Thursday, September 27, 2007

WTSIM: Ensaladang Labanos / Radish Pickle

In C’s mom’s kitchen there is a huge basket filled to bursting with all kinds of vinegars, sauces, spreads, pickles, spice oils, and like-minded potions. And that is just on the table…there is still more on the shelves and, for those needing refrigeration, in the fridge. This is how C grew up, surrounded by what he likes to call “pampaganang espesyal”.

Pampaganang Espesyal – How do I translate this? When you refer to a “pampagana” in Filipino cooking/eating, this usually means some sort of condiment or ingredient that that is taken with a dish, complementing it marvelously, as such giving you a sudden burst of raging appetite, making you consume 3X more than you normally would. For example: when you put your favorite hot sauce on pizza…or when you have a really yummy mango pickle (be still my heart!) to go with your curry. You want more curry so you can have more mango pickle. Or is that that you want more mango pickle so you can have more curry? We don’t know. Bottom line is, you can’t stop. Pampagana. And “espesyal”? That is just C trying to Filipino-slangify “special”. Basically “pampaganang espesyal” is a really special something that complements your food so well, and elevates it to new heights, that it gives you eating powers beyond what you dreamed possible.

Some of the best pampagana in my book are those that are home made – things like atsara (a local pickle made with unripe papaya), chutneys, chili mixes like sambal (thank you Nens!), tzaziki with extra think yogurt, fried onions, fruit and veggie pickles…these are some of the things with the power to make me behave like a ravenous beast. And C even more so!

So it was a happy surprise when I saw that Johanna, The Passionate Cook and host of this round of “Waiter! There’s something in my…”, chose Savoury Preserves as this month’s theme. Not only do I get to prepare what has become a favorite pampaganang espesyal, but I also get to look forward to a whole round up that I know will be filled with even more pampaganang espesyal!

And I get to post about what I did with that radish

Ensaladang Labanos / Radish Salad or Radish Pickle
  • 2 radish (about 300 grams total)
  • 5-6 small native sibuyas (or shallots)
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 2-3 teaspoons sugar
  • Freshly cracked black pepper

- Peel the radish and slice widthways into very thin rounds. As thin as you can get them. If you have a mandolin this would a perfect time to use it. If you don’t (like me) then hum to yourself and think happy thoughts and you will be done before you know it. Now do the same thing with the shallots.
- Place the radish slices in a bowl and add shallots, vinegar, sugar, and pepper. Toss to coat and taste for seasoning. Adjust seasoning if needed.
- Press everything into a glass jar*** and let it rest in the refrigerator overnight before consuming.

This is good with grilled meats, fish, or chicken. It’s also great with pan-fried pork chops or fried fish. I like it with adobo, and it will most likely go with any dish with which you would have atsara. For someone who does not really like dill or sweet pickles, I love all other kinds…and this one is no exception. Its sweet, acidic tang, and crunchy texture is scarily addicting, and C and I can finish almost one jar in a sitting. Pampagana!

***I clean my jars in very hot water and let dry upside down on a clean tea towel. I store this in the fridge and it is consumed very quickly.


Anh said...

Jo, this looks wonderful! I love radish pickle. Will surely make it!

lobstersquad said...

I love that name, ensaladang. It´s a perfect spanish/asian fusion of a word, beautiful!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Joey! Wow great write up on the words! Especially liked "gives you eating powers beyond what you dreamed possible." What fun!
I've been wanting to try the radish pickle! You make it sound so lovely!

Marvin said...

My dad always has old mayonnaise jars that he cleans out and then fills full of vinegar and chilis. I'm not sure what he calls this though.

Does it matter what kind of vinegar is used for Filipino pickling?

ChichaJo said...

Hi Anh! Thanks :) In love it too!

Hi Ximena! We've got lots of those fusion words here :)

Hi Tanna! Thank you! :) It's really good...simple but good...and complements so many dishes :)

Hi Marvin! Omg! I clean out my old mayo jars too! And I make my own spicy vinegar with chilis (sili labuyo), ginger, galic, and whole mom calls it sinamak :) I think you can play around with the vinegar but typically plain white cane vinegar (I use Datu Puti) is used :)

Belinda said...

