Thursday, March 2

Ajinomoto Sarsaya Kangkong Cook Off with Coco Martin (video)

“You don't need a silver fork to eat good food.”
-Paul Prudhomme

Coco Martin, the undisputed primetime king of Philippine television is the perfect epitome of what Ajinomoto Sarsaya is all about. Just like the “Probinsyano”, Sarsaya may appear very simple and yet ‘ang lakas ng dating” when it comes to improving the quality of taste on most dishes around. Coco is the perfect endorser for Sarsaya sauces.

I am one lucky woman that day that I am so surprised to be picked to join the cook-off challenge. Yes! It’s the first time that I’ve seen Coco Martin that close- super close and the rest is now wonderful memories of that event.

Sharing the limelight with me, is my fellow mommy blogger Tina Perez or Mrs. Wise Blog who is just as excited as I am to cook side by side with Coco Martin. The only thing is she admits- she is not into cooking while on the other hand, I’m the type that can cook almost anything- like what’s on the pantry or fridge. Nah…don’t get me wrong, I am not a culinary genius it so happen that I love eating so therefore it is a must that I should know how to cook for the very fear of starvation..haha.

(video courtesy of Ms. Nherz Jane via her YouTube Channel)

The stage is all set for an upgraded version of Sarsaya Kangkong with Tofu: stove-checked, kangkong- checked, onion/garlic-checked, oil- checked, tokwa- checked, Sarsaya Oyster Sauce- checked, and of course Mr. Coco Marin- check na check! (lol)

As you can read, the dish requires only a few very simple ingredients which all moms and even dads can cook at home. Amazingly, Chef Mac thought of the recipe for this dish with considerations on practicality, nutrition, effort and affordability. Great for health and budget conscious eaters- right?

Still a bit shaky but super excited, I am trying to keep my composure- breathe in, breathe out while staying focus on the task at hand. I had to make this right for Coco and Ajinomoto since I will have to feature the amazing taste of Sarsaya Oyster sauce in my kangkong dish. And oh my..oh my- it's Coco and who does not go loco over Coco?

The sautéing part is quite easy for me- I don’t normally do the garlic first in the pan thing but instead I mix the onion and garlic together to fuse the taste in my opinion. After achieving the aroma and texture that I prefer it’s time for the humble kangkong to take center stage. I estimated the kangkong that we have to cook is roughly 250 grams or around 5 bunches (the one you get to buy on the market) and the pan I am using is a 9-inch frying/saute pan which is quite small for the fluffy kangkong leaves. But..this too shall pass (lol) as the leaves soften to cook.

Given the scenario- I have to be extra careful in handling the kangkong, while trying to keep the leaves inside pan, Coco Martin casually turn my way and said “saan ang mga tangkay?” (where are the stalks?) so I showed him that the kangkong stalks were chopped into tiny pieces, then he asked why? I just told him that it would be easier to swallow it than having long ones. He hust nodded. (Ah…me and Coco having a conversation…he is really cool and very welcoming)

At this point, I increased temp and set the stove on high this is where my stir-frying skill will be put into test. Holding my pan into a 50 degrees angle, I vigorously but gently (don’t want the leaves to get mess up) stir the kangkong on high heat flame while raising the pan away from heat from time to time. 

Stir-frying requires the minimum time on high heat to cook the veggie or meat without compromising the fresh texture of the food. This will allow the veggie or meat (thinly sliced please) to properly cook but will retain the natural flavor and texture. After less than a minute I added the precooked tofu and for the final touch the Ajinomoto Sarsaya Oyster Sauce. Give it a good stir for another 10 to 20 seconds and viola I’m done.

The Finale: First to plate was my good blogger friend Tina but in a seconds my plating is done. First to give Coco Martin a forkful is no other than me…yehey! He is pretty cool about it and when I said “ahh” (open your mouth) he did and eagerly tasted my own version of sarsaya kangkong in oyster sauce. We were pretty close to each other and I can’t help notice his genuine warm personality- like I know him a long time. He is the real deal, like the Ajinomoto Sarsaya Oyster Sauce that is made with real succulent oysters.

The Verdict: After Coco tasted both kangkong dishes, he made an announcement and said the following:

On my Kangkong- “Masarap kasi hindi lutong-luto ang kangkong pero lasang-lasa mo yung oyster sauce”. "Mas crunchy yung gulay"

On Tina’s kangkong- “Masarap din, saktong-sakto lang po” 

“Parehong masarap dahil sa Sarsaya Oyster Sauce!” "Ayos!" Coco exclaimed.

This only proved that it is very easy and convenient to transform ordinary dishes such as ‘guinisang kangkong’ to gourmet by just adding Ajinomoto Sarsaya Oyster Sauce.

Ajinomoto Sarsaya Oyster Sauce Review: Reasons to Buy Sarsaya Oyster Sauce

Ajinomoto uses real oysters for their Sarsaya sauce. Unlike the popular oyster sauce brands, Sarsaya doesn’t skimp on their main ingredients. Sad to say the other brands like brand “L K K” which is very salty and expensive- it fails in providing the key taste of oysters. While the yellow-labeled brand “M” although reasonably priced lacks the texture and richness of real oysters. 

Just to let you know most popular oyster sauces in the market are made with fillers such as starch to make it appear thicker and mix with little oyster powder…which could be a rip-off. 

The things I love about Ajinomoto Sarsaya Oyster Sauce:

  • Quality made from real oysters under strict food manufacturing standards
  •  Contains the healthy goodness of real oyster such as protein, iron, Vitamin B12, Vitamin D, Vitamin C, manganese, potassium, copper and selenium among others
  • Comes in convenient to use sachet and stay-fresh pouch
  •  Can easily integrate the oyster savory flavor with many types of dishes
  • Provides a rich oyster taste
  • No need to add additional flavoring
  • Has the right level of saltiness
  • Very affordable (at 5 pesos per sachet)

I really love ALL of Ajinomoto products from the iconic ‘taktaktak’ seasoning that I grew up with to Aji Ginisa Mix and now to delicately flavored Sarsaya sauces. I use only ajinomoto products on all of our home cooked meals and yes, aside from oyster there is also an Ajinomoto Sarsaya Sweet and Sour sauce which is blended from real pineapple and tomatoes- super yummy too.

Happy cooking with Ajinomoto- let's eat!!!!

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