Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Sweet, Sour and Salty Fried Eggs

This is a dish from my childhood.  I remember being bewildered at having breakfast food (fried eggs) at lunchtime, with a strange twist (the sauce).  But I remember liking it a lot!  Although I remember that the eggs were folded over, like an omelet.

Anyway, I decided to make it (as far as I could remember it because I couldn't find a recipe) for hubby's breakfast...

It was actually pretty easy...

Mix together 1 tablespoon of light soy sauce, 1/2 tablespoon of mild vinegar, 1/2 tablespoon honey (or sweetener of choice), 1 tablespoon of water and 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil.  Set aside.

Fry 2 eggs, sunny side up (fold over, if desired) and transfer to a serving plate when done.  Add the sauce mix to the pan and just heat through (do not cook) then pour over the eggs.  Serve immediately.

Wouldn't you know it?  After making this dish, I found an old cookbook belonging to my mom.  It's as old as I am since it was published in the year that I was born!  The pages were yellowed and quite brittle.  And it was mostly in black and white, with only a handful of colored pictures!!!  The book was in poor condition and would be falling apart if it were not for my mom having it hard-bound!  But I found the recipe for the dish in its yellowed pages!

The best part?  My recipe was actually pretty close to the original!!!

As for hubby's reaction?  I thought he would be surprised, and at least find the dish original but he said he already had a similar dish in Singapore a long time ago!

Oh well, he still liked it!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Chicken Mami (Noodle) Soup

using leftover lechon manok (roast chicken) that is...

transforming lechon chicken (like Andoks or Baliwags) into noodle soup is a good way to use up leftover chicken; it's less obvious "recycling" as well.

And easy, to boot.

Strip the meat from the bones, but don't throw the bones out.  I use them to make the soup stock with an onion, slices of ginger, a tomato and salt, to taste.  Use about 1-1/2 to 2 liters of water.

Meanwhile parboil 500 grams fresh egg noodles then drain fully.  Chop some pechay (wombok) leaves.

Strain the soup stock and reboil.  Season to taste.  Add the noodles, roast chicken strips and pechay.  Serve hot.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Balay Shells

Finally!!!  I now know what those strange shells are called.  In the northern central regions, they're called balay shells; or ugpan further to the south.  The tindera (sales lady) said that in English, they called it tongue clam or shell, due to the long white "tongue".

Better still, I also know how to cook it and eat it!  Apparently, they're good simply sauteed in ginger, garlic, onions and tomatoes.

And, unlike mussels or clams, they don't open when they're cooked, in fact, a little effort is required to open the shells.  The shell meat is rather small and a bit rubbery, with a taste reminiscent of oysters, but the best part, apparently, is the "tongue" which contains a tasty treat that needs to be coaxed out.

It's an interesting shell, not bad tasting but I still prefer oysters, first and foremost, followed closely by tahong, then halaan!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Buko (Coconut) Salad

The little girl likes buko (coconut) juice!!!  And she has been requesting for it these last few days.  Problem?  What to do with all that buko meat!!!  While a large chunk went into bibingka experiments, the rest went into a salad!

For some reason, I like buko salad without fruits and I like fruit salad without buko!  So my basic recipe for buko salad is this -

shredded coconut meat from 4 coconuts
1 large bottle of nata de coco (in extra light syrup)
1 small bottle of kaong
2 cups chilled all-purpose cream

Drain the nata de coco and kaong.  Toss with the coconut strips and cream.  Mix well.  If desired add some condensed milk (to sweeten the salad, but personally I don't add any).  Chill fully!

A variation of my recipe is using 1 cup cream and 1 cup macapuno ice cream (and adding some toasted pinipig, too!)

The sad news?  The little girl loves the juice but refuses to eat the meat or even the salad!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Lechon Paksiw Sinangag

Sinangag is the Filipino term for garlic fried rice.  Traditionally it is made with the previous night's leftover rice, and cooked for breakfast, usually with fried egg and some processed meat such as tapa, longganisa, tocino, etc. with resulting coined names like tosilog (TOcino, SInangag and itLOG), longsilog (LONGganisa, SInangag and itLOG), etc. 

