From time to time this column has diverted from Adventure Travel to Adventure Eating, usually focusing on some of the more unusual dishes we have encountered. The Marinated Duck Heads in our last issue brought more response than usual, and so I must reiterate that most of the food that we encounter out there is not just edible, but outrageously tasty.
My journeys to Central Asia always include afternoons in the public markets hunkered over a bowl of pilau and then down to the spice section to pick up ingredients that have flowed along the trades routes of the region for centuries, but just haven’t made it onto the shelves of Safeway yet.
And so when I return home I can enjoy authentic recreations of some of my favorite Eating Expeditions. I have no intention of becoming the Julia Child of our industry (or even the Beppe Gambetta!) but here is a favorite of mine from the Philippines that has been constantly improved over many years to reach the absolute peak of perfection.
1 1/2 lbs. Chicken Thighs
1 1/2 lbs. Pork Spare Ribs
1 1/4 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
1 Whole Crushed Garlic
20 Crushed Peppercorns
1 Medium Sized Chopped Onion
2 Bay Leaves
1 cup *Soy Sauce
*Silver Swan brand soy sauce is my favorite, but others, including Kikkoman, will do.
Cut the chicken thighs and pork ribs into manageable sizes. Combine all ingredients except soy sauce in a large bowl Cover the bowl and marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Put all ingredients in a pressure cooker, add soy sauce and cook for 15 minutes after the control jiggles or after the pressure indicator has reached its proper mark. Allow to cool normally, under pressure. Then place the pressure cooker under cold water to cool before removal of the lid. Serve with steamed rice or if you are a true Americano-with boiled potatoes!
Our product development team is always in action, most often in locations that are far from urban, multi-starred hotels. One of the main requirements on the job description for this team is a love of culinary adventure. So try it out and if you like it, send us a resume … .you just might have what it takes …to be on the Pacific Road!