Tuesday, 4 April 2017

A Filipino Dish

Papua New Guinea has hundreds of acres of viable soil well suited for cultivating vegetable farms, but in the conurbations like Port Moresby, modernization has caught on to it like an emblazoning fire slowly sweeping across a vast dry land, much to the delight of everyone who finds modernization as a welcome excuse to turn everything into glistening concrete pavements.

While a modernization could sometimes mean goodbye to green scenery, that's not necessarily the case for Port Moresby and I would like to take this opportunity to express my admiration to the NCDC, the governor and the Prime Minister for putting up these tree boxes in the middle of most highways around the city. These trees are superbly helpful to the people who loves to go out on foot. 

A better way to make use of an old and rusting metal drum that has seen better days is to turn it into a plant box. A few months ago, a co-manager of mine has planted sweet potatoes (kaukau) in it and this is what it looked like now. She even put up a mesh grill to keep our housedog from burying chicken bones into the potting soil.

I have been asking our local staffs if they know that Kau-kau sprouts are an edible part of the plant besides the root, and the widespread reply is that they had only been consuming the fleshy roots, all the while ignoring the leaves. Just to be on the safe side, what we're actually picking off the stems are the young leaves growing at the endmost part of the stalks. 

The leaves that have gone bigger kind of leaves an aftertaste in the mouth. 

Last Sunday, we thought it was about time to harvest leaf sprouts for breakfast. I snipped off some of the leaves and a lady co-manager provided the perfect recipe for it. Another recipe that has withstood the test of time is to simply put these leaves in a boiling water for a few minutes. 

As what the picture suggests, sweet potato leaves are best served with anchovies (bagoong).
And if you try and add fried Matang-baka (Eye scad fish), fried Okra (ladies finger), fried Ampalaya (bitter gourd), a few slices of mango and rice, like what we’re having for this breakfast, you are about to experience one of the typical dishes that, we Filipinos, have come to love in ages.

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