I’ve never tried cooking pinakbet (a medley of vegetables cooked in fish paste) or chop seuy. My mom cooks a mean tortang talong (eggplant omelette), so I never learned. And I don’t think I even want to try cooking ampalaya (bitter melon). So where did that leave me for Lasang Pinoy 18?
One of my favorite veggie appetizers is Gyu Asupara Maki, otherwise known as Beef and Asparagus Rolls. I love it for the sweet and salty flavor of the tender beef, imbued with just a subtle hint of smokiness, wrapped over crisp and cooked-just-right asparagus spears. While it’s Japanese in origin, I think, other than the mirin, the ingredients are ordinary enough to fit any cuisine. And with the flavor it packs, it’s sure to appeal to Pinoy tastebuds.
BEEF, ASPARAGUS AND CARROT ROLLS
When making Beef and Asparagus Rolls, I usually stick to asparagus only. This time around, I wanted to add a more ordinary vegetable so the asparagus is sharing center stage with the carrot.
Mix together 1 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tbsp mirin (Japanese sweet rice wine), and 1 tsp sugar. A professional cook once told me that you can substitute 1 tsp sugar + 1 tsp rice wine or dry sherry for every 1 Tbsp of mirin.
Cut 100-150 grams of thin beef steaks into 1″ thick strips. Thin sirloin, top round, or breakfast steak would be okay but if you feel like splurging, sukiyaki beef is wonderful. Marinade the beef in the soy sauce-mirin mix for at least 30 minutes.
Cut the asparagus spears into thirds. Cut a carrot into sticks that are roughly the same length as your asparagus. Then, roll an asparagus stalk and a couple of sticks of carrot in the beef.
Secure with a toothpick. If you’re using really thin beef, you can actually skip the toothpick part since it’ll stay rolled by itself.
Heat a little oil in a non-stick pan, then sear the asparagus rolls, turning to cook all sides. Don’t overcook so the veggies will stay nice and crisp.
Once it’s nice and browned, pour the leftover marinade (or make another helping) and let it glaze over the rolls.
While you won’t find asparagus and carrots anywhere in Bahay Kubo1, I think this dish would be welcome in any Filipino household. Through the years, we’ve assimilated Spanish, Chinese, and Italian cooking. Why not a little Japanese this time?
Lasang Pinoy (Filipino Taste) is a Filipino food blogging event that showcases food cooked throughout the Philippines. Read more about it at http://lasangpinoy.org. For the rest of the Oh My Gulay! entries, visit the round up at Wifely Steps.
1Bahay Kubo is a Filipino folk song that tells of the various vegetables growing around a small nipa hut.