Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Hors d' Oeuvres for everyone

Well friends, this might be my last post for this year depending on what kind of internet connection I will be getting in the Philippines.

I hope the prosciutto, smoked salmon and sushi(not to mention the wasabi) will all keep you inspired to keep cooking this season.

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year. It's been a great year coming to know you all guys

Have a great one everyone!

Monday, November 21, 2005

Lasang Pinoy 4: Sotanghon--my all time soul food

I have been under a lot of stress lately, a family crisis (not in my family but in my clan); preparing for our trip to the Philippines; hubby undergoing minor surgery; and finishing up a big project at work. The family's food for the past 3 weeks were nothing but food bought from KFC, McDonald's, Wendy's and A & W. There were days I just had to give my son money to buy lunch from school. Yes, it was that bad. Didn't you notice it in my blog? Some did anyway.

This post is but an evidence of what I've gone through. Very timely indeed. I got through one crisis last Thursday and I told my hubby I needed a warm, home-cooked meal (aside from the warm hug I've been looking forward to). I wasn't keen on having rice. I wasn't keen on having soup either. I wanted to cook something that reminded me of home. Afterall, I was closely in contact with my aunts in the Philippines almost every hour that time. I tell you, the time difference was really killing me. Every hour counted.

Out of nowhere, I went to the Filipino store. Browsing, I could have bought stuff easy to cook..hmm like daing na bangus, canned corned beef..haha. But then, I missed my aunt and everytime I remembered her, she reminded me of her sotanghon. When I was young, sotanghon was always part of her "handa". When we had a reunion in New Jersey, she again cooked her sotanghon. When I was talking to her over the phone, she reminded me that when I go home, Christmas Day celebration was going to be at her house because it's been a tradition. At that point, the picture of her sotanghon recipe just flashed in my mind and I guess this is what drove me to go to the Filipino store.

Hibe and Tenga ng Daga was what made her sotanghon different from sotanghon recipes I've tasted. I had to go to another Filipino store to find hibe. Hubby asked me nonchalantly "I thought you don't want to cook?". Well, to cut the chase, I cut the vegetables on my own which I normally ask my kids to do for me on ordinary days. I cooked the sotanghon without any complaint. I ate at my own pace, my own time. Everyone was sensitive to one another's feelings. In my heart and mind, I knew my family was relieved..they had warm home-cooked meal and home felt home again.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Bulong Unas

My mother called this "bulong unas" (sugar cane leaf) because the fish resembles that of a sugar cane leaf. In Sto Tomas, La Union, they dry this fish like they normally would with all other fishes suited for drying. Once dried, you normally deep fry this to make it crunchy. It's so good especially if dipped in vinegar.

I like mine fresh though and I cook it the way I cook adobo. I add a little oil to prevent it fron sticking to the bottom of the pan. Soy Sauce, Vinegar, Black Pepper, Onions, a little bit of sugar (no water, please!) . Let it simmer on slow heat for about 15 minutes until it gets dry. Keep in the fridge overnight and eat it for lunch the next day. Now that's what I call a perfect meal.

Thursday, November 03, 2005


One familiar recipe from almost any part of the Philippines. However, I believe that you have to have the right mixture of everything to get the right taste. I never tried to cook this until my family went to visit my brother in New Jersey. He's married to a Kapampangan but from what I gathered, my sister-in-law is not really good in cooking. He was counting on me to cook this with all the ingredients ready. He was quite surprised to find out I didn't know how to cook it so he had to cook it himself.

From our visit, my husband urged me to learn how to cook it. What was even well "insulting" was he wanted me to cook it the way his mom cooked it. I tried and I succeded!


1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
1 lb of pork, thinly sliced
200 gms of kidney, thinly sliced
200 gms of liver, thinly sliced
200 gms of lungs
1 large potato, julienned
1/2 red pepper, julienned
1 small carrots, julienned
1/4 cup green peas
1/4 cup raisins or dried cranberries
5 tbsp of vinegar
soy sauce and salt to taste

Saute onion in a saucepan until onion becomes translucent. Add pork and simmer for about 10 minutes on medium heat. Add potato. Cook for another 2 minutes. Add carrots, pepper and raisins or cranberries adding only a small amount of water if necessary. Add kidney, liver and lungs vinegar and cover pan. Simmer for 10 minutes. Add green peas and cook for another 5 minutes.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Peanut Butter Cookies

You can count the number of times I bake. This is just one of the few. We're trying to cut on sugar and fat but we just can't resist this recipe from the Best of Bridge Series.


1/3 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
sugar for coating

Cream together butter and sugars. Add Peanut Buter and mix well. Add egg and then the dry ingredients. Roll into ball and then in sugar. Place on greased cookie sheet. Press flat with a fork. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Makes 3 dozen cookies.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Salay with Tausi

Called Yellow Striped Trevally, this fish simply called Salay in Pangasinan is one of my husband's favorites. He admits that it's one of the familiar fishes he knows his mom served him when he was growing up. You should have seen the glitter in his eyes when I brought home a pack one day from the Filipino Store.


Oil for frying
1 lb of Salay, gutted and cleaned
1 can of Temple Black Beans (Tausi)
1/2 medium onions, coarsely chopped
1/8 cup of lemon juice
2 stalks of green onions finely chopped

Fry the salay in a frying pan and set aside. Pour water over black beans to rinse. On the same pan, saute onions until translucent. Add the black bean sauce and cook for about 2 minutes. Add the lemon and fried fish. Garnish with green onions and serve.

