Jul 31, 2012


I don't know exactly how and why this dish got its name. Perhaps it's because its level of spice is enough to jolt one to wakefulness (gising) :D

In my house, when we make Sinigang, the next meal will most probably have Gising-gising.  That's because Gising-gising makes use of the kangkong stalks left over from taking the kangkong leaves for Sinigang.   This time though I decided to make it using Baguio beans, which works just as well.


What's in it?

400 g Baguio beans, sliced into thin rings
1 medium scallion (red onion), peeled and sliced
1/2 head garlic, peeled and mashed
a thumb of ginger, peeled and diced finely
3-5 pcs Thai chilis (cayenne pepper), or green chilis (pansigang), sliced
100 g ground pork or leftover grilled pork, diced
1 shrimp broth cube (or 1 1/2 teaspoons of shrimp powder)
2 1/2 cups coconut milk
3 T cooking oil
salt and ground black pepper to taste

Kitchen Conjugations:

Heat oil in wok over medium heat, and saute onions until soft and translucent.  Add in ginger and garlic, stir fry for half a minute, then add in chilis and ground pork.  Season with a small pinch of salt. Stir fry for two minutes or until the ground pork loses its pinkish tint.

Pour coconut milk into the mixture, then allow to boil while stirring to prevent coconut milk from curdling. Add in shrimp broth cube, crush to make it blend with the mixture. Lower heat and allow the mixture to simmer for about a minute.

Stir in the sliced baguio beans.  Let boil then simmer for about two minutes or until the beans are cooked.  Check and adjust seasonings and spice if needed.

Great with steamed rice and fried or grilled fish. :)

Note: Feel free to add tinapa (smoked fish), shrimps, crabsticks or even crablets if you have them.

Jul 16, 2012

Macaroni Salad

In most Filipino households, the making of salads -- macaroni, potato, fruit -- herald festivities or an important occasion.  I remember around Christmastime, or during my birthday, my lola would usually be found boiling potatoes or chicken breast or both to make a big batch of macaroni or potato salad.  The salad gets stellar billing on the dining table, and whatever's left after noche buena or after the party gets distributed in mayonnaise jars to neighbors and/or relatives who are more than happy to receive them. 

In my case however, I made macaroni salad as a way to break the potato salad fixation pervading in our house. :) I've made potato salad two nights in a row, which my sons took to school as baon, and happily gorged on again upon coming home.  When they egged me to make potato salad a third time, I said, "Tantanan na ang potato salad, puede ba? Macaroni salad naman! (Let up on the potato salad, will you? Let's move on to macaroni salad!)"

Because salads are fairly easy to make, as all it takes is the mixing and tossing together of ingredients, there are as many versions of a particular salad as those who make it. This recipe therefore is but a drop in the bucket, so to speak, but I'm posting it just the same because I've been requested to do so. :)  This version also is my lola's version, updated just a wee bit. :)


What's In It?

400 g Del Monte salad macaroni, cooked al dente
1 470 ml pack (about 5 cups) Best Foods Mayo Magic all-purpose dressing*
1 250 ml pack (about 3 cups) Lady's Choice chicken sandwich spread
1 chicken breast, skinned, boiled and flaked
1 large scallion (red onion), peeled and minced
1 large red bell pepper, minced
3-4 stalks celery, minced
1 medium or 2 small carrots, peeled and diced finely
1 can Del Monte crushed pineapple, syrup drained and reserved
3-4 cooked ham or luncheon meat slices, diced (optional)

Kitchen Conjugations:

Mix all ingredients in a large mixing bowl, ensuring the dressing is well distributed to coat the other ingredients.  Check taste, adjust by adding sugar or salt or a little of the drained pineapple syrup if necessary, in order to achieve a good harmony of the tang, sweetness and saltiness.  Serve chilled. :)


1. I add ham, luncheon meat, hotdog or sausage slices -- whichever is in my refrigerator -- to boost flavor as chicken breast is kind of bland.  It also adds color and texture, therefore interest, to the salad. :)

2. Feel free to use leftover fried or roast chicken if that's what's you have available instead of boiled chicken breast. Use any part, not just the breast, but be sure to flake or chop it into small bits.

