Dec 6, 2011

Pichi-pichi with Cheese

I found grated cassava at South Supermarket Alabang which cost only P20.00 per icebag (makes about 2 cups) and made Pichi-pichi.  I didn't have grated coconut at home so I decided to make it with cheese.

Thanks and kudos to South Supermarket for stocking this item. Making pichi-pichi, cassava pudding, cassava suman is now possible minus the hassle of peeling and grating the cassava (which can be difficult considering the hard peel and the hefty flesh).  From the 20.00-bag you can make 20-25 pieces of pichi-pichi. Such a cheap thrill!


What's in it?

1 bag frozen grated cassava from South Supermarket (about 2 cups)
1 1/4 cups water
3/4 cup washed sugar*
1 tsp pandan or vanilla essence (optional)
grated cheddar cheese or grated coconut

Kitchen Conjugations:

In a bowl combine all ingredients except cheese. Stir well. Mixture will be runny. Pour into an aluminum or microwaveable tray or dish. Set aside.

Boil about 5 cups water in a pot.  When water gets to a running boil, place the dish inside the steamer.  Steam mixture for 5-10 minutes or until the mixture gels.

Remove from heat and lift by spoonfuls onto your plate of grated cheddar cheese or coconut.  Toss to coat each piece.  Serve with tea or ginger brew.  Enjoy!


I prefer using washed sugar (slightly brown) because I find it more flavorful and it's being less refined than white sugar gets it more points in the health department. :)

Jul 20, 2011

Chili Crabs

A friend from Bataan sent us an ice-box full of tiger prawns and crabs, so I decided to share the blessing at the office.  For Monday I cooked Sinigang na Sugpo, and on Tuesday, I made this -- Chili Crabs.

What's In It?

3 kgs crabs, cleaned, steamed then halved
2/3 cup oyster sauce
4-5 stalks onion leeks, sliced diagonally; white slices set aside from the greens
2-3 knobs ginger, peeled and sliced into strips
1 large red onion, peeled and sliced
4-5 cloves garlic, peeled and mashed
4-5 finger chilis (labuyo or Taiwan), sliced into thirds
1/2 cup brown or washed sugar*
6 cups water
2 Tablespoons cornstarch dissolved in 1/2 cup water
1 sachet Magic Sarap (optional)
3 tablespoons cooking oil

Kitchen Conjugations:

If you haven't yet, steam the crabs, let cool then halve into smaller pieces.  Make small crack in the claws. Set aside.

In a large wok or deep pan, heat oil over medium heat.  Saute onions, garlic and ginger strips.  Add in finger chilis and the white parts of the onion leeks. Stir fry for a minute.  Add in oyster sauce, sugar and water.  Bring to a boil.

Add in crab pieces and let the mixture boil.  Lower heat and allow the mixture to simmer for about 5 minutes, or just enough for the flavors to meld.  Add in the green parts of the onion leeks, reserving a little for garnish.  Check seasonings, add a little salt, sugar or more chili if desired. 

Pour in the cornstarch mixture.  Raise heat a little, and allow the cornstarch to cook while continuously stirring the mixture to avoid lumps.  Simmer for another 2-3 minutes or until the sauce has thickened.  Remove from heat, serve in a deep dish and garnish with the remaining onion leeks.  Enjoy with steamed rice!


*I used washed/brown sugar because I find it more flavorful, although white sugar can always be substituted for this recipe. I think though that you would need to use less sugar if you're using the white variant as it is sweeter (and deadlier to your blood sugar...hehe).

May 16, 2011

Thai Fried Fish

Living in-campus while in college, I learned to scour the place for great places to eat in. By great I mean not only do they serve clean, tasty and nutritious food, the prices should well be within my (meager) student allowance. Dining in the UP Diliman campus is a story by itself, and I can tell you about Rodics, the Beach House and the dozens of aristo-carts fronting the dormitories, but there's one eatery I hold close to my heart, and that's the one inside the International Center, the only turo-turo that served authentic, fiery Thai cuisine. Sure it's no fine dining experience -- afterall, I usually shared wobbly tables with complete strangers and sat on wooden stools while shooing away flies that wanted to share my lunch -- but nowhere else was I going to get good, authentic Thai meal for less than P50.00!

The turo-turo's daily offerings usually consist of four dishes, which usually includes Tom Yum and Squid with Holy Basil.  But my favorite is the fried fish blanketed with chopped red and green chili, which tasted like our escabeche, only less sour and more spicy. 

For years since graduation I tried to find the recipe but failed.  To this day I do not know the Thai name for the dish.  But I have managed to replicate the dish in my own kitchen, after several failed attempts at finding the herb that accompanied the chilis.  Ironically, it was only after re-reading my post about Wansoy and Kinchay that I realized that the herb I've been missing and looking for all along is that -- Wansoy. Coupled with the lucky find of Thai organic chilis at South Supermarket, the dish is as good as done. Thai chilis, you see, are not as spicy as our labuyo, allowing them to be added liberally into dishes without setting tongues on fire.

So here it is, my Thai Fried Fish.

What's In It?

5-7 pieces crisp-fried fish
3-5 pieces Thai finger chilis, seeded and diced
1-2 pieces Taiwan chili (warning -- this variety is hot! use with caution), sliced
5 stalks wansoy (coriander), sliced into small bits
1 large onion, peeled and minced
3-4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
4 teaspoons brown sugar
3/4 cup water
2 tsp fish sauce
3 Tablespoons cooking oil

Kitchen Conjugations:

Heat cooking oil in a wok or deep pan. Saute onions and garlic until onions become soft and translucent. Add in the chilis. Stir fry for 30 seconds then add in the brown sugar. Stir fry for about 30 seconds or until the sugar begins to caramelize.  Pour in water and the fish sauce.  Let boil then lower heat, allow the mixture to simmer for 3 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.

Meantime, arrange the crispy fried fish in a shallow dish.

Add in the chopped coriander into the pan, and let the mixture boil once, just enough to blanche the herbs. Remove at once from the fire and pour the sauce over the fried fish.  Serve immediately with steamed rice.