Cooking with parents: Houston Life Associate Producer makes Filipino dish with her mom

HOUSTON – May is Asian and Pacific Islander American Heritage Month, and we’re celebrating it with some fun and of course, some food. All month long, we’ll be sharing some unique cooking demos featuring authentic Asian dishes made by Houstonians and their parents.

This week, I’m sharing a classic Filipino dish I made with (A LOT OF) help from my mom, Susan Endaluz.

Houston Life Associate Producer, Olivia Kolanek, shares insight into Filipino family through food. (KPRC)

First, here’s a little background info. My mom was born in the Philippines. She raised two children (my older siblings) there. Then, 14 years after having her second child, I was conceived. After which, she, my father and my older siblings immigrated to the United States while she was pregnant with me. Can you imagine that - moving to a different country, away from your family and support system, while carrying another child 14 years after your last pregnancy? It’s nuts.

Houston Life Associate Producer, Olivia Kolanek, shares insight into Filipino family through food. (KPRC)

I was born shortly after their arrival in the states, making me the first natural born American citizen in my immediate family. Since then, we’ve lived all over the country, always finding Asian grocery stores with the ingredients needed for our Filipino dishes.

My two younger siblings were born in Houston, where I currently reside. My mom now lives lives in San Diego, California. Both areas, like much of the country, have booming Asian populations. Though we didn’t necessarily choose these cities because of that, I personally could not fathom living somewhere that didn’t have access to really good Asian food. Ask anyone who knows me. I can PUT. IT. AWAY.

Unfortunately, my ability to cook Asian food pales in comparison to my ability to eat it. So, I sought the aid of my mother to make a comforting and familiar dish that my much ravaged quarantine body and soul needed: sinigang na hipon - a sour soup filled with greens, root vegetables and shrimp. There are many variations of this dish, some with different protein like pork or different vegetables like eggplant or okra, but this is the recipe my mom always makes, which of course makes it the superior recipe.

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