3.  Add raisins if you like.  I didn't because my sons are not raisin fans. :)

4.  If you'd be using regular mayonnaise you may have to sprinkle a little sugar, salt, ground white pepper into the mix as mayonnaise is usually unseasoned.   Both the Mayo Magic and the chicken sandwich spread I used here already had salt, spice and sugar in them so I didn't need to add any, and so they are not mentioned in the recipe.

5. Like I always say, I am an oido cook...I do not measure while cooking. So the measurements here are approximations of what I think were the volumes of the ingredients I used. I suggest therefore that you start with the smaller values first (i.e., if I say 1 to 1 1/2, try 1 first) and just adjust or add seasonings, spices or dressing little by little until you get the desired result. :)  

Jul 6, 2012

Penne with Sausage and Eggplant Rounds in Olive Oil

Friday is 'leftover day' in my household, and today is no exception.  However, rather than reheating leftovers I opted to cook a pasta dish from what I have left over in my freezer and veggie crisper, with the intention of using up what's left over from the packs of pasta my lola sent all the way from NZ. So voila! Penne with Sausage and Eggplants it is!

What's In It?

500 g penne, cooked according to package directions
2 medium sized eggplants, sliced into rounds
2 Hungarian sausages, sliced into rounds
1 large scallion, sliced
half a head of garlic, minced
2 green bell peppers, sliced into strips
2 red bell peppers, sliced into strips
4 medium ripe tomatoes, sliced
about 3/4 cup olive oil (I used Borges)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Kitchen Conjugations:

Heat a little olive oil in a non-stick skillet or wok and fry eggplant slices until slightly browned. Remove from pan and set aside.

Add a little more olive oil into the pan and saute onions and garlic.  Add in sliced sausages, stir fry for 2 minutes.  Add in ripe tomatoes and bell pepper slices.  Sprinkle half of the salt and pepper.

Add remaining olive oil and the cooked penne.  Add in cooked eggplant slices, stir until the veggies and sausage slices are well distributed in the pasta.  Check and adjust seasoning if necessary using remaining salt and pepper.  Sprinkle a little red pepper flakes if desired.

Enjoy! :)


1) I am an oido cook. I do not measure while I cook, so the measurements of spices and seasonings I give here are approximations of the amounts I remember to have put in the dish.  Feel free to adjust if you think it's a little bland.

2) Make sure you use good quality olive oil.  It does make a difference.  I did NOT use virgin or extra-virgin olive oil as they tend to burn easily and are not advised for cooking.  They're better used for salads dressings and dips.

3) Other pasta like spirals, cut macaroni work just as well.

4) Hungarian sausage is spicy.  If you're averse to spice, other sausages (except Vienna sausage, which would crumble during the stir-frying) would work just as well.

5) I opted not to reheat leftover dishes because I would be bringing food to my hubby-boss for lunch. (Kahiya namang pakainin ng tira yung nagpapakain sa akin....hahaha!)

Happy cooking!

Jun 29, 2012

Maja Mais

I am not sure where this dessert originated, if it's actually Filipino or Spanish. What I know is that it's such a cinch to make, and very cheap too! Great for when you're in a hurry or simply lazy, or when you've been assigned to bring dessert for potluck. :)

What's in it?

2 c thin coconut milk
3/4 c corn kernels
3/4 c washed sugar (segunda)
1/2 c cornstarch
latik or sugar toasted coconut

Kitchen Conjugations:

In a saucepan, dissolve cornstarch in coco milk.  Stir in sugar and corn kernels.  Cook mixture over medium heat, stirring continuously until thickened (but not lumpy).   Remove from fire and pour into molds.  Let cool until set.  Sprinkle latik or toasted coconut bits.

Serve with salabat or tea. Enjoy! :)


1. Sugar toasted coconut (green pack in photo) is available in leading supermarkets. But if you have time and energy, feel free to make latik for topping! :D

2.  The original recipe for this (which I got from the cornstarch box), asks for the corn kernels to be pureed in a blender or food processor. I opted not to because doing so will turn the mixture yellow, and I like my maja white. 

Plus, skipping the step saved time, electricity, soap and water for washing the blender/food processor.

3.  I used instant gata powder for this batch (50 g), dissolved in 2 cups filtered water.

4. If you don't like corn, try using macapuno, sweetened langka or ube. :)