This is my 100th post so I thought I should feature a special cuisine which is authentic and 100% Filipino. A dish that is unique to the Filipino people and its culture. Probably concocted by the common masses and popularized by the same group forming majority of the people. Let?s give way to my version of the infamous Soup Number 5.
First a reminder: Like the Filipino ?dinuguan? or pork blood stew, this dish is not for the squeamish or faint-hearted. I have to inform that non-Filipinos may find this dish somewhat unusual or even disturbing to some extent as it may be in conflict with other cultures and traditions. No matter how a bit strange or peculiar this food may be, it has already been part of the distinct Filipino cuisine. It is probably a result of the Filipino ingenuity in cooking; a resourceful way of transforming parts of the meat which others will just throw away into palatable food.
Soup Number Five, variously spelled Soup No. 5 or Soup #5 which could be called bull or ox gonad soup in English, is a soup made from bull's testicles and phallus. You read it right, testicles and phallus. :-)
In the southern Philippines, this is called ?lanciao?. The dish which probably originated from the creative Filipino roadside eateries is believed to have a very potent love potion or aphrodisiac properties. Of course this belief is purely based on claims of those who have eaten the soup and said to have experienced such effect afterwards and not supported by any scientific study.
With such belief that it has properties that stimulate sexual drive, it is expected to be extra popular with male. Particularly for those who prefer the natural ways of attaining sexual enthusiasm than with the help of tablets produced by medical science. But apart from the above, the dish is delicious and truly comforting. The soothing effect will be experienced after every sipping of the soup and eating of the tender and succulent meat.
To prepare the magical dish, we need testicles and phallus from 3 bulls, or about 1½ kilograms of the meat. Additionally, we need a large bone part of a beef to provide the tasty broth which will be the foundation of the soup. In this case, the bone part connected to the tail directly at the back of the cow which is usually attached to the ox tail cut. All the meat should be thoroughly washed and drained.
The other ingredients are: 1 pack ?sibut?, a unique Chinese ingredients composed of four herbs, 2 pcs thumb-sized ginger, peeled and crushed, 1 head garlic, peeled and crushed, divided, 2 pcs onions, peeled, 1 quartered, 1 chopped, 2 stalks flat leaf parsley, chopped, 1 pc leek, sliced, 2 tbsp ?patis? or fish sauce, 3 tbsp oyster sauce, 1 tsp whole pepper corn, crushed, 1½ cups dried wood ear mushroom, soaked in water to hydrate and chopped and salt to taste.
Arrange the meat in a thick large casserole. Cover with enough water and let it boil under high heat. When the liquid is already boiling and scum is appearing bubbly on the surface, carefully lift the casserole and empty all the liquid. Under a running water, washed the meat again to remove all scum that stuck to the meat pieces and that which remains at the bottom of the casserole several times, until totally clean and clear.
Again, arrange the meat in the casserole, cover with water and simmer in high heat. Scoop out all scum that will further appear until the liquid is clear. This is important to be able to get rid of the foul odor and attain a fragrant and tasty broth.
Adjust the heat to the lowest possible while maintaining the liquid still gurgling. Add the ?sibut?, ginger, garlic, onion, salt and crushed pepper corn but set aside about 4 gloves of the garlic, ½ thumb sized-ginger and the chopped onion for sauteing later. Mince the set aside garlic and the ginger. Continue simmering on low heat until the meat is fork tender. Add hot beef broth as required, when the liquid level gets lower than the meat level, one cup at a time.