Sapin-Sapin

Sapin-Sapin

Hello Everyone! Only 13 more days to Christmas!

Before I start, I’m going to make this post short a sweet. I’ve had a busy day of designing to meet a 9-hour deadline so I’m pretty much mentally drained at this point – apologies in advance.

Anyway, in my previous post that I shared last week, I talked about how a much-loved part of the Simbang Gabi tradition during the Christmas season amongst Filipinos is the various local delicacies served just outside of the churches. Last week I shared all about Suman, and tonight I will be sharing a favourite with you, Sapin-Sapin.

Sapin-Sapin is a Filipino sticky rice cake that is made from glutinous rice and coconut milk that is traditionally composed of layers with different colours and flavour profiles that compliment each other. Sapin-Sapin can be made of 4, 3 or 2 layers, or even enjoyed just on its own single slab. The most common flavours are coconut, ube, and jackfruit. It is then topped with a toasted residue of coconut milk known as latik.

Sapin-Sapin

PREP TIME 15 MINS | COOKING TIME 45 MINS | SERVES 10

INGREDIENTS

For the sapin-sapin

  • 4 cups coconut milk (fresh, canned, or frozen)
  • 2 cups glutinous rice flour
  • 1 cup granulated white sugar
  • 3/4 cup ube (purple yam), cooked and mashed
  • 1/2 cup ripe jackfruit
  • 1/4 cup latik*
  • 30ml condensed milk
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp ube extract
  • Violet food colouring
  • Yellow food colouring

*For the latik

  • 1 cup coconut milk

METHOD

  1. Latik: Pour the coconut milk into a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Continuously stir until most of the liquid evaporates. This will take about 12 to 15 minutes per cup of coconut milk.
  2. When the texture of the milk turns gelatinous, lower the heat and continue to stir. By this time the oils should start separating from the milk. Keep stirring until brownish residues are formed.
  3. Turn the heat off and place the latik on a small plate lined with a paper towl to soak up the excess oil. Set aside. At this point you can store the latik in a container and in the fridge for up to a week or use it immediately to top various rice cakes.
  4. Sapin-Sapin: Combine the glutinous rice flour and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Then, pour in the condensed milk, coconut milk, and vanilla extract, mixing well until the texture of the mixture is smooth.
  5. Divide the mixture into 3 equal parts into smaller mixing bowls.
  6. Add the mashed purple yam, ube extract, and violet food colouring into one of the mixtures. Stir thoroughly and then set aside.
  7. Shred the jackfruit (without the seeds) in a food processor. Add the shredded jackfruit into another mixture along with the yellow food colouring. Set aside.
  8. Leave the last mixture as it is.
  9. Grease a 9in round baking pan by brushing a bit of coconut oil and pour in the plain coconut mixture into the pan. Make sure that the mixture settles. Cover the baking pan with cheesecloth and then steam for about 12 to 16 minutes.
  10. Once done, remove the baking pan and then pour over the ube mixture. Use a spatula to spread it evenly on top of the coconut mixture. Remove excess water from the cheesecloth by squeezing it. Place it back on top of the baking pan, and into the steamer to steam for another 12 to 16 minutes.
  11. Repeat step 10 again for the jackfruit mixture and then steam for a further 15 to 20 minutes. If you think your mixture is still a tad bit runny, steam for a further 5 minutes. Remove of the steamer and set aside.
  12. Serve: Place a clean banana leaf over a wide serving plate and brush a bit of coconut oil over the leaf.
  13. Gently run the side of the baking pan using a spatula brushed with coconut oil. Turn the baking pan over onto the banana leaf and let the cooked sapin-sapin fall out of the pan on its own. Therefore make sure that the colour that you want on top is the bottom layer in the pan when being cooked.
  14. Brush some coconut oil on top of the sapin-sapin and sprinkle generously with latik.
  15. Serve for breakfast, merienda, or dessert with a hot cup of coffee. Share and enjoy!

Sapin-Sapin

Unfortunately, most commercial sapin-sapin delights that you find in large supermarket chains omit the use of natural flavours such as the ube and jackfruit to reduce costs. In fact, if you see, red is also often used in the making of sapin-sapin. When I was researching the flavours, I found out that the red layer actually has no flavouring to it, just the plain coconut from the initial mixture.

Before I end tonight’s post, what are some of your favourite traditional Christmas treats? I’d love to hear about the different food traditions from around the world! Comment down below!

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

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Full Pinoy Breakfast

Full Pinoy Breakfast

Hello Everyone! I can’t believe that we’re nearing the end of November! The month went by so quickly and before we know it, the year will be over too. I’m not going to say that tonight will be the last of my Filipino breakfast series because expect more for the month of December. The only twist is that I will be sharing Filipino Christmas Breakfast treats, so stay tuned for that! I will also be sharing with you a Noche Buena Special next month be sure to so look out for that too!

Tonight’s recipe is a dish that draws inspiration from a Full English Breakfast – but with a Filipino twist to it. I’m not sure if this has been done before (I’m sure it has), but nevertheless, I’ve swapped out traditional English Breakfast ingredients with its Filipino counterpart i.e. sausages for longganisa, toast for pandesal, and so on. I came across this idea while researching the top favourite Filipino Breakfast dishes and it clicked into mind: “what if I substitute the ingredients from a Full English Breakfast and make a Filipino version of it?”

The end result definitely put a smile on my face, and I’m sure it will do the same for you.

