Cooking tips from the Adobo Queen

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    Nancy Reyes Lumen
    Nancy Reyes Lumen

    CELEBRITY chef Nancy Reyes Lumen is not called the Adobo Queen of the Philippines for nothing.

    Whether she is using pork or chicken, Lumen says the best tasting adobo must be cooked in low fire. The celebrity chef says cooking in low heat will allow the salty and sour flavors to seep into the meat and tenderize it slowly.

    Lumen, who was competitions director of the recent Solane Kitchen Hero Chefs’ Edition, the first-ever cooking competition of the LPG brand that aimed to discover the next big name in the culinary world, knows that a mouthwatering bowl of adobo served with warm rice is certain to bring comfort and satisfaction to most Filipinos.

    Apart from cooking adobo in low heat to enhance the flavors, Lumen also recommends cooking it the traditional way – using a palayok. “Just put banana leaves inside the palayok to create a smoky flavor that will change the dynamics of your adobo,” she says. She also reveals that the secret to the perfect adobo is to use a lot of fat, which adds a lot of flavor and tenderness to the meat.

    When cooking adobo or any other dish at home for yourself or for your family, Lumen says everything has to be washed and cleaned before you start. Use fresh ingredients as much as possible. Moreover, as she says it is a lot better to cook with flame, she highly recommends cooking with a trusted liquefied petroleum gas brand for increased safety and to ensure protection in the kitchen.

    Lumen says the secrets and techniques to cooking traditional Filipino dishes must be preserved to ensure that family recipes are passed on to the next generation, one of the objectives of the Solane Kitchen Hero competition.

    “Flame adds a lot of smoky flavor to the food. You cannot achieve this with an induction cooker. And when cooking with flame, you can use palayok by putting a grill on top of your stove. What’s nice with Solane is that they are trying to preserve traditional cooking methods,” she says.