For my 8th Sunday Lunch Project, I chose to prepare a special meal which we call Boodle Fight.
What is a Boodle Fight? The Philippine Military coined this term, calling their traditional way of eating with their bare hands while the freshly-cooked food is served on a long table, piled on top of a tray or banana leaves. It signifies brotherhood and fraternity. “Boodle” by the way, is an American slang word that means a pack or a small crowd. And boodle fight is in a way considered a “fight” since eating with a bunch of hungry army men means the food is consumed in an instant so one has to grab whatever he can get and eat fast, too. And when one is in a hurry, it would be better to do this standing up.
Well, not only are they the ones who do this. Pinoys and a lot of our South East Asian brothers are familiar with this type of communal meal, and eating with our hands. We usually do this outdoors when we go to the beach, especially in the summer and fiestas (summer festivals). We would gather around a long table in a beach hut without using plates, serving dishes and utensils. It may look uncivilized to some but it is actually practical and convenient. And not to mention, FUN!
I also remember my days living in Cebu – we would eat this way in my uncle’s house during the heat of the summer. And during my years as a fine arts student, I and my comrades would gather in the college basement, and partake of a meal of canned tuna or sardines on bed of hot rice. This SLP post on Boodle Fighting is my tribute for those good times! 🙂
There are theme restaurants that offer this kind of meal but why go out when you can do it at home? So for today’s Easter celebration (and after going thru a no-meat diet for a week) I decided to have an indoor Boodle Fight. (Note: thanx to Pch for some of the pix here)…
Risa, my kitchen assistant, helps me gather banana leaves from a tree in a nearby vacant lot. Paalam muna shempre…lol When getting the leaves, make sure you keep them away from yourself since the juice from the cut stalks can stain your clothes and shoes (which I found out rather too late). And better get the ones that are not torn as much as possible.
In the meantime, tilapia fish and eggplants were grilling away. Food grilled over hot charcoal is the usual fare for a boodle fight.
The banana leaves were wiped with a clean rag, and laid out (shiny side up) on the table, seeing to it that I have enough leaves to cover all the surface space of the table. No one wants the food to spill out on the bare table but I nevertheless made sure to clean and disinfect the table beforehand.
Grilled pork liempo (belly meat marinated in soy sauce and calamansi), tilapia, peeled eggplants and salted eggs are placed and arranged on the banana leaves.
This meal is ideally served along with the classic Pinoy salad of chopped green mango, tomatoes, and onions with shrimp paste. I also made a condiment of chopped onions and tomatoes with soy sauce and calamansi to be mixed with the grilled pork and fish when eating.
We also had another condiment, fermented mudfish (burong dalag) that has a strong smell. You can mix it with your food, making it taste better and can make you want to eat more!
At last, my usual bunch of Sunday lunch guests (Sis et al) arrived in time just as I was done laying out the food and hot rice.
Let the Boodle Fight begin! No need to hurry here… just take your time. But don’t forget to wash your hands first! 🙂
And a perfect way to end this summer meal is with a cold dessert of Pinoy sherbet made of lychee and coconut from Arce Dairy (courtesy of Sis and Doc)!
Happy Meal!: Boodle Fight is not just an exotic form of eating but it’s an informal and relaxed way of celebrating Pinoy family ties, strengthening camaraderie and making more happy memories together.
And on this note, OMP wishes the whole Christendom…
.•*”˜˜”*°•. ˜”*°•♥•°*”˜ .•°*”˜˜”*°•.
**♥** HAPPY EASTER!!!! **♥**
SLP#6: Goi Buoi (Vietnamese Pomelo Salad) SLP#5: Hainanese Chicken Rice
Reference links: dictionary.reference answers.yahoo