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Foodbuzz 24x24: Salo-Salong Kamayan sa Tag-araw (Eating with Bare Hands in a Summer Get Together)

To us Filipinos (and I guess to everyone else), eating is one of our greatest passions...and like all other life’s pleasures, it must be enjoyed to the fullest. KAMAYAN (eating with bare hands) is the Filipinos' way of doing this!

In the Philippines, there are times when families and friends gather together for a feast (salo-salo) with certain kinds of food that call for kamayan such as boiled crabs or shrimps, grilled or fried fish, roasted pork or fried chicken, etc. When I got the "call to submission" email for June's Foodbuzz 24x24, this is the first thing that came into my mind. I thought a Kamayan themed dinner would be unique. With no second thoughts, I drafted my proposal and named it "Salo-Salong Kamayan sa Tag-araw" (Eating with Bare Hands in a Summer Get Together), with this as my proposed menu:

24x24 is Foodbuzz' amazing monthly event where 24 Featured Publishers are chosen to create 24 epic meal ideas that they will have to execute on the same day and post on their blog the next day. It was such a thrill for me to submit my proposal for the first time...and I'm truly honored that it was approved! What an excellent opportunity it is for someone like me, who's trying to promote the goodness and uniqueness of Filipino cuisine, to be able to recreate the most pleasurable way of eating for Filipinos! 

After receiving the proposal acceptance email from Foodbuzz, the first thing I did was to make my evite invitation with this as my chosen design:

Then came the planning. I really didn't worry too much about the food preparation because I knew that with the help of my very supportive husband, I could handle that well. What I was concerned about is how to make the setting more Filipiniana. At first I thought it would be hard but when I visited the nearby Asian store and found some items that I could use, I was relieved. I really didn't need a lot of props because SIMPLICITY is what Kamayan is all about! :)

Since the Pickled Green Papaya that will go with the fried tilapia tastes better when allowed to sit in the refrigerator for a longer time, Ryan made them last Wednesday. For the recipe, click here.  You should try it because it will definitely add life to your dull dishes like fried meat or fish!

The Buko(young coconut) Ice Candy, one of the desserts in my proposal, needs to be frozen overnight or longer to set well, so I made them last Thursday just to be sure that they set nicely. For the Buko Ice Candy recipe that will yield around 36 pieces, click here.

The day before the scheduled Kamayan party, I prepared the Lumpiang Shanghai which is the Filipino version of Egg Rolls with a combination of pork, shrimps and vegetables for filling. It's quite time consuming to make so I really had to do it ahead of time so I'll just worry about the frying on the day of the party. For the recipe, click here. I made 85 pieces egg rolls for the party.

I also marinated the pork belly for grilling. In the Philippines, most of the time, pork belly is simply sprinkled with salt before grilling. To add more flavor, I sprinkled each pork belly with salt and pepper and marinated them overnight in a mixture of lemon juice (from 2 pcs. lemons), 1/2 cup soy sauce, 4 Tbsp banana ketchup and minced garlic (1 head).

For my proposed drink, Sago't Gulaman, I also cooked the sago (tapioca pearls) and gulaman (jelly) the day before the party. Tapioca pearls take quite a long time to cook, and the gulaman takes time to set well, so it's just wise to cook them ahead.  For the complete procedure in preparing this very refreshing drink, click here.

I also cooked the blue crabs that I used for my Ginataang Alimasag at Hipon (Crabs and Shrimps in Coconut Milk) on Friday night. We bought them live from the Asian Store, and after Ryan killed and cleaned them, I just sprinkled them with salt and boiled them.

June 25 came and I'm glad that with the help of Ryan and my girls, everything turned out as I want it to be... 
Two tables were set to accommodate us and our adult guests. I put green table covers on them and topped them with banana leaves. I arrange the appetizers and main entrees in the center of the 2 tables, rice included of course!

The freshly fried Lumpiang Shanghai (Filipino Egg Rolls) as well as the Roasted Dried Anchovies were placed in bamboo plate holders which I covered with banana leaves that I cut in flower shapes. Instead of plain roasted dried anchovies, I thought of adding soy sauce, sugar and sesame seeds to it based from a recipe that I found on the internet. Though it tasted ok, I wasn't satisfied with the outcome so I prefer not to share the recipe with you.

I served the Ginataang Alimasag at Hipon (Crabs and Shrimps in Coconut Milk) in 2 large bowls which I then put in bamboo bowl holders to make it look Filipiniana. I wish I have "palayok" (clay pot) for this...but I don't, so I just contented myself with this presentation. For the complete recipe of this very flavorful seafood dish, Click here

For the dry entrees which are the Inihaw na Liempo at Maanghang na Sukang Sawsawan (Grilled Pork Belly with Spicy Vinegar Dip) and the Pritong Tilapia at Atsarang Papaya (Fried Tilapia with Pickled Green Papaya), I just arranged them on the banana leaves in such a way that they are accessible to everyone on all sides of the table.

