Atsara – How did I miss this?

I have a long list of food that I didn’t like before. Atsara, carrots, oatmeal, kilawin na tuna, kilawin na baboy, Papaya, cashew, squash stew, avocado etc. Probably 80% of those I learned to love because of my wife. I don’t know, I don’t remember she tried to force me into any of it but I get persuaded by simply looking at her eat. One of those things I love about her, her influences about food.

When I was a kid, I never liked this kind of appetizer. In fact, I remember hating it. My mom would scold me for not touching it. (She always forced me to eat different kinds of food that are not to my liking. For example: Goat Blood Stew, I prefer Pork, any food related to squash, carrots, broccoli etc.) I’m a meat lover. I hate veggies when I was young (there are selected few that I love). Sometimes, my dad would snatched it out of my plate, after sensing I won’t eat it. They really have a great craving for atsara. I was really wondering what’s in it that they really love, this scraggly looking thingy, so much. I never asked, I won’t believe them anyway.

Then, I met my wife in college. She usually invite me for lunch or dinner. In one occasion, they happen to serve an atsara on the table. I haven’t noticed it at first. They, Her mom and her lola, had observed me. They noticed my habit of pushing the atsara aside. My wife told me that it’s a family recipe and said she really did a great effort to prepare that one. I’m not sure if she’s exaggerating but I can’t say no, of course, with those eyes of her family, at the table, looking at me like they’re waiting for me to do something foolish. So I tried it. Then I realized what I’ve missed.

It’s an A in my cuisine grading list. It’s perfectly blend of sweet and sour. A perfect condiment to grilled meats and fishes. My wife told me that the atsara that they prepared is actually has a secret family recipe. So that’s why It’s kind of different to other atsara I tasted before with my mom. Its flavor really stands out. Unfortunately, I can’t share the secret recipe. I think my wife told me about it, but I honestly forgotten it. I’m not really interested in cooking, anyway. I just wanted to eat :p

After that, I gobbled on atsara every chance I got. Just like my dad, I developed a new habit of snatching other’s atsara when I’m sure they won’t eat it (Especially when I’m with my friends eating on a grill house) They don’t know what they’re missing. Probably, that’s what my father was thinking when he took my atsara when I was a kid.

Here are the others. Food I’m surprised I like in the present:

cashew nuts
Beef Squash Stew
Marang also called johey oak, green pedalai, madang, tarap, or breadfruit cousin



Kilawin - Sauteed Banana Heart in Vinegar, Pepper and Chilis
Kilawin - Sauteed Banana Heart in Vinegar, Pepper and Chilis

Baked Talaba (Baked Oysters)


There are so much more.. πŸ™‚

Related Links:

Achara or Atsara Recipe (Filipino Pickled Green Papaya) – (

Filipino Achara/Atsara – (

Slimy Oysters – (

Chinese Bhel – a pleasantly surprising flavour – (

Powered by Plinky


2 thoughts on “Atsara – How did I miss this?

  1. you must love your wife very much to try foods that you do not like just because she cooked them for you.. Lovely Smokebear!
    I greatly enjoyed reading your post and I thought the photos were wonderful although being a westerner some did look at bit strange. I wonder if this is what puts us off trying to eat them..

    love P x


    1. Yes, thank you.. I do love her very much. I kind of missing her, that’s why I can’t help mentioning her name everytime I post. Hehehe.. She’s in the U.s and I’m still stuck here in the Philippines. But it’s not that bad.. Ii’ll be with her probably next year or so.. πŸ˜‰

      We’ve got a tropical climate. and some of those fruits are also can be seen in Malaysia, Indonesia and southern Thailand. Don’t let its look fool you, they’re actually safe to eat (lol) and nutritious food..


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s