I can’t believe my luck. I went drinking about a few weeks ago at the Crazy Elephant in Clarke Quay and ordered a bucket of 5 bottles of Heineken. See, they come out cheaper that way, considering how outrageous the price of beer here is (a beer here costs 12-14 Singapore dollars: that’s Php 400- 460.00. Told ‘ya.) Turns out they have a promo of sorts, the type where you text in your particulars and an entry number. It’s either I win a Heineken sponsored party, or a 5 liter keg of beer with 4 glasses. Apparently I won the latter, and it’s not so bad at all since I rarely win stuff in raffles or contest promos. I hurried off to claim my prize and right now it sits in a dark place in my kitchen, ready to be poured sometime this month with my buddies here.
Needless to say, a good round (or rounds) of beer deserves some decent bar chow, and what came to mind is Salpicao. As with most of the recipes here, this is so easy to make. You may use tuna fillet or chicken thigh fillet (as seen in the photos here, and as my blog header), and of course the classic beef tenderloin cut into squares at 3/4 of an inch. You may add button mushrooms cut in half as yummy extenders too. The most important ingredient here is the liquid seasoning (Knorr or Maggi is fine) and the butter garlic that you will pour over it. This one goes out to Oslec Lopez, who’s been bugging me for a pulutan (bar chow) recipe. Mao na gyud ni, bai!
- Between 300-450 grams of either chicken thigh fillet, tuna fillet, or beef tenderloin. Cut into 3/4 inch squares. Make sure there’s no excess water.
- Small can of whole mushrooms, drained thoroughly, and cut in half.
- Olive oil (regular cooking oil is okay)
- Salt and pepper
- Oyster sauce (you’ll just use a spoonful and a half here)
- a dash of paprika (if you have it)
- Liquid seasoning
- about a spoonful of minced garlic (or more if you so desire)
- a spoon and a half of butter
In a bowl, combine meat and mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper and about 3 spoonfuls of olive oil. Keep it in the ref for about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, on a pan or a wok, heat about a spoonful of oil and fry the garlic. Just tilt it so all the oil and garlic will cook on a small spot of the wok. This will be a quick 1 minute procedure as you DO NOT want the garlic to turn golden brown. Lift wok off the fire and use a spoon to scoop out the garlic quickly and transfer on a small plate, leaving the oil on the wok.
Put back wok on fire and using the left-over oil, cook the marinated meat along with the marinade in high heat. You’ll know it’s done when you see small dark brown burns on the sides of the meat and the mushroom. If cooking beef, use oh-so-high heat and stir fry; do not cook for more than 5 minutes otherwise it’ll be rubbery. That goes the same with tuna since it cooks easily anyway. Chicken, however, you may cook longer. If there’s too much oil, scoop it out and dispose. A little oil won’t be so bad though (aesthetically as it mixes well with the oyster sauce).
Add the oyster sauce and stir fry some more to spread it all over until it covers the meat. Dash with mild paprika (recommended). Take it out of the heat and immediately add about 3 dashes of liquid seasoning. Stir fry a little more and pour it on your serving dish. Set aside and work on your butter garlic immediately.
On the same wok and on low heat, melt butter and add the cooked garlic. Season with pepper until you can smell how fragrant it is. Take it out of the heat, and drizzle over the salpicao.
Serve while hot, savor its succulence, and wash it down with a cold cold glass of free, promo-won, draught beer. Tostar!