The Sago't Gulaman drink as well as the Palitaw and Ice Candy for dessert were arranged on the island counter. Palitaw are small, flat, sweet rice cake which are traditionally made from malagkit (sticky rice) washed, soaked, and then ground and called galapong. It's not readily available here so I used glutinous rice flour instead. For the complete recipe, click here.

Our friends also brought some food which include spring rolls, ensaladang mangga (mango salad), mung bean dessert, KFC fried Chicken and Selecta Mango and Ube Ice Cream.

All of us seemed so excited to start our Kamayan Dinner...and when we did, everyone was so quiet at if all we want is to just savor the food! "Sarap" (delicious) is all I could here! I was glad to see that even the non-Filipino husbands of our Filipina friends did Kamayan with us. And even the kids enjoyed eating with their bare hands. Though they ate on paper plates, they still did "kamayan"...they didn't use spoon and fork.

After dinner, we watched a movie on Netflix and then played Tong-its and In Between.

A truly great night with good food and wonderful friends...thanks so much to Foodbuzz for making this happen!

I'm so glad to share this very memorable night with you...hope you'll have a great time reading! (^.^)


  1. Oh my goodness, what a feast! Definitely epic. A great meal to bring family and friends together with. The Colonel should be jealous!

  2. Credo che mangiare insieme di persone che vogliamo bene è una cosa meravigliosa e complimenti per il 24x24 tu lo merita.
    Un bacione

  3. I'm loving reading all the fellow 24x24 posts this month! What an epic meal and it looks like a fabulous time!

  4. Wonderful great post Tina! Very well done! How I wish I'm there too! Just look at that table of mouthwatering feast! (actually I'm eating now while reading thru your post! LOL) I love how you try to make the table looked like the 'long-feast' table, with all the banana leaves and the best I like is the plain rice laying long in the middle! It's so unique, so 'feel at home' kinda feeling! Very warmth :D
    All of you seemed to have a very happy and enjoyable get together with all the delicious food! :D
    I love that pic of you holding the drumstick! Beautiful! ^.^

  5. Oh Tina it is really amazing post..Congrats to you on 24x24! Everything looks so delicious..I love Philippine's version of egg rolls as my father-in-law has a lot of friends that he use to work with from Philippines they would sent me sometimes those rolls!!! So delicious!
    Thanks for sharing this with us..your family is beautiful and your friends look like they enjoyed your meal!

  6. Hi Tina,
    Firstly congrats and its plenty of afford and hard work from you.

    Lovely gathering and wish I was there too. Maybe someday if I travel to Texas, I will be able to do so.

  7. WHAT A FEAST!!! Tina, you really know how to feed a large group! I'll be so nervous feeding everyone already and I can't take pictures for 24x24! That's real multi-tasking!!! I'm very impressed Tina. You know how to prepare for a big party. Next year I have to book you for my kids' birthday party!!! LOL. Well done Tina!

  8. This is PERFECTION Tina! I so wish I could have been there to enjoy that fantastic Kamayan with all of you! It sounds like great fun! The food looks delicious and I loved reading your post with all the details! Congrats on 24x24! <3

  9. What a fun get together, with friends and family. I am sure everyone had a great time-who wouldn't with all that wonderful food. This will be a lovely memory for years to come.

  10. you are truly a woman of many many talents and an amazing cook! Your spread looks absolutely delicious and fun and inviting and would leave me wanting more and more! My goodness I am calling yo next time I throw a dinner party!

  11. Oh Tina you did such a great job with this! It definitely reminded me of a feast my mother would put on! She practically eats "kamayan" with everything, hehe =)

  12. Congrats on your 24x24! What a fun theme!

  13. Wow! What a feast! And I love this idea ... I enjoy eating with my fingers. When my husband first saw me doing that that he was a little put off... huh, no different from eating fried chicken with the fingers, I said. Haha! Anyway, this looks wonderful and the ice cream in the tube bags brought back more memories for me!

  14. list pa lang ng food, nakakagutom na! nung nakita ko yung food, muntikan ko matuluan ng laway ang keyboards ko! hehehe! nice blog you got here! :)

    - IYA

  15. Amazing party! I can only imagine how much hours of hard work you put into the planning and preparation. Congrats on the 24x24x24 featured! Love the liempo. It is always my favorite Filipino dish

  16. Thanks so much everyone! It's my first time on 24x24 and it truly was such a wonderful experience for me!(",)

  17. What a feast! You're really doing a great job of showing the world how wonderful the Filipino Cuisine is. Kudos to you!

  18. Where can I get the bags for the Ice candy ? Thanks