rice and viand rolled in banana leaf
It is closely similar to the Tagalog binalot
sa dahon except the way on how it
is wrapped in banana leaf.
A scoop (about a cup) of steamed or
boiled plain rice is placed on the center of a spread of banana leaf and topped
with shreds or flakes of sautéed meat or fish called kagikit.
The cut of banana leaf is wilted first in fire or ember to
soften and make it a pliant wrapper.
The scoop of cooked rice is then molded by
folding the banana leaf. Before finally wrapping the rice, it is topped with kagikit (sautéed shredded meat) usually
that of shredded meat of braised fish or chicken. Then the leaf is finally
rolled around the topped rice. It is sealed by folding both ends similar to
that of suman (Tagalog rice stick),
only that pastel is wider and flatter
in shape than that of suman.
version of pastel has more meat, plus
a hard-boiled chicken egg (shelled and cut into halves) as toppings, and the
rice is mixed with little amount of glutinous rice that would bind well the
Pastel is considered as
the budget combo meal of our Muslim brothers in Mindanao.
In Manila, it is sold
and readily available in the ubiquitous Halal
restaurants and eateries near the Golden Mosque in Quiapo district and in
Maharlika Village in Taguig City
A Maguindanaon food stall vendor skillfully packs the ingredients of pastel.
The molded rice topped with kagikit or sauteed shredded chicken meat (left) from Cotabato City, and flakes of fish adobo (right) from Quiapo, Manila.
Mounds of pastel is a common sight at the many foodstands along Sinsuat Ave ext. cor Quezon Ave. in Cotabato City.
This mound of pastel is sold at a Halal eatery at the Welcome Rotunda in Isulan, Sultan Kudarat. Boiled eggs complement with the packed meal.
In Metro Manila, you can have pastel from the ubiquitous food stalls and eateries near the Golden Mosque in Quiapo, Manila. I bought a bag of my first pastel experience from this place.
In Metro Manila, you can also buy pastel in Maharlika Market and in talipapa and eateries nearby the Blue Mosque in the Maharlika Village in Taguig City.
You can eat pastel with bare hands, but make sure to wash your hands before eating to conform with the Muslim law on hygiene in dining Halal food. Here, I'm eating pastel with a pair of spoon and fork at home.
Texts and photos by Edgie Polistico ALL RIGHTS RESERVED