?) pasta dish.  The sauce is essentially an Italian ragu, introduced to the Philippines sometime around WWII, probably afterwards by the American liberators (or perhaps the Japanese occupiers before, as ARC's author speculates), localized by the addition of sugar and ketchup, particularly banana ketchup, plus hot dogs and/or bacon, such influences certainly American.  So popular, apparently, that it's no longer really considered Italian or American (or Japanese, if ever it was).  

(2nd) A preliminary step required making annatto oil from seeds purchased in Manila.

The oil, which smells kinda floral but doesn't taste like much, is mostly about the color; brushed on inasal, it's what gives the meat that characteristic orange hue (see for example 4.268 Inasal Chicken...).

(3rd) Banana ketchup, originally developed as a cheaper substitute for tomato ketchup, is now appreciated in its own right; the bottled stuff that I had in the Philippines, found on the table at most chicken joints, or provided in individual packets with takeout, was similar in tang to tomato ketchup but obviously without any actual tomato flavor; here, homemade from the recipe in ARC, perhaps with too much banana ("350 g" doesn't specify whether whole or peeled), it was overwhelmingly banana and the color was nowhere near red. 

(4th) From the ARC recipe, the resulting dish was hit, then miss, then hit.  Initially, I could see where it was going, gloriously sweet (from the banana ketchup) and squishy (from the hotdogs).  Perfect for kids--just so happened that we were hosting a playdate for some of D's friends this evening, a national holiday.  However, towards the end, the recipe called for red wine, a full cup of it, suddenly turning the sauce all intense, much more serious than it had started out.  Dark in color (from the wine), and smoky (from the bacon), it was reminiscent of BBQ sauce.  For whatever reason, the kids didn't like it very much.  I didn't either.  But later, after the leftovers had been refrigerated for several hours, allowing the flavors to come together and relax, it was much much better.  Though still not that great.  

But beware...

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