“We use the burger as a bridge between our culture and American culture,” say Don and Michael Jante, the cousins behind Houston’s Flip ’N Patties food truck, which combines Filipino flavors with familiar American dishes. In this episode of Cooking in America, host Sheldon Simeon — who gleefully notes “I ain’t gonna come to Houston and not do me” — steps inside the food truck kitchen to talk about the (admittedly small) local Filipino community.
At Flip ’N Patties, the Jantes and their team sling themed burgers and fries that incorporate ingredients from the Philippines, like banana ketchup, longanisa (Filipino sausage), and siopao (steamed buns, which function here as the burger bun). The cousins go through between 1,000 and 1,200 pounds of fries per day in the truck, but one of the signature dishes is a recipe from Don’s grandmother: chicken pupu, aka fried chicken thighs slathered in a sweet ginger sauce. As Simeon says appreciatively: “Lola would be proud, bro.”