Monday, October 24, 2005


This appetizer was something I have tried from a friend's friend Donna. Over the years, I have been canning this for friends. Oh, they really are great christmas gifts for friends. However, I took a rest because this really entailed a lot of chopping. Choppers are no help either. Now that my kids are older and are now becoming good kitchen helpers, I am back to making this. In fact, my son had a great time chopping the ingredients with his special chopper from Alaska.


1 cup of olive oil
1 head of cauliflower, finely chopped
1 large green pepper, chopped
1 250 ml of pitted greed olives, chopped
1 can of mushroom stems, chopped
1 liter of mixed sweet pickles, chopped (save the liquid)
500 ml of hot mixed pickles , chopped)
750 ml of ketchup (quality)
1 can of anchovies, chopped
2 cans of solid tuna

Put all ingredients except tuna in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil. Simmer for about 20 minutes stirring occasionally. In the meantime, pour boiling water over the tuna to rinse. Add to mixture and simmer for 10 more minutes.Serve with crackers.

To process, make sure that your jars are sterilized. Pour cooked antipasto in jars and let boil in a large pot. Make sure that water is tree quarters of the way up the jars. Boil for at least 20 minutes. Once cool, tighten lids and store in cool dry place.

Sunday, October 23, 2005


So what have I been doing last weekend? I canned antipasto, Bangus in Olive Oil and Salmon in Olive Oil.

Canning of Antipasto was something I learned from a friend's friend and the Bangus and Salmon were just something I thought could be done after observing that they're sold in stores. Oppss, just the bangus. The salmon was something suggested by another friend. The antipasto recipe will follow very soon.

Processing food is not something you should dread as long as you're following the instructions properly. One thing I found out is you can only can freshly cooked food. Make sure that you boil the jars with the food in them for over 20 minutes. Especially with the Bangus and the Salmon, make sure that the mouths of the jars are free from oil drippings when putting fish in the jar before putting the lids on. You will definitely have a hard time sealing the lids if you don't wipe the oil drippings.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Lasang Pinoy 3: Pinoy Street Food

Filipinos are fond of street food. Kai who happens to be the host of Lasang Pinoy for the month of October has actually given a total picture of what street food means to every Filipino. Way back in high school, my friends and I frequented this corner along General Luna Road in Baguio City which sells fishballs. As far as I can remember, it is the only one I bought fishballs from. Not that I was very fuzzy or what but since my mother was a health worker, it's an exageration to say that since birth, she never failed to remind us of the dangers of buying from unsanitary places.

The corner called "Hang-out" was owned by a doctor, so we expected that he would have taken extra measures to keep his space clean otherwise he will see the end of his career. Hang-out was not an ordinary place. It was actually a casual place to dine-in but just before you enter the place, there was this teenie corner where fishballs were cooked. I think I always had fishballs for lunch because for 1 Peso, I had 20 fishballs. Back then, they were being sold for 5 pieces for 25 cents. Hmm, don't ask me what year it was, because I am not ready to tell you.

Hang-out had a simple recipe for its sauce: Soy sauce, vinegar, onions, sugar and garlic. Back then, Hepa-B was not yet a big concern but mother was already concerned about me dipping my fishballs in one big jar where others dip theirs as well. She suggested that instead of me buying from the corner, I should just buy the uncooked one from the market and cook them at home. Yes, it was such a bright idea.

Having fishballs at home is definitely a two-thumbs up for my kids, nieces and nephews. It's one of the things my kids look forward to everytime we go home to the Philippines. It's at the toppest part of our "To eat list". There's so much involved in cooking fishballs for a bunch of kids...emotionally, that is. By the time one kilo is gone, someone would be crying for not having his equal share of the fun. Another one would be crying for stolen pieces he's left in the bowl (to absorb more sauce); or someone else has picked someone else's skewer. I personally think that there's more to than just having fun when I see them rush to the bowl to dip theirs in. It's a priceless moment to see everyone bonding just because of fishballs.

Just before I bring out the skewers I never fail to lay out my only simple rule: NO DOUBLE-DIPPING. ATTACCKKKKK!!!!

Salmon in Olive Oil, Spanish Style

Inspired by a friend who was a recipient of one of my favorites, she asked me a few weeks ago if I wanted to try cooking salmon the way I cooked my bangus. She had a point. Salmon was in abundance when she suggested it to me.

Out of curiosity, I escaped from hubby and went to buy salmon one night. He gets suspicious everytime I become uneasy. Luckily, the fish was gutted and dressed so all I needed to do was slice the fish and cook it. It wasn't bad considering that it was my first time to try it. I also had the chance to can my second try and gave away some jars to my friends. This reminds me of the "Mackerel" in cans we used to have when I was young.


5 lbs of sliced salmon (steak)
10 pcs of bay leaves
10 pcs of hot chilies
1 medium carrot, sliced
1 tsp of peppercorns
1/4 cup of sweet pickles
1 1/2 tbsp of sea salt (adjust to taste)

Arrange sliced salmon in a pressure cooker. Add the rest of the ingredients. Add olive oil half an inch of the way up the pile. Cover the pressure cooker and bring oil to boil. Bring heat to medium once pressure cooker starts indicating that it has reached the pressure where it creates that funny sound(a little comedy here) . Cook for about an hour.

