Mexican food is gradually gaining ground here in the Philippines thanks to Tex-Mex joints like Army/Navy and more authentic cantina-style establishments like Ristras and Hermanos Taco Shop where the tamales con carne are said to be the sort of food eaten by angels. Even convenience stores have been flogging Mexican nosh: 7-11 branches have recently begun offering nachos at P 60.00 a plate.
I’m not particularly a fan of Mexican cuisine, but it does go down a treat as a snack when one’s running solo. More so when it’s given a rather unusual twist…
Recently seen over at SM Supermarket in Makati: these babies are referred to as Taclings – miniature tacos (I suppose they could have been referred to as taquitos – only, that name is currently used for a local brand of tortilla chips.) filled with either savory ground beef or a tangy combination of tuna and mushrooms.
The beef Taclings are served in little shells made with thin flour tortillas which have been toasted till gloriously crunchy. The somewhat earthier-tasting tuna-mushroom combo, on the other hand, is used to fill shells which are made green by the addition of malunggay (moringa) leaves to the dough. Technically, this doesn’t add anything to the flavor – malunggay being a rather bland veg to begin with – but it adds loads of iron, Vitamin A, and anti-oxidants to the dish.
Both beef and tuna Taclings are topped with a sort of pico de gallo made with diced fresh tomatoes and finely chopped red onions and a splash of garlic mayo. For no extra cost, diners can opt to get a drop or so of hot sauce to add a bit of fire.
Of course, these will never be on the same level as proper restaurant tacos, but they make a satisfying meal for one and are reasonably priced: P 50.00 gets you six cups served in a tiny egg crate-like tray. To wash these little treats down, grab an orange Yottea (best with the beef) or a chilled blueberry green tea (fab with the fish) from Tea Delite – which happens to be just a couple stalls down.