4.277 Filipino Spaghetti

Cycle 4 – Item 277

9 (Wed) October 2013

Filipino Spaghetti


by me

at home

-Oksu, Seongdong, Seoul, Republic of Korea-

with the Family

Another dish from Adobo Road Cookbook.

Filipino Spaghetti is a Filipino dish.  The sauce is essentially an Italian ragu, localized by the addition of sugar and ketchup, particularly banana ketchup, plus hot dogs and/or bacon, such influences certainly American.  So popular, apparently, that it’s no longer really considered Italian or American (or Japanese, if ever it was, as the author speculates).

The recipe required banana ketchup, starting with achuete oil, made by boiling annatto seeds.
The oil, which smells kinda floral but doesn’t taste like much, is a natural food coloring.

Banana ketchup, originally developed as a cheaper substitute for tomato ketchup, is now appreciated in its own right; the bottled stuff that I had in the Philippines, found on the table at most chicken joints, or provided in individual packets with takeout, was similar in tang to tomato ketchup but obviously without any actual tomato flavor.

Here, perhaps too much banana (“350 g” doesn’t specify whether whole or peeled), the ketchup was overwhelmingly banana in flavor, and the color was nowhere near red.

The Filipino Spaghetti was hit, then miss, then hit.  Early in the process, I could see where it was going, gloriously sweet from the banana ketchup and squishy from the hotdogs.  But towards the end, the recipe called for red wine, a full cup of it, suddenly turning the sauce all intense, much more serious than it had started out.  Dark in color from the wine, and smoky from the bacon, it was reminiscent of BBQ sauce.  Nobody liked it much on the initial serving.  But later, after the leftovers had been refrigerated for several hours, allowing the flavors to come together and relax, it was much much better.  Though still not that great.


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