Chasing Flavors: A Gastronomic Adventure with Chef Claude Tayag

LECHON TORTILLA

The concept of the tortilla is a western one, but it is then Filipinized with the ingredients that were used.

As an appetizer, this dish has crispy roast pork flakes on a soft tortilla. The garnish includes onions, tomatoes, pesto, and coriander. By far, this was my favorite among all the dishes because it of the well-balanced texture. But don’t be deceived by its lightness. After two to three servings of this, you’d be full as ever.

Chasing Flavors_Taco Ingredients

chasing flavors_lechon tacos

SISIG BABI

There are many variations of sisigwith mayonnaise, egg, and what have you. But how can you go wrong with having sisig in the country’s sisig capital? Basically sizzling pork in onion and liver sauce, this dish is really a must!

chasing flavors_sisig

WALANG SISIGAN

This dish was served at the same time as the sisig earlier mentioned. So what’s the difference? This has four parts: sizzling pork cheeks and jowls, sisig matua, sisig banana heart and papaya sisig. Chef Claude really knows how to bring out the sourness of the dishes and not make it too oily.

Chasing Flavors_Lechon Kinilaw

PAKO SALAD

They say that Filipinos don’t have a salad of their own. This fiddle head fern salad was served to cleanse the palate, just right after the two appetizers of lechon. The fern is sweet, crisp and crunchy, and is balanced with the right amount of sourness from the tomatoes and drizzling of vinaigrette. On top of it are slices of salted egg to add a bit of texture.

chasing flavors_pako salad

BALAT ng LECHON at SARSA

To everyone’s delight, the main highlight of the show arrived! We could smell the lemongrass, herbs, and spices all the way from the rotisserie. The roast pig’s skin was so crispy, we could hear it crack the second Chef Claude sliced it. The homemade liver sauce was served on the side for a more flavorful bite.

Chasing Flavors_lechon cutting

SINIGANG NA LECHON

Aside from adobo, sinigang is another all-time Filipino dish. Sinigang na lechon has lechon meat and trotters in a kamias-lemongrass broth. The broth is not as bitter or sour as the regular sinigang you expect would be. What’s amazing about this dish is how the Kalamansi, Chili, and Shrimp Paste were balanced to bring out the taste of the lechon. The pork skin is chewy-like but not hard to digest.

chasing flavors_sinigang na lechon

FROZEN BLOODY MARY

This is another “cleansing” dish that was served to help ease our palates from all the herbs and oil that the previous dishes had. Don’t fret! This isn’t the one with the alcohol-twist to it. These frozen bloody mary popsicles are made from tomatoes, horseradish, garlic, lemon.

Chasing Flavors_Bloody Mary

INIHAW NA TADYANG NG LECHON

By this time, most of the guests were already experiencing food coma! But it didn’t stop us from tasting the last few dishes. This second-to-the-last dish that was served to us: Grilled pork ribs with eggplant salad topped with binagoong tenga ng baboy. I like how the fresh eggplant balanced the meaty-ness of the ribs, with the anchovies in the shrimp paste being its happy helper.

chasing flavors_lechon ribs

LECHON ASADO

This enormous dish is the lechon leg in a sweet tomato sauce. It’s amazing how the rich sauce took away the lansa or fishy-ness of the pork. You wouldn’t need to order rice since the this dish is served with potatoes, carrots, and French beans.

Chasing Flavors_Asado Lechon

All in all, it was a hearty experience. It is true that Filipinos do not waste any part of the pig – from its head down to its tail. The two-hour drive to Pampanga is all worth it! Curious on how to get there? Here’s a map coming from San Fernando and Angeles exits:

Bale Dutung Map

Photo from Bale Datung Website

READ: Road Trip for the Brokenhearted from Manila to Pampanga to Baler to Isabela and Back

Continue embarking on a culinary expedition with Lifestyle TV and find out the best eats in the country with Chasing Flavors, airing Saturdays at 9pm, Sundays at 12:30pm, Mondays at 2AM, Tuesdays at 7pm, and Wednesdays at 11am.

Lifestyle is available on SKYcable channel 52. For more updates, follow Lifestyle on Facebook (facebook.com/lifestyletvph), Instagram and Twitter (@lifestyletvph).

BALE DUTUNG

Villa Gloria Subdivision, Angeles City, Pampanga
Landline: (045) 625 01 69
Mobile: (0917) 595 02 18 | (0918) 503 45 40 | (0916) 390 07 79
reserve@­baledutung.com
www.BaleDutung.com


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