Dec 5, 2006

Chicken Teriyaki - Pinoy version

The word teriyaki is a combination of two Japanese words: teri, which means luster and yaki, which means grilled. Of all meats, chicken is the most commonly used for teriyaki, although the recipe works well with other meats like beef, pork and turkey, as well as fish and seafood.

My first taste of teriyaki was back in UP, from one of the outlets in CASAA. Back then though, owing perhaps to the constraints of affordability, time and effortlessness, CASAA teriyaki were not grilled but were stir-fried (quite like bulgogi) on flat, stove-top griddles. Instead of whole chicken thighs or breast cutlets we got strips. Back then too, a set of beef teriyaki with sauteed mongo sprouts and a cup of rice, takeout (that costs higher than dine-in because you pay for the styro pack) is a measly P24.00!

Ah, those were the days. All I had to think about was how to budget my baon and how to make it through my next Calculus exam!

But going back on track, here's my recipe for Teriyaki. A cross between the budget-conscious UP version I loved and the sosy version everybody loves.

What's In It?

2 chicken breasts, skinned, deboned and cut into bite-sized strips
1/3 c light soy sauce
1 T brown sugar
2 T corn oil
1 T vinegar
1/2 t ground ginger
1 clove garlic, minced

Kitchen Conjugations:

Combine the ingredients in a bowl and chill in the refrigerator overnight. Heat about 1 teaspoon of cooking oil in a wok then stir-fry the marinated meat for 2 minutes. Add a little of the marinade when the meat gets done and simmer for 2 minutes more.

Serve hot with sauteed mongo sprouts with steamed rice and a garnish of onion leek strips.

How is this different from the authentic Japanese version? Well, that one uses mirin (sweet rice wine) and sake (rice wine). Here, those are substituted with vinegar balanced by the brown sugar. And since this is stir-fried, you can easily make it in the morning for school or office baon.

Ginataang Kalabasa at Sitaw (Squash and String Beans in Coconut Milk)

Checking my site stats I was surprised to find out that many people have landed on my site in their search for a recipe of Ginataang Kalabasa and Sitaw. I thought nothing of it back in October, thinking that perhaps many Filipinos were simply looking for what to do with the flesh of carved pumpkins/squash used for halloween. But guess what, it's almost Christmas but "ginataang kalabasa" still figures prominently in my site's keyword activity! Strange, but true.

Anyways, I've been honored by a request from starlightjulian, who asked for an English version of the recipe I posted in August (I posted in Filipino, in commemoration of Filipino Language Month). Here it is, enjoy!

GINATAANG KALABASA AT SITAW (Squash and String Beans in Coco Milk)

What's In It?
  • 2 squash segments , washed well and cut into cubes (leave unpeeled)
  • 1 bunch string beans, cut into 2" portions
  • 1 medium sized onion, peeled and quartered
  • 1 knob ginger, peeled, sliced and pounded
  • 1 head garlic, peeled and pounded
  • 3-5 pieces chili (use less or none at all if spice is an issue!)
  • 6 to 8 cups canned/instant coco milk, or freshly squeezed from 1 large coconut, or 2 medium ones
  • 100 grams pork fat (optional)
  • dried anchovies or shrimp fry (optional)
  • salt, according to taste

Kitchen Conjugations:

Follow package directions to make instant coco milk. If using fresh coconut, pour one cup lukewarm water over coco meat and leave for 1 minute. Add about 4 cups of tap water to moisten all of the coco meat. Take a handful or two of the moist coco meat, squeeze it between your hands, catching the coco milk with a strainer over a deep bowl or the saucepan you will use for cooking.

Add in the onions, garlic and ginger and the pork fat (if using) and heat the mixture over medium fire, stirring continuously to prevent curdling. (Use left to right slow sweeping motions to introduce motion into the mixture without unnecessarily dissipating heat and allow the mixture to boil.)

When mixture boils, add in the squash and allow to boil, stirring from time to time until the squash is half-cooked. Add in string beans and chili (if using) and simmer until the beans sweat and changes color. Season with salt and sprinkle with smoke fish flakes, dried anchovies or shrimps if desired. (If you're brave enough go ahead and crush the chili on the sides of the pan and stir back into the mixture.)

Best served hot with steamed rice and crispy fried fish.

Pasta Negra

Since sampling Pasta Negra at The Old Spaghetti House I've been wanting to make a go for my own version, but I haven't had luck finding squid ink pasta in Shopwise or SaveMore. Last Saturday, as I was cleaning some giant squids my husband brought home from the weekend market, one of the ink sacs burst and gave me a "try and see" opportunity. First, to see whether I can blacken regular spaghetti by adding some of the ink to cooked spaghetti and then to see whether I can make savory squid ink sauce without the lansa.

I failed the first test. The spaghetti didn't blacken. Maybe I should've added the ink to the water during cooking, before adding the pasta, to give the spaghetti enough chance to absorb the blackened water.

I passed the second challenge however. The sauce wasn't malansa. Yipee. The secret? Check out the recipe:

Pasta Negra (Squid Ink Spaghetti)

What's In It?
250 g. spaghetti, cooked according to package directions/until al dente

3 T olive oil

5 cloves garlic, minced

1 large onion, minced

250 g. squid, sacs removed and ink reserved, sliced into rings or bite sized pieces

2 packs 250g Clara Ole Mushroom Spaghetti Sauce

1/4 c cooking wine or white wine*

1.5 t iodized salt

1.5 t ground black pepper

1/2 t dried basil leaves (or rosemary)

Kitchen Conjugations:

In a saucepan heat oil then saute onions and garlic for one and a half minutes or until onions are soft. Turn up heat then add in squid, stir frying for 30 seconds, then stir in salt and pepper and (cooking) wine. Let simmer for 30 seconds then add in spaghetti sauce and squid ink, then leave to simmer for 2 minutes. Sprinkle dried herbs and let simmer for 30 seconds more, then adjust seasonings as necessary.

Stir in cooked pasta and toss to coat. Serve with garlic toast (and a glass of chilled Riesling, Chablis or Sauvignon Blanc. Hehehe).

Would have been great for Halloween, and what shrieks would have been if the tentacles suddenly moved on their own just as you were digging in! :)

*You may also use Mirin, Sake with a little sugar, some beer, or whatever wine you have available AND enjoy drinking.

Dec 1, 2006

Sinigang na Bangus with Tanglad

Rainy and windy (albeit stormy) weather is always good for one thing -- hot broths. Bulalo would have been nice, but my, the cholesterol! So we opted for Sinigang na Bangus.

