My first ever taste of real work was at my cousins’ workshop in San Pedro, Laguna. They owned and operated a ‘talyer,’ or a ‘casa’ started by my uncle about twenty years ago before they themselves took over the business. For a few days in one of those hot and sticky summers, I had the opportunity to work with them. They taught me the ropes of their business, but since I really didn’t have the liking for grease, tires, batteries and car parts and cars in general, I didn’t catch-up. Of course, it was a trial for something I may like as a teenager growing up and experiencing life. I was not paid cash, but, at least, my summer became more occupied than usual. After that stint, I decided to stick to reading pocket books and training in the martial arts instead. That was more my character. I enjoyed the peace of being secluded in my own sanctuary; away from the noise and the traffic that’s usually associated with living and driving in the suburbs.
My cousins were car lovers. They would dress-up their wheels with seventeen inch tires and wiped them clean at almost every hour of their stay in the shop. Cars were their babies and they showed them with utmost care and love more than their dogs who had also roamed around their shop. The car I drove was dismal to theirs. Somehow, I had missed them. My aunt was very generous and whenever I was there, she would treat me to ‘Lechon Manok’ and ‘Goto’ for lunch or dinner just before closing the shop for the day. There shop also had a small make shift cafeteria serving snacks and traditional Filipino food as so common in many provinces where snack shops were located and scattered at every corner of the highway. My aunt would usually instruct one of their helpers to prepare some really Filipino greasy meals for us to chowdown after. That, itself, already made my day.
Anyway, what I had really missed and still fondly remember to this day was the Goto Mami House where my cousins took me for snacks. It was extremely peppery and oily, and if I had recalled correctly, it had the makings of the entire inner parts of the pig: ears, intestines, tripe and skin. It had no lean meat inside whatsoever. It was the most delicious noodles I had tasted at that part of town. I finished the entire bowl with gusto and loved every drop of the stock it was cooked with. Whatever other meals that snack shop served could have been a ‘star’ on my list. I am definitely sure that the preparation of the Goto was at least two days given how the meat parts were all tender. Goto became a part of the quick meals I would buy on Vito Cruz when I was still in university; especially when I had big gaps in-between courses.
While I was browsing and searching for a noodle dish, I chanced upon Goto Menudo. It had the makings of the Goto Mami I tasted a very long time ago. It also contained garbanzos, tomato sauce and chorizo besides the common Goto Mami ingredients. I felt Goto Menudo would really taste as good as or even better than Goto Mami with all the other ingredients added into the dish. This is my take on Goto and Goto Menudo, itself. I must warn you though. This dish is potent and perfect for hangover cures; as it should. It is not nearly close to as the Menudo I was familiar with growing up and actually, disliking. I made a big batch of pig’s ears and pork belly skin for future use.
- 2 pcs. Pig’s Ears
- Half of a Pork Belly Skin
- 1 pc. Chinese Style Pork Sausage
- 1/2 a cup of Tomato Sauce
- 4 Tbsp. Fish Sauce (Patis)
- 1/2 a cup of Chicken Stock
- 1/2 a can Chick peas (Garbanzos)
- 2 Slices Ginger
- 1/4 of a Red Onion
- 3 cloves Garlic
- 1 stalk Green Onion
- 1/2 and 1/4 Red & Green Bell Peppers
- Ground Black Pepper (to taste)
- Mexican Oregano
Aromatics: For Boiling
- Green Onions
- Black Peppercorns
- Coarse Salt
- Shaoxing Cooking Wine
Place the ear and the belly in warm water together with the aromatics required for boiling. Let it boil to simmer for at least an hour or so or until all the parts are tender.
Strain the pot and allow the ear and the pork belly skin to dry at room temperature, and place them in the fridge overnight.
Chop the pig’s ears in bite size pieces. Heavily season the pork belly skin with coarse salt and shove it in a preheated 325’C oven, skin side down first.
Heat a pan and sauté the sausage, red onions, ginger and garlic followed by the pig’s ears. Start adding the chicken stock, tomato sauce, chick peas and the red and green bell peppers. Let it boil to simmer and season with Patis, Ground Black Pepper, Mexican Oregano and salt.
When done, garnish with the pork belly skin and some slivers of green onions.