But while sinangag is the most basic form, it can be enhanced with a few embellishments, usually leftovers too, such as adobo, binagoongan, roast chicken, bangus, and in this particular instance... lechon paksiw.  Hence,

Lechon Paksiw Sinangag.  Here with other breakfast items - sunny-side egg and spiced ham.

This is actually a recipe for a "third" generation lechon...  The original dish ("first generation") was the lechon for lola's birthday lunch.  The re-made dish ("second generation") was the lechon paksiw we had the day after.  And, we obviously had way more lechon than we could finish, so here's another remake (hence, "third" generation)!

4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 small native onion, minced
2 cups shredded lechon meat (mine was from the paksiw)
about 4 cups (cooked) day-old rice
salt, to taste

Saute the garlic and onions in a mixture of canola oil and a little "fat" from the paksiw.  When fragrant, add the shredded lechon meat and stir fry a little.  Add the rice and mix well.  Cook until done.  I added a couple of tablespoons of the paksiw broth.

The verdict?  I've made lechon rice (directly) from lechon meat (not paksiw) and while it was delicious, I prefer this version made from the paksiw, because I found the rice more flavorful with the addition of the paksiw sauce.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Sauteed Baby Octopi

I just love the nearby specialty market!  There's always something new... and once in a while, I find unusual, or even rare, items!

This time I found baby octopi!  They're great sauteed in olive oil with garlic, olives and chilies!

The recipe: 

10 to 12 pieces baby octopi
1/4 cup olive oil
ginger slices
6 cloves garlic, chopped
2 to 3 pieces sun-dried chilis
1 to 2 tablespoons sliced olives
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 lemon

Clean the baby octopi (empty the heads and rinse very well; pat dry.  Scrub the tentacles well.).

Over low heat, saute the ginger, garlic and chilis.  On high heat, add the baby octopi and the olives.  Season with salt and pepper, to taste.  When the octopi turn purple, turn off the heat.  Squeeze the lemon over and give the dish a quick stir fry.

We found the octopi less tender and just bit tougher than squid but it was tasty all the same!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Tuway Shell Soup

I grew up with tahong (mussels) and so it will always be my favorite.  But clams are a close contender, especially the so-called nylon clams - the ones with a bright yellow edge in the meat and a lighter shade for the shells... but generally speaking I like all kinds of shells... even those I have no idea about!

Anyway, I went on a quick trip to the market to buy some flat fish for fish nuggets that I planned to have for dinner.  While looking at the choices for fish fillets, I saw these humungous shells (well not really that big but definitely bigger than the usual halaan/clams) which the vendor told me were called tuway shells.  Of course I asked if they were just bigger halaan and he replies that they are not.  For one thing, it has a milder, sweeter taste.  The other thing?  The clam meat aren't really big despite the size of the shells!

And he was right!  When the clams opened I was quite disappointed in the size of the meat!  But I totally loved the soup!

The clam meat was a tad rubbery compared to the halaan shells I'm used to, but the flavor is milder and sweeter (I really like it when a vendor knows his stuff!).  I used my "regular" recipe for halaan soup.

The usual way that halaan soup is prepared is tinola style.  That's not the way I like my clam soup (although tinola is the way I like tahong/mussels soup).  I like my halaan soup WITHOUT  dahon ng sili (chili leaves), and my secret ingredient is... Baguio pechay (Chinese wombok cabbage).

My recipe:

1 kilo live clams (basically any kind of clams or shells)

1 thumb ginger, smashed and sliced
2 medium sized tomatoes, sliced
2 red onions, sliced
about 8 large cloves of garlic, minced
2 pieces finger chili pepper
2 to 4 cups of water (or "rice washing water")
a handful of Baguio pechay (wombok) leaves, sliced

Rinse the clams thoroughly and soak in water for about 1 hour.  Drain and rise again.

Saute the ginger, onion, tomato, garlic and chili pepper until fragrant. Toss in the clams and add 2 cups water immediately.  (Personally I like mine soupy, so I add more water until all the clams are just covered with water.)

Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.  Cook until the clam shells are open. Discard any that remain closed.  Toss in the pechay leaves.  Serve while hot.

To make halaan soup, tinola style, simply substitute the pechay leaves with dahon ng sili (chili leaves).

Friday, April 4, 2014

"Steamed" Chicken and Rice

in a rice cooker, that is.

I chanced upon this recipe a long time ago and found the pictures of the Nasi Tim Ayam tantalizing.  I had bookmarked it, thinking I would soon make it and guess what?  Today is that day!

But I thought that the last step of steaming the dish/es separately was (as usual) tedious and wondered if I could skip it by (modifying/bastardizing and) putting the chicken pieces on top of the cooked rice in the rice cooker instead.

So I tried it out...

Of course it's nowhere as attractive as individual servings but the dish was still yummy!  Especially with a ginger sauce!

I just love the strong ginger-y kick!

My modified (bastardized) version:

Rice part:

1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, sliced into matchsticks
6 cloves of garlic
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 tablespoons dark sesame oil
1/2 tablespoon light soya sauce
1 1/2 cups white rice grains, washed
3 cups chicken stock, more or less, depending on the type of rice

Saute the ginger and garlic in the canola and sesame oils.  When ginger and garlic becomes fragrant, stir fry the rice grains.  Transfer to a rice cooker and add the chicken stock.  Turn on the rice cooker to cook until almost done.  

Chicken part:

600 to 700 grams boneless chicken thighs, sliced into serving pieces
1 to 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 to 2 tablespoons light soya sauce
1/2 tablespoons dark sesame oil
1/2 tablespoons shao xing wine
1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, sliced into matchsticks
2 small native onions (shallots)
6 cloves of garlic
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 tablespoon dark sesame oil

spring onions, green part only, sliced into matchsticks

Marinate the chicken thigh pieces in the oyster sauce, soya sauce, sesame oil, shao xing wine and cornstarch mix for about 10 minutes.  Meanwhile, (in the same pan) saute the ginger, onion and garlic in the canola and sesame oils.  When the ginger, onion and garlic become fragrant, throw in the chicken pieces and stir fry until almost done.  Season to taste, with salt and pepper.

Add the partially cooked chicken to the almost cooked rice in the rice cooker.  When done, garnish with sliced spring onions and serve with ginger dipping sauce.

Ginger Dipping Sauce:

about 2 tablespoons grated ginger
1 teaspoon minced spring onions, green part only
1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
1 tablespoon canola oil
pinch of salt

Mix everything and let stand a few minutes.

Here's hubby's portion, with the spring onions and a little ginger sauce on the side (or top?):

The dish was so fast and easy that I am thinking of making other "toppings" for it - pork, fish, shrimp... or maybe even mixed mushrooms for a vegetarian treat?


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Kinilaw na Talaba

Yes, another oyster (talaba) dish!

This time in the style of "kinilaw".  What is kinilaw?  Hmmm... I've asked that question many times myself.  And I've always been told, it's a way of "cooking" using acid, specifically sukang tuba or coconut sap vinegar.  It's mostly used for fish or seafood.  Basically the fish or seafood is left marinating in a mix of sukang tuba, calamansi, chilis, ginger, garlic, salt and pepper.

And it's pretty easy to make, the secret being fresh, really fresh, oysters!  (And in my case, the fresh ones that are already shelled are the best!)

Here's the recipe

300 to 350 grams shelled oysters

3/4 cup sukang tuba (coconut sap vinegar),
          substitute native vinegar if unavailable
5 pieces medium to large calamansi
1 thumb-sized ginger, julienned
5 pieces sibuyas tagalog (native onions), sliced
8 cloves garlic, smashed
2 pieces siling haba/pangsigang (finger chili)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

Mix together the vinegar, calamansi, ginger, native onions, garlic, chili, salt and pepper.  Let stand 5 to 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, rinse and drain the shelled oysters.  Add to the vinegar mix and chill for at least 1 hour.  Consume within 6 hours.