The Filipino Boodle Fight is hands down the undisputed champion of fiesta feasting. Here the red carpet is rolled out for the food and the carpet is green and made up of banana leaves.
According to the Urban Dictionary. “Boodle fight is a military style of eating where long tables are prepared and food are on top of the banana leaves. Viands and rice ready to eat using your bare hands, jugs of water are prepared on the side to wash hands before the “eating combat”. With the signal to start the boodle fight, everyone aims for his/her position. “
Perfect for Sunday family gatherings and if you are tired of the quintessential British Sunday Roast, then you have to give this a try. Presentation is everything but allow a little roughness round the edges as you want your guests to get their hands dirty. That means Kamayan – eating with with their hands. Once you get the hang of it you will never want to go back. Food tastes so much better when you connect with the food by using your hands to eat. Also as a father of a young child, it’s a real pleasure getting a break from teaching her how to use a knife and work and watching pieces of chicken fly across the other side of the table as she cuts into it.
Now you are sold on the philosophy let’s get you hooked on the food. The centrepiece is as typical as in our cuisine… crispy lechon. Slow roasted over a spit to create the perfect sandwich of melted fat, juicy meat and crispy skin. Grab a piece and sprinkle some sweet and sour atchara papaya pickle on top dip it into some lovely filipino mangtomas liver sauce.
Once you have had your lechon hit it is time to freshen up the palate and get some zing with a selection of Kinilaw – best thought of as Asian style ceviche. They kalamansi lime and crucially vinegar the fish to flash cure the protein. The Kinilaw is not restricted to fish either there are vegan, vegetarian and even meat options. Perhaps the most famous is the kilawin. Fresh sea bream, mango soaking in palm vinegar and coconut milk with a bit of achiote fish oil to give it a deliriously punchy kick. Be careful afterwards when visiting Japanese restaurants. You will be overloading your sushi with wasabi to recreate the same sensation overload.
Ukoy fritters then bring you back to earth with a heavenly crunch. Traditionally made with tiny little shrimp these deep-fried balls of goodness can also be made vegetarian with a combination of shredded carrot, sweet potato and butternut. Squeeze some fresh lemon on top and delicately introduce them to a lemongrass and chilli dip.
Get some more freshness in you with some mani papaya and peanut salad. We have gone quite creative with the dressing and added some lovely Streetweiss beer from our beer chums at 40ft Brewery to our kalamansi base. The hoppy bitterness works a treat with tangy lime to give the papaya the ‘ol sweet n’ spur treatment.
Many self-respecting Filipinos won’t have pork sisig when they go a boodlin’. Don’t hold it against them. It is a job to make but for us the effort we put in is worth it is a hundred fold. Dive in with your fingers for tender braised pork from the pigs head, crispy chicharron and a fried egg. Your hands may get gooey but your heart will be melting so you won’t care.
Boodle Boards with the option of choosing the Full Boodle, just a meaty boodle, or a veggie boodle with Fish or even a Vegan Boodle; is available every Sunday from 4-8PM. Chef Francis loves creating these Feasting boards- so give us a heads up and we will happily Boodle your day into a better one!