To process: Arrange cooked fish including oil and other ingredients in jars and put in large deep pot. Add water three quarters of the way up the jars. Cover and bring water to boil. Simmer for at least 20 minutes. Let cool. Tighten lids and store in cool place.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Liver Steak

I had to hide the liver with tomatoes and onions so my kids will eat it. It's actually one of the best sources of iron but you should have this only once in a while because even if liver is rich in iron, it is also rich in cholesterol.

I used to hide my share under the chair when I was young. I had a sister who was sick of leukemia and my parents were advised to serve her liver because it's rich in iron. Over the years, I have learned to like this and to this day, I love cooking it.


1/4 cup soy sauce
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
juice of one lemon
1/4 tsp of ground pepper
1 lb of beef liver, thinly sliced
oil to fry
1/2 cup of flour
2 medium tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped

Pat the liver dry with paper towel. In a bowl, mix the soy sauce, garlic, ground pepper and lemon juice. Marinate liver with the soy mixture for about 10 minutes. Dredge liver slices in flour and pan fry. Set aside. Do not throw soy mixture away.

In a separate pan, saute onion and tomatoes. Add the fried liver slices. Season with the soy mixture set aside earlier. Let cook for about 5 minutes. Serve.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Shanghai Lumpia

I know I should be talking about my thanksgiving dinner but after preparing for two turkey dinners this weekend, I am so turkeyed-out, I hardly even want to say turkey anymore.

Today, I prepared Shanghai Lumpia for a cousin for a change. She hasn't had any turkey so far and she was expecting me to have one for lunch. Normally on Thanksgiving Day in the past, we always have one at home . Too bad. She had to make do with the left-overs but I made sure the Lumpia would compensate for whatever she was craving for.


1 lb of ground pork
1 medium onion, finely chopped
5 tbsps of soy sauce
2 eggs
2 tbsp of corn starch
1/2 tsp of ground pepper

Mix the ingredients in a bowl. Wrap the mixture in lumpia wrappers. Deep fry. Serve with sweet and sour sauce. Relax and enjoy the company of cousin.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Lasang Pinoy Series

Image hosted by
Some of you are wondering what Lasang Pinoy is all about. So what is Lasang Pinoy? Lasang Pinoy is a monthly Pinoy food blogging event aiming to discuss about Pinoy food in general. Theme for the month will be decided upon by the blogger host. A theme could be about Pinoy food ingredients; memories or any pinoy-food-related item but not necessarily edible.

Each Pinoy Blogger will take turn in hosting such event, with a roundup of all the entries at the blogger host's site. It is open to all pinoys, even readers who are not bloggers, and bloggers who are not good in cooking but have definitely something to share about Pinoy food.

This event aims to create awareness that there are interesting Pinoy Food recipes on the net not just on published recipe books and TV shows. It also aims to promote Filipino cuisine internationally; to Filipinos who have been away from the Philippines, Filipinos who were born and raised in foreign countries and others who just want to learn the basics of Pinoy cooking.
Should you want to be a "host-for-the-month", please send your intents to and state your intended theme.

Here are the round-ups for your reading pleasure:

Lasang Pinoy 1- Launching on Ninoy Aquino Day ; My contribution

Tofu, Shiitake Mushroooms and Vegetables

One of my kids favorites. You don't need a lot to prepare this sumptous recipe.


2 tbsp of cooking oil
4 tbsp of hoisin sauce
4 pieces of deep fried tofu
2oo gms of shiitake mushrooms
1 medium onion, quartered
1 medium carrot (I was a little inspired in cutting mine)
1 250 gms of canned young corn
100 gms of snow peas

Heat the cooking oil in a pan. Add the hoison sauce and cook for about 30 seconds. Add the deep fried tofu making sure that you flip the tofu on each side in a careful manner so as not to crumble the tofu blocks. Add the shiitake mushrooms and the onion and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the sliced carrot and the young corn. Cover the pan and cook for about 3 minutes stirring occasionally. Add the snow peas last making sure not to overcook the peas. I sometimes adjust the taste by adding a bit of black bean sauce.

Thursday, September 29, 2005


Sweet Anchovies is a delicacy in Korea, Japan and China. In the Philippines, what I can remember is our anchovies, even though they are sweet, they're coated with I believe sugar and flour and deep fried.

The anchovies I used here were imported from Malaysia. I saw it already cooked at the Korean Store near our place. It reminded me of what Japan Airlines serve to their passengers on long trips. I don't have a fixed measurement guides here as I was only experimenting.


2 tbsp of cooking oil
1 100 gms bag of anchovies
2 tbsp of honey
1 tsp of dried chili powder
2 tbsp of vinegared chili paste (or more if you want it spicy hot)

Fry anchovies in oil for about 5 minutes. Set aside. On the same pan, combine honey, chili powder and vinegard chili paste. Bring to a rolling boil. Add the fried anchovies making sure that the anchovies are coated well with the honey mixture.

Enjoy it as a "pulutan" or an appetizer.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Lasang Pinoy Round 2: Daing na Bangus and Tuyo

Celiak is the host of Lasang Pinoy (Round 2) and wants us to fascinate the world with tales of how we survive every storm that visits our beloved country, the Philippines. From what I know, Philippines suffers from 10 to 30 storms of varying strenght every year. Sometimes, they're devastating, sometimes they're not.

