Friday, November 25, 2005

Lasang Pinoy 4: Food for the Soul

Ginisang Patola

I still remember up to this day that night when my two older brothers asked me to join them in watching a TV show in a house on the opposite side of the road in my little barrio in that small town in Laguna. On the way home after the show my brothers asked me to run once we reached the big house for they said it was a haunted house. When we reached that haunted house, I was so scared and ran so fast. I was so shaken. For it seemed that the white ghost was running after me.

After a few months, I learnt that the big house was not really a haunted house but my grandmother’s house. It was so sad to learn that I have a grandmother whom I knew existed only on the day she died. I could not explain what I felt then. I was angry.

A few months later, after my father was elected as the municipal mayor of our town, my family shifted to the big house. The house where they said ghosts were abound. I neither never ever experienced any sightings nor ever see that white lady or the golden hen which they said laid a golden egg and gave my grandmother just enough fortune. But I was happy for I felt that my grandmother was there with me. I was sure of that.

When I became an adolescent, I realized and understood the family conflicts that happened and why I never even see my grandmother in person then. And now that I am married myself, I came to understand my parents and my grandmother the more. And why they behaved that way then.

One old lady who knew my grandmother told me once that my grandmother liked eating ginisang patola combined with dilis and hibe. That was why I was happy every time any of my mother’s relatives cooked that dish. I felt that through eating that dish, I felt a nearness to my grandmother.

And over here in Singapore, I also cook ginisang patola. It is easy for me to cook as the ingredients like the split fish and the dried prawns come handy in convenient packages.

Here’s my ginisang patola:


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2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
salt and freshly ground pepper
20 g split fish
20 g dried prawns
medium sized patola, sliced
10 g mee sua
Cooking procedure:
Heat oil in a pan and fry the split fish, then the dried prawns. Set aside. In another casserole, heat the olive oil and fry the garlic then onions until soft. Add the sliced patola and fry gently until cooked. Add a bowl of water and cook for at least 5 minutes. Then add the mee sua. Add salt and ground pepper to taste. Cover and cook until the mee sua is soft enough. Add the fried split fish and fried dried prawns and then stir. Serve hot.


iska said...

hi kayli! ginisang patola is also a common food on our table. na miss ko na nga din yang ulam na yan... :)

mg said...

Hi Kayli,

Thank you for sharing your story about your grandma. It is a shame when families have feuds but a lot of families have that and noone's perfect. One's anger/recentment comes without the understanding. Children were not heard but only be seen in them days. It's great that you have found something you can associate her with like this 'ginisang patola'. I can see why it gives you a great comfort to eat this dish - not only it's delicious... it makes you closer to her.

I wish i could cook this dish (i remember having it back in Phils) but there's no patola here in Jersey. I can remember the taste though... how i miss it.


Lani said...


I also love this recipe but I use ground pork instead of dried prawns and split fish as pansahog.

God bless!

Luchie said...

Hi Ms. Iska! Thanks sa visit.

Luchie said...

Thank you Mae.
Over there in New Jersey, we ate sa Filipino restaurant,Manila Restaurant ba yun, and they serve quite good Filipino dishes. pero wala nga silang menu with patola.

Luchie said...

Hi lani!
masarap din yung ground pork sa patola or sliced lean pork.

mg said...

Kayli... i live in Jersey, Channel Islands. Not New Jersey but hey... you're not the first to think this. He he. It's an island 9 x 5 miles which is very close to UK and France.

kayli said...

hi mae! ayyy, bagsak na tuloy ako sa geography. kahiya. hahaha.
and i'm sure Jersey, Channel Islands is a wonderful place too.

Anonymous said...

hi kayli (ako rin bumagsak sa geography re: island ni mae :) heehee)
i love your grandmother's version, i want to try ginisang patol without meat. i'm sure it's very tasty yummmy.--stel

kayli said...

Hi Stel! thanks sa visit ha.
ay, di lang pala ako ang bagsak. hahaha.

Karen said...

Ay Luchie! Nanghula pa ako kung sino si Kayli, hehehe!

Soul food nga ito. The hibe and fish are the perfect combination to the versatile patola!

napelle said...

Thank you Karen sa visit mo dito.
Naku, buti nahulaan mo kung sino si ako, ay, Kayli pala.
thanks a lot.

kayli said...

Sorry Karen, iba yung naisulat kung name yung user name ko here. Kayli is my display name here.
ang gulo. but really, ako talaga si Luchie.

Karen said...

Nanangkupo, multiple personality blog, teeheehee!!! ;-)

Pero di bale, multiple handa naman kapag pumupunta ako. :-)

kayli said...

oo nga eh, di ko plan yun nagkataon lang.di ko kasi alam na pwede kahit 10 blogs sa isang user name.
enjoy naman minsan maging multiple personality hahahaha.

Anonymous said...

napadaan lang po. Para kay mae na taga Jersey ... ako, ang ginagamit ko as a replacement for patola is zucchini. Of course, patola is better, pero kung walang patola, zucchini na lang. Mas madaling tumubo sa bakuran namin kasi to e. Madalang din kasi sa patak ng ulan ang pagdating ng patola dine sa bundok namin.

Lory from Tasmania