“Any occasion was a party,” chef Angela Dimayuga said of her Filipinx-American childhood. “They were anchored by food and lasted forever.”
While adobo simmered in the kitchen and meat and vegetables grilled in the yard, kids messed around and adults relaxed over beer and played darts and mahjong.
Dimayuga, the creative director of food and culture at the Standard International hotel group, says the casual, anything-goes San Jose get-togethers of her youth are an inspiration for the parties she throws today. “I want the same vibe that I got when I was a kid,” she said.
When she’s entertaining, it means family-style service and family-style cooking, where everyone can pitch in. And although the cuisine of the Philippines is her bedrock, Dimayuga, who lives in Brooklyn, also finds inspiration for these recipes in Singapore, Japan and Haiti — and in local ingredients and techniques she picks up on her travels.
It’s easy to grill fish when it’s wrapped in banana leaves. In this recipe, habanero chiles bring heat to a classic buttery French wine sauce. See the full recipe »
Dimayuga adds coconut milk to a classic Filipino adobo sauce that’s spooned over whole grilled fish. See the full recipe »
A blend of sushi rice and red quinoa steamed with bay leaves is served with soy-cured egg yolks as a simple side dish or vegetarian main course. See the full recipe »
Whole Japanese eggplants are grilled, then served with fresh tomatoes and pickled red onion in this easy summer salad. See the full recipe »
This homemade condiment of bitter melon and green tomatoes balances the richness of grilled main dishes. See the full recipe »
Dimayuga cooked this menu in an afternoon and you can too. She prepared two whole fish with two separate sauces, but you can prepare just one fish and one sauce for a smaller party:
- Cure the egg yolks.
- Make the rice in the rice cooker and keep on the warm setting.
- Make one or both sauces for the fish and keep on the stove.
- Pickle the bitter melon and red onion.
- Cut all the tomatoes and prep all the herbs.
- Make the charred onion broth with the pork and keep on the stove.
- Make the chile sauce for the noodles.
- Get a pot of water ready for the noodles.
- Season and wrap the fish.
- Heat the grill.
- Grill the fish and eggplant together.
- While those grill, cook the noodles and toss with the sauce. Reheat the sauces.
- Arrange the bitter melon and green tomatoes on a serving plate.
- Add the ghee to the rice and arrange on a platter with the cured yolks.
- Finish the eggplant dish and plate with the tomatoes and red onion.
- Unwrap and sauce both fish, then pour the remaining sauces into serving bowls.
- Set everything out on the table: both fish dishes with their sauces; the grilled eggplant and tomatoes; the rice with yolks; the bitter melon and green tomatoes; the chile noodles with the pork soup.