As in all broths and stocks, the best flavor comes from the bony parts -- the bone marrow makes bulalo savory, the buto-buto or ribs makes Sinigang na Baboy flavorful. For fish sinigang, well, I believe the head and the tail are the best parts. (Reserve the belly for frying. Make it crisp and wow -- you've got the best combination!)

Anyhow, I discovered SeaKing's Bangus head and tails pack in Shopwise. The pack, which costs P30.00 max, is all head and tails, 500 grams. Throw in some veggies and you have soup for 8! Great, di ba? The tanglad was thrown in for flavor, but go ahead without it and you'd be okay. :)


What's In It?

500 g. Bangus, head and tails

1 teaspoon salt

1 large red onion, peeled and quartered

1 large or 2 medium ripe tomatoes, quartered

1 knob ginger, peeled and sliced diagonally

juice of 8 calamansi or 1 pack Knorr Sinigang sa Calamansi mix

1 bunch tanglad (lemongrass), about 8 stalks

8 to 10 cups rice washing, or tap water

2 bunches kangkong, leaves separated from stalks

1 bundle okra, sliced diagonally into 2" pieces

2 teaspoons salt or fish sauce

Kitchen Conjugations:

Wash head and tails and season with 1 teaspoon salt. Set aside.

In a saucepan, boil water/rice washings with the onions, ginger, tomatoes and tanglad. Add in okra and fish when water comes to a rolling boil. Simmer for 2 minutes then season with calamansi and salt or fish sauce. Simmer for another 2 minutes, then add in kangkong. Leave to boil for another minute then remove from heat. Adjust seasonings if necessary, then serve.

Tanglad is usually removed before serving, but I always leave it in for drama. :)

Nov 24, 2006

Wansoy and Kinchay

It's almost Christmas, yikes! And while I'm gaining headway in the gift-shopping and home decorating department, I realized I have quite a number of unpublished posts, dating as far back as Easter (For shame!). It's time to put them out before they become hopelessly outdated and/or worse, I forget what I did with them in the first place. (Memory gap. Ehem.)

Let me start clearing them out with this: a treatise on how to tell between Wansoy and Kinchay. Profound, no? Hahaha.


At first glance the bunches of greens above would look the same to you. They're so similar you'd mistake one for the other. Many people actually think they're one and the same. In fact, I've been hard-pressed to find references distinguishing the two. Many sites refer to them as originating from Coriandrum sativum, and as I am not a botanist, nay, not even a farmer, I will not try to refute that.

However, my taste buds say the two are different. And so here goes what probably is the first ever article on the difference between Kinchay and Wansoy. Aren't you honored to be reading it? Hehehe.

First off, a pop quiz: which of the two bunches above is Wansoy? Left, or right?

If you said Left, engk! Wrong answer.

A year ago someone in the SM Supermarket at Festival Mall mislabeled their Wansoy as Kinchay. As I didn't know any better back then I bought a bunch and used it in my pancit, to disastrous results. I wanted aroma and tang and I got both, but the different, weird kind. (Quite like using wasabe instead of siling labuyo to spice up your Ginataang Alimasag or Bicol Express. That weird.)

Wansoy (Coriander) is an herb commonly used in Thai cooking. If you've had Tom Yum or Thai Spring Rolls you've probably tasted its unique spicy-sweetish blend, and it's what gives Thai Curry a distinct flavor. Of the two, it is more pungent. (Some even dislike its smell, which they say resemble that of squished bedbugs. Shush.)

Kinchay (Cilantro/Chinese Parsley) on the other hand is a common feature in Chinese cooking, and is more citrusy in aroma. Break off a little piece of its stalk and you'd note that the smell resembles that of celery. If you've had Lumpiang Shanghai or Chopsuey you'd have probably tasted the spice that's uniquely Kinchay.

So, that's it. One way to tell is by smell. After the SM fiasco I stopped relying on labels and started holding the bunches to my nose to smell the roots. I no longer get funny tasting pancit, just funny looks from other shoppers. :)

Anyhow, if you prefer not to look weird when you shop, then take note of the differences in the shape, size and grooves of these leaves:

Kinchay has bigger but narrower leaves, and less grooves on its leaf blade. As you can see, Wansoy looks a little like grown versions of parsley, and a baby version of Celery. So if you're in the greens section and are unsure whether it's Kinchay or Wansoy you're looking at, try to find some parsley and/or celery and compare.

Put side by side they look something like a His and Hers watch. What do you think? :)

Nov 17, 2006

Adobong Kangkong

This would have been my entry to the 15th Lasang Pinoy Food Blogging Event, entitled "Recycled, Reloaded," which was about doing something (meaningful) from leftovers. Apart from challenging the Filipino creative genius (which naturally extends to culinary skills), the theme also promotes cost-effectiveness. Magaling, mura, masarap.

I wasn't able to post this it in time for the deadline though. Sayang.
I was thinking of another dish -- wanted to make Pandesal Pizzas or Bread Pudding (expecting leftover bread) but didn't get around to doing it. Talagang ang trabaho, istorbo sa blogging! :)

Too late did I realize I actually had a post in draft mode which utilized leftovers. Sayang.


(Update: I get in afterall! Lasang Pinoy 15 host Mike Mina of Lafang was kind enough to include this late post in the round up. Yey! Thanks Mike!)

What do you do with the skin leftover from when you have your pork ground by your carnero at the market? Me I cut them into strips, pack them into 50-gram or so portions and freeze them for later use in sautes or as toppings for noodle dishes or vegetable stir-fries, as I usually do for Kangkong on Fire, and in the recipe below...


What's In It?

2 - 3 bundles Kangkong (swamp cabbage), leaves separated from stalks
2 T cooking oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
100 g. pork, cut into strips
1/2 c water
1 T all-purpose flour
1 c water
2 T soy sauce
2 T vinegar
1/2 t ground black pepper

Kitchen Conjugations:

In a pan boil pork skin strips until water dries. Add a little cooking oil and fry skins over medium heat until brown and crisp. (Don't forget to cover the pan, especially if you're a putok ng mantika magnet like me.) Remove from pan and set aside.

In the same oil, saute onions and garlic for one minute. Add in flour and 1 c water, soy sauce, vinegar and pepper. Bring to a boil, then add kangkong, let boil for another minute or just until the kangkong sweats and changes color a bit.

