Deviled Eggs
9 May 2010, 9:13 am
Filed under: Food

12 hard boiled eggs
¼ cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon curry powder
Pinch of salt
½ teaspoon freshly chopped parsley

• Remove shells and halve eggs lengthwise
• Remove yolks, place in a small bowl and mash yolks with a fork
• Add the mayonnaise, mustard, curry powder and parsley to the eggs yolks
• Stir until smooth and creamy
• Spoon or pipe yolk mixture into the egg white halves
• Garnish with chopped springs onions or olives


Simply consistent
13 January 2010, 11:04 pm
Filed under: Family, Food

The family does not suffer from kainophobia, the fear of anything new or of change. When dining out at D Wharf Precinct, an area with its cool sea breezes and a wide range of alfresco eateries featuring many national and international dishes, we continually order the same dishes.

Fish and chips, special fried rice, spaghetti bolognaise, and fried calamari dishes are tested, tasted, and guaranteed to fill us up.

Humba with Chinese Sausage and Nokus (dried squid)
8 January 2010, 9:10 pm
Filed under: Food, General, Pork

A Filipino author and professional cook described humba as “a dish simmered in a pot for several hours to bring out its melt-in-the-mouth texture.” Need I say more? Traditionally, or I should say my family’s style of the dish consists of pork, soy sauce, sugar, vinegar, and bay leaves. My constant visit to the Internet as a self-confessed food blog browser has taken me to what I would call Filipillions (as in million and gazillion) of Filipino recipes, another indication that like me, many Filipinos are consistent in their quest to perfect the amalgamation of Malay, Spanish and Chinese influences which is Filipino.

So why are Filipino dishes not as popular as Thai, Vietnamese, Indian, when it comes to international cooking shows and cookbooks? My initial query here.

This recipe is pieced together from other pork stew recipes.

1 kilo pork rashers – cut into serving-style pieces
2 Chinese sausages – sliced
3 medium-sized fried nokus – cut in half
½ cup water
½ cup rice wine vinegar
½ cup dark brown sugar
50 ml soy sauce
4-5 garlic cloves, crushed
3 whole cloves
1 star anise
1 tsp whole black peppercorn
1 bay leaf
a handful of dried lily flowers – soak in warm water before cooking
salt to taste
1 chicken stock cube

Place all ingredients in a large saucepan and bring to the boil.
Simmer until the pork is tender.

Biko (sticky rice with sweet coconut sauce)
7 January 2010, 11:52 pm
Filed under: Family, Food, Sweets

My late father was a quiet man and only talked when spoken to.  On rare occasions he showed his sharp, amusing side which was often taken for rudeness by some who did not know him.  He was at ease on his own, seated in his favourite chair, and was contented monitoring the ins and outs of his household.  He amused himself by listening to CDs of Frank Sinatra, Handumanan 1 and 2 (A Piano Anthology of Immortal Cebuano Songs), Beethoven Piano concertos, or playing his favourite songs which includes Sentimental Over You, Stardust, Tenderly, Laura, It’s a Sin to Tell a Lie, The Nearness of You, Sunshine of Your Smile etc. on his piano or singing the same songs in his head and tapping his fingers to follow the beat.

I have neither seen him cook nor seen him spend even 30 minutes in the kitchen, except when he turned on the water kettle for his morning coffee.  Surprisingly, he often provided suggestions on proportions or techniques for some dishes.

When I started experimenting with biko, he directed that I should base it on 1:1 ratio.  After several trial-and-error attempts, I am sure that my late father‘s response if asked about my version of the biko would be ‘lami’ (tasty).

1 ½ cup coconut milk (400 ml)
1 can coconut cream (270 ml)
1 ½  cups glutinous rice
1 ½  dark brown sugar
a pinch of salt

Cook glutinous rice like how rice is cooked (1:1 ratio).  Allow this to cool once cooked
Boil coconut milk, coconut cream, sugar and salt over a medium fire
Stir constantly until the mixture becomes sticky and thickened
Add the cooked sticky rice and mix thoroughly
Turn off the fire and let it stand for about 5 minutes

Note: The biko is watery at first but dries up when the finished product cools down.The custard topping recipe I found on the Internet did not work out well with my biko (second photo).

