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Philippines, Israel reaffirm friendship in a unique way called ‘Culinary Dialogue’

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Culinary Dialogue of  Filipino Chef Heny Sison and Israeli Chef Yonatan Vazana
Photos from Embassy of Israel in Manila, photo collage by THEPHILBIZNEWS

By Alithea De Jesus

Unknown to many, the Philippines and Israel friendship is already more than 70 years, and it all began when the Philippines voted in favor of recommending the establishment of a Jewish State in 1947 and we are the only Asian country that voted for the said resolution in the United Nations. Through the years, the diplomatic relations and bilateral agreements remain solid.

Last August 11, the Embassy of Israel in Manila organized a unique event that is both close to the hearts of the Filipinos and Israelis —- food.

The Zoom culinary dialogue with Chef Yonatan Vazana and Chef Heny Sison, is another milestone between the Philippines and Israel friendship. What makes it more flavorful and exciting is the two illustrious Chefs showcased their expertise in cooking.

For the Philippines, Chef Heny Sison, cooked one of the famous Filipino cuisines called Sinigang na Bangus sa Bayabas at Sampalok. While Israeli Chef Yonatan Vazana, Burumundi fish with Hraime sauce poster.

Invited viewers shared their curiosity and amazement as both renowned Chefs showed their culinary prowess without any difficulties. Cooking tips were also shared by both Chefs and welcome questions from all the participants.

The recipes are gladly shared here by Chefs Heny and Yonatan.

Burumundi fish with Hraime sauce poster by Israeli Chef Yonatan Vazana


Soybean oil





2 slices of fish fillet

Fish broth:

20 peeled tomatoes

5 bell peppers cut diagonally

15 garlic cloves

Half a cup of soy oil

2 lemons

1 Moroccan paprika

I cup cumin

Fish broth:

• Put in the pot all the vegetables with a bit of oil for 10 minutes until golden brown.

• Cover the vegetables with water.

• Put the fish head inside and cook for 30 minutes.

• Add tomatoes cut quarterly and cook for 45 minutes. Put off the fire and cover with nylon paper for 30 minutes.

For the hraime sauce:

• Shred the peeled tomatoes.

• Transfer to a pot and add 2 cloves of garlic and bell peppers.

• Cook for 2 hours.

In a bigger pot, put the rest of the garlic, spices, half a litter of the fish broth and stir.

• Add the cooked tomatoes, salt and pepper to taste, then cook for 10 minutes.

• Add all the pepper and put the fish above.

• Cover and cook for 10 minutes. Remove cover then cook for additional 5 minutes.

Serve and enjoy!

Sinigang na Bangus sa Bayabas at Sampalok by Filipino Chef Heny Sison
(Milkfish in Sour Guava and Tamarind Broth)

Serves 2


1⁄4 cup (50 ml) Magnolia Nutri-Oil Palm oil

400 grams milkfish belly, boneless

4 cups (1000 ml) water

60 grams (1 piece) red onion, cut into 5 wedges

60 grams (2 pieces) tomatoes, deseeded and quartered

1 tablespoon fish sauce

1 teaspoon sugar (optional)

1 cup guava purée

1⁄2 cup tamarind juice

2 pieces guava, deseeded and quartered

2 grams (3 slices) ginger, peeled and sliced

60 grams radish, sliced

60 grams string beans, cut into 3-inch long pieces

40 grams water spinach (kangkong)

1 piece green finger chilli


1. Preheat a sauté pan with oil over high heat.

2. Pan-fry the milkfish until lightly brown. Remove the fish from the sauté pan and transfer it to

a plate. Set aside.

3. In the same sauté pan, sauté the red onion and tomatoes. Set aside.

4. In a medium saucepan, add in water and bring to a boil. Add in the fish sauce, sugar, guava

purée, tamarind juice, and the deseeded guava pieces. Bring down to a simmer then add in

the ginger, radish, pan-fried fish, sautéed onion, tomatoes, and string beans. Continue to

simmer until the vegetables are cooked.

5. Remove the scum that forms on the surface.

6. Serve hot. When ready, add the water spinach and the green finger chili upon serving.

For the Guava Purée:


5 pieces ripe guava, chopped

1 cup (250 ml) water


1. In a small saucepan, pour in the water and add in the guava, boil until the guava has


2. Let it cool, then purée in a blender.

3. Strain the purée twice to remove the seeds and the pulp.

For the Tamarind Juice:

200 grams green tamarind

1 cup (250 ml) water


1. In a medium saucepan, pour in the water and add in the green tamarind, boil until the

tamarind has softened.

2. Mash the mixture.

3. Strain to get the tamarind juice and measure the amount needed in the recipe.

For more updates from the Embassy of Israel in the Philippines, visit their social media accounts Facebook: Israel in the Philippines, Instagram: @IsraelinthePH and Twitter:  @IsraelinPH

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