Full Pinoy Breakfast Ingredients

PREP TIME 10 MINS | COOKING TIME 20 MINS | SERVES 4

INGREDIENTS

  • 250g fresh corned beef
  • 250g oyster mushrooms*
  • 12 Vigan longganisa**
  • 8 freshly baked malunggay pandesal***
  • 4 large free range eggs
  • 4 slices of pineapple-marinated holiday ham****
  • 4-5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small potato, diced
  • 1 small red onion, halved and sliced
  • Knob of unsalted butter
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

To garnish

  • Lettuce leaves
  • Tomatoes, sliced

*Or any other type such as button, cup, or Portobello, whichever is readily available and fresh at your local market or grocers. In my case, the oyster mushrooms were the freshest from the rest.

**Quantity depends on the size and type, more if you get the smaller ones.

***You can bake your own pandesal or you can pop over to your nearest pandesal stall (ours is just a 2 minute walk from our house) and buy at 3 pesos a piece of freshly baked malunggay pandesal.

Malunggay Pandesal

****Since Christmas is nearing, Hamon de Bola (Ham Ball or Holiday Ham) can now be found in every grocery store nationwide! Since this is our first time being back in the Philippines for good, we’ve been scouting around for the best tasting Holiday Ham by just buying slices of the various brands out there before buying the whole ball to serve for our upcoming Noche Buena Feast next month.

METHOD

Get ready for some one-pan action!

  1. Preheat oven to 90C (190F) just hot enough to keep each element of the dish warm as we work through each one of them individually. Place your store-bought pandesal into the oven.
  2. Fried Egg: Heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat with about a tablespoon of oil. Crack the eggs gently into the pan to keep the yolks intact. Don’t overcrowd the pan, so if needed, fry the eggs in batches.
  3. Cook until the tops of the whites are set, but the yolk is still runny. Browned and crispy on the edges with a golden liquidy yolk is how I like my fried eggs! Transfer to a heat-proof plate and set aside in the oven.
  4. Garlic Sautéed Mushies: In the same pan, add half of the minced garlic and sauté until fragrant and golden brown, about 30 seconds. Add in the mushrooms and cook until softened, about 3 minutes.
  5. Add a knob of unsalted butter, and season with a touch of salt and freshly ground black pepper. Give it one good stir to combine and transfer to a small heat-proof bowl. Set aside in the oven.
  6. Corned Beef: Add about a tablespoon of oil to the pan and sauté the remaining minced garlic until fragrant and golden brown, about 30 seconds. Add in the onions and cook until soft for about 1 minute before adding in the corned beef.
  7. Continue to cook for 5 to 6 minutes, seasoning with a touch of fragrant and golden brown, about 30 seconds. Add in the diced potatoes and cook further until the potatoes are soft, about 2-3 minutes. Once done, set aside in a small heat-proof bowl and set aside in the oven.
  8. Longganisa: Wipe down the pan with a kitchen towel tissue and add about a quarter cup of water to the pan together with the longganisa. Bring the water to a boil. Roll the longganisa occasionally and continue to boil until the water in the pan evaporates.
  9. When the water has fully evaporated, let the longganisa fry in its own oil. Continue to fry the longganisa for about 5 minutes while constantly rolling them around to cook evenly on all sides. When the longganisa is slightly crisp on the outside, it’s done! Set aside on a heat-proof plate lined with a paper towel to absorb any excess oil. Set aside in the oven to keep warm.
  10. Holiday Ham: Again, wipe down the pan with a kitchen towel tissue and add about a tablespoon of oil. Add the ham slices to the pan and fry until golden brown both sides. Set aside on a single plate lined with a paper towel to absorb any excess oil.
  11. Plate Up: Remove all the cooked elements from the oven and plate up accordingly into four individual serving plates. Garnish with fresh lettuce leaves and fresh sliced tomatoes. Serve with coffee or any hot beverage of your choice and here you have it! Enjoy a Full Filipino Breakfast for the upcoming weekend!

Full Pinoy Breakfast

Full Pinoy Breakfast

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Classic Champorado (Chocolate Rice Porridge)

Classic Champorado (Chocolate Rice Porridge)

Hello Everyone! I hope everyone has had a fantabulous week so far and will have a great week ahead with the weekend to look forward to. Tonight I will be sharing a Filipino breakfast staple that is sure to spark some doubts, especially amongst those who aren’t very familiar with this foreign food pairing. Let me explain further.

Champorado, or in English, Chocolate Rice Pudding, is a classic dish found in many homes across the Philippines commonly served for breakfast. Chocolate for breakfast sounds like a heavenly dream doesn’t it? But wait, there’s a catch! Champorado is usually served with a piece of Tuyo, which in English is known as dried salted fish! Chocolate and dried salted fish?! That sounds like a bizarre combination!

Classic Champorado (Chocolate Rice Porridge)

Is it really though? While the sound of pairing chocolate together with fish seems like whoever came up with this combination was stoned, drunk, or suffered a milk mild concussion, let’s look at the flavour profiles instead. Okay before I continue, I would like to take a small shortcut – I had a major laugh fit when proof reading what I wrote above… What even is a milk concussion?!

Anyway, continuing on, there are a lot of impeccable desserts and sweet dishes out there that embrace the salty-sweet combination, and that’s exactly what you get from Champorado and Tuyo. It’s exactly like eating salted chocolate! The dried salted fish, which is shredded and mixed into the Champorado adds pops of salty surprises to each spoonful of the sweet chocolate rice porridge that you take.

Still not convinced? As the say, don’t judge a book by it’s cover if you haven’t tried it yet. Otherwise, you could get away with adding a pinch of rock salt into your Champorado – but it won’t be the same.

