Hello Everyone! I am now in the Sunshine State of Queensland where I spent the weekend at a family friend’s farm in the countryside of Cedar Vale, near Jimboomba. They have a lovely country home with about 4 acres of land, and an alpaca(!), a donkey, three goats, and six chickens. Today, my family and I caught the bus to the city of Brisbane where we will be staying for 2 nights before heading back to the country and then to the Gold Coast for a day. Anyway, it’s actually already late here, I mean past 11pm isn’t late, but I need to go to bed and start early tomorrow as we are spending the day at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary! Finally after 5 years in Australia, I get to cuddle a koala and feed kangaroos! So I’ll keep tonight’s post short so I can get as much z’s as I can.
Tonight’s recipe is a Filipino classic; a soup dish made of shredded boneless chicken, macaroni noodles, a bit of milk, and some vegetables to flavour the dish. This dish is actually common for breakfast or a snack time treat during cold and rainy seasons. The difference between a regular chicken soup and a chicken sopas is the use of milk, either fresh or evaporated for a richer flavour. Other meats besides chicken can be added to the dish, such as diced hotdogs or luncheon meat in some recipes, and also chicken liver. I think my Mom has made a sopas dish with chicken liver before; didn’t fancy it. Play with the ingredients if you wish – the pasta and vegetables may also vary so feel free to use the appropriate ingredients in which you desire!
Note: If anywhere you see ‘soaps’ instead of ‘sopas’, it’s not a typo, it’s autocorrect and I’m a bit tired to go through and change them if you see any beyond this point – it’s happened to the first two above and I managed to go back and change those; but otherwise Chicken Soaps sounds like an intriguing dish! Also, on the ingredients photograph, you will notice the chicken wings. We actually used chicken spare ribs in this recipe but my Mom was insistent on photographing the wings because it looked ‘prettier’ than the ribs.
PREP TIME 20 MINS| COOKING TIME 20 MINS| SERVES 4
500g chicken spare ribs, washed and cleaned
250g tri-colour shells
2 cups water
1 cup fresh milk
3 small red onions, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed and minced
1 small carrot, julienned
Half head cabbage, roughly chopped
Ground salt and pepper to taste
Heat oil in a large pot and sauté the garlic until golden brown. Add in the onions and cook until soft, about 2 minutes. Add in the chicken ribs, seasoning with salt and pepper. Give it a good mix and then let it cook for about 10 minutes, checking and mixing regularly to avoid the chicken meat sticking to the bottom of the pot.
Add in the water and bring it back to a boil. Once boiling, add in the shells and cook according to packet instructions, mine took about 10 minutes.
About 5-6 minutes into the 10, add the carrots and cabbage. Continue cooking until pasta is tender. Add in the milk and turn the heat off.
Hello Everyone! Today’s recipe is one that my mother has been making for a while now and is loved not just by my sisters and myself, but also by my high school friends who have had the lucky chance to indulge in these simple but delicious banana fritters, or also known as Turón Plátanos. For short, it is known in the Philippines as Turón and is a very popular street food snack/meryenda. It is made up of thinly sliced bananas (preferably saba or plantains) and a slice of jackfruit, dusted with brown sugar, rolled in a spring roll wrapper and fried. Since I am not a huge fan of jackfruit, we skipped that ingredient so that I could have some to eat! You can classify it as a dessert as well as others call it a caramel banana spring roll and serve it with ice cream on the side.
One day, I’m guessing probably 5 or 6 years ago, my mom fried these up for breakfast/afternoon tea(?), I actually cannot remember for what meal of the day, and I wanted to dip these spring rolls into something so I took a bottle of ketchup and poured it into a small plate. I then dipped a spring roll into the ketchup, bit into it, and was surprised to find out that it wasn’t a savoury spring roll (because during that time she also made spring rolls that had minced pork filling). The taste was unbearable, as in the pairing of tomato ketchup and banana was just not a good one. I told my mom and sisters about it and they could not stop laughing, and even to this day they would still ask me if I would like some ketchup with my turón.
Here’s a tip that you might want to follow: what my mom does is that she makes a whole bunch of turóns, 40 to be exact, as there are 40 sheets in a pack of spring roll wrappers. Once they have been wrapped, she puts them into a container and freezes them overnight and fries them the next day, straight from the freezer, no defrosting required. She says that this way the rolls are crispier when fried. Also, making them in big batches and freezing them allows you to fry them over a few days/weeks instead of having to make just a few each time you feel like having some.
PREP TIME 24 HOURS*| COOKING TIME 4-5 MINS| MAKES 40 ROLLS
*This includes setting aside the rolls in the freezer overnight before frying.
10 ripe plantains, cut into 4 lengthwise
1 pack (40 sheets) large spring roll wrappers
1 cup brown sugar
Cooking oil, for frying
Add the brown sugar to a small plate so that you can roll the plantains over it and coat them with enough sugar. Then place the sugar coated plantain on top of a spring roll wrapper and fold, locking the wrapper on each side.
Place in a container and repeat until all the plantains have been sugar coated and wrapped. Freeze overnight.
In a small (or medium, depending on how many you’re going to fry) pan, heat the oil over medium-high. Make sure it is quite hot before adding the wrapped plantains in. Fry until the wrapper turns golden brown.
Drizzle with caramelised sugar (optional) and serve hot for dessert or meryenda – with ice cream on the side if you wish. Enjoy!