How to cook: Gising-gising (spicy pork and green beans with coconut milk)

The first time I ate gising-gising was at Chic-boy. I hadn’t heard of the dish before, I asked the girl at the counter what it was exactly and she said it was a spicy chop suey. Sounded good; we ordered it. Fast forward to several months later and Jeanette posted a recipe of gising-gising on her blog. Surprisingly, it was a simpler dish made with sitaw (yard-long beans), coconut milk and chilis. In her post, Jeanette referred to a recipe by Mec which has green beans (a.k.a. French beans but locally known as Baguio beans) and ground pork.

I searched the web for a more definitive version of gising-gising and found none. The common denominator is that all versions are spicy and that makes the name of the dish understandable — gising-gising translates to Wake up! Wake up! and the spiciness of the dish will really wake one up. I also found out that green beans rather than sitaw appear to be more commonly used for making the dish.

My version of gising-gising uses green beans. But instead of ground pork, I used pork ears that had been boiled, chopped then pan fried until browned and crisp. »

How to cook: Pinakbet, an Ilocano pork and vegetable stew with shrimp paste

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If you ask the average Filipino what Ilocano cooking is all about, he'll likely say, "Bagnet, empanada and pinakbet." Of course, Ilocano cooking is much, much more than those three dishes. But bagnet, Ilocano empanada and pinakbet are sort of iconic and they are loved by Ilocanos and non-Ilocanos alike.What is pinakbet? … »