Classic Champorado (Chocolate Rice Porridge) Ingredients

PREP TIME 5 MINS | COOKING TIME 25 MINS | SERVES 8

INGREDIENTS

  • 5 pieces tsokolate tablea*
  • 1 cup glutinous rice
  • 6 cups water
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar

Topping choices

  • Cacao nibs
  • Fried tuyo
  • Full cream milk
  • Sweetened condensed milk
  • Other dairy alternatives such as almond milk and/or coconut milk

*Tsokolate tablea, or literally translated to chocolate tablets is dried local cocoa beans roasted for a few hours before being ground to a rich, chocolate-y paste. Sugar, most often muscovado, is then added to the paste before it is shaped into balls or tablets, hence its name. Tsokolate tablea is traditionally used to make Champorado, but other alternatives such as unsweetened cocoa powder or a dark chocolate bar can be used in its place.

METHOD

  1. Pour the water into a large heavy bottom saucepot over medium-high heat and bring to a brisking boil. Add in the tablea chocolate and dissolve. Once dissolved, add in the rice and bring back to a boil.
  2. Once boiling, turn the heat down to reduce to a simmer and stir the rice every 3 minutes or so to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pot and burning. Leave uncovered to cook further for another 15 to 20 minutes until the water is absorbed and the rice is cooked through. The consistency should be thick but soft, just like porridge.
  3. Add in the brown sugar and stir to combine until dissolved. Remove from the heat and transfer into individual serving bowls. Top with dairy of choice and fried tuyo (optional for those feeling adventurous).
  4. Serve and enjoy!

Classic Champorado (Chocolate Rice Porridge)

Note: Even after cooking with the heat turned off, the glutinous rice will continue to expand and absorb the liquid, therefore it is important to serve it immediately to avoid dry Champorado.

You may also like to add a bit of chilli to your Champorado. It is not traditionally a spicy dish, but if you want that extra kick to the guts to get you going in the mornings, then go for it! Chocolate and chilli afterall is another classic flavour combination!

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Lucban Longsilog

Lucban Longsilog

Hello Everyone! I’ll start of with a question for all of you this morning:

What did you have for breakfast this morning?

When I was still working in Brunei for the past few years, I would kicking off my day with breakfast by 6:30am which is usually either a bowl of oatmeal with fruits, bread with whatever spread was available (most likely peanut butter), pancakes, or instant noodles. Whichever it was for that day, none of these would last me until my noon lunch break. At most, I could only last until about 10:00am (and that’s already pushing it). The rest of the two hours, I usually sit at my desk dreaming of lunch and unfortunately continue to have an unproductive latter part of the morning.

Filipinos and most Asians in general love to eat rice in almost every meal, including breakfast. Rice provides more energy and keeps us full and focused longer – but as a kid, my siblings and I were never brought up on having rice for breakfast. Even having been back in the Philippines for just over two months now, not once did we have rice for breakfast. The –silogs you’ll be seeing for this month on Amcarmen’s Kitchen is actually breakfast for dinner *cheeky grin*

Here’s another question for you, especially to all my kabayans out there:

What’s your favourite type of longganisa?

Lucban Longsilog

The great thing about longganisa is that they come in many variations depending on the province they originate from, but nonetheless are all mouth-watering breakfast delights. Provinces such as Vigan, Lucban, Tuguegarao, Cabanatuan, Alaminos, Cebu, Camlumpit, Bacolod, Pampanga, Guinobatan, and many more boast of their own unique blend of ingredients that is specific to their region that goes into the making of their longganisa. For example, what makes Vigan Longganisa so popular is its garlicky and sour notes that come from the combination of Ilocos sugar cane vinegar (sukang Iloko) and local garlic from Sinait which are both major products of the Vigan province.

I have yet to try all the types of longganisa around the Philippines, but to date, my long-time favourite is most definitely the Lucban Longganisa! They are very popular for their aromatic and garlicky smell! If you happen to visit the province of Lucban, Quezon, you will definitely not miss this longganisa because it is displayed in the markets, and even along the roads in the many parts of the town. The best part? I don’t have to travel all the way to Lucban, or wait for a relative to bring some back as pasalubong – I can now find freshly made ones at our local weekend produce market, and I even spotted some at our local grocers too! Additionally, they’re not that hard to make at home yourself!

Longganisa is definitely a very popular Filipino breakfast staple that is best paired with sinangag (garlicky fried rice), fried egg, and a spicy (optional) vinegar dipping sauce for added taste on the side.

Homemade Lucban Longganisa

(Original recipe from Panlasang Pinoy)

PREP TIME 1 HOUR* | COOKING TIME | MAKES 2 DOZEN SAUSAGES

*Plus 8 to 12 hours of refrigeration time before cooking

INGREDIENTS

  • 1kg ground lean pork belly or shoulder**
  • 1/2 cup cane vinegar
  • 4 tbsp pork fat, cut into small cubes
  • 3 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 7 tsp smoked Spanish paprika
  • 4 tsp rock salt
  • 2 tsp white granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • Dried hog casing or sausage casing (about 1-inch in diameter)

**Or you can just buy lean ground pork if you don’t like to grind the meat yourself.

METHOD

  1. Add the ground pork, pork fat, salt, smoked paprika, garlic, oregano, sugar, and vinegar in a large mixing bowl. Mix the ingredients together thoroughly until well combine. Set it aside for about 30 minutes for the flavours to fully develop and infuse into the meat.
  2. Soak the dried hog casing in warm water for about 3 minutes. Tie the first end of the casing and stuff using a funnel or a sausage stuffer with the meat mixture. Make links of longganisa about 2 to 3 inches apart or depending on how long you want your longganisa to be.
  3. Refrigerate for at least 8 to 12 hours before cooking or you can store it in the freezer.

