It is strange how my favourite photo of all my time in the Philippines was of roast pork. Or rather, of the Cebuano dish lechon, no doubt Spanish-inspired but the chillies, kalamansi, spices, lemon grass and general method of eating (in tropical heat, washed down with San Miguel beer) are very Filipino. I’ve eaten Kagoshima black pork (a descendant of Berkshires brought over from England), bellota-grade Iberico in various forms, and had cochinillo at el Duque (in Segovia) but I think this is the best roast pork I have ever eaten. How they get the skin so crispy but not burned is a marvel (a quick dr. googles seems to reveal this is from a glaze made of Cola drink or condensed milk) – and the skin is very, very crispy. When I last roasted a suckling pig on my Weber at home the skin looked good but had the texture of cardboard. In this case, the pig wasn’t whole but just the belly rolled up and stuffed with spices. It was unbelievably good. Of course there were other dishes – tocino, fried skin, pancit, fried danggit, and the inevitable adobong, but lechon deserved a post to itself I think.
…from Sardigna! Thank you very much regular blog visitor Mr. VS (the kindness of various readers of my blog is amazing…thank you all). About half the fermented sausage was already consumed by the time I remembered to take a photo….
I won it for coming 9th in a haze fishing competition. It was made by special order by legendary Tokyo tackle store Sansui. The glass soon saw action as I warmed up my frying oil for the starter…
Some of the survivors ended up in a gratin; others were grilled and then sun-dried: these will be used to make the stock for celebratory o-zoni soup on New Year’s Day morning. It is so dry here in the Japanese winter these fish are completely dried out left outside overnight. Then they go in a ziplock bag and into the freezer until the 1st Jan.
(slightly old photo but…)
Turned out nice again!
Some gobies were caught, killed and eaten.
Tenpura always crisps up nicer if you drain a bit of the oil on kitchen paper or if you are like me and not overly nice about things, old newspaper. I try not to apply the batter too thick. This evening we had a last-minute guest, and she exclaimed at how good haze tenpura is (I suspect she has never eaten real Japanese mahaze before) and how the fish fillets rolled up in the hot oil. This is a sign of quality not poor frying technique: it means the fish has never been frozen or overly-chilled. Of course in this case the poor buggers were whizzing about in a bucket until about three hours previously.
but we don’t care, with a cooler full of wahoo, as the hoist says! On returning to Hagåtña, the incredibly relaxed captain prepared the best sashimi you could ever eat south of the tropic line:
Sent down with some local Guam beer and amazingly, Kikkoman shoyu and genuine wasabi, it was not bad! There were no stingrays or teenaged girls in miniscule bikinis this time.
I could get used to this kind of fishing, in a private sea (not a single other sport fishing vessel, or indeed any ship of any kind, in sight) and Chamorro hospitality!
Many thanks again to Captain Ray, Louis and Jamie, of the Island Girl, sailing from Hagåtña Boat Basin. I can’t wait to go back again!
What’s to do with a kilogram or so of eel innards? Stew them, in a mix of soy sauce, mirin, maple syrup and sansho, of course.