Thursday, February 12, 2009

Daddy's Mistake

Daddy's Mistake 2009

This is a dish from my youth. I don't know how it started but I vividly remember eating this many times. It's called "Daddy's Mistake" because I think my dad made a mistake while making it when we were young. It's simple, Filipino-immigrant food. The kind of food we ate when my family was still new to America and trying to make ends meet.

Back in those days, I remember eating a lot of Vienna Sausages, Spam, simple Filipino foods and rice. Steak was an uncommon and celebratory occasion. Both my parents worked all day and all night so our time together was limited to just a couple hours in the evening after coming home from the babysitter before bed and the hour or so in the morning before we were dropped off at school. We weren't latch-key kids, we were the children of Asian immigrants who were working hard to forge a new future in an America at the tail end of the Vietnam War.

Making Daddy's Mistake is pretty simple. Take Hormel Spam and slice it. My dad always cut it in 1/8" slices from the loaf but I've come to love paper thin slices fried to a crisp. If using the thicker slices, pan fry and crisp the sides. It makes for a better eating experience.

In the 1970s, Spam came in one flavor. There was none of this "low sodium" Spam or Tabasco-infused Spam (like in Guam). No cheese-injected Spam. Just plain, old, salty Spam. Certainly, the chemicals, sodium and binding agents in Spam can't be good for you but it can be good. Just slice and fry away to salty, porky goodness.

From there, you simply fry two sunny-side-up eggs, put them on top of a mound of hot, steamed white rice, add the slices of Spam on the side and serve with ketchup. To eat, you slather the ketchup on the eggs, break the yolks and mix the eggs, egg yolks, ketchup and rice together until you get a nice pile of yellow-red rice (think saffron colored). Maybe a little salt and pepper for flavor, or a little Tabasco for spice and go to town.

Send me a picture of you eating your version of Daddy's Mistake and I'll post it to the blog!