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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Wednesday, May 10, 2006

An introduction to ingredients

By Wanda A. Adams
Advertiser Food Editor

These ingredients can be found at Pacific Supermarket in Waipahu or other Filipino specialty stores, and at Chinatown stands.

Pantry goods

Photos by GREG YAMAMOTO | The Honolulu Advertiser

Mungo beans: Dried mung beans — whole or split, hulled or not — are steamed as a starch, fried with vegetables or meats, or used to thicken dishes.

Suka: Vinegar. Philippine cuisine uses a variety of vinegars — white, cane, palm, coconut, rice and spiced styles — for marinades, pickling, perking up flavors.


Otong: Long beans. Vigna unguiculata ssp. sesquipedalis. Cooked as green beans; common in vegetable dishes. Use very fresh, keep refrigerated.

Upo: White squash, a long, pale-green squash with white flesh. Seeded and chopped, this mild-flavored squash appears in many vegetable dishes.

Okra: Abelmoschus esculentus. Ilocanos favor gelatinous textures, such as that of cooked okra, served in vegetable stews.



Marungay (kalamunggay): Horseradish tree; Moringa oleifera. Flat, wisteria-like leaves are eaten as a cooked vegetable in soups and stews.

Saluyot: Jute or Jew's mallow leaves; Corchorus olitorius. Leaves have a slightly gelatinous texture when cooked, like okra.

Sayote: Leaves of the chayote squash vine (sometimes called pipinellas or mirliton); Sechium edule. Tender shoots make salad; also used in vegetable stews or soups.

Fish sauce

Ginisang bagoong: Whole tiny shrimp sauteed in oil; both sweet and spicy varieties are made. Condiment or ingredient.

Monamon: Type of bagoong, a paste of various salted fish. Generally an ingredient.

Bagoong balayan: Salted fish sauce, intensely flavored salty liquid used as ingredient or condiment.

Philippines-made patis: The liquid that's poured off during the making of bagoong; more rustic and intense than Thai or Vietnamese varieties.

Fish sauce: Nam pla (Thai) or nuoc mam (Vietnamese). Tiparos brand is widely preferred by local Filipinos; lighter in color and flavor than Philippine varieties.


Green papaya: Green papaya is cooked like a squash in soups and stews, grated with other ingredients for a condiment and made into pickles.

Calamansi: Philippines lime, x Citrofortunella microcarpa. Tiny tart-green citrus fruit with yellow flesh; squeezed on bland or rich foods as a condiment.