Dry but Oily Adobo
22 August 2009, 7:58 pm
Filed under: Chicken, Family, Food, Pork

Adobo in my family’s circle of relatives, neighbours and friends is cooked in the same manner: dry but oily. To say that all Cebuanos have the same style or that all Filipino adobo recipes contain soy sauce is, I think, an inaccurate generalization.  One story tells that soy sauce in adobo is a modification by the Chinese.  My understanding of my family’s joke — nagmantika ang baba (oily mouth) — comes from eating too much oily adobo.

Again as I come from another region, the identity of adobo is altered. Suka and sili, anyone?

Combination pork and chicken
Garlic (lots)
Bay leaf (2-3)
Black peppercorns (lots)
Cooking oil
1 chicken stock cube

Combine all ingredients but only 2 tbsp of vinegar, garlic, peppercorn, bay leaf, salt and chicken cube and marinade for 30 minutes.

Transfer the marinated ingredients in a large frying pan, cover and cooked slowly at a low temperature. When the meat is dry, add oil stirring constantly so the meat cooks evenly until golden brown.  Before turning off the stove, turn to high heat and immediately splash 1tbsp of vinegar, do not cover. Turn off the stove and remove the pan.
adoboceb2vinegar and sili


Phat Thai (Thai Fried Noodles)
22 August 2009, 7:45 pm
Filed under: Cooking, Food, Seafood

Thai Fried Noodles
by: Kit Chan, The Essential Thai Cookbook

Phat Thai is considered one of the national dishes of Thailand.  Like many of the national dishes of other countries, the flavor and texture varies from region to region, religion and culture, likewise with the Philippine Adobo. One style would be sugary and salty (dried shrimp), while another method would be sugary and spicey, while some have the sugary and sour taste. The Thai Fried Noodles (vegetarian) sold at the cafeteria at work has the right combination.

phat thai3

350g rice noodles
45ml vegetable oil
1tbsp chopped garlic
16 uncooked king prawns, shelled, tails left intact and deveined
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tbsp dried shrimps, rinsed
2 tbsp pickled white radish
50g fried bean curd, cut into small livers
½ tsp dried chilli flakes
115g garlic chives, cut into 2in lengths
225g beansprouts
50g roasted peanuts, coarsely ground
1 tsp granulated sugar
1tbsp dark soy sauce
2tbsp fish sauce
2tbsp tamarind juice
2tbsp coriander leaves, to garnish
1 kaffir lime, to garnish

Soak the noodles in warm water for 20-30 minutes, then drain
Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a work or large frying pan
Add the garlic and fry until golden
Stir in the prawns and cook for about 1-2 minutes until pink, tossing from time to time
Remove and set aside

Heat another 1 tbsp of oil in the wok.
Add the eggs and tilt the work to spread them into a thin sheet
Stir to scramble and break the egg into small pieces.
Remove from the wok and set aside with the prawns

Heat the remaining oil in the same wok
Add the dried shrimps, pickled radish, bean curd and dried chillies
Stir briefly. Add the soaked noodles and stir-fry for 5 minutes

Add the garlic chives, half the beansprouts and half the peanuts
Season with the granulated sugar, soy sauce, fish sauce and tamarind juice
Mix well and cook until the noodles are heated through

Return the prawn and egg mixture to the wok and mix with the noodles
Serve garnished with the rest of the beansprouts, peanuts, coriander leaves and lime wedges.

phat Thaiphat thai2

T-bone Steak and Mashed Potato
22 August 2009, 7:40 pm
Filed under: Beef, Cooking, Family

My 15-year old daughter and I like T-bone steak better – not that we are experts but Hubby and I have been trying different beef steak cuts every now and then. Hubby favours either the rib-eye or porterhouse cuts. On the odd occasion, Hubby agrees to dine out at a 5 Star Hotel just to order steak. As we seldom dine out, the decision on which steak house / restaurant to go for steak is often influenced by relatives and officemates advice on whether the establishment is child-friendly. The hazard of taking two strong-willed kids is extremely high – to other diners.