Typhoon season in the Philippines is a mixture of welcome and unwelcome feelings from me. In Baguio where I grew up, it means being isolated from the rest of the Philippines. It also meant that our food supplies coming from the lowlands would possibly be cut off brought about by landslides making our roads impassable. Out of desperation, sometimes farmers try to risk their lives to transport their goods to at least recover some of their farming costs.

It's not altogether bad when news of typhoons reach us. Why? Usually, the news would either be a hit or miss, what with the outdated weather radar our government had at that time? Typhoons are categorized I believe in four signals: 1) Signal number 1 meant that the force of the wind and rain was not truly devastating. Elementary students are still required to attend their classes; 2) Signal number 2 meant that classes in high school are cancelled and chances are, the winds and rain will be quite destructive; 3) Signal number 3 meant classes in colleges and universities are cancelled. You'll have to brace up because the strength of this typhoon is ravaging; 4) It's devastating and deadly.

There were times that PAG-ASA, our weather bureau would announce that the forthcoming storm is categorized as signal number three. Well, that meant all schools were cancelled only to find out that students are having a good time in movie houses because the weather is not that threatening at all. It's shining brightly outside.

There were instances where the storm was categorized as signal number 1 and yet it's raining cats and dogs and you could hardly stay dry and cover the rain with your umbrella.

Now, every time there is news of a strong typhoon hitting our city, milk fishes from fishponds in Pangasinan are often harvested prematurely because chances are these fish pens are going to be flooded anyways and the fishes washed away by the rain. Owners usually harvest them and bring them to Baguio and sell them for a bargain. It won't be any help for us to stock pile them in our freezers because there's a big chance that our power will be out anyway because of strong winds.

Mother always had a brilliant idea of buying them and filleting them while they're still cheap. She would then marinate them in lots of vinegar, garlic, pepper and soy sauce and fry them. When marinated, these bangus would last for a few days. In fact, the taste gets better if marinated for a few days. She would make sure that she bought enough to last us a few days days before the storm calms down and market stalls open again. We call it daing na bangus.

We would usually have sinigang na bangus on the first day of the storm. The next day, we would have fried bangus and the third day, daing na bangus. Better enjoy them while they last because once business is back, their prices would skyrocket.

What about the monsoon rain? It's not definitely a welcome one for me. First of all, the rain never stops for weeks. I remember when I was young; it would rain continuously for over a month. Of course because it's only a monsoon rain, classes are not cancelled. As soon as you get out of the house, your pants and runners are already soaked. Drying your clothes takes forever. Because we don't have dryers in Baguio, sometimes-even electricity, we hang our clothes to dry. It takes about 3 days to dry them and the smell is always unwanted. Well, it would be a mixture of a rotten smell with food that you've cooked for the past few days. Because prices of goods during this time is really high or sometimes because we're isolated, supplies of vegetables from the lowlands is scarce, we depend on canned goods and dried fish for sustenance. Cooking dried fish inside the house when all windows are shut will make you think twice before cooking dried fish. For some reason though, it is when the weather is cold that dried fish taste so good.

There is this part of the city that gets flooded everytime our city gets hit by a storm. It's literally a hole with no drainage. The water level sometimes gets to their rooftop and it takes days for the water to subside. But Baguio City is above sea level, you might say? Rescue operations are often focused on this part of the city. I have reached a point in my life where I basically lost sympathy for the people who lived there. They seem to not have learned their lessons but who are we to judge them. A friend told me that it's the only property they have and their only way of staying in the city.Well, when the storm calms and we're ready to pick up the pieces, sometimes mother prepares arroz caldo for us. She however makes sure that the chicken she buys from the market are not "double-dead".

Friday, September 23, 2005


I am sure this is a common recipe in the Philippines but not everyone know how it's called other than "giniling". Even in our Filipino Restaurant here, the cook still calls it "giniling". Giniling in Pilipino is ground.

1 lb of ground pork or beef
1 tbsp of olive oil
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
1 large potato, cubed
1 medium carrot, cubed
1 medium red and greenpeppers, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup green peas
1/4 cup raisins
1/2 cup of tomato sauce
1/4 cup of water
salt to season
1 tbsp of sugar (optional)

Cook ground meat in a saucepan until brown and dry. Add cooking oil. Add onion and cook until onion is translucent. Add the sliced potato and cook for about 2-3 minutes. Add the carrots and the raisins. Cook for another 3 minutes. Once potato and carrot are cooked, add the tomato sauce and water and cover pan and let boil. Bring heat to medium and simmer for about 5 minutes. Add peas and peppers. Cook for another 1 minute. Season to taste.


You can add paprika and cumin for color. Some add liver. Others add catsup. Be bold and try anything. Others call it picadillo, others call it picadillos. Hey, you're more than welcome to say it the way you want to say it.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Pancakes with Sausages and Eggs

So what are pancakes, sausages and eggs doing in this row of sand sculpture pictures? We planned for a weekend trip to Harrison Hot Springs where the World Sand Sculpture Competition happens every year. The judging has happened already a week ago but they keep these sculptures for exhibition for a month. The organizers must be praying for just a bit of rain now to keep the sculptures intact and minimal sunshine to keep the sand from drying and being blown away by the wind.

