A Filipino food historian, Doreen Hernandez says in journal article titled, “Culture Ingested: The Indigenization of Filipino Cuisine,” that the term “Pesa” is a Hokkien term meaning, “plain boiled.” The original Hokkien term is peq – sa – hi with the “hi” as the Hokkien word for “fish.”
From the etymology above, it can be gleaned that pesa recipe, or at least the original Chinese one, is a fish recipe. We can now further speculate then that it is only through the adaptation of the Filipinos that the word “pesa” took a different meaning and a different ingredient.
Pesang Manok Recipe Preparation Tip
Pesang manok recipe is similar to chicken broth-based dishes such as Tinola (which uses sayote or papaya and chili leaves in its recipe) and Nilagang Baka (which has cabbages and saging na saba) and it is possible that you could interchange the three dishes. However, what distinguishes pesang manok from the others is the recipe’s extensive use of ginger, cabbage, napa cabbage, and potatoes. These, if we talk about the vegetables thrown into the mix, make this dish a heavy and healthy meal.
- 1-kilo chicken (cut into desired sizes)
- 8 cups water
- 1 inch sliced ginger (crushed)
- ½ tsp. peppercorn
- 2 tsp. salt
- 2 potatoes (pared and quartered)
- 1 small cabbage (quartered)
- 1 bundle fresh pechay or bok choy
- 6 green onions (cut into 2-inch length)
- 1 big onion (quartered)
- msg. or Maggi magic sarap to taste; optional
- Place chicken in a kettle. Add water, ginger, peppercorns, salt, onions and bring to a boil. Lower heat; cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Add potatoes and cook until done and then add cabbage, pechay and green onions. Season with msg. or Maggi magic sarap to taste. Serve hot with steamed rice. Good for 8 persons.
- Share & enjoy!
Also, as this is a chicken broth-based recipe, it cannot be helped that this is yet another one-pot meal which makes it a favorite for busy people and for those people who are just beginning to cook. Since this is a mildly-flavored Pesang Manok recipe, it is also recommended that you serve this with fish sauce (patis) or fish paste (bagoong) to add more flavor into the viand.