Friday, May 7, 2010

Kinamatisan: A New Way To Serve Your Noodles

Many years ago (okay I admit, decades ago), I learned about colonialism and imperialism from a hardcore nationalistic Social Studies instructor. It is funny that I forget her name but not her facial features. At that point in my life, I could not care less about freedom or independence for I was ever-so willing to be enslaved for a bag of chips or a stick of fish balls from the sidewalk vendor. Yes, such is life.

The Chinese may not have colonized our country but you need only see their immense influence in our culture by simply taking a glimpse of the food that we love to eat. Siomai and siopao have already become Filipino food even though the origins are not.

Featured in this photo is a dish I prepared yesterday on a whim. It only took a few minutes for it to disappear. That good? I cannot really tell. I just think that it caught everyone's attention in this house since it is an interesting and new way to serve mung bean noodles (sotanghon). This dish is called "Kinamatisan" with the secret ingredient being our common tomato (kamatis). It is inspired from an ancient way of preparing noodles in a little town called BiƱan Laguna.

400 grams Mung bean noodles (more commonly known as sotanghon)
ground beef (preferably ground round with less fat content)
2 cups of chopped tomatoes (seeded)
4 to 5 cloves of garlic (crushed)
1 small white onion (sliced fine)
2 tbsps cooking oil
juice of 6 to 8 calamansi
fish sauce to taste (preferably Thai or Vietnamese so it is less salty)
ground black pepper
brown sugar to taste
some water (around 1 cup)

Soak the noodles in water for about 5 minutes and drain well. Heat a wok on high until it smokes. Pour the oil. Lower the heat to medium and throw in your garlic and onion.  Let them sweat for about 2 minutes on relatively low heat. Add the tomatoes and cook until soft. Add the ground beef, making sure to cook until done with constant stirring. Sprinkle with ground black pepper to taste, sugar, calamansi juice, and fish sauce. Add some water and adjust the ingredients to your liking. Toss in your noodles and mix well (I suggest using two forks). You should expect the liquid to evaporate slowly as you continuously mix the ingredients together. It will have a sticky consistency once the liquid dries. Remove from pan and serve.

I hope this recipe inspires you to serve the common noodle dish in a new way. :)

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