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20 Questions You Ask Yourself Trying To Cook Filipino Food For The First Time

How do you solve a problem like tinola?

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You're a thousand miles away from a palengke. The closest Asian grocery store is a four-hour drive away. But those flavors from home are calling you!

1. Adobo's supposed to be the easiest, right?

The Holy Trinity of Filipino Food: garlic, vinegar, and soy sauce. Amen.
dbgg1979 / Via Flickr: dbgg1979

The Holy Trinity of Filipino Food: garlic, vinegar, and soy sauce. Amen.

2. What vinegar do I use?

Distilled white? Apple cider? Balsamic? Coconut rhum? Rice wine?
Marianne Reyes / Via Twitter: @dontpugme

Distilled white? Apple cider? Balsamic? Coconut rhum? Rice wine?

3. Why are there are so many kinds of soy sauce?

Is Japanese soy sauce just for sushi? There's Chinese soy sauce, too. Do Hawaiians call Hawaiian soy sauce just "soy sauce"?
Kanesue / Via commons.wikimedia.org

Is Japanese soy sauce just for sushi? There's Chinese soy sauce, too. Do Hawaiians call Hawaiian soy sauce just "soy sauce"?

4. Do I be "healthy" and get the low sodium type?

Kayo rin po, Tita, tumaba. ಠ_ಠ
Isabelle Laureta / Via buzzfeed.com

Kayo rin po, Tita, tumaba. ಠ_ಠ

5. Can I use coconut aminos? Or tamari?

Is it possible to gentrify adobo?
Timaree Hagenburger / Via foodiebars.com

Is it possible to gentrify adobo?

6. Chicken adobo or pork adobo?

Of course, both!
ABS-CBN Entertainment | Marianne Reyes / Via youtube.com

Of course, both!

7. Wait, what cuts do I get?

Why isn't there an "adobo cut" or "liempo cut" like there is in SM Supermarket?
Golden Acres Food Solutions / Via goldenacres.com.ph

Why isn't there an "adobo cut" or "liempo cut" like there is in SM Supermarket?

8. Will it be easier to just make soup? Will sinigang be harder to mess up?

There's sinigang mix, right? If I can bake boxed cake mix, I can do this.
13secondstolove / neato-stock / monicaH / Via 13secondstolove.deviantart.com

There's sinigang mix, right? If I can bake boxed cake mix, I can do this.

9. Do pork neck bones actually have any meat on them?

Also, why is bone broth trendy now? People have been doing that for generations.
Lyz Pfister / Via eatmedrinkmeblog.com

Also, why is bone broth trendy now? People have been doing that for generations.

10. How is this produce section so large and so incomplete at the same time?

It's no palengke, but it'll have to do, I guess.
whologwhy / Martinpulido / Marianne Reyes / Via Flickr: hulagway / commons.wikimedia.org

It's no palengke, but it'll have to do, I guess.

11. Why don't they have fresh okra?

Don't mind me. Just doing a happy dance because my grocery store has frozen whole okra. [DO NOT use breaded okra or pickled okra for sinigang.]
Sheila Brown / The U.S. Food and Drug Administration / Josael281999 | Marianne Reyes / Via publicdomainpictures.net / Flickr: fdaphotos / josael281999.deviantart.com

Don't mind me. Just doing a happy dance because my grocery store has frozen whole okra.

[DO NOT use breaded okra or pickled okra for sinigang.]

12. Why can't I "just add water" to turn this spinach into water spinach?

Also, kangkong needs to be on some official list of choking hazards.
Helen Ang / Via helenang.wordpress.com

Also, kangkong needs to be on some official list of choking hazards.

13. Where can I find malunggay?

Wait, it's a fancy health food now? Maybe I should just give up on cooking and start gardening.
wellnessBin / Via wellnessbin.com

Wait, it's a fancy health food now? Maybe I should just give up on cooking and start gardening.

14. Does my Tita have a malunggay tree?

Sorry about what I said earlier, Tita. I didn't mean it. I was just really hungry.
Nini Sabino / Marianne Reyes / Via Facebook: nini.sabino.7

Sorry about what I said earlier, Tita. I didn't mean it. I was just really hungry.

15. Where's the gabi?

McDonald's Philippines / Via makeagif.com

No, not that Gabby.

16. Are these giant mustard greens they use for soul food the same thing as mustasa?

chompet123 / Via youtube.com / makeagif.com

I love southern soul food, but I'm not going for that today.

17. Why are the string beans so short?

Sitaw? More like "nothing to see"-taw.
enrevanche / David | Marianne Reyes / Via pixabay.com / commons.wikimedia.org

Sitaw? More like "nothing to see"-taw.

18. Should I add MSG?

19. I'm exhausted. Where can a thirsty person find some calamansi juice around here?

No, not limeade or lemonade. Gimme that Citrofortunella microcarpa. Please, Tita. Konting help lang.
Michael Matera / Via pixabay.com

No, not limeade or lemonade. Gimme that Citrofortunella microcarpa.

Please, Tita. Konting help lang.

20. That was really hard. When's the next party?

Unli-Filipino food = heaven.
Marianne Reyes / Via fiftythreestarsandasun.com

Unli-Filipino food = heaven.

Don't be discouraged if your first try at cooking Filipino food didn't go as well as you had hoped. And if you've been too scared to try, kaya mo 'yan! You can do it!

FOX / Via missosology.info

It will be worth it. Make your nanay proud!

Write in the comments what other thoughts went through your mind when you tried cooking Filipino food for the first time!

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