Transfer onto a serving dish and top with the crisp pork skins.

Nov 16, 2006

Buko Tarts

Out in Malabon on official business sometime last month, we were served great tasting Buko Tarts (which, we found out later, came all the way from Tagaytay). I liked it because it was not too sweet, the crust was buttery and flaky and the filling was just in the right level of creaminess. It was so good I was tempted to eat a whole serving (I meant to share the calories with my husband), savoring and complementing (or is 'compounding' the better word?) the sinfulness by gulping ice-cold Coke. Gosh. I haven't done that for ages! (Bless me father for I have sinned...)

Well, you know what happens when I get impressed with food -- I try making it myself in my kitchen. I wasted no time sending out for fresh buko, and made crust. The 'experiment' lasted less than an hour, and produced 18 buko tarts. The verdict? Jam ate three right away, despite the filling being piping hot!

Here's the recipe:


What's In It?

2 cups all purpose flour
1 t. salt
1/2 c butter
3 to 4 T cold water

2 cups buko meat, cut into shreds
3/4 c sugar
1/2 c evaporated milk
1/2 c cornstarch dispersed in
1/2 c buko water
a few drops of Buko Pandan flavoring (optional)

Tools/Wares Needed:
Medium sized Aluminum Puto/Tart Molds (P56.75 per 6 pieces at ValuePoint)

Kitchen Conjugations:

Get the butter out of the ref to soften it a bit. Set aside and start making the filling: In a medium sized pot or deep pan, combine the filling ingredients and bring to a boil over medium heat. Simmer and stir until the mixture thickens. (The best is a gluey consistency that you can still spoon. Be careful not to overcook or else the mixture will get into a paste consistency.) Remove from fire and set aside.

Work with the tarts: Combine the salt and flour in a mixing bowl. Cut the butter into cubes with a knife, then cut it into the flour-salt mixture using a pastry cutter or the tines of a fork. (The flour will combine with the butter and you're supposed to end up with a crumbly mixture.) Moisten the dough with the cold water, mix and gather into a ball. Roll out and flatten the dough with a rolling pin (or a floured wine/water bottle) to about 1/8" thick.

Cut out round pieces of the dough using egg rings (if you have), jars or round plastic wares whose mouths are bigger than the size of your tart molds. Cut the remaining dough into even-sized strips (to be used as topping later).

Lightly dust the tart molds with flour, then line each with the round dough cut-outs. Press the dough to the bottom and sides of each mold. Fill each with Buko filling then top with the dough strips, making lattices.

Bake for 5-7 minutes or until the tops turn golden brown at 200C in a Turbo Broiler. (Note: baking time is longer in a conventional oven; shorter in an oven toaster.)

Let cool before taking out of the individual molds.

Nov 14, 2006

One Beginning, Three Endings

Here's a tribute to working mothers, people who just have so much on their hands, or those with kitchen phobia: A dish that starts with a single, simple step, but which finishes into 3 dishes. Make this ahead and you have something quick for baon (so you can snatch longer Zzzsss), something to serve when you have unannounced company, or for times when you just don't feel like cooking. If you're a newbie cook, today you'd be learning 3 recipes in one!

Note that the each recipe shares an ingredient or two with one of the recipes, to save on prep time. I also used only one pan for the three recipes so there's less to wash up afterwards. :)


The Beginning actually leads to infinite possible dishes but for this post it finishes into Mock Chicken Pastel, Chicken Afritada and Soy Chicken with Mushrooms:

One Beginning, Three Endings

What's In It?

The Beginning: Chicken Saute
1 1/2 kgs chicken breast, chopped into small portions
1 large onion or 2 medium ones, peeled and sliced
5 cloves garlic, minced
5 T fish sauce
2 t ground pepper
1/4 c cooking oil

Mock Chicken Pastel
1/3 of the Chicken Saute
1 can vienna sausage, sliced diagonally or into rings
1 small red bell pepper, cubed
1 small potato, peeled, cubed and fried*
1 small carrot, peeled, cubed and fried*
1/4 c green peas
1/4 c button mushrooms (pieces and stems)
1/2 c evaporated milk
1 c hot water

Chicken Afritada
1/3 of the Chicken Saute
1 small sachet tomato sauce (or 5 T tomato paste + 1 c hot water)
3 bay (laurel) leaves
1 small red bell pepper, cubed
1 small potato, peeled, cubed and fried*
1 small carrot, peeled, cubed and fried*

Soy Chicken with Mushrooms
1/3 of the Chicken Saute
1/4 c soy sauce
1 c hot water
1 small can buttom mushrooms (pieces and stems)
3-4 stalks green onion, minced, for garnish

Kitchen Conjugations:

CHICKEN SAUTE. In a wok or deep pan heat oil over high heat. Fry the potatoes and carrots until half cooked. Remove and transfer into a dish. Set aside.

In the same oil, saute onions until soft and translucent, then add garlic, stir frying for about a minute. Add in chicken, stir fry for 30 seconds, then add fish sauce and ground pepper. Stir. Cover and let simmer for 2 minutes or until chicken loses its pinkish color.

Remove about 2/3 of the chicken from the pan and transfer onto a dish. Set aside.

You are now ready to make Mock Chicken Pastel.


Let the chicken saute simmer for three more minutes, then add in hot water, milk and half of the fried potatoes and carrots. Let simmer until the vegetables are fork-tender, stirring from time to time, about 3 minutes. Add in sliced sausages and green peas and mushrooms and let simmer for another minute.

Transfer the chicken pastel to a serving/heat proof dish. Set aside.

Bring the pan back to stove and you're now ready to cook Chicken Afritada.


Pour in the chicken saute and let simmer for two minutes before adding tomato sauce/tomato paste and water. Throw in bay leaves, bell pepper and the fried potatoes and carrots, then let simmer for 3 minutes or until the vegetables are fork-tender. Adjust seasonings (salt and pepper) to taste. Add a little brown sugar (about 2 tablespoons) if you want the sauce to be on the sweet side. Let simmer for another minute then transfer the afritada onto a serving/heatproof plate and set aside.

Brick the pan back to the stove and work with the next dish.


Add in the remaining chicken saute. Pour in the soy sauce and hot water, let boil then simmer for 3 minutes. Stir in mushrooms and cook for another minute. Check seasonings and adjust if needed. Transfer onto a serving plate and garnish with spring onions.

Notes: (Sorry, I can't resist!)

