I started very late dating; at 25. When everybody else was happily hugging and holding each other’s hands on the corridors of my Conyo riddled high school, I was in one corner concentrating on finishing my Algebra and Geometry assignments. I was a horribly shy student and this shyness even affected my speaking abilities towards women; too quiet to even talk properly (torpe). I stuttured in front of them. This situation went onto University. I just couldn’t seem to find the actual combination and the exact words of affection to approach gorgeous women. Moreover, I was inhibited by strict rules of engagement as directed by my barkada and my prohibitive parents to socially interact and to mingle beyond school sponsored activities was next to impossible. That would have said it all.
Anyway, I met my first girlfriend through a friend back in HS. That relationship jumpstarted it all. It was through this sweet and terribly sticky relationship that I learned how Venuses’ clock ticked. From then on, one relationship after another relationship had begun sprouting; each one developing at least every couple of years. Others were instant and mutual attraction while many blossomed through dates and friendships; basically ‘ just the thoughts of always being together.’ The digital age was still afar and the only way to a Venus’ soul was through little post-it notes, pages (pagers) and short letters. That worked for me. I used each medium to floor a woman I would have wanted to be with for a dinner date, and at the same time, remaining coy and honest of my true intentions.
Many of those I previously dated, for at least a month (yeah?), have been long forgotten and lost. I still remember their faces, and nothing else. As for those who have made a significant mark in my life during that time, I have continued and kept an open door and at the same time, have maintained constant communication therein to this day. That was almost 20 years ago.
Those memorable relationships in the past used to be as sticky as this dish. In fact, one of those I had dated requested this particular recipe after seeing Oggi’s Machang Recipe. I happily obliged, of course. I must admit. It was one exhiliraating experience I have ever had; despite my overall shortcomings to her. I also learned more about life which unfortunately I had missed in that closely-guarded and secluded school I went and grew up as a teenager.
I regularly ‘dimsum,’ but honestly I have never tasted in any of my trips nor have never made Machang. To accommodate my’ buddy’s’ request, I have opted to make something similar. I know it would be difficult to recreate a taste of something which I myself haven’t really tried, and the only way to approach such problem was through research. I pulled out all my cookbooks in my storage and discovered this one. After going through the process, I went through and made a ‘binalot;’ combining two cooking techniques.
- Glutinous Rice (Malagkit-about two cups)
- Banana Leaves
- Dried Shitake Mushrooms
- Lean Pork (1/4 of a pound)
- Chinese Pork Sausages
- Light Soy Sauce
- Fish Sauce
- Oyster Sauce
- Chicken Stock
- Brown Sugar
Before starting, soak the rice and the Dried Shitake Mushrooms overnight. Drain the water from the rice, and using a cheesecloth, steam the rice for about twenty minutes. Let it cool and set aside.
While waiting, slice the pork and shitake mushrooms into bite size pieces and chop the garlic. Start by sautéing the garlic, followed by the pork and the mushrooms. Add in the Light Soy Sauce, Oyster Sauce, Chicken Stock, the water from the soaked mushrooms, brown sugar and the fish sauce. Season to taste and set aside.
Pull out a Banana Leaf, and trim the edges to use as its twine. Run it through the stovetop to make it more pliable.
Set half of the sticky rice onto the Banana Leaf and top it with the stuffing. Cut the Chinese Pork Sausages in a bias and include them in. Drizzle some of the sauce on the stuffing before covering and with the other half of the sticky rice, pour whatever’s left on the mound before wrapping. Fold the leaf to form a rectangle just enough to fit a bamboo steamer, and let it steam for another ten minutes.
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