I love it when there's this kind of mess in our kitchen/prep table. It means that afterwards there will be a delicious food to be shared by the family.
That afternoon, one of our neighbors harvested some "patola" from their backyard garden and my husband got to buy a piece of average size for twenty pesos--just enough for us three.
Then I bought two packs of "misua/miswa" from the sari-sari store a few blocks from our apartment and started prepping.
Ginisang Patola with Misua
Medium sized patola, peeled and sliced
250 grams pork, cubed
one medium sized onion, peeled and minced
some cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
one cup water
one fourth teaspoon ground pepper
a teaspoon salt
one half teaspoon sugar (optional)
one half tablespoon oil
Put oil in the slightly heated pan then the garlic and onion, sauté until the onion starts to caramelize or the garlic starts to turn a bit brown. Add the cubed pork, ground pepper and stir once in a while for around 10-15 minutes or until the pork is tender.
**You can actually use chicken or fried fish instead of pork--any meat flavor that you fancy. You can also use ground pork!**
Time to add the patola then the water (the amount of water will depend on how much soup you would like to have for your meal--also keep in mind that the dry misua noodles will absorb some of the water) and cook for about 5-10 minutes or until the patola looks translucent. Add the misua, stir, then the sugar and cook for about 3-5 minutes more.
**Sugar is optional--it depends if you want to add another flavor element to your dish. In fact, if the vegetables you are cooking are fresh or even fresh from the picking then you can assure that it has this natural sweetness. Sugar is my
substitute for MSG which I have seen being mixed with food for the longest time, when I was young watching folks cook in the kitchen and until now. I have nothing against MSG it's just that I like the sound of "sugar" when I hear it being mentioned and the taste too...**
**Also, if you do not want to add any meat in the dish then it is fine. Some people add flavored cubes instead.**
Hot steaming rice is also ready as soon as the viand was cooked. This is also best paired with fried fish! And some fresh fruits for dessert, yum! **makes me hungry as I type this** Let's eat!