Growing up, I’ve had herbal drinks when I was sick (anyone familiar with Pe Bok Di?), medicinal Sibut soups to stay strong, and nourishing dishes made with goji berries, ginger, and other unfamiliar Chinese herbs to keep healthy. The complex flavors were something I was familiar with—a taste of home, so to speak.
Nothing beats a home cooked meal, and a nourishing one at that. But since I’ve gotten busy with work and have zero knowledge on how to prepare these dishes for myself, let alone what these herbs are and how to use them, I haven’t had a taste of this in a long time. But thankfully through a recommendation from a friend, I discovered Casa Espeña and its line of healthy Chinese dishes.
A home-based business located in Banawe, Casa Espeña offers traditional Chinese dishes like Kiampeng and Sibut Soup with Spareribs, among others. And since I’ve been craving black chicken lately (yes, I love black chicken, okay? Sue me), I’ve got my eyes set on the Sesame Black Chicken.
More on the gingery side, the Sesame Black Chicken of Casa Espeña carries a lot of heat. Not spicy heat, mind you, but it’s what we call “diyet” or the kind of heat that warms your body. The sesame oil adds aroma overall, and while the secret sauce is a tad bit too salty for me, it evens out when you eat the chicken with rice. But the best part? The meat was tender, skin was springy, and the accompanying soup was so heartwarming and soothing.
In the Sibut soup, you get the same heat from the ginger and a rich chicken flavor from the broth. Unlike the concentrated flavors of the sauce, this one is more muted—lightly salted and oh-so-slightly sweet from the Goji berries. It’s the kind of spicy soup that works best for rainy days or cold days. Yum!
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Know any places that offer traditional Chinese comfort food? Share them with us!