The Kubasa Pancit Project

The Kubasa Pancit Project

Where Ukrainian and Filipino food collide, thanks to Twitter.

As most good ideas come, there is some weird and interesting stuff that happens on Twitter. One of the latest Twitter topics of discussion was bringing together the fine tastes of Ukrainian and Filipino cuisine.

Amongst the tapestry of cultures I grew up with, there was nothing more Ukrainian than kubasa and cabbage rolls. I don’t really need to go into the favourites of Filipino food. Panci, lumpia and caldareta are the most recognizable Filipino dishes.

Several months ago, Bartley Kives (@bkives) from the Winnipeg Free Press tweeted a poll about what would be a truely Manitoban dish. Kives’ followers, including myself suggested Filipino food as a Manitoba staple. After several replies, the Kubasa Panict Project (#KubasaPancitProject) was born.

Armed with a full kitchen, an equally passionate and creative chef at Rice Bowl Restaurant, Chef Harry and I were ready to take on the Kubasa Pancit Project.

Now I just had to buy the ingredients.

To get the authentic kubasa, I turned to Twitter to crowdsource where in Winnipeg has the best kubasa. The polls indicated several mom & pop meat shops in Winnipeg’s north end. I originally was going to go to each of the 6 meat shops/delis to pick up kubasa from each location. As a newbie kubasa buyer, I realized that 6 coils of coarse kubasa may be overkill for a single plate of pancit. To show my research efforts, I even went as far to come up with a kubasa map of all suggested deli & meat shops.

Striker’s Deli & Meats on Burrows was the most suggest kubasa shop so there I went. The sign on the building said, “Winnipeg’s Finest Kubasa” so I knew I was at the right place. To add, Jurgen was the deli owner and gave me the entire tour of what it takes to make authentic smoked kubasa. As he mentioned, people from all over the province come to the deli. After taking home my coil of kubasa, I was itching to cook it and taste for myself if it was Winnipeg’s finest.

Pan searing the kubasa and served with garlic fried rice was pretty delicious.

Buying smoke Winnipeg goldeye was the easy part. Also in the north end, I popped into Gimli Fish on Higgins and bought two smoked Winnipeg goldeye. Ingredients in hand, and quick drop-off at Rice Bowl, we were set to get cooking in the kubasa pancit project.

The following day, I met Bartley Kives at Rice Bowl to finally partake in our small cuisine fusion creation. Not to my surprise, Chef Harry came up with two fusion dishes. The first one was the kubasa pancit creation and the second one was a Ukrainian cabbage roll creation. Normally served using shrimp and pork bits, we replaced them with shredded smoked goldeye and julienned strips of kubasa. As for the cabbage roll, Chef Harry used a minced caldareta as the filling, bathed in tomato sauce and served with a Spanish egg torta omelette with kubasa and potatoes, topped with sour cream.

Needless to say, Chef Harry hit two home runs during lunch. Is the #KubasaPancitProject done? Not likely. I expect to see more interesting fusion cuisine ideas. Will they be on the menu anytime soon? Not likely. As for the next project, you’ll have to find out on Twitter. #NomNomNom