I've never had radish pickle, Joey, but it looks so pretty, and after reading the recipe, I know I would fall in love with it. And you said the magic pickle! Oh, how I LOVE mango pickle with curries and potato dishes! Your posts are always so interesting...I love visiting your happy food blog. :-)

Amanda at Little Foodies said...

I'd love a jar of that sat in my fridge! You're so right on every level in this post Joey.

katiez said...

I've noted this for next summer - sIt'll be great for the last radishes (I always over plant)... ever so much better than throwing them on the compost!

veron said...

what is it about radish that makes you want to eat more. I stopped buying chili radish because it makes eat too much rice!

Susan said...

I have never made a savory preserve before, but after reading this post, I feel inspired! Just delicious, truly!

ces said...

ahhhh! that made me drool!!! i miss this! have to ask my mom in-law to make me one!!!!asap!!!:)
btw, i tagged you...

ChichaJo said...

Thank you so much for your sweet comment Belinda! :) I think it's pretty too (all white and pink...I'm such a girl I know) :) I just got a bottle of chili green mango pickle (hence the reference to it in the post) and I am addicted body-mind-soul! Sometimes I sneak plain spoonfuls of in between meals (I just did right now)!

Hi Amanda! It's great to have handy :)

Hi Katiez! Yes, this would be a good way to use those extra radishes :)

Hi Veron! I know! Chili radish? Oh boy! Point the way! :)

Hi Susan! I actually like savory chutneys, pickles, and relishes...although for some reason I don't like dill pickles and sweet pickle relish :) Weird.

Hi Ces! Heehee :) Nakaka-miss no? :) Will check it out :)

maybahay said...

you're spot on re pampaganas. sawsawans and pickles just seem to complete a meal. i've never had this before but will definitely try.

mtan said...

I asked a friend for english definition or synonyms to pampagana, and she came up with Motivation, Encouragement, Enticement. Hmmm, maybe the closest to what atcharas or other pampaganas (for me its bagoong, or sawsawans like toyo with sili) do for a meal is the last word. I am enticed. And I also love pickling onions, red onions with radishes. Sweet, sour, and the salivary glands go haywire.

ragamuffin girl said...

I grew up eating radish pickle, Tsinoy-style. My mom makes it with the exact same ingredients but adds carrots. She also squeezes out the radish till it's dry, and boils the vinegar-sugar mixture once before adding the radish and carrots when it has cooled down. The result are very crunchy discs swimming in a casual and toned-down sweet/sour bath. I keep some in the fridge and take it out when I serve fried or grilled stuff. Your post made me homesick reminisce about my mom's cooking. :) Great picture and I love the onion and goat cheese tarts, they look absolutely yummy!

ChichaJo said...

Hi Maybahay! The really do complete a meal :) My husband would also agree!

Hi M! I did think long and hard if there was a word that fully described pampagana and everything fell a bit least nothing really captured how much they can make me eat! Haha! :) Bagoong...yum!!!

Thanks Ragamuffin Girl! :) And thanks for sharing how your mom made this...I am definitely noting this down to try for next time :)

thepassionatecook said...

beautiful! i love my radish! this sounds truly moreish, i am the same as you guys in that respect... open a jar of gherkins etc and i can't keep my hands off them. this is certainly one to try for me, we eat lots of mooli grated and sometimes with a sour cream marinade, but i hadn't thought of preserving it. thanks for submitting this, will add it to the round-up straight away!

ChichaJo said...

Hi Johanna! Thank you so much for squeezing this in (you are too kind!)! :) With a sour cream marinade sounds really interesting! I am off to forage through your rounds up...I love savory preserves and you really picked a winning theme for me! :)

Anonymous said...

My goodness! i am so frustrated before I saw your Ensiladang labanos recipe...coz what I have right now is a very thinly slice labanos, but I dont know the rest of the ingredients...& you know what I am so thankful because of this site I can now make my own ensiladang labanos! Thankas you so much! whew! cheese!

ChichaJo said...

Hello Anonymous! Glad I could be of help! :)