1) Substitute young corn for the mushroom in Soy Chicken and you've got a new dish.

2) For the chicken afritada, add in one or more of the ff: fried saba, baguio beans, cabbage.. and voila! It's Chicken Pochero!

3) Omit the sausage from the Mock Pastel, use coconut milk instead of evap and stir in 4 teaspoons curry powder and you have Chicken Curry!

4) Saute some ginger strips in a little hot oil before you add the chicken saute, then stir in some brown sugar and some rice wine (if available), sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and sliced leeks and what have you got? Chicken Teriyaki!

5) Of course, you can always use beef or pork for chicken.

Goodluck to your kitchen adventures.... tell me about it. :)

Nov 8, 2006

Chili Butter Shrimps

Olive was kind enough to make patol to the question at the end of my "Unposted" post and requested this recipe. Thanks for the moral support, girl! (The rest of you who just lurked -- how could you! Tampo, tampo, tampo....joke!)

Anyhow, I cooked this soooooo long ago that I forgot what I ACTUALLY did with it. That's the problem with unscientific chefs like me who rely on approximations and gut feel... one dish is never like the other because the ingredients and the method are all spur of the moment! Nevertheless, here's what I think I did:


What's In It?

1 kg. shrimps or prawns
4 tablespoons Star Margarine garlic flavor
1 tablespoon cooking oil
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
2 teaspoons hot sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar*
1 teaspoon salt*
2 stalks leeks, white part separated from greens,
both cut diagonally into 1/4" strips

Kitchen Conjugations:

Heat oil in a pan over medium heat. Add in margarine and stir until melted. Add in the white part of the leeks, stir fry for ten seconds, then add in shrimps. Stir fry for one minute, or until the shrimp/prawns turn orange. Add in oyster sauce and hot sauce and a little hot water if desired (to make more sauce). Stir fry the ingredients some more or until heated through. Check and adjust seasonings. Serve garnished with the rest of the sliced leeks.


1) Add in the brown sugar if you want the dish to be on the sweet-side. Add the salt if you want the dish to be saltier, although personally I am alright with the saltiness imparted by the oyster sauce.

2) If you have time to spare, you can remove the head, the shells (but leave the tail intact) and devein the shrimp (remove the grayish-blackish strip along its back).

3) If Star Margarine garlic is unavailable, substitute with 3 tablespoons butter or regular margarine and 3 cloves of garlic, minced. Add in the garlic after the butter or the margarine melts and saute for 1 minute.

4) Seafood shrinks when heated, so keep cooking time to a minimum. If possible, choose bigger sizes to keep the food 'visible.' Hehehe.

Oct 5, 2006

Apple Crumble

Malou cooked up a party for her husband, Lito and invited us over. I actually asked her what she wanted me to bring for dessert -- leche flan or refrigerator cake -- and she said, "Kahit ano, aprub!" But I got tied down at the office to the last minute and didn't have time to beat eggs for leche flan nor enough time to cool a ref cake so I opted for dessert that could be served warm. Incidentally, the something warm I thought of is something I've been dreaming about for months (since the time I last ate them at The Bellevue) -- Apple Crumble.

The preparation wasn't without glitches though. On the way home I was worried that I didn't have cinnamon left and was pondering substitutes -- will vanilla work as well? When I got home (45 minutes before we were due at Malou's) I ran to my pantry, found I have more than enough cinnamon, thanked God out loud, then went to work with the apples and the crumble.

Then during baking, my 10-year old Turbo Broiler conked out (the loose power plug had melted the insulation, blah-blah-blah...) and I was left with a half-baked crumble and no dessert to bring to the party. Waaahh!

Good thing the man I married is a handyman and he tweaked the wires and connected new lugs, and in ten minutes the turbo was broiling again. :) We were a little late for call time but made it to Malou's with a pan of Apple Crumble anyway, which, by the way, was wiped out at dessert time. :)

This is a good alternative to apple pie, can be made in half an hour, best served warm, with whipped cream or better yet, vanilla ice cream on top.


What's In It?

  • 5 apples ( I use Fuji)
  • 1 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 6 tbsp. butter, room temp.
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. allspice
  • 2 tbsp. apple juice or orange juice
Kitchen Conjugations:

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly butter a 9-inch square baking pan or a casserole of the equivalent size, then dust it with flour. Peel, core and slice the apples, and arrange them in the pan.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, blend the oats, brown sugar, flour, butter, cinnamon, salt and allspice on low speed until it forms a coarse meal. Crumble the mixture evenly over the apple slices and sprinkle with the juice. Bake for 35 minutes (Turbo Broiler bakers: see note below).

Makes 6 servings.

I don't have a conventional oven and used a Turbo Broiler. Baking time is shorter, about 15 minutes, or until the crumble turns golden brown.

Oct 3, 2006

The Old Spaghetti House

Have you tried the TOSH at Festival Mall? How was your dining experience? For me it was a Hit-Miss-Hit-Miss-Hit experience.

The HITS come from the fact that their house spaghettis are generally good and affordably priced. (Cheapest is Pesto at P90.) I like the variety of sauces too, compared to those of similarly priced Sbarro's, where you only get to choose between Meat Sauce, Tomato Sauce and Cream Sauce.

How do I like it? Let me put it this way: we've been at TOSH eight times in the last two months (yes, unbelievable-but-true). And in those eight times I've had Pesto with Grilled Chicken (top right) FOUR TIMES (yup, unbelievable-bordering-on-weird), and Pasta Negra (top left) twice. I had Puttanesca and Oriental Spaghetti the other two times.

Mike likes the Seafood Marinara (bottom left) so much he's had it FIVE times. [Yep, the man's LOYAL :)] The other times he's tried Pasta Negra, Arrabiata and Pesto, both of which earned his thumb's up. :)

My kids like the Four Cheese pizza, and the Nachos Supreme, which comes with salsa, cheese and aioli dips. We've also tried Cheese Logs (deep fried rolled pizza crust stuffed with cheese), Calamares. At one time, Gambel had their Grilled Pork Chops while my lola had the Pork Scallopine with Wild Mushroom Sauce. Both got good reviews.

The MISSES come from inordinate waiting time (to be seated; to be served) and inconsistent service quality. At one visit Mike's glass of red wine, and the pizza we ordered came when we had already finished our meal and had asked for bill out! On another visit one waiter simply slid my pesto from his tray to the edge of our table, turned his back and walked away, with the unspoken instruction of "Go get it yourself." (Gasp!) The tables are also so small, space is cramped for a party of four or more. You need to finish a dish or two and have them cleared out to make space for your other orders. They don't have condiments ready on the table and you'd need to ask for parmesan, pepper or chili flakes. And horrors! No knives! How do you cut your pizza?