Again, why the pancakes, sausages and eggs? Well, we meant to stay at the resort overnight. Our place is about 2 hours drive to the resrot and so we decided to stay in a hotel so we can pass by this school to visit a friend's son who just entered the seminary the next day. He was a friend of my kids byt the way. It was quite an adventure right from the start. My kids have other plans for the weekend with some friends but already, during the week I was keen on going to see the sculptures before the weather starts changing so they weren't happy.

We started late with a busy Friday night, we slept in and travelled late. Kids were of course disappointed with my plans so they weren't looking forward to this trip. We bought a dozen corn on the way from a place known for its corn mazes. The lake was not difficult to find. Check in time at the hotel was at 3:00 pm and so we decided to walk around the area first. We had a favorite Japanese Restaurant where we live and apparently the owner of this restaurant moved to the Lake to start his business so we started looking for him, starved and tired. We did not find him but we decided to eat at a Japanese Restaurant near our hotel.

We further decided to try checking in earlier so we can enjoy going around with no more luggages in tow. For some reason, I happened to mention to the receptionist about our search for this Japanese Cook and found out that he was in fact living in the same complex, at the back apartments of the hotel. Apparently, he owned the restaurant where we ate but did not stay long in that business and sold it to someone else.

Anyway, when we got into the hotel, it did not smell good. Son said it smelled like a hospital. Already, the kids with heavy hearts were not happy with the smell. Add to that the weather condition. It was not sunny, nor was it raining. It was just cloudy and the place was cold. We decided to just head home and we got home late. Daughter thought that pancakes, sausages and eggs would make-up for that trip and so she cooked some this morning, at home.

Well, here are a few of the pictures I took. I hope you will enjoy them as much as I did.

The sand sculptures from the viewing stage
An entry from a chinese delegation
chinese sculpture

Arabian Nights

Campfire Tales. This is my favorite. I failed to take a picture of the kids listening to the storyteller.

Seeing Through My Hands

Japanese Sculture

Castles in the Sand

unicorn heads

Friday, September 16, 2005

Something I shouldn't be proud about..Alfredo's Sauce in jars. But I was really busy the past few days and it's a good thing I had some smoked ham in the freezer, a spare jar of Alfredo's sauce in the cupboard and my ever stack of spgahetti noodles.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Plums and Nectarines

Just a few more signs that summer is over on this other side of the world. Today, when I went to the store to buy some fruits, the apples, plums, peaches and nectarines dominated the stalls. I got a little curios of something new in the market, the dinosaur plum. Out of you may call it ignorance, I bought one to taste. And then I started to think how each of the other varieties compared as far as taste go.

I liked them all but I loved the dinosaur plums best. I prefer the nectarines over peaches as well but I want my nectarines firm, juicy and sweet. For the prune plums, I prefer them a bit over riped otherwise, I'd eat them as dried prunes instead. These are good laxatives. When I gave birth, i had dried prunes to ease me from all the hassles of you know what.

They don't stay very long in the market. Peaches especially get rotten easily. I also found out that the quality of peaches depend very much on the weather. The hotter the summer is, the sweeter they are. They could flood the market but that doesn't mean that they're sweet. I haven't any peaches yet this year. I had a bad experience last year when they were so grainy.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Nilagang Manok

Ready or not, here I am again presenting to you this time an all-time family favorite, nilagang manok. Baguio is known for having a very temperate climate in the Philippines and this is what we usually have when the rainy season strikes. Now, don't say brr..

2 tbsp of oil
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
about 2 lbs of chicken, chopped into small piesces
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
1/4 tbsp of finely chopped ginger
6 cups of water
1/2 lb of green beans
5 pcs of potatoes, peeled and quartered
1/4 lb of cabbage
salt to taste

In a sauce pan, heat oil. Saute garlic until lightly brown. Add Etag and chicken and cook for about 5 minutes or until chicken becomes dry. Add onions and ginger and cook for another 2 minutes. Add water and let boil. Add potatoes and simmer for about 10 minutes depending on how tender the chicken is. Add the vegetables and season to taste. Make sure that the vegetables are not overcooked. Serve hot.

The etag really adds flavor to the soup. You should really try making this and store the meat in a plastic wrap in the freezer once the meat is cured.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Tagged again

Tagged one more time by JMom, now I am supposed to tell more about my life. Bear with me.

20 Years ago

I was chasing this guy inside our campus. Cute, chinese looking guy. He was a neighbor and a friend's friend but I guess he's never set eyes on me. Not true! He actually did too but he never was a gutsy man.

At the same time, I had a barkada who people thought was my boyfriend but never was. Never had the nerve either. Girls were head over heels with this barkada of mine but I guess he liked me better than them. The truth is, he never had the nerve to tell me how he felt towards me because he knew I was head over heels with the guy I was chasin' around. 'confused yet?

Menu of the year? Chicken mami.

15 years ago

My husband and I moved to our newly built house built out of our own sweat. No financial help from our parents. Yipee, I am so proud of ourselves. Mortgages suck though.

My son was born 2 days prior to the killer quake that hit Baguio City. Daughter had a scar on her forehead as a result of her running out of the house when she felt the earthquake. She was only one year old.