Lucban Longsilog

Lucban Longsilog

PREP TIME 20 MINS | COOKING TIME 30 MINS | SERVES 3

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 dozen homemade or store-bought lonnganisa

To serve with

  • Garlicky fried rice
  • Fried sunny-side up egg
  • Spicy vinegar

METHOD

  1. Heat a medium-sized frying pan over medium-high. Add about a quarter cup of water to the pan together with the longganisa. Bring the water to a boil. Roll the longganisa occasionally and continue to boil until the water in the pan evaporates.
  2. When the water has fully evaporated, let the longganisa fry in its own oil. Continue to fry the longganisa for about 5 minutes while constantly rolling them around to cook evenly on all sides. When the longganisa is slightly crisp on the outside, it’s done!
  3. Serve hot with garlicky fried rice and fried egg – browned and crispy on the edges with a golden liquidy yolk is how I like my fried eggs.

Lucban Longsilog

Before I end today’s post, yes I am fully aware that it’s not a Wednesday night yet, but this recipe was supposed to go up last Wednesday. At the time I was actually back in Brunei for a couple of days to tie up some loose ends. I got home late that night (well okay, at 9pm) but was super exhausted from the events of that day that I just passed out when I hit the sheets. So anyway, I’m getting this up now so that I can get tomorrow’s scheduled post up on time (hopefully).

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Pancit Lucban (Filipino Style Stir-Fried Thick Flour Noodles)

Pancit Lucban (Filipino Style Stir-Fried Thick Flour Noodles)

Hello Everyone! So tonight, I’m sharing with you a dish that I think I over indulged in during my recent trip back to the Philippines earlier on the year in March/April 2015. We spent a ridiculous amount of lunches and meriendas in Buddy’s while we visited our relatives in the provincial City of Lucena. Anyway, the dish, known as Pancit Lucban or Habhab, is a version of pancit that originated in the Quezon province. This noodle dish may draw many resemblances to the traditional Pancit Canton, but there are some apparent differences. The main difference is all in the type of noodles used; Pancit Lucban/Habhab uses dried flour noodles known as miki Lucban which are not the same noodles used to make pancit canton. In addition, miki Lucban noodles that are made fresh also have a much softer texture than that of pancit canton.

Here’s a fun fact for you – well okay, it’s not really a fun fact but it is quite interesting and may be one of the reasons you’d probably go out and have a handful of Pancit Lucban. That’s right, a handful. This version of pancit is traditionally served over a piece of banana leaf and is eaten without any utensils. I know what you’re thinking, how exactly do you eat noodles without any utensils?! Well, imagine eating a sandwich. You will need to grab the banana leaf with the noodles in it and put it directly to you mouth. Don’t eat the banana leaf though! Below is a picture of my cousin and my Mom back in 2008 (I think) having some Pancit Lucban from a street food vendor during a dog show/walk in Lucena:

My Mom & Cousin eating Pancit Lucban the traditional way

It’s probably not the most glamorous way to eat your noodles, but it may be an exciting experience especially to those who find this way of eating very foreign to them. Miki Lucban is unfortunately not commonly found in stores around Brunei, not even in the Filipino section. So instead, we used Pancit Canton which actually makes calling this dish Pancit Lucban a sin! *cheeky grin*

Pancit Lucban (Filipino Style Stir-Fried Thick Flour Noodles) Ingredients

PREP TIME 10 MINS | COOKING TIME 45-50 MINS | SERVES 6-8

INGREDIENTS

  • 450g pancit canton (or miki Lucban if available)
  • 250g tiger prawns, shelled and deveined
  • 100g snow peas, topped and tailed
  • 3-4 dried bay leaves
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 pcs thin sliced pork belly, cut into 1cm chunks
  • 1 bunch gai lan (Chinese broccoli)
  • 1 carrot, julienned
  • 1 chicken crown, breasts removed and sliced, bone reserved
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 1/2 chayote, peeled and sliced
  • 5 tbsp light soy sauce
  • Ground salt and black pepper to taste
  • Whole black peppercorns

METHOD

  1. Add the reserved chicken bone, dried bay leaves, about a teaspoon or two of whole black peppercorns, and salt to a medium-sized pot filled with about 1.5L of hot/boiling water. Turn the heat up to high and leave to boil for about 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile heat a large frying pan over medium-high and add in the chunks of pork belly. Cook until browned. The oils released from the pork belly should be enough to sauté the garlic and cook the onions, but if needed, add a little bit more oil if there isn’t enough. Then add the minced garlic and sauté until fragrant and golden brown, about a minute, then followed by the diced onions. Cook until soft, about 2 minutes in total.
  3. Add in the sliced chicken breasts, and season with a bit of salt and ground black pepper and give it a good mix. Cook for about 5 minutes. Then add in the prawns, followed by the chayote, carrots, and snow peas. Mix well and leave to cook for a further 3-4 minutes. Lastly, add in the gai lan and cook until just slightly wilted. Once done, transfer to a bowl and set aside.
  4. In the same frying pan, add about half of the chicken stock to the pan together with the soy sauce, ground salt, and black pepper. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, add the canton noodles in and cook until all the liquid has evaporated (if the noodles are looking a bit dry, you may add more stock, a ladle at a time). Make sure that while cooking, you mix and untangle them periodically. Altogether this should take about 10-15 minutes. Halfway through, add in half of the cooked meat and vegetables to the noodles and mix well.
  5. Serve immediately topped with the extra meat and vegetables, and with calamansi, or alternatively a lemon wedge. Enjoy! Note: best served with a splash of vinegar!

