No trip to Malolos is complete without a pit stop at Citang’s Eatery in Sta. Isabel, a stone’s throw from the old church, to refuel and to buy various kakanín to take back home. Citang’s offers a variety of native snacks to eat and to-go, but our all-time favorite is the goto.
The goto of my childhood used isaw (small intestines) from carabao. It was soupy, rather than thick, with a generous sprinkling of golden toasted garlic (and an overload of triglycerides and cholesterol). It was so good, squeezing kalamansî and patís into it was unthought of.
Mamang used to order goto in bulk from a neighbor, Ka Edeng, who also made the best Lumpiáng Sariwà and Empanada (the flaky fried ones). When Ka Edeng passed away, we turned to Ka Elang. When Ka Elang passed away, we had no goto for a while but eventually tracked her daughter-in-law, Ka Goreng, at the Plaridel public market.
When my San Francisco-based brother came home to visit many years ago, we took a food trip to Bulacan. Two stops remain in my memory: Plaridel, where we occupied all the wooden benches in Ka Goreng’s kiosk, and San Miguel to buy pastillas, kalamay hirin, and other sweets.To this day, when the urge overpowers the fear of an early demise, we would drive to Plaridel and wolf down bowls of hot goto. When we’ve had our fill, we would bring out our plastic gallon containers for goto to-go, with lots of extra isaw to boot.
Parking space in the Plaridel market is so limited. But we’ve found a work-around—we stop at my classmate’s house and then walk two blocks to Ka Goreng’s. Sometimes, she would buy the goto ahead of time and we’d eat it in her house, along with whatever dishes her husband is cooking for lunch. There’s no rush and, with all the chit chat around the dining table, the goto becomes all the more saráp.
Goto | Tripe Congee
- 1 k tripe and/or beef isaw intestine
- 1 T salt
- 2 T oil
- ¼ c crushed garlic
- 1 T ginger julienned
- ¼ c chopped onion
- ½ c patís fish sauce
- 20 c broth
- 1 c rice washed
- 1 c malagkít (glutinous) rice washed
- ¼ c chopped spring onion
- In a stockpot, boil tripe and/or beef intestine in salt and water for 3 to 4 hours, until tender. Cut into 2-inch slices. Set aside broth.
- In another stockpot, heat oil. Fry garlic until golden; transfer to a bowl and set aside. In remaining hot oil, sauté ginger and onion. Add tripe and/or intestine and fish sauce; cover pot and simmer until flavors blend and develop, 3 to 5 minutes.
- Add 20 cups of broth; bring to a boil. Add rice; bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat, simmer until rice is cooked, about 30 minutes. If mixture starts to dry up, add more broth. Garnish with spring onion and fried garlic.