This samgyupsal-sushi bake hybrid is a wonderful surprise that caters to the Pinoy palate

Published April 15, 2021, 3:02 PM

by Jules Vivas

A tray of Filipino ingenuity

Pinoys love food indiscriminately. One could say, Filipino is the antonym for “picky eater.” Because we consume just about anything edible, we receive international dishes quite well. Korea’s samgyupsal (grilled pork belly), Japan’s sushi bake, and Italy’s macaroni and cheese, are some dishes the Filipino masses really enjoy. Who would have thought the three mix pretty well together? Andrea Vicerra took a gamble, and hits the jackpot.

With her love for baking, Andrea went into the food business and established her online store Whip and Taste PH. The business concept is simple: the young entrepreneur wanted people to try her home baked, hassle-free creations, to share her love for food with others. She whips and people taste.

Baking was just a hobby at first. Initially, she would make a variety of desserts from cookies to cupcakes exclusively for friends and family. It’s because of the pandemic that Andrea went online to sell her food. With her love for cheese and experimenting on food trends, she decided to combine some of her favorite dishes. And she did so successfully.

Owner of Whip and Taste PH, Andrea Vicerra

Two of her bestsellers, the Bacon and Potato au Gratin and the Baked Samgyupsal are fantastic fares. The gratin has a nicely done browned crust with thinly sliced buttery potato stack inside. Each of its layers are sprinkled with cheese and bacon. This greased casserole also have a version without the bacon bits.

But the most impressive dish, in my opinion at least, is the Baked Samgyup. Kimchi rice with a generous amount of grilled Korean meat inside, then topped with cheese sauce is to die for. It’s a great combination of savory-sweet with an ever so subtle spice that’s just enough to amplify the first initial flavors. At first, I was skeptic when I heard about the odd blend. But it was surprisingly good. Addicting, even.

Scoop, wrap into fresh lettuce, eat, repeat.

What urged Andrea to come up with such a genius dish is through the positive feedback she had received from the first batch of orders. “I wanted to offer something new for my customers,” explains Andrea adding, “I noticed how baked sushi was emerging as one of the food trends that time, so my team and I came up with something different.”

As a person with a sweet tooth, I immediately finished the tray in less than 10 minutes. The cheese topping is creamy and is the main source of sweetness. The meat is tender and easy to chew as well. The tray comes with a fresh lettuce wrap, so one can opt to eat the dish in true samgyupsal fashion.

“Food is one of the things that brings family and friends closer, so our serving sizes are always for sharing,” says Andrea. She makes sure customers get the most of her products.

Andrea admits that establishing a business during the quarantine is a huge risk. She, however, draws inspiration from her family, who also helps her in the kitchen. “Without the help of my family Theresa Vicerra, Aurelio Vicerra, and Heide Palermo who assisted me in operating the business and without the help of my siblings Katherine Vicerra and Edward Vicerra in marketing the product, Whip and Taste wouldn’t be loved by so many.”