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BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Pancit Palabok (Filipino Style Noodles with Prawn Gravy)

Pancit Palabok (Filipino Style Noodles with Prawn Gravy)

Hello Everyone! I might keep this section of the blog short (and I say might because I know that even though I’ve said that, my post will always end up being fairly long by the time I finish writing), because I am feeling a bit overworked and tired today – actually I’ve been feeling exhausted since the beginning of the week and it may be due to a mentally challenging Escape Room challenge that I did with a few friends on Monday evening. Small tangent – we all shared the spotlight on dumb blonde moments!

Tanget aside, tonight’s recipe is a dish that I, of course as all dishes I write about, love but isn’t cooked often at home. The only reason I can think of is maybe because it requires a lot of ingredients and preparation I guess. It’s not so much about how long it takes to make the sauce because in the past, my mom would just use a ready-made powdered version of the sauce that you can easily find on the shelves in the Filipino/Asian food section of your local grocers. For tonight’s post though, I will be making the sauce from scratch just because I want to 🙂 This is also the first time that I have tried making the sauce from scratch and it was a huge success! It’s actually quite easy to make, it just requires a lot of time and patience; but I know for sure that I will not be buying ready-made sauce packets ever again! Unless of course, time is not on my side. I mean, if you’re going to use fresh prawns to top your noodles off in the end, then you might as well take an extra step in salvaging the heads and peels to make a delicious sauce, right?

Pancit Palabok (Filipino Style Noodles with Prawn Gravy)

Anyway, before we jump on to the recipe, I followed Trissalicious’ recipe for making the Palabok sauce from scratch so don’t forget to check her blog out too for her take on this delicious dish!

Pancit Palabok (Filipino Style Noodles with Prawn Gravy) Ingredients

PREP TIME 15 MINS | COOKING TIME 1 HOUR | SERVES 8-10

INGREDIENTS

For the prawn stock

  • 500g fresh prawns, heads and peels reserved
  • 1.5L water
  • Ground salt
  • Whole black peppercorns

For the sauce

  • 100g thin sliced pork belly, cut into chunks
  • 3-4 cups prawn stock (see recipe below)
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 small red onions, diced
  • 1 pc firm tofu, finely diced
  • 4 tbsp plain flour
  • 2-3 tbsp fish sauce, adjust quantity to taste
  • 1 tsp achuete powder
  • Ground salt and black pepper, to taste

Noodles and Toppings

  • 500 grams pancit luglug (cornstarch noodles)*
  • Firm tofu, deep fried and cut into chunks
  • Hard boiled egg, sliced
  • Pork crackling (chicharon), crushed
  • Prawns, poached
  • Smoked fish (tinapa), flaked
  • Squid, cut into rings and poached
  • Spring onion

*You may also use bihon (thin rice vermicelli noodles) for this dish

METHOD

  1. Make the prawn stock: Add the prawn heads and peels to a medium-sized pot and cover with about a litre and a half of water. Season with a bit of salt and whole black peppercorns. Bring to a boil over high heat and then turn it down to a slow simmer. Make sure to press down on the heads and peels as it simmers away to extract as much flavour as you can. Leave it to simmer for about 30 minutes. While the stock is simmering away, you can get a head start in preparing your toppings for the dish. I recommend that you leave the poaching of the prawns and squid for last, when you sauce is almost ready.
  2. Make the sauce: Heat a large frying pan over medium-high and add in the chunks of pork belly. Cook until browned. The oils released from the pork belly should be enough to sauté the garlic and cook the onions, but if needed, add a little bit more oil if there isn’t enough. Then add the minced garlic and sauté until fragrant and golden brown, about a minute, then followed by the diced onions. Cook until soft, about 2 minutes in total.
  3. Add in the firm tofu and give it a good mix. Then, add in achuete powder and plain flour, followed by the prawn stock. Make sure to add the stock in a bit at a time as if making a roux and make sure to mix well after each addition. The sauce should be quite thick, resembling the consistency of a béchamel – you may add more water if you want your sauce thinner, or likewise, add more flour if the sauce is feeling a bit thin to your liking. Add the fish sauce and season with some salt and black pepper to taste. Bring the heat down to low and let it slowly simmer away for about half an hour (10-15 minutes if you are impatient); but the longer you leave it on the stove, the tastier the sauce becomes!
  4. Cook the noodles: While your sauce is simmering away, cook the noodles according to the packer instructions, about 15 minutes for the pack of noodles that I got. Once done, drain and divide the noodles equally into individual plates. Also, don’t forget to poach your prawns and squid by this point!
  5. Assemble: Top the noodles with a generous amount of sauce and add your favourite toppings! Serve immediately with a squeeze of calamansi (or lemon) juice and enjoy!

