Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Sentro’s Sinigang na Corned Beef: A Tribute to Ten Years

How many different types of Sinigang Filipinos can think of?  Now, there's the pork, fish and yes even chicken.   With the various meat we could think of for a sour hot soup, there are still the souring elements we also have to take note of.   On the usual is the sampalok fruit, actually we can also use the leaves to add that leafy zest to our Sinigang.  A fish could not hide it's undesirable odor without the Miso.   A lot can be really said about our very own Sinigang, but words have been buzzing around since it came out on their menu.    Let me introduce Sentro 1771's Sinigang na Corned Beef.
You heard me right.   Nope, if you are visualizing a canned corned beef floating over a hot pot of Sinigang, you're on the wrong room. 
Sentro 1771 is known for it's unique spin on Filipinos’ ultimate comfort food where every dish is a signature certified as every Balikbayan’s favorite!

A brainchild of Executive Chef Vicky Rose Pacheco of Chateau 1771 Group of Restaurants, sinigang na corned beef is possibly the most creative take on the usual sinigang that everyone knows. In the Philippines where a full roster of vegetables and high quality meats are in play, cooking up anything is practically always in season for chefs. But there’s something so charming about an accidental dish, especially if it turns out to be quite historic. It’s like cooking at home, making sure each ingredient works from the little scraps and pieces and turn it into another dish you can call deliciously your own.

Like sinigang na corned beef, it’s one of the dishes that’s considered very special for its monumental discovery. While ever busy in the kitchen and thinking then of putting into good use excess corned beef broth from the first menu of Chateau 1771 then in El Pueblo, Ortigas Center, Pasig City, Chef Vicky came up with an idea: why not make the corned beef broth into sinigang soup?  All it needed was souring ingredient and the usual beef brisket could be substituted with beef cuts with sinews, fat and bones---these are what makes for a hearty soup. Well, the result is history, the dish not only came out to be Sentro’s signature favorite, it’s a heartwarming soup, flavorful and meaty, exactly what one craves for.

Many have come to try emulating and reinventing it, but Sentro’s sinigang is the only stand out original especially for its rounded flavor. Although this recipe is accidental by nature, it was never a recipe by chance. Chef Vicky’s consistent and meticulous choice of ingredients is the way she starts everything in all her restaurants, particularly with the meat as the major element of the dish. The beef is exclusively sourced from a mix of local suppliers trusted for ten years. Plus, the pot is loaded with vegetables such as tomatoes, okra, taro corms (gabi), daikon (labanos), water spinach (kangkong), and eggplant stewed in tamarind, served hot and steamy. The broth from scratch is loaded with flavor-boosting natural spices and guests are asked to sip the delicate soup stock prior serving so the sourness, saltiness, and spiciness can be adjusted according to preference--another personalized approach that this dish had built  a reputation on.

And no matter what the main ingredients are, the exciting part comes when it’s served. If there was a version that will elicit either string of exciting mmmmm’s and aaaaah’s, this is it. Sinigang na corned beef has a certain magic especially with plain rice that even foreign visitors find comforting.

Executive Chef Vicky proved that there’s more to Filipino food, especially if it’s reinvented with fresh ingredients which give that unique but homey experience. If you’ve been craving with something like this or your curiosity has been piqued, there’s no other better time than now to get to know this decade-old dish which can only originally be found in Sentro.

Sentro 1771 in Greenbelt 3 is open from 11am to 11pm (Monday to Sunday) while Serendra is from 7am to 10:00 pm (Sunday to Thursday) / 7am to 11:00pm (Friday to Saturday). For inquiries and reservations, call Sentro Greenbelt 3 (02) 757 3941 or Sentro Serendra (02) 856 0581.


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