FEAST of flavours
Gourmet Traveller|December 2021
In her second cookbook, Under Coconut Skies, YASMIN NEWMAN shares flavours and stories from the Philippines, where meals are always shared.
YASMIN NEWMAN
SALABAT

Ginger and turmeric infusion with black pepper and calamansi

MAKES 1.25 L

“In the cooler months, warm pots of ginger-laden tea, known as salabat, are made to ward off colds. It’s also loved as a drink on its own merits,” says Yasmin Newman. “Here I’ve made it with fresh turmeric and served it over ice.” Pictured p138

2 tbsp finely grated fresh turmeric

2 tbsp finely grated ginger

2 tbsp honey

2 tbsp freshly squeezed calamansi (see note) or lemon juice

1 tsp freshly cracked black pepper

1 Combine all ingredients and 1.25 litres (5 cups) of water in a large saucepan; bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes to infuse. Enjoy piping hot or serve chilled over ice.

Note Calamansi, also known as green round cumquats, can be found at Filipino sari-sari (variety) stores, or grown by members of the Filipino community.

An archipelago of incredible breadth, the Philippines boasts 7,107 islands, separated yet bound together by water – inland seas at the furthest points and straits and channels at the nearest. Together, its coastline is the longest discontinuous stretch in the world.

Spread across this vast land and 80 ethno-linguistic groups is a shared heritage, as well as palate. Go anywhere and there’s a version of adobo, kare-kare and kakakin. Yet in each small town and city, you’ll find vibrant local cuisines, carved from their unique terrain and set of traditions.

From the small towns and far-flung islands to the historic, illustrious cities, I’ve had the good fortune of visiting many of these places. Many recipes in this collection showcase enchanting flavours and uncommon ingredients I encountered for the first time while researching this book. I love that there is always more to learn and discover. Wherever you go in the Philippines, eat widely and curiously, for this is the adventure of food.

ENSALADANG SUHA

Rainbow pomelo salad with peanuts

SERVES 4-6 AS A SIDE

“When Filipinos eat fruit, it’s not uncommon that we dip it in salt flakes, especially if it’s tart or bitter,” says Newman. “It allows the natural sweetness to shine. This salad is a tribute to this time-honoured tradition.” Pictured p138

1 yellow pomelo (about 1 kg)

1 pink pomelo (about 500gm)

50 gm salted roasted peanuts, roughly chopped

CALAMANSI AND CHILLI DRESSING

2 tbsp sukang tuba (coconut vinegar) or apple cider vinegar

2 tbsp calamansi or lime juice

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