The very first time I cook Nilaga (Boiled) Pork Ribs, I had all the ingredients peeled and prepared. I follow the ‘what is hard to soften comes in the pot earlier and the hardest, last’. Like when I put the leafy vegetables, it is just a few minutes before removing it from the stove.
For me and maybe for the others plantain bananas or ‘saba’ in Tagalog had been very complicated to cook because if you overcooked it, it becomes too soft or if undercooked the outer layer is done while the innermost tastes uncooked (although it can be eaten raw, it is tastier to eat it cooked in Nilaga recipe).
A technique I learned from a friend’s mother in cooking the banana exactly in the right texture and doneness is to boil it with the skin on. Yes, with the peel. Be sure to wash it thoroughly before slicing diagonally in half.
Nothing to be afraid of cooking with peel on, aside from MORE nutrients is in the peel or skin of fruits and crops – it is also edible. A friend here in Quezon Province turns plantain banana peels into a tasty burger, would you believe?!
You can put it when your meat is softened. It cooks perfectly well and you can re-heat your Nilaga without the need to remove the bananas to avoid overcooking, the peel keeps it safe.
Other Nilaga Tips:
- Use Patis (fish sauce, I recommend LORINS brand) as salt
- I have some of the leaves and potatoes boiled till crushed and set aside some for chunky pieces I put before removing it from the stove. The soup tastes better, I promise. Or you can put those to overcook in a blender when slightly cooked then put it back to the soup while cooking.
- A combination of the ordinary Pechay and Pechay Baguio (makes the soup taste even better
I hope to have shared with you a helpful cooking tip.
- A dip for the pork while eating your Nilaga - I recommend a tablespoon of fish sauce and a juice from two calamansi
* Nilaga ('boiled' in English also like a soupy stew) is a Filipino dish usually cooked (not sauteed just boiled) with the following ingredients:
- pork ribs
- plantain banana
- whole pepper corns
- pechay Baguio
- Baguio beans OR String beans
I hope this tips gave you some great idea.