Sunday, September 20, 2009

Gising gising

To be honest, I don't know the roots of this dish. I assume it's from Bicol (South of Luzon, about 9 hours from Manila), because of the chili and coconut cream. It seems to be related to the "Bicol Express" but a much milder version.
The transliteration of gising-gising is "wake-up! wake-up!". And I suppose it's because the strong flavors wake your taste buds up.
It is a viand by itself, but it's always a great partner to grilled or fried fish and hot steaming rice: pinoy staples. Plus, it is economical as the main ingredients are inexpensive. I cook a big batch and it finds its way as a side dish for lunch or dinner.

Again, it's easy to do. Helpful for beginners and young housewives. Here goes!

- 2 big bunches of kangkong (also known as water cabbage)Remove the tough stalk at the bottom end of the kangkong. Separate the leaves from the stems and sliced into small pieces. Wash and drain.
- coconut cream from 2 small coconuts (about 2 cups yield)
-1 onion or shallot, sliced. (shallot is to the pinoy's pulang sibuyas)
-About 1/2 cup shrimps, shelled and deveined.
-About 1 cup of lean ground pork
-3 green chilies (siling pang-sigang) slice diagonally in half.
-fish sauce (patis) to taste or salt
-pepper to taste

Heat your pan (not too hot, otherwise you'll burn your onions in seconds!). Add a little oil and saute the onion/shallot until clear. Add the ground meat and stir fry for a couple of minutes so as to cook the meat evenly. Add the shrimp till light pink.
Proceed to add the small pieces of kangkong stalks and continue to stir for about 3 minutes.
Add the coconut cream, add the leaves and cover the pan till the mixture begins to boil.
Veggies appear plenty when they are raw, but when you begin to cook them, you realize it isn't as much as you thought!
Add the chillies. (Some people prefer the biting heat of the small red chillies, also called "siling labuyo".) Use whatever suits you.
Lower the heat to get a gentle boil. Let it simmer till the coco cream thickens a bit.
Add fish sauce or salt, and pepper to taste.

Gising gising is also a vegetarian's delight. Simply skip the meat and it can be just as good.
This is because the coco cream has a distinct flavor which for me caressess the ingredients just so.
I happen to like freshly squeezed coco cream with grilled eggplant and chopped onions...but THAT is another recipe, for another day.

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