What are we doing on New Year’s Eve?
1 January 2010, 11:32 pm
Filed under: Family, Food

No rest for the wicked.  My body still aches from the number of hours spent in the kitchen getting ready for Christmas celebration.  I sensed my digestive system had not been able to make up its mind as to which food group I digested should be sorted out first.

Then a family member asked, ‘What are we doing on New Year’s Eve?’  Duh! I am still full and I’ll think of something later.  New Year’s food was mainly impromptu fare. We all arrived at my sister’s place with a plate or two to welcome the year 2010.

Fried chicken, fish escabeche, humba, seafood noodles, roast pork and pork sinigang.

Sweets consist of 2 types of biko — one with custard on top and the other one plain, custard cake, fruits, nuts and fruit punch.

Sayur Lodeh (Coconut Vegetable Stew)
30 December 2009, 7:16 pm
Filed under: Food, Vegies

Any chance I get to visit the City is a chance to visit Sari Rasa, a small Indonesian restaurant which offers authentic Indonesian cuisine.  They offer a variety of halal dishes such as chilli chicken curry, beef curry, chilli eggplant and chilli egg.  During my last visit two weeks ago, I noted down the name of the coconut vegetable dish I had — sayur lodeh – the dish I order each time at Sari Rasa.

I remember they used to include other vegetables, but now the French or green beans are consistently used, which is why other patrons call the dish chilli beans.

Again, the Internet provided a variety of sayur lodeh recipes: Thai, Indonesian, Malaysian and Australian variations.  An Indonesian workmate who regularly visits the restaurant commented that majority of the dishes there are Javanese.

My first attempt to cook it was what I call a weak version but I will try again to, hopefully, make it a Javanese version, and not a Cebuano one.

Recipe by: Juandy Liem, Javanese Recipes (http://original-javanese-recipes.blogspot.com/)

1/2 head cabbage
2 carrots
1/2 turnip
250gr firm tofu
1 1/2 cups cut green beans
1 1/2 cups coconut milk
2 cups water

Spice blend:
•    2 tablespoon chilli paste
•    2 teaspoon shrimp paste (belacan)
•    2 medium onions
•    4 garlic cloves
•    2 stalks lemongrass
•    17 small dried shrimp, soaked in hot water to soften
•    1 inch fresh ginger
•    1 teaspoon coriander powder
•    1 teaspoon turmeric
•    1 teaspoon cumin
•    1 tablespoon chilli powder
•    4 tablespoon oil

Chop all the spice blend ingredients and add them to the blender, except the chilli powder.
Blend it into a paste.
Combine coconut milk and water to form “thin coconut milk”.
Cut all the vegetables into small cubes and sticks.
After all the spices are blended, add chilli powder according to your tastes.
Fry it in oil till the oils in the paste ooze out. Don’t burn it.
Add thin coconut milk and bring it to a gentle boil.
Dump in all the vegetables and tofu and simmer it till the vegetables are tender.
Add salt to taste.
Serve Sayur Lodeh with hot rice.

Note: I have added 1 kaffir lime leaf (thinly snipped into strips)

Bring a Plate
4 December 2009, 8:35 pm
Filed under: Family, Food, General

A different one this time, was the unanimous decision for this year’s family Christmas party.   The family is taking time-out from the over-used dishes constantly prepared and laid on the table during parties for the past years.

Cooking lechon at the back of my sister’s place was suggested; which means seafood sinugba is not far behind – with the coal from the lechon.  Scanning the pages of my recipe books for an uncommon dish is not easy.  Indian, Thai, Singaporean, Vietnamese, Malaysian, Indonesian or Chinese?

I have started to conduct a series of experiments for my contribution to this year’s Christmas festivities. The Indian tomato rice and the masi, which I think is the Cebuano adaptation to the Chinese new year sweet dumplings, are not bad.