Suam na Mais:
Suam na Mais is a delectable and traditional Filipino dish that showcases the rich and vibrant flavors of the country’s cuisine. A popular comfort food, it is commonly prepared during the rainy season or on cool days due to its warming and hearty nature. This dish revolves around the humble corn or mais, which is a staple crop in the Philippines, and is loved by locals and visitors alike.
The word “suam” in the
dish’s name refers to the process of extracting the sweet juice or broth from the corn cobs. The combination of the natural sweetness from the corn and the savory flavors of various ingredients creates a perfect balance that leaves one craving for more. While Suam na Mais is a well-known dish, its exact origin remains somewhat obscure, as it has been passed down through generations by word of mouth and family traditions.
To prepare Suam na Mais, the following ingredients are typically required:
- Fresh corn on the cob: The main star of the dish, sweet and tender corn kernels are cut off the cobs and used to create the flavorful base of the soup.
- Water: To boil the corn and extract its juices, water is essential for creating the rich broth that characterizes this dish.
- Shrimp or fish: Often, Suam na Mais includes either fresh shrimp or fish, which adds a delightful seafood element to the soup. This ingredient enhances the overall taste and makes it even more irresistible.
- Leafy vegetables: Usually, leafy greens like malunggay leaves (moringa) or chili leaves are added, providing a fresh and nutritious touch to the dish.
- Garlic and onion: These aromatic ingredients serve as the flavor foundation of many Filipino dishes and are sautéed to create a fragrant base for the soup.
- Salt and pepper: Basic seasonings that enhance the taste of the soup and bring out the flavors of the other ingredients.
- Cooking oil: To sauté the garlic and onions, any neutral cooking oil like vegetable oil is used.
The cooking process begins with boiling the corn cobs in water, allowing their natural sweetness to infuse the broth. The cobs are then removed, and the extracted corn broth becomes the flavorful base for the soup. The sautéed garlic and onion are added, giving the dish its aromatic depth. Next, the shrimp or fish is incorporated, along with the leafy vegetables. The mixture is simmered until the ingredients are cooked and the flavors have melded together harmoniously. Finally, a touch of salt and pepper is added to taste, completing the dish and preparing it for a delicious serving.
Suam na Mais is typically served hot, often alongside steamed rice, which complements the flavors and completes the meal. It is best enjoyed with family and friends, as it brings people together with its heartwarming taste and comforting nature.