A kitchen spatula in Tagalog is called “siyansi,” but some people also call it a flipper or turner due to its versatility. This kitchen utensil consists of a broad, flat, and thin blade attached to a handle. The blade, however, is not the same sharp blade we know. Instead, it is used to flip, scrape, spread, or mix the ingredients while cooking.
Kitchen spatulas are heat-resistant, and the blade is usually made of metal, such as stainless steel or heat-resistant silicone. On the other hand, the handle can be made of wood, plastic, or metal. Siyansi is usually the partner of the kawali and it comes in different shapes and sizes, each designed for specific tasks. This is also why turners are also sometimes referred to as spatulas.
Technically, there are four kinds of kitchen spatulas – turner spatula, offset spatula (icing spatula), slotted spatula (slotted turner), and fish spatula. The first two kinds have no slots, making them ideal for flipping foods over a heat source and spreading icing on cakes. The other two types with slots allow excess oil to drain away.
Siyansi is already common in the Philippines even before the Spanish colonization. At that time, Filipinos used wooden spatulas to stir, mix, and flip food during cooking. These wooden spatulas had a long handle and a flat and wide blade, often made from durable hardwood. Therefore, the traditional siyansi had no holes or slots back then.
When the Spaniards came, they introduced new culinary practices and modern kitchen utensils, including metal spatulas. Since then, siyansi has evolved into different variations to reflect the fusion of foreign influences. The design was improved to meet the increasing demand for cooking meals and to ensure precise and controlled cooking.
Today, Filipinos have a wide variety of choices when it comes to kitchen spatulas. The silicone spatula, which was mainly used for baking, has become a multi-purpose spatula. Yet, most spatula blades are longer on the right side than on the left. This design assumes that most chefs, cooks, and cooking mothers are right-handed.
Use siyansi in a sentence.
Huwag mo kalimutang gumamit ng siyansi kung magpi-prito ka ng isda. Siguruduhin mong pantay ang pagkaluto mo.
Don’t forget to use a kitchen spatula when frying fish. Make sure that both sides are cooked evenly.