Filipino Bihon and Singapore Bee Hoon are one and the same
8 June 2010, 1:43 pm
Filed under: Cooking, Noodles, Pork, Vegies

The two fried rice noodle dishes have a lot in common. Just like other Asian cuisines there are several variations of it around Asia. The Singapore Bee Hoon I’ve tasted during our last visit in Singapore is one of the best fried rice noodle dishes. Here is my version.

1 packet rice vermicelli
3 eggs, beaten
2 tbsp chopped garlic
500g pork spare ribs, thinly sliced
3 pcs Chinese style Lup Chong (Chinese sausage), thinly sliced
1 medium sized onion, thinly sliced
1 small carrot, julienned
1 cup cabbage, thinly sliced
1 cup washed beansprouts
1 cup green beans, cut diagonally into one-inch length.
½ red capsicum, thinly sliced
½ cup dried black fungus,
2 cups water
1 tbsp oyster sauce
2 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 chicken cube
salt and pepper to taste

Optional for Garnishing:
Fried Fish Tofu, sliced
Fried dried shredded squid
Fried eggs, sliced into thin strips
Calamansi (squeeze calamansi juice into the bihon/bee hoon before eating)

• Soak the rice vermicelli in hot water for about 8 to 10 minutes until soft (al dente) Drain and set aside.
• Soak dried black fungus in hot water for half an hour. Drain and slice thinly.
• Fry eggs, fish tofu, Chinese sausage and shredded dried squid, separately. Set aside.
• In a clean wok add oil and sauté garlic, onion until fragrant.
• Add sliced pork and sauté until brown.
• Add water, oyster sauce, soy sauce, fried Chinese sausage, chicken stock cube and cook until pork is
• Adjust the taste with salt and pepper
• Add the carrots, beansprouts, red capsicum, green beans, cabbage, black fungus
• Stir to combine, cover and cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until vegetables are starting to soften.
• Scoop and transfer the cooked pork and vegetables to a plate or shallow bowl and set aside.
• In the remaining broth, add the rice vermicelli in the wok, stirring constantly until the noodles have absorbed all the broth.
• When the noodles are done, add the cooked pork and vegetables and sesame oil to the pan and toss thoroughly.
• Serve noodles and garnish with the previously cooked egg strips, fried squid, and fish tofu.


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.

Pinakbet (Vegetable Stew with Meat and Shrimp Paste)
11 October 2009, 10:12 pm
Filed under: Pork, Vegies

Many Filipino stall holders at RC Sunday Market have started selling bags of chopped vegetables which contain the standard ingredients for pinakbet; bitter melon (ampalaya), okra, eggplants, long beans/string beans, and squash.

Mama, who was taught to cook by my late Ilocano grandfather, uses ginamos (salted fermented fish) to enhance the flavor – the Ilocano way. If I was in Cebu, my pinakbet would also be seasoned with ginamos, the way my mother and her ancestors enjoyed it.

Getting hold of good quality ginamos in my neck of the woods is a challenge. The anchovy fillets together with the garlic when sautéing is an ideal replacement. Ginisang bagoong (sautéed shrimp paste) is added as the final garnish just before serving.


Canton Noodles
6 October 2009, 10:23 pm
Filed under: Noodles, Pork, Vegies

I finally got hold of fresh egg noodles at our Sunday market last week.  Although lacking in some ingredients, I made use of ‘what is available’ in the fridge approach; pork, snow peas, carrots, and capsicum.

pancitfresh pancit

Vietnamese Pork Roll
1 October 2009, 11:21 pm
Filed under: Bread/Pasta, Pork, Salad

The pork formula/flavour still eludes me. Pickled julienned carrots and papaya, cucumber, fresh coriander, fresh chilli, chilli sauce, and the seasoned pork.

Hubby and I rarely miss buying this Vietnamese-style sandwich at our Sunday market.

rollvietnam roll

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

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