I’m feeling all the feels today, folks.
I mentioned in an earlier, that I was invited to guest star at Jeepney’s Tiki Tuesday Jeepenese Night, providing my recipe for Poke Ahi!
The particular recipe for the poke is what I like to call “Standard Issue” because it’s the poke found in most restaurants in the Hawaiian Islands and on the U.S. Mainland. It’s just a seriously delicious kiki between sushi-grade tuna, some sesame oil, shoyu (soy sauce), wasabi, arame, scallions and sesame seeds.
The twist was the Filipinofication of the poke, by serving it with Filipino-style garlic rice and an avocado crème! I’m going to share my friend Chrispy’s photo of the Jeepenese Poke Bowl and another dish from the special menu: Ukoy-Miyaki!
(clockwise from top: Ukoy Miyaki, Kilawen Handroll and Pinoy Poke!)
Oh, you never heard of ukoy? It’s a shrimp fritter that’s usually sold by street vendors in the Philippines and it’s a popular merienda (snack). I’m looking forward to visiting the Philippines one day to see all these concepts that I’ve heard so much about since childhood. The Ukoy-Miyaki was served with a maggi-kewpie mayo, bonito flakes and okonomiyaki sauce. It was crisp, savory and almost melted in your mouth.
What? You never heard of Kilawen? Well, it’s a Filipino dish, of course, that is similar to ceviche, popular in the Illocos region of the Philippines. Instead of the calamansi (Filipino citrus fruit) it was served in a handroll: fluke with cucumber, sushi rice, coconut milk, and sili (a Filipino chili) for some heat.
Shall we talk about the drinks?
The drinks were in collaboration with Mizu Shochu which is a traditional Japanese spirit (there’s more than just sake!) that is made from two-rowed barley and black koji rice. At scent, it resembles sake. At taste, it hits more like a very smooth whiskey. All of the Tiki Tuesday specials were prepared with this fine spirit- such as the Pat Morita, Lone Wolf and Cub, Lola Lilac and the drink I was enjoying all evening: Tia Carrere is Filipino-Hawaiian Punch.
One thing I need to make clear- is that I am so grateful to my friends Miguel and Nicole for always welcoming me and my family into their space and treating us like family. This was a chance for me to explore something I really enjoy, and boy did I enjoy it! My appreciation for all the food and drink I enjoy at restaurants has been re-invigorated because of all the hard work and care that goes into creating a memorable experience. It’s been so long since I’ve worked in the industry but I was able to reacquaint myself quickly. Hands should never be empty. I bussed cups, plates and I had fun. Snaps and shoutouts to the crazmazing Jeepney Team. Thanks for having me be part of the crew last night. I was walking around all like:
For the record- all who tried the Poke Bowl enjoyed it very much. There were some first time guests to Jeepney (and first time experiencing Filipino food!) who were very glad to be there. The place was packed and it was almost difficult to move around. That’s a great thing to happen in restaurant world.
I had a wonderful time. And I’m so grateful for all the friends and family who came out to support!
And of course… all this is so much more special because I got this guy by my side:
Notes and/or Shade…
1. In my defense, my father immigrated here from Quezon City at a time where “moving to America and never looking back” was slightly fashionable.
2.Remind me to tell you the time I was dared to eat sili, and my theory on why most of my Kababayan dislike pickles. It’s a funny story, at my expense.
3. She was an actress who’s starred in several movies, and she has an amazing voice.
4. Now, I’ve been volun-told to make poke for dinners, brunches and house parties… Let’s rock.