Cooking with Pulo Cuisines Coconut Adobo Sauce

Pulo Philippine Cuisine logoI’m sure if I asked, you would probably be able to tell me about your favourite Indian or Thai curry, Chinese noodles, or Vietnamese grilled meat dish. But if I asked you for your favourite Philippine dish, I’d get a blank stare.  The Philippines is one of of South East Asian neighbours, and probably the third largest immigrant population in Vancouver, but you may not know.  Their cuisine takes bits and pieces from Malay cuisine, China, and Spain, and combines it with their fresh seafood and love of grilling, and vinegar-based sauces to give you a completely different Asian flavour.  Instead of big spicey flavours, you get more vinegar and garlic, sweet bbq, and mild coconut milk flavours.  A cuisine that I think you should try, just for the fusion from all these different countries. Pulo by the way is the Filipino word for “island”, and there are more than 7000 islands that comprise the Philippines.

One way you can try Filipino cuisine, other than hunting around for the Filipino restaurants in East Vancouver or Richmond, can be by trying the new Pulo Philippine Cuisine sauces that are made and marketed right here in Vancouver.  They have 5 different sauces for you to try:

  • Guimaras Island Mango Chili Marinade
  • Samal Island Pineapple Tamarind Marinade
  • Cebu Island Lemongrass Atsuete Marinade
  • Tinaga Island Coconut Adobo Cooking Sauce
  • Luzon Island Kare Kare Toasted Peanut Cooking Sauce

All these sauces are vegan friendly.  I recently received all but the Kare Kare Toasted Peanut Cooking Sauce to try.  This article is about my experience with the Tinaga Island Cocconut Adobo Cooking Sauce.

Pulo Philippine Cuisine range of sauces

Pulo Philippine Cuisine range of sauces

Cooking Chicken with Tinaga Island Coconut Adobo Cooking Sauce

What is coconut adobo sauce?  Well there are two main components.  One is coconut milk, which adds rich creaminess to this dish.  The other half “adobo” is a traditional Philippine dish that is made by slow cooking meats or vegetables in vinegar, garlic, and black pepper.  This dish combines the two, so is not 100% traditional, but it is very flavourful.  If you like a mild curry, you may want to try this cooking sauce.  It has light pepperiness, garlic, sourness from vinegar, and the creaminess from the coconut milk.

Tinaga Island is part of the Bicol region (Central Philippines), an area renowned for hot chili and coconut milk dishes.  It is one of the few areas that adds chili spice to their food in the Philippines.  Cooking with this sauce was relatively easy.  They recommend cubing 4 chicken breasts (or the equivalent for pork or beef) and chopping 4 cups of vegetables for this dish.  I used chicken drumsticks which I had on hand.  Start off with frying the chicken in oil, add the vegetables, and sauce and them simmer till done.  Serve with rice.  For vegetables I used onions, green beans, green pepper, and carrots.  I would recommend to cube one potato and add it to the mix because I enjoy squishing the potato in the sauce on my plate and getting every last drop of flavour.  I enjoyed the flavours of this dish, and I think that it is worthwhile to try out on your own, with your family and friends.

Coconut adobo chicken simmering

Coconut adobo chicken simmering

 

Wine Pairing and Where to Buy these Sauces?

If you would like to drink some wine with this dish, I would recommend a Chenin Blanc from the Loire Valley in France or from South Africa,  or a dry Riesling from BC, Washington, or Australia.  Both have enough body and acidity to cut through the richness of the coconut milk, and both grapes are known for being very good food pairing wines.

In time I will try out the different dishes and give you an update here on my blog.  I have found these sauces for sale at Choices Market, but you may want to check other grocery stores, in their Asian aisle.

Try Tofu Shirataki Noodles for Your Next Meal

It is estimated that approximately 1 in 6 people have some level of gluten sensitivity. Gluten is the substance in wheat flour that gives bread it’s elasticity.  Celiacs are people who cannot tolerate gluten at all, but for the gluten sensitive people, we can eat food, like a sandwich, but the gluten can cause us to get heartburn or patchy red skin, or other ailments.  While not life threatening, it feels better when you do not have to worry about eating a meal and wondering if there is a gluten-based product.

Pasta or noodle dishes are popular with most people, but most noodles are based on wheat.  There are some noodles made from rice or bean thread, but I recently became aware of a new product for me called “Tofu Shirataki” by House Foods.  Tofu Shirataki is a pasta alternative made by blending the flour of the Konnyaku – a member of the Asian yam family (also known as Konjac) with tofu.  I visited my local Choices Market and picked up a package of the Tofu Shirataki spaghetti style noodles to try in a Chinese stir fry.  I received a coupon for these noodles.  Beside the spaghetti shape, there is also fettuccine, angel hair and macaroni shaped noodles too.

The package of noodles come in a sealed package that is filled with water.  Opening the noodles, the instructions are to rinse them in water, then to boil them 2-3 minutes as use just like pasta, or if you are going to use them in a stir fry, to rinse them, then add them to the stir fry.  The 226 gram package I think is enough for 1 hungry person, or two people with regular sized appetites to share for their meal.

Tofu Shirataki spaghetti

Tofu Shirataki spaghetti

To my stir fry I added chopped vegetables, and condiments of sesame oil, ground ginger, vinegar, soy sauce and black bean sauce.  I placed the noodles on top of the cooking vegetables and let things simmer for a few minutes.  The noodles are not fragile so it was easy to stir them into the vegetables and not worry that they would fall apart.

Into my bowl, I sampled some of these now seasoned noodles and was very pleasantly surprised.  The noodles did not stick together like you can get from wheat-based noodles.  When I bit into the noodle, there was some firmness, similar to al dente pasta.  I really enjoyed the texture of the noodles.  There was also no sour taste that you can get from tofu on it’s own.  I doubt most people could tell that they were not eating a wheat-based noodle.

Tofu Shirataki spaghetti in stir fry

Tofu Shirataki spaghetti in stir fry

I feel comfortable recommending these noodles to anybody to try.  I will buy these as well myself in the future for my meals.  Enjoy!