Pancit Palabok (Filipino Style Noodles with Prawn Gravy)

Pancit Palabok (Filipino Style Noodles with Prawn Gravy)

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Arroz Caldo (Chicken Rice Porridge)

Arroz Caldo (Chicken Rice Porridge)

Hello Everyone! Today’s recipe is a dish that is quite well-known in the family, and across the Philippines I presume, as the go to dish when someone is feeling under the weather. In our house, you’d know when someone is sick with the flu when you see this dish on the table for everyone to eat; yes that’s right, you don’t have to be the sick one to have a bowl of arroz caldo! However, besides it well-known as the go to dish for the sick, arroz caldo is also a common breakfast dish as it can be quite filling, providing you with the energy that you’d need to last you until lunch time. It can also be a snack (merienda) dish with tokwa’t baboy (a dish composed of boiled pig’s ears and/or pork belly, and fried tofu with a vinegar, soy sauce, and chilli dip on the side).

Arroz Caldo is actually of Chinese origin as it draws resemblance to a type of risotto-like congee. The name of this dish however, was given by the Spaniards due to pronunciation issues. The dish is also similar to other Filipino porridges such as lugaw and goto, the only distinguishing ingredient would be that arroz caldo mainly uses chicken while goto requires the use of tripe, beef, and innards. Lugaw on the other hand, is as plain as it can get.

So I made this dish back when I was in Sydney, a few weeks before I left in early August. I was staying at Marissa’s place for the time I was there and we both fell ill at one point during my stay. I can’t quite remember who fell sick first and who gave who the sickness, but all I remembered was that I made this dish for the both of us. I even told her the story behind this dish and she even made mention that they have a similar Vietnamese dish known as Cháo Ga (also fed to those who were feeling under the weather).

Arroz Caldo (Chicken Rice Porridge) Ingredients

PREP TIME 10 MINS | COOKING TIME 45 MINS | SERVES 4-6

INGREDIENTS

  • 500g chicken mid-wings, washed and cleaned
  • 1.5L water
  • 2 cups rice, uncooked and washed
  • 4 large free range eggs, hard-boiled and sliced
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large brown onion, sliced
  • 1 lemon (or calamansi if available)
  • 1 thumb-sized ginger, julienned
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp chicken stock powder
  • Ground black pepper to taste
  • Crispy fried shallots
  • Spring onions, sliced

METHOD

  1. Heat the vegetable oil in a large pot over medium-high. Add the ginger and fry until fragrant, then add in the garlic, sautéing until fragrant and golden brown. Then add in the onions and cook until soft, altogether about 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add the chicken mid-wings to the pot and season with the chicken stock powder and ground black pepper. Give it a good mix and cook for about 6-8 minutes or until the outer layer of the chicken starts to brown. Then add in the water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, cook for a further 5 minutes and then scoop out the chicken mid-wings and set aside*.
  3. Add the washed, uncooked rice and mix well, stirring occasionally. Turn the heat down to low-medium and leave it to simmer until the rice is fully cooked (about 30 to 40 minutes). Stir occasionally just to make sure that the rice doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot. In the last 10 minutes of cooking time, you may return the chicken mid-wings to the pot to heat them up again before serving the dish.
  4. Taste and if the porridge needs a bit more seasoning, add some fish sauce and adjust to your liking.
  5. Divide the porridge into bowls equally and top with the chicken and sliced hard-boiled eggs. Garnish with a pinch of crispy fried shallots, spring onion, and a squeeze of lemon juice (you may add some saffron threads for aroma and colour).
  6. Serve hot and enjoy!

*You don’t usually scoop the chicken out, but because I didn’t want the chicken to become too soft and start breaking apart, so I took them out. The reason is just because I don’t want them to look aesthetically displeasing on the dish for the photograph really. Otherwise, leaving them in until they fall of the bone is what you would like to achieve with this dish.

Arroz Caldo (Chicken Rice Porridge)

Arroz Caldo (Chicken Rice Porridge)

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Pesang Tilapia (Tilapia in Ginger Stew)

Pesang Tilapia (Tilapia in Ginger Stew)

Hello Everyone! I’m feeling sad, are you? Well, the only reason I’m sad is because Seafood Month has come to an end! I can’t believe the month has flown by so quickly. On the bright side, we get to explore a whole new range of dishes for the month of October! I won’t say yet what I have in store for the blog, so you’ll just have to stay tuned as all will be revealed on Thursday!

So here we go, on to our last recipe for Seafood Month: Pesang Tilapia! Apparently, frying the fish first is not the traditional method in making Pesang Isda (isda means fish in Tagalog just for those who don’t know), it is actually boiled in the ginger stew until tender, and is actually a much healthier option as opposed to frying the fish. However there are a few pros to frying the fish first, mainly for taste and also technique. Firstly, frying makes the fish and stew taste better, and secondly, frying prevents the fish from flaking, because of its stable texture ,when cooked in the stew for a long time.

I’ve read a couple of recipes online prior to writing this post up, and a few suggestions have come up on what to serve on the side with this dish. One of the most popular is having some miso sauce as a condiment. I usually just have some fish sauce and calamansi mixed together as a condiment. I’ve also tried searching around for recipes that make any mention of serving this dish with some filo-style scrambled eggs but I haven’t seen any. Nonetheless, it actually tastes really good having the scrambled eggs together with the fish!

Pesang Tilapia (Tilapia in Ginger Stew) Ingredients

PREP TIME 5 MINS | COOKING TIME 20-22 MINS | SERVES 4

INGREDIENTS

For the ginger stew

  • 800g whole tilapia fish, scaled, gutted and cleaned*
  • 1L water
  • 2-3 bunches of baby bok choy or pechay, cleaned and ends removed
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 brown onion, sliced
  • 1 thumb-sized ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil, for shallow frying
  • Ground salt and black pepper to taste

*Alternatively you can use any other types of fish such as catfish, grouper, mudfish, and/or seabass. I know some people who can’t eat fish if it’s still whole; you can still cook this dish with fish cutlets or fillets.

