A much-celebrated Indonesian dish was adjudged the winning main entrée in the 2012 Kikkoman Cook-Off hosted by J.C. Tenorio Enterprises at the Joeten Susupe Shopping Center last Saturday.
The Manic Beef Rendang entry of Pipit Surya from Susupe village got the approving nods of the judges, who described the dish as “out of the ordinary.”
Surya’s rendition of the flavorful recipe was prepared using Certified Angus Beef simmered for hours in a rich sauce made of fresh coconut milk and spices that include shallots, garlic, macadamia nuts, turmeric, red pepper, lemongrass, ginger, lime leaves, and Kikkoman.
A native of Sulawesi Island in Indonesia, Surya said in an interview after the event that it was her first time to join a culinary competition and didn’t expect to win.
“I was just doing it for fun. I think it’s a great experience for fun,” said the kitchen staffer of Manic Inn where she specializes in Asian cuisine.
Surya, who regularly shops at Joeten Susupe for grocery items needed at work, said she has been using Kikkoman since moving to the island for over two years because it adds flavor to any dish, be it the Japanese yakisoba or the Filipino dish called adobo.
She believes that most people on island haven’t tried Indonesian dishes, including her favorite Beef Rendang. “It’s nice to cook something different for people,” added Surya.
Surya won $150 worth of Joeten gift certificates plus gift bags from D&Q, Marpac, and Micronesian Brokers, Inc. for besting three other contestants who all prepared dishes that were evaluated based on taste, texture, originality, and presentation.
The panel of judges was comprised of Joeten produce manager Gemma Villanueva, market manager Anthony Aguon, and assistant comptroller Deo Manese.
Manese related in a separate interview how difficult it was to be one of the judges since all the entries had excellent taste.
“Their cooking was really very good because you can really taste the Kikkoman flavor in every dish. I always use Kikkoman but I cannot use it in the same effective way that they did,” he told Saipan Tribune.
Jeanne Rayphand placed second and won $100 in Joeten gift certificates and gift packs for her Chicken Marianas entry. Ruby Manalo bagged third place for her dish called Furikake Crusted Chicken Teriyaki on a Bed of Stir-fried Vegetables with Kikkoman Soy Sauce. At fourth place is Andrew Jon Songsong for his Island-style Sukiyaki.
For the appetizer category, Crystal Seidler’s Chicken Wings won by default and earned her $150 in Joeten gift certificates and gift packs after Rommel Villaviza arrived late to submit his entry called Ahi-Nori Tempura and Marinated Grilled Shrimp with Soy Wine Cream Sauce and Spicy Mango Salsa. The judges agreed to give $50 gift certificates and gift packs to recognize the efforts of Villaviza, who was not on time due to work.
Joeten customers were able to sample the dishes during Saturday’s event.
By Clarissa V. David