The saving grace has been the taste of their food. Kundi lang yon, naku...

September Birthday Cakes

Wow, is it October already? And I have unposted entries and recipes from as long ago as May? Whoa!

September is birthday-busy for us. Mike's and Gambel's birthdays have 10 days in between them, and in the interim too is my lola's birthday, on the 19th. So what dates are Mike's and Gambel's birthdays? You do the Math. :)

Gambel's 6!

Gambel's birthday this year actually falls on a Saturday, so I didn't make any plans for a party in school. (We had planned to eat out.) But Gambel my Boy Wonder beat me to the no-party plan and broadcast to the whole baranggay the news of his upcoming birthday, complete with details of his supposed party fare. Kahiya naman, so I threw a mini-party anyway in his school. I hosted some party games, and served home-cooked spaghetti, chicken lollipops, and his birthday cakes:

The Banana Cupcakes answer the need for nutrition (at least the cake's not all sugar-- it packs some Vitamin A and Potassium in there) and the need for individual portions (so as to save the effort of slicing the cake). I put in a candle each so every child will have a candle to blow and there wouldn't be a wrestle for a turn at blowing the birthday candle. :) On Gambel's cupcake I put a number candle 6 for distinction. :)

Mama turns 82!

I had wanted something a little grand for Mama (my lola) because this is her first time to celebrate her birthday with us after a while of being away in NZ. But her birthday fell on a busy Tuesday, and on account of my fatherin-law's condition at the time she insisted on scrapping party plans. So instead we treated her to simple, impromptu lunch at Max's Pacita.

I bought a Mango Cake roll from the restaurant's bakeshop and decorated it with some meringue, and a birthday candle:

My lola, the gracious lady that she is, appreciated the simple celebration, despite the fact that she deserved so much more. God bless my lola.

Mike's Birthday

We marked Mike's birthday without much fanfare in the family residence in Makilala, North Cotabato -- at 12:10 am we called him inside (he was out with friends and relatives who have come to condole with us) and sang him his birthday song.

Later in the day I made Banana Cake (again) -- this time, two unbelievably large trays. It was my first time to bloat the recipe to such large proportions, I was second-guessing myself and silently praying (that the recipe turn out okay) as I mixed. 'Twas my first time too, to bake in a wood-fired pugon.

The cake turned out okay, I guess, judging from the fact that the first tray (which made 100 slices) was wiped out within 5 minutes of placement on the dining table. :)

Oct 1, 2006

Maize Picadillo

To me this is Maize Picadillo; to some, it's made with chicken and ampalaya (bittergourd) leaves and called Suam na Mais. This version uses malunggay, is made flavorful by fresh shrimps, and has a clear broth. I learned the recipe from watching my lola who used to cook it for Saturday lunch when it's corn season. Back then she used white young corn; my version uses the sweet corn I prefer.

My lola was home from New Zealand last month and this was among the dishes I lined up for her enjoyment (to match the fried tilapia I knew she missed so badly).

Maize Picadillo/Ginisang Mais

What's In It?

  • 6 sweet corn cobs
  • 100 g. pork, diced
  • 50 g. small shrimps
  • 1 med. onion, peeled and sliced
  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 medium-sized ripe tomato, sliced
  • 1 c malunggay leaves
  • 3 T cooking oil
  • 3 to 4 T fish sauce
  • 6 cups tap water or pork broth

Kitchen Conjugations:

Wash corn and remove hair. Using a serrated kitchen knife, scrape off the kernels from the cobs to make about 4 to 5 cups. Set aside.

Heat cooking oil in a wok or carajay over medium heat. Saute onions, tomato slices and garlic. Add in pork and stir fry for one minute or until pork loses its pinkish tint. Stir in shrimps and corn kernels then stir fry for half a minute. Stir in fish sauce, cover, turn down heat and let simmer for about a minute and 30 seconds, to allow ingredients to sweat.

Pour in water or pork broth and let boil for 10 minutes or until the kernels are tender. Adjust seasonings, then stir in malunggay leaves. Allow to boil for half a minute to blanch malunggay. Remove from heat and serve immediately.

Best with crispy fried tilapia, daing na bangus, or fried galunggong. :)

Sep 15, 2006

Beef Stroganoff

I've been finding more and more justifications for having pasta everyday. Variety. Less calories. Ease of use. And just because... I love pasta. Fact is, I've been dining at The Old Spaghetti House for almost everyday in the past two weeks. (More about that, later.)

Anyhow, about a month ago (yes, yes, I've been blog silent...shush!) I made Beef Stroganoff (still part of my pasta series), for reasons I no longer remember, but more probably because that's what I wanted at the moment. :) Lesson here: Food bloggers ought to blog right away so that they not only share a recipe, but a story, too. :)


What's In It?

1/2 kg. spaghetti, cooked al dente
1/2 kg. beef sirloin, cut into strips
1 small can (about 1/2 cup) button mushrooms, sliced into strips
50g. butter (about a 1" x 1" x 1" cube) or 3 T garlic margarine
5 cloves garlic, minced (unnecessary if you're using garlic margarine)
2 medium onions, chopped finely
1 beef bouillon cube dissolved in
1/2 c hot water
1 c sour cream (or all purpose cream + 2 t vinegar or calamansi juice)
1/2 t mustard
salt and pepper to taste

Kitchen Conjugations:

Melt half of the butter or margarine over medium heat, then saute garlic and half of the onions until onions are soft and translucent. Add mushrooms and stir fry for one minute. Remove from heat. Melt the rest of the butter or margarine, saute the rest of the onions. Add in the beef and stir fry until beef loses its pinkish tint. Add in beef broth, salt and pepper. Boil then simmer until beef is done.

Stir in the mushrooms and onions, simmer for 30 seconds then stir in sour cream and mustard. Serve over cooked pasta (spaghetti, fetuccine or tagliatelle) or steamed rice.

Sep 1, 2006

Chicken Embutido

My eldest loves Embutido and has been hinting to have it once more as lunchtime baon (I haven't made Embutido for a while). I chanced upon ground chicken at SaveMore and decided to try it for my recipe, and see whether it would be as flavorful as pork.