10 years ago

Instead of going home to the Philippines for Christmas, I opted to spend Christmas with my brother in the States. My first time. A few cousins I grew up with in the Philippines were also with us. It was like being in Baguio City again except that there was snow all over the place. Despite the weather, cousins and I went shopping at the nearby outlet. Reality bites. Christmas sucks if not celebrated in the Philippines.

The Twin Towers were still standing then. I have not realized that I had a picture with the towers as my background until my children pointed it out to me.

5 years ago

We had to leave the Philippines on December 31 because there was a change in our flight schedule. Kids packed their stuff up with heavy hearts and left Lolo with new year goodies he was meaning to serve us on New Years Eve. As a result, i had a big fight with the person who was in charge of letting people go inside the airport terminal. He wouldn't let us in because our flight was supposed to be on the 3rd of January. In order for me to have our flight fixed, he wanted me to leave my kids outside with no guarantee that my kids will still be there when I got back.

We celebrated New Year at home in our pajamas and kept on swearing at how our city sucked. It was the only city I guess which did not participate in the celebration of the New Millenium with fireworks. Our city officials were too afraid of bomb threats and lawsuits.

1 year ago

'started planning for a very special occasion comin' up this Christmas.


Ironed out all the kinks for this upcoming event. Philippines, here we come.

Last night

Boo hoo. 'slept early. 'had a headache.


'finished all the things that kept bugging me for the last three months. Woohoo!!

Next Year

'will start to save up for a new car.

5-10 years from now

I am hoping that my daughter will be a doctor and my son an engineer. Crossing my fingers.

I am tagging Sari, Bugsy and the Ca T

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Childhood Food Memories Meme

Tagged by Obachan and Kai this time, I am supposed to talk about the 5 childhood food memories that I miss. I am going to modify this meme of course so that I can talk about 5 food that reminds me of my childhood. Not food that I miss necessarily, but they simply remind me of my childhood.

1. Abal-abal

When I was a kid, my siblings and I would alternate in spending summer with my maternal grandparents in the province. It is the time when all of our cousins from urban places spend time and have fun together. It is also the season when abal-abal are in abundance. We would go to a place near this river where trees abound and where these abal-abal thrive at night. Abal-abal are beetles living in burrowed ground and come out at night and stay on trees. We would shake the trees vigorously so that these beetles will fall off the ground. We'd have to move as fast as we can to pick these beetles up and put them in covered containers or else they will go back to the ground. My grandpapers would roast them in a pan. Crunchy and creamy but I don't think it was really something I enjoyed eating. I enjoyed going with my cousins at night that made this food memorable to me.

2. Simut-simot

My mother was stationed in a place about half an hour from the city when I was young. The place was not so remote but for some reason there was no electricity yet. Mother was entitled to a supply of power from the mining company but she opted to live the way the people in the community lived. It meant us using Petromax (gas lamp). There is a certain month during the year that these simut-simot would come out. They are termites living off rotten trees. Father would bring the lighted lamp out and put it on top of a big basin filled with water. These termites would be attracted to the light and when they start going near the lamp we would try to drive them towards the basin full of water. Father would then roast them and try to get rid of their wings. Like the abal-abal, it's also creamy. Again, it's the fact that we get to play in the dark and do away with our homeworks that made it fun.

3. Chicharon (Kropec)

Nothing extra-ordinary about this one. It's made of flour, shaped in a rectangular form, and deep fried. We would buy a bagful or more of this and me and my siblings would go to our balcon to eat these. My brother will appear with a bowl of vinegar and hot pepper and we would all race to dip our chicharon in the bowl. By the time we're done, our lips would all be white. We introduced this idea to our "city cousins" and my paternal grandmother would always tell us to stop eating them because they're made of "tsinelas ti intsik"(chinese slippers). I still do not get it up to this day why she didn't want us to have some

4. Adobong Palaka

Okey, palaka is frog. Adobo is a way of cooking a meat with vinegar, garlic, soy and pepper. My father's eldest brother has left for the US at a tender age of 21 or younger. The first to join the US Navy in our clan actually and he is about 80 now. He lived his most productive life in the US and as far as I can remember has only gone back to the Philippines 4 or 5 times. During those times, we either visited him in Subic because the ship he was on was enroute somewhere else or he would come up to Baguio for 1 or 2 days. With such a tight schedule, he would request that we cook pinakbet for him and adobong palaka. I was quite amazed because mother or father would scour the market for palaka just for him. It has puzzled me what is in a Palaka that makes him request for this evertime he comes home. No, I am not complaining. 'just wondering.

5. Dinengdeng

Does this surprise you? Well, when I was little, my parents were given a very huge property by a wealthy Igorot. It was free as long as mother served his community. Disgressing a bit, I wouldn't mind going back to that place again but it's a lot different now, I heard. It was massive, really massive. Mother and father were able to raise pigs for Christmas and special occasions. The food to feed these pigs were taken from their garden. Name all the vegetables you can find in the market and mother had them all growing in her garden. Bananas, Guyabano, Calamansi, Avocadoes, oh we had them in our backyard. My parents gave these all up when we started going to school and my parents believed that we needed better education than what the community had. The property was still ours but when my mother died, there was just no reason for us to go back to that place anymore. At that time, city-living was a lot convenient for us.

