Mr. and Ms. Chinatown '16 winners share their favorite summer delicacies

By Joser Ferreras 10 May, 2017
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It’s easy enough to understand that in order to make the best out of this time of the year, one must know how to deal with the scorching heat in the most compelling way possible. For many people, this might come in the form of a quick escapade to the beach, a staycation at a trusty luxurious hotel, a visit to chilly Tagaytay, Baguio or even the nearest mall, and of course, a serving or two of the colorful comfort refreshments we all love and know as Halo-halo, ice cream, Mais Con Yelo, and on and on.

As much as we love them, however, we also leave ourselves wondering what else we could be missing that are equally satisfying and thirst-quenching, which is why we sought out the help of our fun and food-loving finalists and winners from last year’s Mr. and Ms Chinatown competition, Louie Ngo, Sherwin Yao, Wryan Chua and Pichie Lim, for their favorite summer food and drinks, some with Chinese origins, and here’s what ended up in their list:

5) Seafood

Sea and seafood are almost a no-brainer once the hottest season lands on Philippine shores. While grilling may not be a popular Chinese way of cooking, 1st runner-up Sherwin is a proud lover of it especially when it meets his innermost cravings of squid, lobster and fish, to name a few. “There’s something about the mixture of the smell of the beach and seafood being grilled that reminds me of the best days of summer”, he shares.

4) Street food

From the seas to the streets, fishballs are quite the anomaly when we talk of summer. Then again, not everything has to be cold or beach-related and that’s why Pichie’s pick still makes the cut. For her, adding curry sauce for a bit of spice makes them all the more satisfying. Served fresh and hot, we can definitely agree how it doesn't hurt to embrace the heat sometimes.

3) Noodles and Dimsum

Whether it’s rice or bread, Louie makes sure to take in as much carb as he can in every sitting. But best of all, any kind of noodles, whether fried or boiled, wins his heart hands down. That, or a classic order of siomai which fits rather perfectly in any summer picnic as a proven easy-to-eat delicacy.

For Wryan, nothing beats hakaw. Despite being allergic to seafood, he shares how he always chooses to pull it together just to get a taste of it.

2) Milk Tea and Fruit Juice

No one can resist the chills exuded by cold glass of milk tea or fruit juice any time of a typical summer day. The great thing about them is that they're something we can all have quite literally anywhere, whether we’re at the beach, like Sherwin’s way with a buko juice, or at our neighborhood streets. Likewise, not only do milk teas take away most people’s stress due to their unique and refreshing flavors, but they provide anyone, including Louie and Pichie, with much needed coolness to help them relax better.

"[Milk tea] is perfect for summer because it’s refreshing and the sweetness of the drink can usually be modified”, Pichie adds in.

1) Mango Sago

Mango. Sago. Coconut milk. There simply couldn’t be a better combination for an enticing summer dessert, especially for Wryan, Pichie and Louie. As our country's pride when it comes to fruits and with it's vivid summer hue, it's hard to argue why Mango Sago is an ultimate craving during this season.

Sobrang refreshing niya. Malalasahan mo talaga ‘yong summer and since favorite ko ang mango, I’m so happy na may ganoong dessert sa mga Chinese restaurants.” [It’s really refreshing. You can really taste summer and since mango is my favorite fruit, I’m really excited that Chinese restaurants have this kind of dessert], shares Wryan.

Not only is it a go-to dessert at almost every Chinese feast, it’s also an obvious solution, even a temporary one, to beat the heat this summer. It’s served cold and sweet, which are a must under the hot summer sun.

What about you? What are YOUR favorite treats during summer? Share them with us!

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Last modified on Friday, 12 May 2017 15:32

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  • Beyond siopao and siomai: Dimsum A to Z
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    Part of my personal as well as ChinoyTV’s advocacy is to educate non-Chinoys to everyday aspects and facets of Chinese-Filipinos. One of the best and certainly yummiest way is through food. Chinoys, like our Filipino brothers, love to eat and certainly count dim sum/dimsum (點心) as one of their favorites.

    While casual fast food joints offer their versions of steamed siopao with either asado or meatball fillings and even siomai, there are other dishes that are included in this type of Cantonese cooking (and other origins) - small bite-sized portions of food served in steamers/bamboo baskets or small plates - and are best eating with a pipping hot cup of tea. 

    Asado - also known as char siu (叉燒, Chinese) or cha siu (Cantonese) is a versatile barbecued pork ingredient that used in a variety of dimsum dishes like siopao and rice noodle roll or Cheong Fan (腸粉) and dishes like congee, noodles, and even for rice toppings.