Well... it wasn't. (To me, at least.) I guess white meat is white meat and red meat is red meat. To compare them would be like comparing apples and oranges. But if you have pork restrictions or are looking for other ways of serving chicken, then this is worth a try. :) Super-easy and something you can make ahead for times when you need appetizers, lunch or dinner in a snap (like when you have unexpected company). Great with rice or as a filling for hot pandesal.


What's In It?

500 g. ground chicken meat
2 boiled eggs, sliced into strips
1 medium carrot, diced
1/4 cup green peas
1 medium red bell pepper, minced
1 medium red onion, minced
1/4 cup pickle relish
1 can Purefoods vienna sausage, diced
or 4 pieces PF TJ hotdog, diced
1/4 bar Cheddar cheese, diced
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup flour or bread crumbs
3 t iodized salt
1 1/2 t
black pepper powder

Kitchen Conjugations:

In a steamer, boil a liter and a half of water. Meantime, combine all ingredients (except egg slices) in a bowl. Mix well to distribute chunky ingredients. Prepare 8" x 10" sheets of aluminum foil, and scoop about two cups of the mixture. Flatten with a spoon and spread out, leaving about 2" margins from the edges of the sheets. Lay 3 to 4 slices of the egg on the meat mixture then roll into tubes. Seal the edges by twisting or by folding. Repeat this step until all the mixture is used up.

Line the embutido rolls in the steamer pans and steam for 30-45 minutes over medium heat.
Allow to cool then slice and serve. (If desired, you can also pan-fry and brown the slices before serving.) Serve with catsup or Knorr seasoning.

BTW, this would keep for 4 weeks in the freezer. :)

Aug 27, 2006

Ginataang Kalabasa at Sitaw

It's Buwan ng Wika (celebration of Filipino Language Month) and what better way to join the celebration than to feature a truly Filipino recipe and post in Filipino. So here goes...

By the way, if you're not a Filipino speaker and would like an English version of this post/the recipe, leave a request at the Comments section. (",)


Kapag umuulan, may sasarap pa ba sa mainit na kanin na kinakain ng pakamay? Yung umuusok pa at bahagyang nakakapaso, na lalo pang pinainit at pinalinamnam ng ginataang ulam na maanghang?

Tsa-raaannn! Ipinakikilala ang ulam namin dalawang (maulang) Sabado nang nakakaraan: Ginataang Sitao at Kalabasa.

Noong bata pa ako, dahil mga Bikolana ang lola at nanay ko, hindi nawawalan ng ginataang ulam sa bahay namin. Noong medyo malaki na ako at abot ko na ang kalan, naging assignment ko na ang paghahalo ng gata habang hinihintay ang pagkulo nito, para maiwasan ang pagkurta. Siempre dahil nandoon lang ako sa may kalan, nakita at namemorya ko ang mga ingredients at ang mga magic ng pagluluto ng mga ginataang ulam.

Kapag Sabado at may naabutang alimasag si Mommy, siguradong magluluto ng Ginataang Malunggay na may Alimasag. Minsan, tilapya ang ginagataan at pinapatungan ng mga dahon ng petsay o kaya'y mustasa. Kapag buwan ng Hunyo at panahon ng santol, nagluluto ang lola ko ng ginataang santol at pinapartneran ng galunggong na prinito hanggang malutong. Hay....sarap! (Nagulat ba kayong malaman na ginugulay pala ang santol? At nasabi ko na ba na maanghang pa 'yun?)

Kung hindi ginataan ang ulam, malamang na isisingit naman ang gata sa mga pang-himagas (dessert). Nakatikim na ba kayo ng Minatamis na Bayabas o kaya'y Minatamis na Munggo, Bikol version? Siempre, may gata ang mga 'yun.

Mga ilang linggo na ang nakakaraan, ayun nga at binalikan ko ang masayang bahagi na ito ng aking buhay at nagluto ako ng ginataan. Hala! Siempre nag-kanin din ako! Patay ang diyeta, tadtad ng kolesterol ang pinagkakakain ko. Heto na ang kauna-unahang resipi ng ginataang gulay na matutunghayan sa blog na ito. Pinatrneran namin ito ng pritong daing na bangus.


Ano'ng meron doon?

  • 2 hiwa ng Kalabasa, hinugasan ng maiigi at hiniwa pakwadrado (iwanan ang balat)
  • 1 bungkos ng sitao, piniraso sa mga tig-2" na hati
  • 1 sibuyas, binalatan at pinag-apat
  • 1 maliit na luya, binalatan, hiniwa at pinitpit
  • 1 ulo ng bawang, binalatan at pinitpit
  • 3-5 siling labuyo (bawasan kung hindi kaya ang anghang!)
  • gata ng 1 malaking niyog, o dalawang maliit
  • 100 gramong taba ng baboy (opsyonal)
  • dilis, tuyong alamang (opsyonal)
  • asin (ayon sa panlasa)

Trabaho sa Kusina:

Pakuluin ang gata, sibuyas, bawang at luya (at taba ng baboy, kung nais) sa kawali sa ibabaw ng bahagyang apoy nang hindi tinitigilan ang paghalo (para hindi magkurta ang gata). Pagkulo, ihalo ang mga pinirasong kalabasa at hayaang kumulo, hinahalo paminsan-minsan. Kapag bahagya nang lumambot ang kalabasa, idagdag ang sitao at mga siling labuyo, at pakuluin hanggang sa magpawis at maging bahagyang luto ang sitao. Timplahan ng asin at budburan ng sili, tinapa o kaya'y halabos na hipon. Kung matapang-tapang sa anghang, basagin ang mga sili sa gilid ng kawali at ihalo sa gata.


Kailangan ng 6 hanggang 8 tasa ng gata para sa resipi na ito. Gumamit ng instant gata kung nais makatipid sa oras. Kung nais magpaka-bayani, bumili ng niyog, kudkurin sa kudkuran, lagyan ng 6 na tasang maligamgam na tubig at magpiga. Huwag kalimutang salain! :P Oo nga pala, kung may natira ka pang kadakilaan, maari mong gawing bukayo ang sapal ng niyog. :)

Aug 22, 2006

Baked Ziti

"Mommy Anne, sa susunod, gan'on uli ha?" Robyn said as she kissed me goodbye.
"Baliktad uli, ha?" She was on her way out the door.
I chuckled, then called out after her, "Okay!"

Robyn was referring to the "rearranged" meal sequence we had when they came to visit. Their father, my brother Ryan, hankered for lunch at 9 am, complaining he didn't have breakfast.

