Tag Archives: Guam

Final: Guam vs. Singapore

In our Asian/Oceanian second qualifying round match between Guam and Singapore we tried our hands at some tasty dishes.  In what is proving to be in the minority of our World Cup of Food matches, this time we have a decisive winner.
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Guamanian Cuisine — Chicken Tinaktak: Ground Chicken in Coconut Milk with Vegetables

A favorite food of many Guamanians is tinaktak, a half stew, half stir fry where ground beef is browned then simmered in coconut milk with vegetables until everything is tender.  Neither of us had ever encountered the dish (or Guamanian food at all, really) until a fateful Spring weekend in 2010.  Chris was invited to help prepare the food for the annual Seattle University Marianas Club Fiesta, a celebration of local Marianas Islander culture.  The event featured traditional dancing and music, several speakers on various Marianas Islands matters, and of course a gigantic feast.

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Guamanian Cuisine — Chicken Kelaguen

Kelaguen is a Guamanian dish similar to Latin American ceviche or French tartare where meats or fish are finely chopped and marinated in citrus juice with coconut, onions and chilies.  In modern times, chicken kelaguen (recipe follows) is fully cooked before chopping and marinating, but beef, shrimp, or fish versions are marinated raw until the acid in the citrus juice cooks the meat.  Often accompanying kelaguen (and just about any other Guamanian meal) is the spicy condiment fina’dene, made from soy sauce, vinegar, onions, and chilies.  We love cevice and carpaccio (raw, thinly sliced beef marinated similarly) and spicy things, so we couldn’t wait to try our hand at kalaguen.

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Guamanian Cuisine — Red Rice

Guam’s position in the western Pacific Ocean has established it as a stopover point for Transpacific travel for centuries.  The indigenous Guamanians, the Chamorros, probably arrived about four thousand years ago from southeast Asia.  The Spanish explorer Ferdinand Magellan landed on the island in 1521, and it was settled and colonized by Spain about a century-and-a-half later.  Spanish rule held until 1898 when Guam was ceded to the United States as a result of the Spanish-American War.  Japan controlled the island for a three-year period during World War 2, and after United States intervention Guam has remained a U.S. possession ever since.

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