Anyway, because our house was next to the school, teachers coming from the city would bribe my mother with fried bangus(milkfish) so she can cook fresh dinengdeng for them. The teachers would send a few students to pick the vegetables from my mother's garden. Mother would then cook these vegetables for lunch. Our house would be like a party house all the time. Ah, I miss those teachers very much.

Phew, that was such a mouthful. Now my turn to tag. I am tagging all those readers whose names start with C. No hiding now.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Promoting Filipino Cuisine

Promoting Filipino Cuisine is our topic for the month at Blogkadahan. See what I have to serve to my international audience

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Sockeye Salmon

It's salmon harvest season and I was lucky to get a freshly caught sockeye piece for a good deal. I had to roll my eyes when I heard that it was $10.00 a piece, about 6 lbs. I wanted to buy some more but I always fall into this trap of storing so much in my freezer and the whole family gets overwhelmed everytime they search for something else inside the freezer or they want to put something in.

Well, the fish was not dressed and gutted so I had to do it myself. If you bought them from the store dressed and gutted, they would have cost me $5.99/lb. Putting a price on my catch, I would have paid between $25 and $36.

I must be the last person in my family who loves to gut the fish. Everybody thinks it's gross. I am also good at filleting. My daughter was just having fun watching me not wasting any part of the fish.

Really, nothing gets wasted if I do it. I had fillets for baked salmon, steaks, bones for chowder and other soups and my infamous sinigang and adobo.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Black Eyed Beans

I know I have had a few versions of this in my previous posts. Nothing extra-ordinary really about this, except that I added some snow peas in it. What I usually do is cook a bunch of these beans and freeze the rest.

When I get to one of those busy nights, I just thaw a container of the frozen ones and just add some vegetables and my favorite seasoning, Patis

Ah, just perfect when the temperature is just starting to get to our bones. Brrr


The Recipe as requested by a reader (Note-the measurements are approximate depending on the number of people who are going to be served)..will write you a note sometime :-)

250 gms of dried black eyed beans
250 gms of ham hock, sliced into bite sizes
200 gms of snow peas
300 gms of napa cabbage, sliced into 1 1/2 inches length
1 medium onion
2 tbsp of cooking oil
Salt or fish sauce to taste

Boil about 6 cups of water. Add the dried black eyed beans and the ham hock simmer for about an hour in low heat. Once beans and hock are tender, set aside.

In a pan, heat oil. Saute onion until translucent. Add the boiled beans and hock and add water if necessary. Let boil. Add napa cabbage and let boil for about 1 minute. Add green cabbage. Season with Salt. Serve hot.

Monday, August 29, 2005


This is something the Filipinos learnt from the Japanese. I got the idea of preparing shabu-shabu from Toni when she had her birthday. I know that shabu-shabu is not a soup. Ideally, you should have a bowl full of soup stock on a portable stove and this should be boiling right in front of your two eyes. The raw meat(paper thin) and vegetables are put in that bowl and should be lifted from the bowl in a few seconds. This is how my Japanese friend Nori eat hers. She says that usually, with the aid of chopsticks, you pick the vegetables from the serving plate, dip the vegetables in the boiling soup stock in a swish-swash and that's it. Aren't the Japanese known for eating raw food by the way?

Well, I didn't trust myself to come up with an acceptable soup stock for this one so I quickly went to an Asian store close to our place and bought a "hot pot soup stock". Instead of making the "swish-swash thing", I cooked ours a little bit longer. And since hubby is so fond of soup, I turned my shabu-shabu into a shabu-shabu soup. Now I call it the Filipino shabu-shabu. How's that?

You don't need much here. Vegetables and meat of your choice will do.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Time to wrap summer up for me and my family

Normally, this is what you will see from our location. Clear, blue sky. Lately, the weather started acting up and I knew it was a sign that summer is almost over. I welcome the change of course, even the rain. It means I am going to slow down again and re-energize. This summer was easy for me. The kids are on their own and you don't know how liberating it feels. Ah, the packing alone. Each one has an assignment now. Who packs the rice, who's in charge of the picnic basket or even the lighter that we use to start the charcoal going.

Notice the difference in the pictures? The clouds are just rarin' to come down. The sea breeze was not yet that dreadful but it was colder so I decided to have miso soup, right by the sea and a fried perch. People passing by were wandering whether the fish I was frying was something I caught. Yes fishing is allowed here and people actually get tonnes of smelts. I don't think we were geared to fish..the water was just cold but clear.

I meant to cook sweet and sour fish but we got a surprise caucasian guest who stayed with us until we packed-up. We got free loads of history. Man he did his homework well. 'could even remember when WW1 erupted.

It's the re-opening of school the week after next week. Kids are going to be part of a cottillion 2 Saturdays from now. That's what kept them busy this summer, practising. But I'll still be here focused on my monitor.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Palabok with Imitated Crab Meat and Smoked Salmon

This is something you might want to try. Palabok with Imitated Crab to substitute your shrimp meat; and Smoked Salmon to substitute your tinapa like the one I have here.

Your will find the procedure here. I had to mince the imitated crabmeat and this time I chopped the eggs finely to go with the minced imitated crab. I used a lot of roasted garlic. Sometimes I substitute the thick palabok noodles with bijon noodles. My daughter really loves the bijon better.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Sinigang Na Baka with Okra, Radish and Long Beans

It's been a year since I started my food blog. About this time last year, I cooked the same recipe but with different vegetables in it. It must have been the weather. I got bolder with my recipes. Food blogging has really evolved. When I first started, I was only a Sassy fan. Manang Kusinera was I believe the second Filipina food blogger I have come to know. I could be wrong but I could only count them with my ten fingers. And then JMom had hers. She first featured her harvest from her garden and then she took a rest. There was someone else from Taiwan(her name eludes me) and then she moved. I lost track of her afterwards.

