How unique is it to unwrap a big banana leaf and find out that your lunch is inside that package? You call this binalot in the Philippines and it means wrapped in the local language. Lunches were packed in banana leaves years ago then slowly, the styrofoam era took over and replaced these quintessential Filipino lunch packs. You can find almost any classic dish in these binalot packs and one of the popular lunches is adobo. Inside these packs are the meat or fish, accompanied with eggs and tomatoes. They are usually salted duck eggs (itlog na maalat) and they are eaten with fresh tomatoes. Since I cannot find them in Italy, hard boiled eggs are my only option.
I have been gone from the Philippines for so many years and the last time I had a binalot was half a lifetime ago. So when I was going to prepare this, my house cleaner who comes from the Philippines too pitched in to help me rekindle my memory about the egg and the tomatoes. She also got me the big banana leaves from the Asian market in Rome. I didn't know that you can buy them in commercial packs that are imported from Thailand. My only remaining banana plant that I planted more than 10 years ago for the sole purpose of using the leaves for preparing Filipino food died in the mouth of our dog. He's a big chewer and in spite of the amount of chew toys we give him, he apparently loved chewing on my banana tree's leaves too and with one last stroke of his sharp teeth, gave an end to my beloved tree. Sigh.
If you want to learn how to prepare this recipe of Binalot: Chicken Pork Adobo and Steamed Rice Wrapped in Banana Leaves, you can get it at She Knows, a site where I create recipes. You can also see my Profile Page for more of my recipes there. Thanks and enjoy your Friday!