"'Kala ko ba nag-drive thru kayo? (I thought you had drive-thru breakfast?)" I asked him.
"Eh ako kaya ang nagda-drive! (But my hands were on the wheel!)"

So I made brunch. I wanted Baked Chicken Macaroni (I even poached and flaked chicken to boot), like the ones mom used to make at Christmas, but alas, I only had ziti in the house. Baked Ziti it was.

Then, at 11 am, Gambel, who didn't have any of the ziti, asked for pancakes and so I made some and served them at lunch time. So, as Robyn put it, baliktad. We had lunch at 9 am, and breakfast at lunchtime!

Then again, we enjoyed both eatings.

Baked Ziti

What's In It?

400 g. ziti, cooked al dente
5 T canola or olive oil
1 chicken breast, poached and flaked
5 salami slices, diced
1 large onion, minced
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 small red bell pepper, minced
1 t salt
1 large pack (750 ml) spaghetti sauce
Mozzarella or quickmelt cheese

Kitchen Conjugations:

Heat oil over medium heat. Saute onions until almost translucent, then add garlic. Stir fry for 30 seconds more.

Add chicken flakes, diced salami and bell pepper, then stir fry for one minute. Season with salt, then pour in spaghetti sauce. Let boil then simmer for another 30 seconds. Stir in cooked ziti and toss to coat.

Transfer into a baking dish and top with mozzarella or quickmelt cheese, then bake for 5 to 10 minutes at 250C or until cheese bubbles and/or has melted. Serve with garlic bread toast or biscocho. :)

Aug 19, 2006

Nasi Goreng

To unwind from a stressful week we had the Ardetas and the Gomezes (where my friends Malou and Jeng, respectively, reign queens ) over for a potluck dinner-videoke party last night. Malou brought Donna Mae's Lechon Manok (roast chicken) while Jeng brought Pancit Molo soup, where the molo was especially flown in from Iloilo, with matching garlic bread toast. (Both were superstars by the way. The Donna Mae Lechon Manok was a revelation; I'd dare say it was better than Andok's.)

To round up the meal I made Asuhos Tempura, Mustasa Greens Salad and Nasi Goreng. Mike served up some chilled reds (Jacob's Creek Merlot and later, a Trivento Malbec). For the kids and everyone else, 'twas Red Iced Tea. :)

Note that cold rice, preferably cooked at least 5 hours before frying, is better for any fried rice dish. This is because cold rice is less sticky and will not get soggy from frying. So for the recipe below, be sure to pre-cook the rice hours or the day before.

NASI GORENG (Indonesian Fried Rice)

What's In It?

  • 10 cups cold, cooked rice
  • 3 T cooking oil
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 100 g. ground pork
  • 100 g. shrimps, diced
  • 6 shallots, peeled and sliced
  • 1 Shrimp broth cube
  • 2 T brown sugar, dissolved in
  • 4 T light soy sauce
  • 1 T tomato paste
  • 2 T hot sauce or 2 chilis, seeded and sliced (optional)
  • 5 stalks spring onion, chopped, for garnish

Kitchen Conjugations:

Heat oil in a large wok. Pour in beaten egg and swirl to spread it thinly across the surface of the wok (like making a thin omelette). Remove omelette from wok. Shred into strips.

Saute the onions and garlic, then add the ground pork, stirring once in a while until the pork is cooked (after about three minutes). Add in the shrimp, stir fry for one minute, then add in the seasonings (shrimp cube, soy sauce with sugar and soy sauce). Allow to simmer for half a minute, then add in rice. Toss to allow the seasonings to coat the grains, stir-frying for about a minute.

Transfer onto a serving dish and garnish with the shredded omelette and spring onions.


1) The original recipe calls for 1) Kecap Manis, or sweet soy sauce and 2) Trassi (dried shrimp paste). Since I don't have them I substituted with the light soy sauce and sugar mixture, and the shrimp broth cube. :)

2) For a more festive touch, you can add garnishings: tomato wedges, cucumber slices and kropeck (shrimp crackers).

3) You can substitute the ground pork with pork or chicken strips.

Aug 16, 2006


Musicians call unrecorded performances Unplugged. Me, I have unshared kitchen conjugations which I now call Unposted... all from times I was too busy to post, or just didn't feel like telling the story behind what was recently on our table. :)

Top to bottom, left to right: Squid with Basil, Bunch of Lunch, Cucumber-Pineapple Salsa, Thai Whole Fish with Garlic, Steamed Surgeonfish and Chapchae, and Chili Butter Shrimps.

So what's it gonna be? Which recipe do you want to see first? Which story do you wanna hear? Let me know at the Comments section. :)

Aug 13, 2006

Banana Pancakes

I planned on making Banana Cake this weekend, having found Señoritas at the Carmona Public Market, but somebody ate the bananas and left me only three pieces! So I made what was left of the Señoritas into pancakes instead, to the delight of the kids in the house. :)

When I was a little girl I used to help my mom make pancakes for merienda every Saturday afternoon. Back then maple syrup was beyond our budget range and wasn't as available as it is now, so we used to top our pancakes with sugar and evaporated milk. I did the same for my pancakes today and boy, did I love it still! (Million times better than syrup!) My boys and my nieces tried their second helping of the pancakes with milk and sugar and became instant converts. :)

Here I made the batter from scratch (because I have ingredients for cake), but you can always use store-bought mixes and stir in mashed bananas. Of course, you can substitute the bananas with blueberry or strawberries, whatever have you. :) And you can always have it plain. :)

Banana Pancakes

What's in it?
  • 1-1/4 cups sifted flour
  • 2 T sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 T melted shortening or oil
  • 1 T baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 T vanilla essence
  • three fingers Señorita bananas, peeled and mashed to a pulp

Kitchen Conjugations:

In a medium-sized bowl, beat egg, and add in milk and oil. Stir in flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Beat until the dry ingredients have dissolves.

Stir in mashed bananas, oil and vanilla. Beat until the batter is free of lumps.

Heat a non-stick pan and pour about 1/4 cup of the batter. Flip-over when bubbles start appearing on the surface.

Top with butter, sprinkle with a little washed sugar and drizzle with evaporated milk. Top with banana slices if desired. Makes 8-10 medium pancakes.