    Cheong Fan.

    Bao - bao or pao (包) literally means wrapped in Chinese and refers to meat or filling wrapped in either a flour or rice dough or wrapping. Char siu bao (叉燒包) is probably the most famous and eaten type of bao, while Xiao long bao (小籠包), while technically can be eaten during Yam cha (飲茶), traces its origins from the Jiangnan (江南) region of Mainland China.

    Char siu pao.

    Condiments - a teaspoon (or tablespoon if you want) of chili oil and two pieces of calamansi will go a long way. Use black vinegar for dishes like Xiao Long Bao, congee, or soups.

    Dessert - one of the few dimsums that can be eaten after more savory ones is sesame ball, or more popularly called by its local name buchi (煎堆). Aside from mung bean (monggo) paste, lotus paste is also used as filling.

    Eat them while their hot - the number one rule when ordering steamed dim sum; aside from flavor and texture, temperature plays a big role in your yum cha experience. Fried dishes like taro puff, Haam Seui Gok/Ham Sui Kok (鹹水角), and radish cake can be eaten at room temperature.

    Beef ball.

    Feet - refers to chicken feet (鳳爪), a dish that is prepared by first deep frying the feet, then steaming, and finally stewing/simmering them in sauce and spices.

    Guangzhou/Guangdong - Guangzhou (广州市 or Canton) is the capital city of Guangdong (廣東) province and is the birthplace of dimsum. Aside from this Southern China region, Hong Kong and other countries like Singapore, the Philippines, and Malaysia serve yum cha and dimsum

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    Lo mai kai.

    Puff - as in Taro Puff. The taro layer is made by mashing the taro root before being stuffed with meat and sauce. Deep fried before being served at room temperature, it is ideal to eat them instantly as they do not reheat well.

    Taro puff.

    Radish cake (蘿蔔糕) - also called Turnip cake is made shredded radish, plain flour, and optionally other ingredients like dried shrimp, shiitake, sausage, or ham. Cut into rectangles, pan-frying is the most frequent preparation of radish cake.

    Radish cake.

    Steamed - there are a number of words that starts with the letter “S” that we can associate with dimsum: siopao, siomai (燒賣), spare ribs (排骨), sharks fin, and even shrimp dumpling or Hakao (蝦餃). All of them are heated and cooked by the power of steam inside bamboo baskets.

    Sharks fin.

    Tea - it wouldn’t be yum Cha without some form of tea involved. Most local Chinese restaurants serve brisk or Oolong (烏龍茶) tea while more upscale establishments pair dimsum with the lighter Jasmine (茉莉花茶) tea.

    Vegetables - not all dimsum need to be filled with 100% meat. Kutchay or kuchay (韭菜) dumplings use Chinese chives as one of the main ingredients together with pork.

    Wonton - is closely related to dumplings as both basically use the same ingredients (flour wrapper, pork and shrimp filling) but is usually boiled and served with soup and noodles or as a fried side dish.

    Zhou - more popularly known as congee or rice porridge (粥), while classified a type of dimsum, is not really eaten in the Philippines as a partner of tea during yum cha. Considered to a be good breakfast or brunch option, congee or lugaw can be made with plain, chicken (arroz caldo), goto (beef tripe), and other varieties.

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    JANEENA CHAN - Blogger, TV/Events Host

                                                                                                

    As one of the Chinoy influencers from the young generation, why do you think is it important for the Chinese-Filipino community to have its own cultural ambassadors?

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    What do you think is the best/greatest thing about Mr. and Ms. Chinatown?

    It's a great platform to showcase how we are now as the new Chinoy generation. The competition's screening and training process also ensures that the ambassadors are holistic. As one of the hosts in last year's competition, I witnessed first-hand how talented, capable, and admirable our Chinoy generation has become, and I look forward to seeing how this year's pageant contenders will bring their A-game!

     

    LOUIE NGO - Mr. Chinatown 2016

                                                                                                 

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    PICHIE LIM

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    In a world of danger and threats, it pays to know how to defend oneself. And at an era when bullying and abuse is slowly becoming a societal norm, one must learn to protect oneself and stand against it.

    But how and where can one start? 

    This was the question that Sherwin Yao, a Martial Artist and Mr. and Ms. Chinatown 2016 1st Runner-up, tried to answer as he started a campaign involving self-defense and self-empowerment through martial arts. Being a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu enthusiast and having an understanding of how certain practices and overlooked negative emotions can easily lead to a culture of bullying and abuse, he started Juan Against Bullying PH (JAB PH), along with a couple of his friends.