For the Filipino-style scrambled eggs

  • 3 large free range eggs, beaten
  • 3 small ripe tomatoes, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 brown onion, sliced
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • Ground salt to taste

METHOD

  1. Heat the vegetable oil in a large frying pan over medium-high. Season the fish by rubbing some salt and black pepper. Once the oil is hot, fry the fish until golden brown. Once browned, flip and fry the other side of the fish, about 6-7 minutes per side. Once done, transfer the fish to a serving dish.
  2. Discard the oil, leaving behind about a tablespoon or two, and in the same pan, fry the ginger slices until fragrant. Add in the garlic and sauté until fragrant and golden brown. Finally, add in the onions and cook until soft, about 2 minutes altogether. Then add the water, whole pepper corns and salt, and bring the stew to a boil.
  3. While the stew is simmering away, move on to making your scrambled eggs. Heat the vegetable oil in a small frying pan over medium-high. Sauté the garlic until fragrant and golden brown. Add in the onions and cook until soft, about 2 minutes. Then add in the tomatoes, salt, and black pepper. Cook until the tomatoes are soft.
  4. Once the tomatoes are soft, pour in the beaten eggs and stir with a spoon, lifting and folding it over from the bottom of the pan, until the eggs are softly set and slightly runny in places. Turn the heat off and leave the eggs for a few seconds to finish cooking. Give a final stir before serving.
  5. Turn the heat off from the ginger stew and add the baby bok choy, leaving to cook for about a minute. Pour the stew over the fried fish and serve immediately with some steamed rice and the scrambled eggs. Enjoy!

Pesang Tilapia (Tilapia in Ginger Stew)

Filipino-style Scrambled Eggs for Pesang Tilapia (Tilapia in Ginger Stew)

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Auguest 2015: Josephine Geronimo

Ginataang Munggo (Roasted Mung Beans & Sticky Rice in Coconut Milk)

Ginataang Munggo (Roasted Mung Beans & Sticky Rice in Coconut Milk)

Hello Everyone! Alas, we’ve come to the end of my mini collaboration series for this month! My last post for this Auguest that my Mom has kindly shared with us is another mung bean recipe that she grew up eating during her childhood years.

If you haven’t read Wednesday’s post, my Mom mentioned there that once a year when her whole family went to visit the province that they were from, they would always bring back one 50kg sack of munggo (mung beans) to the city, where they lived, from their farm. Everyday, Munggo Guisado (Sautéed Mung Bean Soup) was what they had for lunch and dinner, and for merienda, they’d have mung beans as well – there was no escaping the wrath of the mung beans – whether savoury or sweet! After lunch, everyone would take a 2-hour break before they’d be back in the kitchen, preparing and cooking Ginataang Munggo for merienda at 3pm.

Ginataang Munggo is basically roasted or toasted mung beans cooked in coconut milk together with some glutinous rice. It is a simple Filipino dish that can be eaten for either merienda (light afternoon meal or an afternoon snack) or dessert that is best served warm. toasted Mung beans and sticky rice are cooked in coconut milk. Though this dish has been a part of my Mom’s family tradition way back when she was still in her younger years back in the Philippines, today is the first time my Mom cooked this dish and served it to my sister Angela and I. Now that my Mom has passed on her two favourite mung bean recipes from her childhood, she said to me that it is but right that I pass them on to my children to be and keep tradition going – hopefully my children won’t be as fussy as I was before when I used to hate munggo!

Ginataang Munggo (Roasted Mung Beans & Sticky Rice in Coconut Milk) Ingredients

Ginataang Munggo (Roasted Mung Beans & Sticky Rice in Coconut Milk)

PREP TIME 15 MINS | COOKING TIME 30 MINS SERVES 6-8

INGREDIENTS

  • 1.5L boiling water water
  • 1 can (400ml) coconut milk
  • 1 cup glutinous rice
  • 1/2 cup mung beans
  • 1/2 cup white sugar

METHOD

  1. First, heat up a medium-sized frying pan over medium-high and add the mung beans. Toast until browned, about 8-10 minutes. Be careful as to not over toast them otherwise they will become bitter. Likewise, you can roast the mung beans in the oven for about 10 minutes at 200C.
  2. Turn the heat off and set the mung beans aside to cool down.
  3. Once the mung beans have cooled down slightly, crack the toasted mung beans using a mortar and pestle, or as my Mom prefers, by using a rolling pin. Set aside.
  4. Add the boiling water and sugar to a large pot over medium-high heat and dissolve the sugar. Once dissolved, add the coconut milk and bring to a boil.
  5. Once boiling, add the glutinous rice and mung beans, then give it a good stir. Turn the heat down to low and cook for 15 to 20 minutes or until the coconut milk is almost absorbed, stirring once a while to make sure that the rice doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot.
  6. Once done, turn the heat off and let it sit in the post for a further 5-10 minutes. Then,transfer to individual serving plates.
  7. Share and enjoy! You may serve this either hot or cold. I prefer having this hot with a pinch of salt on top to further enhance the flavours.

