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Inspired by my Lola's menudo

If a menudo contest would be held today, I would definitely be in it. Why, this has got to be  a flagship dish of my childhood filled with memories of good food, good food and the best menudo.

Inspired by my lola’s famous menudo, this version, and I am confident to say, is the BEST version for me. It is unique in that the taba have been cut off from the lean meat and are made into chicharon then later on combined with the rest of the menudo ensemble. The meat is marinated in soy sauce and calamansi before it is cooked. In that way, meat is flavored long before you start infusing flavor as you heat it. Also, it barely uses commercial tomato sauce that usually tastes fakely thick  and artificial.

In this recipe, the small amount of commecial tomato sauce is only to spike some color to the dish.

In fact, my lola’s version totally did away with the use of commercial tomato sauce. She used REAL tomatoes.

During my childhood, we ate it best with a glass of ice-cold Coke. It made the whole pleasant dining experience intensified and more satisfying. To date, Coke has remained to be our menudo’s best partner.

With this perfect tandem, expect the dining table to burst with energy in the conversations, chitchat and bonding brought to you by the happy hormones triggered by a fabulous loveteam named– Menudo and Coke.

Menudo

1 kilo pork casim, diced with fat and lean meat separated

6 medium-sized tomatoes, sliced

1 medium-sized onions

5 cloves of garlic, minced

2 small boxes raisins

1 big can garbanzos

1 small pack tomato sauce

1 red bell pepper, minced

3 large potatoes, diced

4 pcs calamansi

3/4 cup soy sauce

Canola oil

Salt and pepper to taste

__________________________________________________

Season lean pork meat  with salt and pepper. Marinate with calamansi and soy sauce for 30 minutes.

Season taba (fat) with salt and pepper. Cover with water in a small frying pan. Cook until water has evaporated, taba has turned into golden brown  and crispy. Set aside.

Meantime, in a frying pan, fry potatoes until they turn golden brown in color. Drain from excess oil and set aside.

In a skillet, saute onion, bell pepper, garlic and tomatoes. Add lean pork meat. Season with salt and pepper. Cover with water. Bring to a boil until water is reduced into half and meat already very tender. Add tomato sauce, garbanzos and raisins.

Continue simmering for another five minutes. Add fried potatoes and chicharon (taba from the casim). Serve hot.

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22 responses »

  1. i think this is the traditional way of cooking menudo. this is how my lola makes it as well but we don’t put raisins and garbanzos and we put liver in it. as one of my friends call it, this is menudo pang pista (fiesta).

  2. Menudo’s got to be one of the top fiesta fares for me! Go to a fiesta and you’ll surely find menudo among the spread.

    Hmmm…but paired with ice cold Coke? Hubby and I probably have different faves to match this sinful drink…it’s pasalubong fare for us:

    1. Coke & Uraro cookies (Arrowroot cookies of Quezon) – there’s something titillating about having the sweetness of the powdery cookies burst in your mouth as you take a gulp of ice cold Coke

    2. Coke & the Visayan cookie called Caycay – for some reason, the peanutty and crunchy goodness of it gets highlighted only when you pair it with Coke

    3. Coke & Siakoy (local braided donut) – another gastronomic orgasm effect when pairing these two…the mellow softness of the dough just melts in the mouth when paired with the icy coldness of Coke

  3. my menudo is also cooked w/ REAL tomatoes. menudo and coke! yes!

    and of course pancit bihon and coke too! i love eating my mom’s cooked pancit bihon squeezed w/ calamansi and an ice cold coke. i can eat a bandehado of pancit if paired w/ my fave ice cold coke. yum yum!

  4. hi caren,

    here are my all-time favorite coke match food:

    1. COKE is best paired with… spaghetti in olive oil and vigan longganisa. We all want our pasta simmering hot, right? Gulp it down then with a nice, iced glass of COKE. The earthy, nutty flavor of olive oil and the saltiness of the longganisa are balanced out by COKE’s sweet, refreshing taste.

    2. COKE is best paired with… chicken pastel. the creaminess of this dish gives an ‘umay’ effect to the palate and nothing beats a cold, cold can of COKE to neutralize this!

    3. COKE is best paired with… plain ‘ol tortilla chips with garlic mayo dip. The tangy taste of garlic seeping through the tongue will look for a thirst-quenching drink like COKE. And of course, tortilla chips are generally salty which will also create balance when paired with COKE.

    I have been a COKE drinker for the longest time–never switched to any other brand and never tried any other kind of drink. COKE is part of who I am, and it will be for the rest of my life.

  5. Coke it best paired with piping hot Bulalo from your local travel-friendly carinderia! It’s always one of the things I look forward to while travelling at work. While everyone is on the road, it’s very hard to find restos where our working team can eat (imagine almost 40 people!). Just spotting a big neighborhood carinderia with their smokin’ ‘pot full of Bulalo is enough to make my mouth water! It’s not only budget friendly, but the experience itself is worthwhile because we get to share bonding moments with everyone 🙂

  6. Caren,

    Although I agree, menudo is best eaten with coke, I prefer to drink coke with Inihaw na Isda. Steamed rice, Inihaw na Isda and coke… by the beach… yummmmmm!

    Maida

  7. No other lechon in the Philippines can compare to the lechon of Cebu! Crispy skin on the outside yet tender and highly flavorful on the inside. One does not need any dipping sauce other than native vinegar with a pinch of salt.

    A plateful of that plus a few puso (hanging rice) paired with ice-cold Coke automatically makes any picnic a gastronomic feast!

