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The FHM Palengke Guide: How To Pick And Store Fresh Food
To master the kitchen, first know how not to stock spoiled food!
by anton umali and mich r. lagdameo | Jul 25, 2014
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Men who know their way around the kitchen are just hot! But to master the kitchen, one must first know how to man-handle animal flesh and how not to stock spoiled food.

FHM teaches you how to pick the freshest meat and how to store fruits and vegetables properly!


PICKING MEAT

Timing is everything: If you’re a stickler for freshness, the best time to hit the butcher shop orpalengke is at 5 a.m. to 7 a.m. “Kadalasan kasi ang katay ng baboy sa madaling araw. Magandang mgathree to four hours matapos itong katayin, mabili mo na para makuha mo yung pinaka-fresh,” says Ranny Fernando Alonzo, head butcher at Butcher’s Block, who has been in the meat industry for 15 years.

1)   BEEF

Photo from Shutterstock.com

Score if you spot: Reddish lean meat

“Kulay ang tinitingnan pagdating sa baka. Dito mapula dapat, pero kung pulang-pula, baka kalabaw na yunTingnan mo rin kung lean siya, tama ang hiwa, at hindi baku-bako.”

Usual cuts: Steak cuts or what Kuya Ranny calls “half-inch” cuts

Pick your part: Sirloin ang karaniwan sa beef. Ito yung sa tagiliran. Kung sa tao, sa hips. Malambot ito.”


2)   PORK


Photo from Shutterstock.com

Score if you spot: Squishy meat

“Para malaman mong fresh, yung kulay ang titingnan mo,” says Kuya Ranny. Texture wise, “dapat pag hinawakan mo at kinurot, malambot at hindi makunat.”

Color? “Medyo pink”

Usual cuts: Tapa, tocino, and liempo cuts

Pick your part: Kuya Ranny says the neck area is best “kasi malambot.”


3)   POULTRY


Photo from Shutterstock.com

Score if you spot: Pink and soft-skinned, as well as size-weight proportion

“Pag ang poultry luma na, nagiging green yung balat. Kapag dry yung balat, ibig sabihin rin luma na at nilabas-pasok na sa freezer nang ilang beses.”

Note also the chicken’s heft—heavier doesn’t always mean meatier. “Pag maliit ang manok pero mabigat, ibig sabihin marami siyang tubig sa loob. Pangit yun.”

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Usual cuts: Have a whole chicken chopped into parts for easier handling and cooking

Pick your part: Wings, breast, and legs are usually the most flavorful for grilling.


4)   FISH


Photo from Shutterstock.com

Score if you spot: Shiny clear fish with white eyes

“Tingnan mo yung mata, dapat maputi ito at makintab. Pag hindi na ito makintab, bilasa na yun. Yung scales, kailangan clear at hindi madilim ang kulay.”

Usual cuts: Gutted and/or filleted based on preference

Pick your part: “Buong isda naman ang binibili, pinapatanggal lang ang tinik at lamang-loob.”


NEXT: How to store fruits and veggies! 

From FHM's May 2014 issue
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