The Crocodillio consists of crocodile ribs, civet barbecue sauce, pineapple annatto rice, and sinamak pearls. Creative and playful, it is a dish by Victor Barangan, executive chef of Waterfront Insular Hotel.
The dish is complex, bursting with flavors and textures. It is sweet, sour, spicy, fruity, bold, robust; laced with a tinge of bitterness.
1 kilogram crocodile ribs (you can substitute with pork belly)
4 tablespoon salt
6 tbsp sugar
100 grams garlic
4 pieces bay leaf
1.5 liters water
1 teaspoon oregano
2 tbsp paprika
1 tsp mustard powder
Civet barbecue sauce:
3 cups civet coffee, brewed
¼ c Worcestershire sauce
½ c tomato ketchup
1 tbsp yellow mustard
1/2 c honey
1 c sago, cooked
1/2 c sinamak
1 tsp turmeric powder
Pineapple annatto rice:
1/4 c achuete oil
4 c cooked rice
1/3 c pineapple, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Mix all ingredients and boil for 10 minutes; turn off heat and cool completely.
Marinate crocodile ribs in brine for 12 hours.
Drain crocodile meat and dry with paper towel.
Apply dry rub all over meat.
Heat up charcoal grill.
Grill meat for 5 minutes on each side.
Transfer meat to baking dish and pour barbecue sauce over it.
Cover with foil.
Bake in preheated oven (160ºC) for 30 minutes.
Take out meat and continue cooking in charcoal griller, basting with barbecue sauce.
Slice by the rib.
Serve with rice.
Garnish with sinamak pearls.
Civet barbecue sauce:
Mix all ingredients and simmer for 20 minutes.
Mix ingredients to combine and leave sago to stand for an hour.
Heat achuete oil in a wok.
Add rice and mix well.
Toss in pineapple.
Season to taste.
Bacon-wrapped tuna ‘bagaybay’
Chef Googie Sanga of Bistro Selera at SM Lanang makes the perfect appetizer. This dish provides a nice new twist to serving tuna milt, the sperm-containing fluid of a male fish.
100 g bagaybay
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp minced garlic
Black pepper powder, pinch
Garlic powder, pinch
6-7 bacon strips
Chives and calamansi for garnish
Prepare tuna milt by cutting both ends of the sac (about half to 1 inch from tip). Discard the ends.
Wash bagaybay in running water, drain and pat dry with paper towel.
Cut bagaybay into bite-size pieces ( 1.5” x 1.5”) and season with black pepper and garlic powder.
Wrap bacon strips around the bagaybay and secure with toothpick.
Heat little oil and melt butter over medium heat.
Sauté minced garlic until golden brown, then remove and set aside.
In the same pan, fry bacon-wrapped bagaybay for 2 minutes on each side, until bacon is golden.
Plate the bagaybay and spoon over butter-mixed oil.
Sprinkle the fried garlic bits on top and garnish with chives and calamansi.
Davao labuyo truffles
Chef Jovi Uy of Park Inn at Radisson Davao makes a perfect combination of chilies and dark chocolate especially for those who want their truffles hot.
The recipe makes a great conversation piece and is easy to make. Serve truffles at your next party.
130 g whipping cream
28 g butter
3 pc chilies
227 g dark chocolate compound, finely chopped
350 g Malagos dark chocolate compound
125 g cocoa powder
Chop the chilies.
Put cream, butter and chilies in a saucepan.
Bring mixture to a light simmer.
Strain the cream and pour on the chopped compound chocolate.
Stir until smooth.
Cool mixture inside the chiller for an hour.
Using a mixer, whip the chocolate mixture on medium speed until it becomes light in color.
Scoop and shape into 1-inch balls.
Melt dark chocolate compound in a double boiler.
Dip truffles in melted chocolate and roll in cocoa powder.
I would like to thank Sally San José, Les Toque Blanches Davao Chapter president, and Russel D. Alaba, AVP for marketing-Mindanao of SM Supermalls, for helping me compile the recipes.