Lunch today is T-bone steak, mashed potato with my homemade gravy and beef soup.


Minced Pork with Pak Choy Soup
19 August 2009, 7:45 pm
Filed under: Cooking, Family, Food, Pork, Vegies

Twelve years ago while visiting my eldest daughter at school in Manila, a Yaya (carer) was feeding her alaga (child) with soup and rice.  The soup was noticeably green with bits of meat in it.  Intrigued by the colour and the greasy appearance of the soup, I moved closer towards her and sneaked a look at the plastic container half empty with the greasy soup. This is my adaptation of that dish.

½ kg pork minced
3 cups sliced pak choy or pechay
Garlic, minced
1 large onion, minced
2 Roma tomatoes, chopped
1 litre water
Salt and fish sauce to taste
1 chicken stock cube
Cooking oil

Saute garlic, add onion and continue frying until soft.
Add tomatoes and continue cooking until mushy.
Add pork stirring and breaking up lumps until the meat is dry.
Pour water, chicken cube, fish sauce; adjust taste with salt and pepper let boil until meat is cooked.
Add pak choy or pechay and cook for 5 minutes.

mincepork&vegbaby choy

Stir-fried Tau Geh (Mung Bean Sprout) and Pork
18 August 2009, 11:30 pm
Filed under: Cooking, Food, Pork, Vegies

While the mung bean sprout is enjoyed in a variety of dishes, stir-fried beansprout has been the standard style my mother prepares this crunchy vegetable.  My family has been introduced to the same method.

Fresh mung bean sprouts – wash and drain
pork belly rashers (pork liempo), diced
chopped garlic
onion sliced
tomato sliced
soy sauce
fish sauce
cooking oil
pepper and salt to taste
sesame oil
¼ cup water
chicken stock cube

Heat oil in a pan and sauté garlic, onion and tomato until well mixed
Add pork, water, soy sauce, chicken stock cube and cook until pork is tender
Add fish sauce and adjust taste with salt and pepper
Pour in mung bean sprouts mix well and stir-fry for 2 minutes
Remove from heat (I prefer the crunchy-tender bite of the tau geh)Sprinkle with sesame oil.


Steamed Okra and Bagoong Alamang
8 August 2009, 8:34 pm
Filed under: Food, Vegies

steamed okra1steamed okra2

Tinuwang Isda (salmon head) (Salmon head soup)
8 August 2009, 7:34 pm
Filed under: Cooking, Food, Seafood

To quote a 17th century proverb, “The early bird catches the worm”.  Or was it a case of I was at the right place at the right time.  We set off early today to buy our weekly provisions. To find salmon heads in the fish section of any supermarket these days is rare.  Six meaty and gleaming heads surrounded by crushed ice did not hang around long. I wanted to get two more for my mother but stopped when the voice in my head said that there are two women queuing in line possibly appealing and praying to their favourite saints that I don’t deprive them of today’s catch.

As I walked pass the line, I glanced fleetingly towards the women and hoped that the third lady’s saint had clout over the second one.

2 pcs salmon heads
4 pcs fresh prawns (the prawns bought were for Pad Thai)
1 bunch pak choy
2 roma tomatoes *slit top of each tomato taking care to not cut all the way through
1 stick lemon grass
2 sticks spring onions *white part gently crushed
thumb-sized piece of ginger
2 pcs fresh green chillis
10 cups of water
1 chicken cube stock
fish sauce and salt
salt and pepper to taste

Note: * style was influenced by my cousin’s best friend and sisters’ friend, Nang Didi. It enhances the flavour of the soup.

In a big casserole, put water, spring onions, ginger, lemon grass, and tomatoes and let this to boil. 
Scoop the tomato pieces and mash through over the same pot of boiling water.  
Put in salmon heads and chicken cube stock and boil for 10-12 minutes.
Add pak choy and prawns.  As soon as prawns start to curl and change colour add green chilli, season with fish sauce and salt and pepper. 
Serve at once.

salmon head3salmon soup1