Celiak is one who comes to mind. She initially started her blog more for her kids' use. Slowly, Sassy was introducing other Pinay Food Bloggers through her blog including Stel.

Now I cannot keep track of all the Pinoy food bloggers anymore. And dami natin. I do visit your sites guys even if you don't find your site on my list. Minsan, nalilimutan kong i-note yung sites niyo.

Here's my anniversary recipe. Sinigang na Baka with Okra, Radish and Long Beans. The process is really easy. Make sure that your beef is tender , really tender before you add your vegetables and sinigang broth. The trick is cook your vegetables first before you add the sinigang broth.

Saturday, August 20, 2005


(Our bulgogi about to be cooked and ready for our prying eyes)

I finally got what i had been wishing for for the longest time. A Korean cast iron "grill" (I will have to wait for Ms. Anna Banana to tell me what they're called in Korea) that I can just put on top of a stove. It's not grilling because I put water around the "ring plate" to keep the meat from drying(that's what I think the purpose is). It's not grilling the meat the way you do with a barbecue either. Anyhow, I'm happy I finally found one for a reasonable price.

On the day I had this, I right away made my first proper bulgogi. Not that I haven't done one before but I cooked it in a pan.
Paper thin sliced beef with lotsa onions, mushrooms and green onions. I used a garlic marinade, naturally with lotsa finely chopped garlic. I used a lot of mirin, about 1/4 cup, 1/4 cup of teriyaki soy sauce and I can't remember if I added ground pepper. I always want my bulgogi sweet.

If you have a portable stove, it's great but I used my realible element for now('gotta get one of those too, depending on hubby--he pays the bill you know).

You have to be very careful to start cooking it just before dinner. You want it hot and right off the cast iron when having this because it doesn't taste as good once it's cold. It's a good way of imrpoving group dynamics in your family. Your patience is tested while waiting for the meat to cook or keeping your temper from boiling when there's only a few slice left and the other person beside you grabbed them before you did and damn, you had to wait for the next batch.
Hey don't fret. The meat cooks faster than you think.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005


I have to admit that had I known Karen was going to come up with this, I should have paid more attention to this history when I was young. I was one young girl rarin' to finish my career so I could hit the highway so to speak.

When I first heard that Ninoy was coming home from his exile, we were at the cafeteria by the university campus having our lunch. I was on my 2nd year in college. It was one of those days my mother was not able to prepare lunch for us. She was agitated with the fact that the whole nation was expecting something untoward was going to happen to Ninoy.

It was a day I had to have my lunch at the cafeteria of a dormitory owned by a Kapampangan. I loved the way she prepared her Achara with Barbecue. Kapampangans love to add a lot of sugar to their meat dishes. Atching was one of them.

Atching at that time just sat down not minding her customers. She was worried herself because a cabalen is coming home and she knows that as soon as Ninoy's plane touches down, he'll be dead. The nation just knew it. Indeed, a lot believed that Ninoy's homecoming was going to change the potical situation of the country. Twenty two years after, I still could not tell where our country has gone from there. Well, that's all I can remember folks but I could definitely remember atching's anxiety.

My post therefore is not directly related to Ninoy's death but something that reminds me of his death because of how a cabalen truly felt for him on the day of his death. I should say something about a particular song. Remember "Tie a Yellow Ribbon"?(hum if you do..come on..). That's how yellow has become the prominent color at that time and why most of Ninoy's banners are in yellow. I stand to be corrected of course. It might just have been a coincidence. And oh, Kris Aquino was such a very young kid at that time. Such a naive kid in her long hair often seen with Cory praying not only for Ninoy but for the whole nation. I often felt bad that she lost a father at an early age. And Times Square, yes Time Square was a street inside Phil-Am Subdivision in Quezon City where Cory lived. That house has become a symbol of refuge at that time. Peace Rallies usually started there to Sto. Domingo.

Back to Atching and her faous delicacy. Acharang Papaya (Pickled Papaya) is a kapampangan delicacy if you ask me. And I love mine sweet. It goes well with Barbecues just as the sauerkraut is with kielbasa in Polish. Here's how I do mine as taught by a kapampanga friend Manang Olivia.


1 kilo of unripe papayas, cleaned and shredded
1/2 of medium red pepper, julienned
1 piece of medium carrot, thinly sliced (with designs if you're artistic)
100 gms of pearl onions
3/4 cup of white sugar
2 cups of cider vinegar
1 tbsp of coarse salt

Achara is a good accompaniment to Tocino (also a kapampangan delicacy); barbecues of any kind; longganisa and other meat products.

In a saucepan, add the sugar, vinegar and salt and let boil. Let cool for about 2 minutes and set aside.

Mix the vegetables in a bowl. Fill washed, clean jars with the vegetable mixture and adding the vinegar mixture allowing a head space. Remove air bubbles with non-metallic utensil before applying lids and screw bands. Allow at least a week for the recipe to cure. i would recommend curing achara inside the fridge.