    JAB PH is a movement which seeks to combat bullying (and lessen the cases of abuse rooted in it) through awareness and empowerment of those who are the most vulnerable (aka women and children), from all walks of life. The goal is to create a community of individuals who are confident in their ability to protect themselves, all the while upholding the martial arts principles of compassion and humility.

    In a short interview, Sherwin Yao walked us through the story of this project and the role martial arts can play in creating a safer society for all. 


    When and how did your anti-bullying campaign start? 

    It started early 2016 with some friends from Project Lifestyle Manila, who were also BJJ (Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu) enthusiasts. We wanted to make a movement as a passion project to spread and share our understanding of BJJ – a martial art that is rooted on self-defense and self-empowerment. We wanted to touch the lives of bullied people through this art.

    What inspired you to create it? Do you have experiences with bullying which led you to start this campaign?

    I’ve never been physically bullied, but I can relate to both ends of the spectrum. There was a phase in my life that I felt lost and misunderstood, so I just took it in and I may have bottled up negativity inside. This led me to be easily aggravated. It’s one of those things you look back on and realize how unhealthy it is for yourself and for the people around you.

    JAB was created because bullying happens more than it shows on the surface. It’s just not discussed as much because people think it can be outgrown. Preventing bullying is really about how you deal with negative emotions and having a support group. This is what we want to work on.

     

     

    What are your objectives through Juan Against Bullying PH and how do you fulfill them?

    The first and main objective of JAB PH is to raise social awareness against bullying. It happens more often than we think. Second is to instill martial art principles and self-defense techniques to our participants so they would know how to react – but only when the need arises. Third is to serve as an introduction to martial arts, specifically BJJ – to inspire them to start their own martial arts journey.

    The key here is to stay authentic, and to not overlook anyone who reaches out to you. I just make sure that what we do is not about us but about the lives we want to change. I’m also very fortunate and grateful to be surrounded by like-minded people and teammates who share the same passion as I do.

    What, so far, are the achievements/accomplishments of JAB PH?

    One indication of success for our self-defense seminars is that some of our participants joined BJJ because they wanted to learn more. We’ve also been approached by TV Programs and journalists which means our movement is gaining traction.

    What are the next steps of JAB PH? What else do you want it to achieve in the next few months or years?

    Currently we are in the works to come up with a sustainable anti-bullying program for kids. It’s a good idea to start on the grass root level of the youth. We’re also doing Mixed Martial Arts workshops for women which is called Femme Fatale Philippines. This will cover the three aspects of MMA, Striking, Wrestling and BJJ. Our next event will be on June 3 – check out Femme Fatale Philippines on Facebook for more info. Aside from that, my goal is to raise awareness not only in Metro Manila, but hopefully in other parts of the country. We’re open to working with organizations and people with similar passions.

     

    Is there an experience with JAB PH that gave you a particular sense of fulfillment?

    It’s not really one moment. JAB PH doesn’t feel like work. It feels more like sharing. I wouldn’t be doing something if it doesn’t give me a sense of fulfillment. I just do it and the opportunities come and flow my way might be the universe’ way of saying I’m doing something right.

    How has Mr. and Ms. Chinatown helped you forward your advocacy?

    MMCP helped JAB PH gain attention and support. It somehow put the movement in the spotlight and got the word out.

    Apart from JAB PH, what are you busy with?

    After MMCP 2016, I signed a contract with VIVA. I underwent an acting workshop and I make the most of it by being present in every opportunity given. I’m working on being better at this new craft as well. As they say – luck happens when preparation meets opportunity. I’m also on the road a lot as I am also working on expanding a food cart franchise. Martial arts is such a big part of my life, so even though I can’t train and compete as much as I want and used to, I still train BJJ as much as I can and teach Jiujitsu part time at Fight Factory Manila.

     

     

    What can we expect next from Sherwin Yao? Any future plans?

    I have a lot planned but there’s really no way of knowing what will happen in the future. Not knowing where you end up only makes life more interesting.

     


     

    SHERWIN YAO:

    Instagram: @yaosherwin

    JUAN AGAINST BULLYING PH:

    Website: www.jab.ph

    Facebook Page: JAB Philippines / Femme Fatale Philippines

    Instagram: @jabph

     

     

    Photos from JAB Philippines

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