In a Meranaw household, a meal would not be complete without the delectable and spicy palapa which serves as an appetizer.
Sakurab is the main ingredient in making Palapa. Palapa is an important feature of Meranaw cuisine. Maranao or “people of the lake”, it is the name given to a group of Muslim people in the Philippines who originated in the southern region of the country. Palapa can be found in almost every Maranao family. It’s a condiment that’s commonly found in our cuisine.
Sakurab, also known as native shallots, is a vegetable that resembles scallions and is used as a traditional Filipino cuisine seasoning. The Meranaw, in particular, makes extensive use of it as part of their daily meals. Sakurab is the major component of the popular Maranao condiment palapa, which includes spices, salt, and ginger. It is good as a side dish when eaten raw.
Sakurab also known as “sibujing” in traditional cuisines in the islands of Mindanao and Visayas is available for purchase for about 500 grams each bundle. Each bundle costs between 20 to 30 pesos. It can also be purchased outside of Lanao, but prices are higher.
in addition to Sakurab, ginger and chilis are needed to make palapa, . These ingredients are mixed in a food processor or by using a mortar and pestle alone. Salt is added after mixing the three ingredients, and this can be kept in the fridge if you only want to use it for cooking to preserve its quality.
Palapa can be used in a variety of ways in the kitchen. You can add it to scrambled eggs, sauté it, eat it with fried fish, or season it with soy sauce, among other things.