Aug 9, 2006

Beef with Gailan

I guess it's pretty obvious by now, but let me say it nonetheless -- I love entertaining. If I ever win the lotto* one of the things I'd probably do is have people over for a dinner party every single day! :) That after buying all the tableware and cutlery I've swooned and pined for, a la Marketman. :)

Last Sunday I had another "gotta feed people" attack and invited my in-laws over. We had:

1) Beef with Gai-lan. We were in Arranque Market again that Sunday morning and among the items we picked up were Gai-Lan (Chinese broccoli leaves) and spinach. I don't know if 'twas the recent spate of typhoons that did it, but the price of gai-lan went up 150% (from P50.00 per kilo to P180!)

My first taste of the dish was at Mr. Peter Lee's Tea House and I've tried to replicate it since. I've come up with the next best thing (I think), complete with the accompanying Chili Garlic sauce (by Lee Kum Kee). The recipe's below.

2) Grilled Tanglad-Laced Bangus, which was a concession to my fish-manic husband. And because we have pots (emphasis on the plural**) of tanglad (lemon grass), he put a few bunches in before wrapping the fish with aluminum foil sheets. The mixture of aroma from the ginger, onions, tomatoes and the tanglad steaming out when we opened the wrappings was fantastic. You would have wanted to re-open the foil wrapping over and over for a whiff. :)

3) Mustard Greens with Italian Dressing. My husband has made a similar salad before, but with a different dressing (onions in vinegar). This time we tried bottled Italian dressing, drizzled on the thoroughly washed greens garnished with bell pepper and salad onion strips. I had anticipated a slightly bitter aftertaste as there was the first time I had mustard greens but surprise -- had none of that at all! The greens were yummy!

(O magugunaw na talaga ang mundo, former out and out carnivores like myself are repenting?)

Here's what I did with Beef with Gai-Lan:

What's In It?

  • 1/2 kg. beef, cut across the grain into 1/2" wide strips
  • 1/4 cup glutinous rice wine (you can substitute with chinese cooking wine, dry sherry or mirin)
  • 1/2 cup light soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1-2 dashes sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 5-6 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 3-4 tablespoons olive or canola oil
  • 1/4 kg. gailan (chinese broccoli leaves)

Kitchen Conjugations:

  1. Marinate beef in rice wine, soy sauce, black pepper, sesame oil and 3 cloves garlic for at least five minutes.
  2. While beef marinates, wash gailan and trim off hard parts (bottom end of stalks), separating the leaves into individual stalks. Wash in running water, or soak for 3 minutes then rinse.
  3. Heat some water in a deep pan and blanch the gailan. The leaves must be kept green and crisp-tender. (Cook in boiling water for 20-30 seconds only.) Remove from heat and transfer to serving plate.
  4. Heat oil in a wok. Add in onions and saute until translucent.
  5. Add in garlic, saute for 30 seconds, then add in beef (without the marinade).
  6. Stir-fry beef for 3 to 4 minutes over high heat.
  7. Stir in cornstarch into the marinade, dissolving lumps.
  8. Add in the marinade into the wok, continuing with the stir fry for 30 seconds or so, or until the sauce is thick.
  9. Pour the mixture over the blanched gailan. Serve hot, with chili garlic sauce for a little kick. :)


*That is if I ever decide to place a bet. :)

**Since we are renters, all our plants are potted; and that includes the lemon grass/tanglad. Lemon grass likes the sun and like other grasses grow fast requiring very little maintenance. What started as a single sprig has become three crowded pots of tanglad.

Aug 8, 2006

Shanghai Noodle Soup

For 3 days and 4 nights in Shanghai Mike and I were deaf-mute adventurers. Deaf-mutes because we can't understand or speak Chinese beyond the Suh (Yes), Poh (No), Shishi (Thank you") and Po Yung Shi (You're Welcome) that I learned from the meeting with our supplier; adventurers because we shied away from the big and better known restaurants and went out to the side streets of Nanjing to try quaint noodlehouses.

(Un)fortunately there was a dearth of English speakers among the waiters and shop owners; and only one shop had an English menu. I had to stand by the counter and look out at the trays the servers carried, pointing to the dishes that looked good, gesturing that I wanted to order them. (Can you picture how funny that was?)

In the end, since they were mostly noodle houses, we ended up eating a different kind of noodle soup each day. One of them is the dish pictured above. :)


Noodle-mania rubbed on us, so we were still hung up on Shanghai cuisine and had noodle soup the night following our return.

For this I just put together pre-soaked rice noodles, some siomai, bok choy, chayote, strips of smoked squid, a swig of light soy sauce and a dash of sesame oil.

Jul 19, 2006

Turbo-Fried Boneless Asuhos and Vegetables

Yet another stab at weight-loss: rice less meals, fiber from veggies and using less oil.

We found the boneless, headless asuhos at the frozen section of SaveMore supermarket in Alabang, at a reasonable P134 per kilo (considering it's been cleaned and deboned).

After thawing they were washed and rolled in a mixture of cornstarch, ground black pepper, a pinch of salt and a dash of garlic powder. I brushed them with olive oil and broiled them (using a turbo-broiler) at 250C for about 15 minutes.

The stir-fry is made up of bok choy (Baguio pechay), mongo sprouts and a few strips of red bell pepper, flavored with onions and garlic and a teeny-weeny pinch of salt. If you're not as sodium-conscious you can throw in a dash of oyster sauce. (For a little kick, throw in a dash of hot pepper sauce if you like.) By the way, I stir-fried these in extra virgin olive oil for about one and a half minutes.


This is Asuhos, before getting caught, bought, cleaned and deboned. It also goes by the name Oriental Sillago.

Jul 9, 2006

Chow Mein and Pao

Mike's out working and there seems to be no special reason to slave in the kitchen so I whipped out my tamad (lazy) pass and opted to cook pancit guisado, a.k.a. Chow Mein.

To compensate for the ordinariness of the dish I used a little-above-ordinary ingredients -- sea cucumber, smoked squid, lots of leeks and a heaping of mushroom oyster sauce, and a mixture of noodles -- sotanghon (vermicelli), bihon (rice noodles) and canton (egg noodles) . For added interest I matched it with Ube Pao (Steamed Bun filled with sweet yam jam) by Ho-Tsa, bought as a try-out last Friday at the SaveMore Supermarket.

We had a great time.

The boys liked the Ube Pao and requested it for their baon this week. (That says a lot considering they're quite inclined towards sandwiches and pizza.) I liked it too, just-right sweetness and gooey-ness a perfect complement to the seafoodish-saltiness of the pancit.