Aug 23, 2008


This was one of our (me teaching my boys and two nieces) cooking projects last summer. It's pretty, easy to do, yummy, inexpensive, and the choosing of colors for the galapong makes it more interesting for kids. (Although I had to hold off requests for blue and fuschia palitaw. Hehe.)

Besides, Filipino snacks are becoming a rare species, quickly being replaced by foreign, fastfood items like french fries, pizza and waffles. I felt sad when my two sons and two nieces asked "Ano yung Palitaw?" when as children my brother and I excitedly waited for the manlalako each afternoon, excited to see which among our favorites Palitaw, Buchi, Lumpia, Cuchinta, Banana Cue, Puto, Calamay were there for the taking in his magic bilao. We had enjoyable summers putting out stands in front of our house, selling Sago't Gulaman, Kalingking, Turon and Ginataan.

So it was a MUST that I taught the kids some Filipino snacks!

BTW, Palitaw is so named because of the way each piece floats and appears (litaw) from the bottom of the pan during cooking.

Nowadays you don't need to soak glutinous rice and then bring it for grinding at the local market just to make galapong. Coconut vendors at local markets usually also sell galapong in P20.00 packs (which makes about a dozen Palitaws). Mine I bought from the vegetables section of South Supermarket, priced by weight.


What's In It?

    250g. Galapong

    various food coloring (optional)

    5 cups tap water

    1 coconut, meat shredded

    1/3 cup white sugar

    5-6 teaspoons sesame seeds

Kitchen Conjugations:

Toast sesame seeds in a pan over medium heat for about 2 minutes or until brown. Mix with the sugar and set aside.

Boil water in a wok or deep pan.

Meantime, if you're coloring the galapong, divide it into as many colors as you want. To each ball of galapong, pour 2-3 drops of food color (depending on how dark you want the shade to be) and work in and distribute the food color by mashing and stretching the galapong until the color is distributed.

Then cut away a small portion of the galapong (about the size of a large marble), roll into a ball then flatten into a disc. (You could have it round or oval. ) Repeat for the rest of the galapong.
Drop the flattened discs into the boiling water. Wait a few minutes for the palitaw to float to the surface of the water, then remove from the pan using a slotted spoon, onto the shredded coconut meat.

Roll / turn over the palitaw to coat both sides with the shredded coco meat. Sprinkle/top with the sugar-sesame seed mixture and serve.

Aug 19, 2008

Banana Q

Banana Q is my all-time favorite. It's very simple and easy to make that I found it incredible that my maid doesn't know how to cook it. **Aghast!**

When I was infanticipating, Banana Q was a staple craving, but goodness, I had to send off the driver to the nearest vendor/stall which was about 5 kilometers away! I couldn't fathom why, for the life of me, didn't the commercial building near us, which was a jeepney and bus stop, had a pedicab station and a host of other food vendors--Minute Burger, kakanin vendors and carinderias-- didn't have a Banana Q stall!

Kung kaya lang ng powers ko (timewise), pinapelan ko na! :P

And then, from where I live, the Banana Q stall is about a kilometer and a half away. And their Banana Q, being less sellable than their Turon, gets to me cold and tasting like it was cooked yesterday. So most of the time I buy saba bananas when I do my grocery shopping and cook my Banana Q myself. :P

BANANA Q (Fried Sugar-Coated Bananas)

What's In It?

6 fingers saba (plantain) bananas, peeled
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup cooking oil

Kitchen Conjugations:

Heat cooking oil in a wok or deep frying pan over medium heat.

Meantime, roll bananas in brown sugar. Drop each carefully into the hot oil. Let fry for 2 minutes and turn over. (The exposed side should be golden brown. If it hasn't browned, turn back to let it brown some more.)

As the oil boils the sugar coating the bananas will melt and caramelize. Move the bananas and rub them against the caramelized sugar to 1) make the sugar coat the bananas and 2) prevent the caramelized sugar from hardening and sticking to your pan. (This is hard to remove and clean, believe me.) Cook 2-3 minutes more then remove bananas from the pan. Serve skewered in bamboo Banana Q sticks or flat on the plate, ready for your fork.

