You might be wondering how the Philippines could have it’s own version of corned beef. Well, believe it or not, we do! But as with most Pinoy things, it’s a result of brilliance and colonialism. Leave it Filipinos to find a way to take two completely different things, combine them together, and make it our own.
Whenever I would come back to the States I was always so confused when I ordered something and it would taste really, really, different from what I expected. Corned beef was one of those things. We are all familiar with Irish-American corned beef, usually served with cabbage or as a deli sandwich. So how does Pinoy corned beef differ?
Well for one, corned beef is usually eaten during breakfast, and if it’s eaten silog style it’s called cornsilog. Corny no? Sorry, couldn’t resist. It was imported to the Philippines by the Americans during occupation, and it’s something that stuck to us like spaghetti and ice cream. Our spin on the Irish-American classic is by cooking it sofritos style, a technique popular in Spanish cuisine. This mean we add in garlic, onion, and tomatoes.
Is it groundbreaking? No. But you don’t see a whole lot of American households eating canned corned beef anymore. However, not all brands are created equally. There are numerous brands available but my personal favorite is the one imported from New Zealand by Palm. It is a little pricier but it’s good quality canned meat. I can’t believe I just typed that.
During the 2008 FIFA World Cup, we would stay up really late to watch live matches. Or we would take a nap and wake up in time, because the matches took place around 3 or 4 a.m. UTC. One time I was at Mica’s house to watch a game and she made corned beef for a late night/early breakfast snack. Ever since that night I’ve always made my corned beef the same way, by adding Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco.