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.

Friday, August 12, 2005


One of the ethnic foods my system had a hard time getting used to when i first arrived here was the East Indian Cuisine. It must be that the spices were truly strong that I sneezed a lot everytime I went near one.

My cousin who lived near their "territory" took me to one of their festivities when I first set foot here. She was really enjoying their samosas and their soup. Over the years, as I got introduced to different cuisine either from work or friends, I have learned to like well not everything Indian but particularly some of their favorites too.

This pakora is one of them. I believe this is deep fried. When I get to compare this with our Filipino Cuisine, the mixture is almost similar to our Ukoy. Eggs, vegetables, etc. What I like particularly about this is the sauce that goes with it. My officemate from UK said she was going to teach me how to make the sauce. When she was growing up in the islands of Trinidad, she had an East Indian neighbor who taught her how to cook their recipes. 'looking forward to it.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Spicy Seafood Soup

Back in the Philippines, I have never really been adventurous as far as cooking is concerned. If the recipe is called Pinakbet, I'd stick with what should be included in a pinakbet. If a sinigang calls for tamarind soup base, i'd stick to the tamarind soup base. And if the ingredients are not available, i'd change my mind and cook another one where ingredients are available.

It was only when I have tried other ethnic recipes that I have learned that you shouldn't live in a box. I can cook a spicy soup like the one above with basically nothing but leftovers. Whatever is found in the cupboard, I'd live with. Take the case of this recipe. I cannot tell whether this is A Filipino dish or not. I used a little bit of tamarind soup base, a handful of calamari squid, a handful of prawns, a few slices of carrots, a few oyster mushroom and a few snow peas. I had fish sauce to put a little flavour to it, lots of ginger, a bit of chili powder. It was enough to keep my hubby happy.

I wonder if anyone (except Sassy) has tried making a sinigang out of what we call "Baguio Vegetables" in the Philippines. I told my sister about it but all she asked me was "anong lasa?"(how does it taste like) with a little skepticism in her tone. Oh well, she's got to try it so she knows what I'm talking about. There'd be a lot of cooking lessons for my sister when we go home this Christmas.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Another fun weekend!

(Our tents under the trees)

My family just came back from a much needed R & R. It was a picnic/camping with some friends a few hours drive from the border. Phew, tomorrow's gonna be back to normal again. Im re-energized. The place reminded me so much of Baguio City and Camp John Hay. After all, this is also a US military recreational facility like Camp John Hay. The area was so massive, really huge!
Food was overflowing! This is the pinikpikan with a lot of Chayotes and Pechay in it.

..and remember my post about this? Notwithstanding the technology that the US has these days, we kept our tradition of preparing our food the Igorot way.

Just before dinner, we had a few games, the most popular of which is the "Tug of War".

...beyond the horizon just after sunset. What's your interpretation of the cloud formation?