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Friday, August 26, 2011

Semi-Instant Pulutan

Filipino drinking sessions are unlike those that are attended or initiated by our foreign Partyphile friends. The Filipino drinking sessions, more commonly referred to as "inuman" sessions, are less formal (although there aren't many formalities that go with foreign drinking sessions either) than those of our non-Pinoy counterparts. Our drinking sessions can take place anywhere, at virtually any time of the day, and may be attended by just about anybody dressed in just about any sort of garb. The Pinoy inuman session is definitely a no-brainer. All one needs to start is a bottle (or two...or more) of alcohol, a group of friends, some conversation (of varying degrees of sensibility), and some "pulutan".

"Pulutan" is the Pinoy term for anything that you eat with your alcohol. And in this country that isn't limited to nuts and crackers.

It is common to see Pinoy boozers enjoying a round of beer with that night's dinner-leftovers. Aside from the common sisig, fish crackers, and nuts, Filipinos enjoy eating anything-- from pizza, to sashimi, to lechon, to instant pancit canton, to Pinoy style barbecue, and so much more-- with their poison of choice.

And although these food items seem worlds apart it seems like the usual choices when it comes to pulutan choices have to be 1.) Savoury, and 2.) Convenient. Whatever may be in the pantry or fridge at the time of the inuman session is always a good pulutan. However, this may get a little tired. This is why I have gathered a few of my easy pulutan recipes and decided to share them with you. Here they are:

1.) Instant Tuna Sisig. All you need for this recipe is canned tuna in oil or leftover tuna meat, torn into bite-sized pieces (leftover grilled tuna belly works best for this), a white onion, butter, and liquid seasoning. All you need to do is mince the white onion and sauté it in butter. When it becomes translucent, add your tuna, and sprinkle with liquid seasoning. You may serve this on a hot plate with a piece of calamansi (Filipino lemon).

2.) Cored Beef Nachos are also a wonderful semi-instant idea. All you have to do is heat canned corned beef in a skillet, add frozen carrots, peas, and corn (which is available in most groceries), and then add some tomato sauce over it. Season the mixture to taste and then scoop some on top of a bed of Nachos or Potato Chips. Then, sprinkle everything with some quick-melting cheese and pop it in the microwave or oven until the cheese has melted.

3.) Meat Loaf Hash. Usually, people prepare meatloaf by simply slicing it and then frying it or by eating it straight from the can. This unique take on Meat Loaf is savoury and fried and makes for really good pulutan. All you have to do is slice the meat loaf into little cubes. Slice an onion and two potatoes the same way. Then, prepare a skillet and heat some oil in it. Pour the onion, potatoes, and then meat loaf and cook on high heat until the potatoes are cooked through. If you want to give it a little crunch, you may leave it in the skillet to brown a bit. It approximately takes 15 to 20 minutes. You may also dust it with cheese before serving.

4.) Leftover Adobo Flakes. This is the ultimate in Pinoy pulutans, although not may people know about. Seriously though, is there anything more Pinoy than fried adobo? Anyway, here is how you do it. Take your leftover Pork adobo and tear into small flake-like pieces (it should resemble larger pieces of Corned Beef). Then, let it sit in the sauce it previously came from for some minutes to help it absorb the flavour of the sauce. Meanwhile, heat some oil in a frying pan. When the oil is hot, cook the adobo flakes in it at medium high heat. Keep frying it until it looks golden brown and looks crisp. After this, remove the adobo flakes (at this point it will look like crunchy corned beef) and place on top of a paper towel. This will absorb the oil. As the adobo flakes cool down, it starts to get crunchy. Serve it in its crunchy state as the perfect Pinoy pulutan.

Catch Confessions of a Partyphile’s (The Radio Show) Pulutan Special this Wednesday (August 31, 2011) from 6 to 9 PM on 105.9 Mix FM or For comments, suggestions, and more confessions, log on to or follow the columnist on