Enjoy! :P


It is important to keep the fire at medium. Overheating not only burns your cooking oil (which produces carcinogens) but will also burn and blacken the sugar and make it bitter in taste.

Aug 11, 2008

Ginisang Sitaw

I don't know why, but Mike's absence zaps all of my enthusiasm for cooking. Pag wala siya, automatic we eat out or buy something to eat. Or I cook the simplest thing that comes to mind.

Maybe it's because wala akong ganang kumain. Wala rin ganang magluto. (No appetite to eat, no zeal for cooking.)

And that's the story behind this very simple entree.


What's in it?

1 bundle sitaw, washed, ends removed, cut into 1 1/2 " lengths
1 medium onion, peeled and sliced
1 medium ripe tomato, washed, sliced into thin wedges
3-5 cloves garlic, peeled and mashed
200 g. ground pork or beef
3 T fish sauce (patis)
1 t ground black pepper
5 T cooking oil

Kitchen Conjugations:

Heat cooking oil over medium heat in a wok or frying pan. Saute onions, garlic and tomatoes for 3 minutes or until tomatoes are soft and wilted. Add in ground meat, fish sauce and ground pepper. Stir fry for 1-2 minutes or until meat loses pinkish tint.

Add in sitaw, stir fry for 1-2 minutes more or until the sitaw sweats. Sitaw should keep bright green color. Remove from fire when it's a little tender but crisp.

Aug 9, 2008

I Heart Petite Palmiers!

Can you imagine how flaky yet crisp this is? Me I like to carefully separate the layers and slowly nibble from end to end. :) Great with Nescafe Relax. :)

Bought from S&R Alabang for P499.00. Each cookie cost about P20.00. Not bad for some instant cookie gratification. :)

In case you wanna try making your own, here's a recipe.

Aug 8, 2008

Ginataang Halo-Halo

How do you eat your Ginatan? Do you, like me, start with hurriedly eating the gabi/kamoteng kahoy, then poking at the kamote, before moving on to the langka, the sago, bilo-bilo, and then finally the saba?

Really? In that save-the-best-for-last-order too? :) Saba is my super-favorite. Promise. :)

As a little girl I used to help my lola make Ginatan, and my toka, being too young to handle knives for the slicing, was to round the galapong for bilo-bilo. Back then though the bilo-bilo we had was always white.

But not anymore, thanks to the availability and affordability of food coloring. :) Here I just divided my galapong into how many colors I wanted, poured about 3 drops of food coloring to each batch, mixed and mashed the galapong to spread the coloring and voila! Colored bilo-bilo! Nice, di ba?


What's In It?

6 fingers saba, peeled and sliced crosswise into rings about 1/3" thick

1 piece kamote (about 300g.), peeled and cubed

1 piece gabi or kamoteng kahoy (or both, each about 300g.), peeled and cubed

langka strips (fresh or sweetened)

200 g. galapong

1 can coconut milk + 1.5 cans of water

1/2 cup washed sugar

1 t pandan essence (optional)

Kitchen Conjugations:

In a wok or small pot heat coconut milk mixed with water over medium heat. Stir constantly with left to right motions to prevent curdling.

When milk boils, add kamoteng kahoy, gabi, kamote and saba. Simmer for 7-10 minutes or until fork-tender. Add in bilo-bilo and simmer for a minute or so, or until the bilo-bilo floats to the surface (which means it is cooked). Stir in pandan essence if using.

Tastes better at room temperature, but after all that work, I bet you'd be going for a spoonful. :)


1. Gabi - taro root

2. Kamoteng kahoy - cassava

3. Kamote - sweet potato

4. Langka - jack fruit

5. Sago - tapioca balls

6. Bilo-bilo - glutinous rice balls

7. Saba - plantain bananas