Living in Los Angeles, there’s always some movie marketing or premier during the weekends at tourists location.  I went to the Grove in Los Angeles this past May 9, 2010.  To my surprise, they were promoting Despicable Me.  Geared mostly for children, they had painting activities and a social event to meet a couple of the cast members.  I believe the premises of this movie has a struggle between good and evil with the main character (voice of Steve Carrell).  So here are some pictures, I’m sure it looks like a good family picture.

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Ok, I know this looks like a big mamma crab and all her babies.  Well there’s all different kinds and sizes available to eat nowadays.  Maybe you’re saying EWWW! right now.  I understand, people who are not used to eating crabs might think this looks gross.  But crabs are one of my favorite delecasies.  I love to eat crab and use the spiced vinegar to add that kick.  I love eating crabs and rice “Kamayan”- style (with your hands).

For the most part, Filipino cooking begins with garlic and onions.  No matter how you cut, dice, smash those two main ingredients, you can leave those two out.  It all begins with the saute of garlic and onions until you sweat them down, then you add the meat and vegetables. Examples of classics using this base is Adobo and Pancit.

But what is the Holy Trio of Filipino Cooking?  The answer is: Garlic, Onions, and Tomato. Same concept, just sweat the three down, almost til the tomato is smashed down.  Examples of classics using this base is Sinigang.

So your house should never be without those three to cook some great food!

Yes, although it’s red, it’s not made of tomatoes.  Then why is banana ketchup red? I’m sure it’s food coloring and whoever invented it must wanted it to look like traditional tomato stuff.  Maybe that’s the same reason why Filipino hot dogs are red (but that’s another subject).

For those who didn’t grow up with this ketchup, this is an under-estimated condiment.  It’s made of bananas, but not totally sweet.  There is a savory aspect to this, and the “hot” version of it, tastes better. Just by looking at the ingredients, there are onion, garlic, and various spices which are accustomed to the Filipino pallette. I know of two different brands that I switch from time to time: Mafran and Jufran…..I have yet to battle off between the both of them. Currently, I have no favorites.

One would normally eat this with Lumpia Shanghai (baby meat lumpia), fried chicken and fish, or Longonisa-log (sweat sausage, eggs, and garlic fried rice). Sometimes you also add a bottle or two when making Filipino spaghetti sauce.  It’s funny because since this is a staple in most Filipino homes in America, the tomato ketchup is very popular in the Philippines.