    Hmmm….now I am hungry…. thanks a lot, Caren… hahahahahaha

  8. Coke best paired with? That’s a long list for me…it should have been narrowed down to what’s “bestest”!

    1) Coke and Dinuguan (offal for me pls) soured using Sampalok leaves and flowerettes. Ohhhhh, very different sour rather than using vinegar. Sweetish sour but use a lot of leaves to get the asim. Sweet/sour/hot to go with cold/sweet/wake upper.

    2) Coke and dadaaannnn….deep fried chicken gizzard. In other words, chicharong balunbalunan 🙂 Salted, then sliced bite sized before deep frying. I love this with unpolished red rice (as it it takes out the guilt…but then, I fried using Canola). Probably the healthiest chicharon…it does taste like bulaklak. Chicharon and coke were born together.

    3) Coke and adobong peanuts 🙂

    I love Chef Ariel 🙂 Coke and Chef Ariel? Must be Selecta hahahahha

  9. Hi Caren!
    What I’m certain about is anything freshly cooked and served hot goes well with several glasses (one glass is never enough) of ice cold Coca-Cola – bubbles, fizzing sound and all!
    But my favorite complement to Coke is this:
    Hot off-the-grill Pork Belly (Inihaw na Baboy), with Eggplant, Tomato and Onion Ensalada served with steamed white rice on Banana Leaf. This is one reason why I look forward to summer – yes, there’s the beach, but with it, the long table lined with banana leaf, grill smoke signaling Inihaw na Baboy will be within your reach in minutes, with hot rice, vinegary ensalada and the vision of free flowing ice cold Coke ready with every subo (mouthful)!

  10. Coke and anything inihaw! Inihaw na baboy, bangus, tilapia, pusit, etc. Especially if eaten outdoors, like a beach, with family and close friends.

    Another winning combination: chicharon and coke!

  11. There are certain food that I can’t eat without a glass (or big bottle) of Coke!

    Pancit bihon and barbecues are definitely best with Coca Cola! I can’t eat them unless with Coke.

  12. I love coke with just about anything because it cuts through the grease!:-) I drink coke and I go “ahhhhhh”. It has the umph factor that tickles my throat after a satisfying gulp!:-)

    I love it with Cebu lechon, lechon kawali, inihaw, crispy pata, crispy tadyang ng baka, longganisa with garlic rice, chicharon bulaklak, salpicao, lasagna etc….i can go on and on. I love it with mango ice cream or vanilla ice cream as coke float. I use it to marinate meats for inihaw and as liquid for my humba.

    I have never liked Pepsi. Growing up, i have been a coke fiend as far back as i can remember. As a kid, I used to freeze it to make ice candy 🙂

    If I were to choose just one, Cebu lechon would be the ultimate food to go with my Coke. I don’t feel “luod” or indigestion after, even after a lot of lechon!hahaha

    I will never give up Coke. Thank God there is Coke Zero!

    Coke to me is a way of life… :-))))

  13. caren your menudo recipe sounds yummy 🙂 i will definitely try this soon. may i know what brand of tomato sauce did you use? how much water did you use mga 1-2 cups lang? thanks 🙂

    • Hi, Molly. “Cover with water” means putting water enough to soak the meat while bringing it to a boil. When water ir reduced in half and meat is still not tender, pour in half a cup at a time.

      Re tomato sauce, since I only use it for “coloring”, Del Monte should be okay because it can really give a nice color:)

  14. Need I say more? I was nicknamed after the drink! That’s how much our entire family loves Coke!

    Nothing beats Coke with a huge plate of aligui and garlic spaghetti – to enhance the artery-clogging experience.

    Next best thing would be Coke with chips and garlic cream dip.

    coke is great anyway, with or without anything else. coke adds Life!

  15. Hi Ninang!

    Mine is Coke paired with a big bag of Lay’s Original and DVD’s. 🙂
    Second is Coke paired with fresh slices of Bread. Nothing on the bread,
    just the good ol’ natural bread. Some people find it weird, but i find it
    delicious.

  16. Classic Old Fisherman’s Fillet o Fish and chips with creamy garlic dip, while watching a classic old favorite movie at night like Casabanca …

    and my perfect date? ice cold Coca cola!!!

    Sweet…

    Id die for that!!..

  17. Best partner with coke?? Well, coke is best paired with any food eaten with the whole family but personally if Im feeling Jologs, it is best paired with street foods like fishballs, kwekkwek, tukneneng, betamax and isaw. If i’m feeling sosyal, it is best paired with a well-done steak with buttered veggies and coleslaw.

    And is I’m on a diet, any of my South Beach Diet Recipes and a coke zero. of course.

    Coke is already a part of my life, like water is to a fish.

  18. My family and I usually enjoy a glass of ice cold Coke with rice and Pinoy ulam like inihaw na liempo and pinakbet or lechon kawali and tokwa’t baboy. We also enjoy family bonding moments with a 1.5 liter of Coke on the side partnered with our favorite potato chips and tortillo chips while watching a marathon of DVDs. Healthy or junk food, whatever food is available at home, it’s always more satisfying when there’s Coca-Cola.

  19. Hi Caren!

    My uncle, Tito Intod, is a very good cook. When we have family gatherings, he is always the one in charge of the cooking. I was surprised to know that you share the same technique of cooking the well-loved menudo. He also marinates the meat in soy prior cooking and it does make a huge difference. The meat is tastier and more succulent.

    Anyway, I was also blown away by your lola’s idea of taking out the ‘taba’ and making chicharon out of it to be an add-on to the traditional stew. I will definitely try it!

    More power to you!

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