Puso, Larang, Sutukil, and Ngohiong
The Cebuano taste bud is a mixture of different colonization and cultural immersion due to different nationalities who came to the islands, eventually influencing the Cebuanos. But aside from that, the Cebuanos, or the Filipinos, in general, are very agile in terms of adapting foreign cuisine into our native cooking.
Today’s blog is all about Cebuano comfort food which can be found in every local household and also at several street corners of Cebu City.
Deliciously Cebuano Comfort Food
In English, it’s Hanging Rice. It’s called Puso because of how the container made of coconut leaves is formed, it looked like a heart, Puso is a Tagalog term for the heart.
Cebuanos cook rice in this way for efficiency and for the rice not to spoil easily. It has been noticed that when cooking rice in such a way, the cooked rice won’t spoil until the next day while when cooked the traditional way, it has a tendency of spoiling in just hours.
Almost every meal on the streets, Puso is hung on stands. To open it, the customer has to cut it into two, most of the time, the outer side of the rice becomes green in color too because of the coconut leaves.
Best eaten at night or when the weather is cold and rainy. Larang is a fish soup recipe that has a kick to it because of the chilis and other spicy ingredients added. It is like the Tula or the traditional fish soup except that this has its own type of fish to be cooked as such.
Normally, in the streets of Cebu, if there are vendors and small stands with huge pots boiling and steaming hot, you can assume they are cooking Larang.
This viand is also pretty affordable, usually, it can be served in less than Php 50-100. I always order this too when eating out in a restaurant when we have errands to do outside the house.
Because of its spiciness, most of the diners will be sweaty and the coldness is relieved.
I have featured several restaurants in Cebu which are offering this type of food. SuTuKil means Su for sugba or grill, Tu is for Tula or Tuwa or in English, fish soup while Kil is for kinilaw or ceviche.
This is very popular in Cebu and it is not just a hit for the Cebuanos, most visitors and foreigners would also order this when on the beach or even in restaurants. But while there are restaurants that are hitting the right taste for the three, it is also a hit-and-miss for many. So, it is very important to know which restaurants have the best of the three worlds.
This is from the Chinese but most Cebuanos are into this almost vegetarian food as it is mainly made of young bamboo. Ngohiong was introduced to me by a college friend when we had our seminar back before college days started and she brought me to a cheap eatery, a piece of Ngohiong at that time was just priced at Php 5. Today, the pricing had increased for most vendors but the taste is still the same.
Our favorite Ngohiong provider is, of course, Ngohiong Express, and one which is located in San Carlos University as it comes with a very tasty sauce, I do strongly believe that it's the sauce that is making the Ngohiong taste good.
Also, I would like to note that the Chinese community in Cebu is located in Parian, this area is now becoming a heritage spot as most of the Chinese families had already moved to several other parts of the city. It is here where the favorite Casa Gorordo is located and the Yap-Santiago Ancestral House is.
This is just the first part of the Cebuano comfort food list! I will post more in the next article! See you!
Check out my previous articles here:
Henann's Seabreeze, Overnight in Panglao, and Buffet at Prawn Farm
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ni isa ate parang di ako familiar pero ung isang picture parang sinigang na isda lang eh hihih..