New spins to an essential Filipino dish

Adlai and wild mushroom lugaw by chef Jade Christopher Marquez Lee. (Photographs courtesy of respective chefs)

The recent talk of the town was the viral “lugaw is essential” mishap, wherein some barangay officials prohibited a food delivery rider from delivering the said dish due to the curfew. And thus, the rice porridge has undergone a modern transformation through the Lugaw Challenge by the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde Culinary Cluster, which fielded 10 culinary experts from the School of Hotel, Restaurant, and Institution Management to give their own twist on one of the favorite Filipino comfort food.

It started when Benilde Culinary Program chairperson, chef Margarita Marty, posted a photo of her enjoying lugaw on social media.

“Several faculty members commented that I only eat sosyal na lugaw but this is not true. I often have it for meals,” she recalled. “This continued on until we decided to have a challenge.”

Laksa Lugaw by chef Veronica Reyes.

“This is our own little way of supporting the struggling restaurant industry and the riders,” Marty said.

In two days, the friendly banter ended with an array of mouthwatering classic recipes seamlessly blended with a variety of rich international flavors.

As a nod to Japanese cuisine, chef Erica Aquino’s miso shiitake lugaw comes with miso glazed chicken, spicy pickled wood ear mushrooms, nori flakes, ramen egg and sesame chili oil, while chef Veronica Reyes presents her Laksa Lugaw made of creamy and fragrant seafood broth topped with poached prawns, fried tofu and soft-boiled egg.

Indian-style lugaw by chef Kannan Jayaprakash Sreedevi.

India comes closer to home with chef Kannan Jayaprakash Sreedevi’s Indian-style lugaw with monggo and coconut. Chef Joel Espiritu Erfe’s Xiao Loo Gaw is a saffron mushroom congee in a pouch with a side of bean sprout salad, crispy pork ears, tofu, poached egg and a mildly spicy calamansi-soy dressing.

Chef Jade Christopher Marquez Lee merges sous vide egg, crispy pancetta, toasted walnuts and rosemary oil in his adlai and wild mushroom lugaw. Meanwhile, chef Mike Silbor brings a dash of France in his prawn bisque lugaw of prawn reduction, pan-seared river prawns, beurre noisette and crispy fried leeks.

Lugaw Tayo Kai-Vegan by chef Jester Arellano.

Check out chef Roselle Sison-Pangalilingan’s delectable warm vanilla-cinnamon spiced Tres Leches lugaw with raspberry and goji berry compote. Let’s not forget chef Zemir Herrera-Rollan’s oatmeal curry lugaw with hard-boiled egg, fried tofu, shredded chicken, toasted garlic and leeks.

In his Lugaw Tayo Kai-Vegan, chef Jester Arellano uses brown rice, vegetable broth, saffron, and calamansi vinaigrette topped off with shiitake mushrooms, bokchoy, carrots, kangkong, malunggay and chia seeds.

Lugaw ni Señora by chef Margarita Marty.

Completing the set is Marty’s Lugaw ni Señora, headlined by chorizos and crispy jamones served with quail eggs, leeks and crunchy garlic.

Through different variations — simple or elaborate — the mighty lugaw remains to be an essential good, specially during this pandemic.

Oatmeal curry lugaw by chef Zemir Herrera-Rollan.

Warm vanilla-cinnamon spiced Tres Leches lugaw by chef Roselle Sison-Pangalilingan.

Prawn bisque lugaw by chef Mike Silbor.

Xiao Loo Gaw by chef Joel Espiritu Erfe.

Miso shiitake lugaw by chef Erica Aquino.


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