East Meets West

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  • Where do you get your food inspiration from? 

As for me, I appreciate trying cultural dishes from where I travel to, or learning from friend’s households. I have traveled to approximately 30 countries and I always make it a point to try each country’s main cultural cuisine. I am particularly an advocate of the fusion of intensely rich flavors. Growing up, some of my favorite Filipina dishes included the traditional Chicken Adobo, which brings a umami, garlic, and slight sour taste to the meat. It is typically paired with rice. Secondly, I enjoyed Sinigang, a tangy sour soup with tomato and tamarind, a vegetable found  in the southeast. Finally, I Afritada is an absolute favorite which is a thick stew based dish with meat marinated in tomato paste and vegetables. While attending UC Berkeley, I befriended many Nigerians. I was exposed to some of their cultural dishes such as Red Stew, Jollof Rice, Egusi Soup, and Onugbu Soup. One of my favorite dishes lately has been Egusi soup, due to the intense spice and tender flavors of the meat, specifically goat.

Someone significantly special in my life is a part of the Igbo tribe of Nigeria and I recently learned how to cook this dish after being amazed at how delicious it was after watching how it was prepared!I feel it would be exciting to merge both flavors of the Southeast together with West Africa and see what fusions I can create. In the meantime, feel free to check out my recipe for Egusi Soup below and stay tuned for more!

  • 1 Cup Palm Oil or a little more or less depending on preference
  • 4 Tbsp Crayfish
  • 4 Tbsp Stockfish
  • 3 Tbsp ground egusi
  • 24 oz chopped spinach
  • 3 Knorr Cubes
  • 4 Tbsp Fish Powder
  • 2 Tbsp Adobo Seasoning
  • 1 Onion
  •  Stock Cube (Optional)
  • 1 lb Chicken, Goat
  • Red Pepper Seasoning (adjust based on preferred spice level)

In a large pot, add chicken, goat, and onion. Let it simmer. 

Fill the pot with water halfway and cook the meat until it is tender.

Next, add the Stockfish, Crayfish, Fish Powder, Adobo Seasoning, and Knorr Cubes.

Let the seasonings simmer with the meat

Add Red Hot Pepper Seasoning and CrayFish

Add the concentrated Palm Oil

Let everything marinate and boil for about 35 minutes

Finally, add the spinach and the ground egusi

Bon Appetit!

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