A Filipino Kitchen: Traditional Recipes With an Island Twist by Adam Tabura

A Filipino Kitchen: Traditional Recipes With an Island Twist by Adam Tabura

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Born on Lāna‘i, Chef Adam Tabura grew up far from the influences of fast foods and supermarkets. He learned to appreciate foods and traditional styles of cooking, often based on ingredients he gathered himself fro the garden or the ocean.

As a kid, he may have yearned for McDonald's burgers, but today he calls his upbringing a blessing that taught him about food at its most basic level, and which formed the basis of his creativity as a chef.

A Filipino Kitchen reflects Adam's favorite childhood meals, cooked by his grandfather or shared by neighbors and friends. It is also influenced by Adam's travels to the Philippines, which taught him much about the roots of the foods he grew up with.

Filipino cooking is rising in popularity across the U.S., where both the size and number of Filipino communities is increasing dramatically. (Filipinos represent Hawaii's largest ethnic group.) Filipino food can be enjoyed everywhere food trucks, fast-food establishments, malls, supermarkets and family restaurants. And with more restaurants headed by Filipino chefs, the cuisine is making an appearance on more upscale menus.

These 100-plus recipes encompass all aspects of Filipino cooking in Hawaii today. Many of Adam's island-style recipes, influenced by Hawaii's plantation heritage, show new twists on traditional dishes. His Kare-Kare puts tripe in the traditional oxtail stew, and he replaces the customary peanut butter with ground macadamia nuts; his Filipino Spaghetti adds Portuguese sausage. Plantation-style dishes are given a Filipino touch–Pork Tofu with Watercress and Braised Beef Brisket Curry Stew with Ube–and Filipino dishes are given a tropical flavor–Coconut-Passion Fruit Flan. He has also adapted dishes to include ingredients found on Lāna'i–Venison Embutido and Venison Caldereta. And many Hawaii chefs share their contemporary recipes as well as versions of traditional dishes.

Chef Adam's easy-to-follow recipes show the diverse richness of colors, tastes and flavors that define Filipino cooking. They will appeal to those who already cook Filipino food, and serve as a great introduction to the cuisine for non-Filipinos who are curious or want to learn more.

 

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