i was watching “the search for the next iron chef” yesterday and the challenge was to create a classic american meal with a distinctly asian touch. one of the contenders made a siomai or a steamed dumpling whose filling was “all-american meatloaf” (yup, complete with ketchup in the mix). i think he nearly lost. he.he. he was second to the last. it turned out he didn’t know how to make a good siomai dough — it turned out to be chewy and rubbery.

anyway, my mom made a batch of embutido recently. embutido is normally “special occasion” food but if you think about it’s very economical because you can make a lot of rolls with a few kilos of meat, eggs, cheese, cream, pickles, and chopped ham (alternatives to this are luncheon meat or sausages).
traditionally, they “secured” the rolls by using the stomach lining from pigs, which looks like jiggly spider web. apart from providing additional fat, moisture and flavor to the ground meat, it also kept the roll from breaking up. however, for practicality, most now use tin foil in making the rolls to help them hold their shape while steaming (or boiling).
the pan droppings during the steaming process is usually mixed with cream, cheese and flour (or breadcrumbs) to make a gravy. some prefer ketchup, too. personally i prefer the first one because it has much more flavor. i also like the embotido when it is fried. you cut slices, then fry them on butter or lard. frying imbues it with a nutty flavor. it goes well with rice or as filling for sandwiches, too.
too bad, the iron chef contestant should have known about our embutido before he went there. 🙂

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Guagua Girl says:

    i've been looking at the photo wondering what's missing. and then i realized you don't have dark dots in the meat (raisins)! 😛

    they are quite easy to make, neh? mom still uses the netting and she has special katsa (cheesecloth) from the philippines, which she launders to use again. you know what the secret is to a good embutido? you mix it by hand. if you don't, it won't be as flavorful 😛


  2. Betis Boy says:

    ha.ha. true, about the magical flavors imparted by mixing by hand 🙂

    we use pickles (instead of raisins) as our sweetening agent. i guess it's personal taste, but i find the raisins a bit too sweet in this dish. i also don't like it when people put green peas in it.


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