Ginataang Munggo (Roasted Mung Beans & Sticky Rice in Coconut Milk)

Ginataang Munggo (Roasted Mung Beans & Sticky Rice in Coconut Milk)

And that about wraps up guest blogging month for this year! Many thanks to Jialing, Brendon, Marissa, and my Mom for participating in my very first Auguest series. I’m actually pretty happy with how this all came together in the end. It was hectic at first trying to find the how ever so many bloggers I had in mind for this collaboration series, but then narrowing it down made it much more simpler and much easier to communicate with my friends and fellow bloggers. If you enjoyed this mini collaboration of mine, let me know in the comments section below and I’ll see to organising this into a yearly series 🙂

my Mom and I at Bondi Beach, July 2015
my Mom and I at Bondi Beach, July 2015

ps: back in the day in the 70s, canned coconut milk was not a thing yet and so my Mom had to buy a whole matured coconut and manually grate it. From the grated coconut, she then had to squeeze the milk out of it for this dish. This dish was a lot of hard work for her back in the day, which is why she was so confused as to why this dish took no effort at all for her to make, and then she realised it was because we already had coconut milk readily available.

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Auguest 2015: Josephine Geronimo

Munggo Guisado (Sautéed Mung Bean Soup)

Hello Everyone and welcome to the final week of Auguest! If you’ve read all the way to the end of my post yesterday, you’ll know that I’ve said that week 4 of Auguest would commence today seeing as I had a special post that went up live yesterday. Today’s guest won’t be communicating with you through the write up only because she’s not that confident with her English writing skills; so instead I will be the one taking you through her story of this dish. But first, who’s my guest for this week? Of course it is none other than the woman who cooked for me throughout my years of growing up and the woman who taught me how cook. Without her, my passion for cooking would’ve probably never existed, and neither would this blog. Today’s guest blogger is none other than my Mother, Josephine, known to many as Mama G!

This dish is a delicacy from one of the Ilocanos provinces, my Mom’s hometown in the Northern part of the Philippines, Pangasinan, but her family grew in Quezon City. Once a year the whole family would travel the province to visit their farm and bring back some of their produce, one of them included one 50kg sack of munggo (mung beans). Munggo Guisado is a common lunch and dinner dish found on their table as it is a healthy and nutritious dish. Her father (my grandfather) would always remind his children that munggo contains the same amount of proteins that can be found in beef, chicken, pork, and other meats. Her father was a little bit on the stingy side, so their Munggo Guisado contain no meat at all, just pure mung beans and other vegetables such as ampalaya (bitter gourd) leaves or malunggay leaves. Her father even planted a malunngay tree so that they could pick their own leaves instead of having to go to the markets to buy it. The dish would then be flavoured with bagoong isda (anchovy sauce). It was a dish that they had for both lunch and dinner, everyday.

This dish was introduced to my Mom since she started to eat solid foods, and has been a part of her daily meal until she came to Brunei. She stopped eating it because she wasn’t in a cooking mood since she moved out of the Philippines to work in Brunei. She started cooking it again when she had a family of her own. My Mom did the same thing by introducing this dish to me when I started to eat solid foods. To her surprise, I hated this dish and she didn’t know why. Even my two younger sisters hated it. She tried everything to make it more appetising for us by adding meat and/or prawns, but still she could not get us to eat it. So, she had no choice but to stop cooking it.

But now, after 20 years, she was able to introduce it back to us again (mainly because for this Auguest post as it has a story to tell of her roots), and apparently we love it! I kept asking my Mom why I didn’t like it in the first place, and she kept answering, “I don’t know with you!” Now Munggo Guisado has found it’s way back into our table as a regular, weekly, meal. The dish is best served with steamed rice and fried fish, as they would say “magkakambal sila” – twins, or meaning a well paired dish.

Munggo Guisado (Sautéed Mung Bean Soup) Ingredients

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup mung beans
  • 1 cup malunggay (or ampalaya) leaves
  • 250g pork belly, sliced
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 1 tbsp salted ziganid fish (bagoong padas, or anchovies)
  • Ground black pepper

METHOD

  1. Soak the beans in water for about an hour or two, this will help soften the beans and lessen the time required to boil and tenderise the beans when it comes to cooking them.
  2. Add the beans to a medium-sized pot together with about 1L of water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, let the beans simmer for about half an hour until soft (or about 50 minutes if you didn’t pre-soak them).
  3. In a medium-sized deep fry pan, add the sliced pork belly and fry until browned, about 3-4 minutes. Move them to one side of the frying pan and add the garlic. You shouldn’t need to add any oil and the natural oils from the pork fat should be enough to sauté the garlic. Once the garlic is golden brown in colour and is fragrant, add in the onions and cook until soft. At this point, you can mix them together with the pork. Add in the tomatoes, season with a bit of ground black pepper, and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
  4. Pour the cooked mung beans, together with the water that it was simmered in into the pork and tomato mixture. Give it a good mix and if it’s looking a bit dry, add more water to make it more into a soup. Bring to light simmer.
  5. Add the tablespoon of anchovies to a small bowl with about a few heaped tablespoons of the munggo soup. Press on the anchovies to get the flavours out and strain the sauce/paste back into the soup. Discard the anchovies.
  6. Simmer for another 5 minutes or so and then add in the malunggay leaves. Turn the heat off and give it a good mix, until the malunggay leaves have wilted into the soup.
  7. Serve with a nice bowl of steamed rice and fried fish. Enjoy!

Munggo Guisado (Sautéed Mung Bean Soup)

Munggo Guisado (Sautéed Mung Bean Soup)

Of course to his dish can be an all vegetarian dish just as how my Mom ate it when she was growing up; just remove the pork belly!

While my Mom was telling me the story of this dish, she teared up a little as it brought back many childhood memories. I hope that one day I’ll have kids of my own and share with them the many favourite dishes I grew up with and the stories that come with them 🙂

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com