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!

Pesang Tilapia (Tilapia in Ginger Stew)

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)

Sautéed Egg 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)

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.

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

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 (Roasted Mung Beans & Sticky Rice in Coconut Milk) Process

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

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, Australia 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.

Munggo Guisado (Sautéed Mung Bean Soup)

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

PREP TIME 1 HOUR | COOKING TIME 30 MINS | SERVES 6

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 10 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 this 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

Tinolang Manok (Chicken & Green Papaya Soup)

Tinolang Manok (Chicken & Green Papaya Soup)

Hello Everyone! My goodness has it been cold these past few days/nights! Today I didn’t particularly do much besides staying indoors, away from the cold and rain, and cooking up a nice pot of Chicken Soup to stay warm. I made Arroz Caldo, a Filipino chicken porridge, over the weekend seeing as I thought I’d be doing down with a cold, but I was mighty fine the next day. I had some leftover chicken and ginger from that, and so I decided to make chicken soup with it! All I really needed was green papaya and malungay or chilli leaves. Also, perfect as it’s winter warmer month on my blog, and I actually didn’t have chicken soup pre-planned into the month.

Growing up, my mom always made this dish, even though we live in the tropics where we have hot weather all year round, it was still a perfect dish for a rainy day. We usually skip the malunggay or chilli leaves altogether since its not commonly found in the markets, unless you grow your own, and we usually use chayote (or known as chokos here in Australia, which by the way I never knew until I arrived here) instead of green papaya; no real reason for the substitute. My mom also adds glass noodles to the soup rather than pairing the soup with rice (but I still add the glass noodles and have a serving of rice anyway).

Tinolang Manok (Chicken & Green Papaya Soup)

I think I may have at one point in my life tried this chicken soup with green papaya, and I honestly could not tell the difference in taste, until today that is. I’m not sure if it’s the particular papaya that I picked or the way I prepared it, or whatever it may be, it did not leave a lovely taste to my buds. It just tasted wrong and I can’t pinpoint what it tasted like. Probably just raw papaya to me, but I believe that I’ve cooked it long enough because it was soft, and I don’t think I needed to do anything with it besides peeling and removing the seeds to prepare it. After this dish of mine, I definitely prefer using chayote/choko with my chicken soup. Anyway, I also tried to look for malunggay and chilli leaves in the markets. No one knew what malunggay leaves were and a lady told me that “no one here sells chilli leaves”. I stopped and thought for a while, and then I saw a sign that said that they sell curry leaves. I thought to myself if I could use curry leaves instead of chilli leaves, and so I bought a small bag of fresh curry leaves. It was a wise decision in my opinion! The curry leaves made the soup even more fragrant, which I didn’t think was possible seeing as the chicken soup alone without it was already fragrant enough. It also added a subtle flavour to the soup which I can’t quite describe. Basically, if you’ve had the chance to smell curry leaves, that smell is the flavour. I don’t know if I made any sense there but that’s what I feel/taste.

Tinolang Manok (Chicken & Green Papaya Soup) Ingredients

PREP TIME 10 MINS | COOKING TIME 25 MINS | SERVES 4

INGREDIENTS

  • 1kg chicken wingettes, washed and cleaned
  • 1.5L water
  • 1/2 small-sized green papaya, peeled, seeds removed and cut into wedges
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 brown onion, diced
  • Thumb-sized ginger, julienned
  • Small bunch curry leaves
  • Ground salt and black pepper, to taste

METHOD

  1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high. Add the julienned ginger strips and sauté until fragrant. Add in the garlic together with the curry leaves and continue sautéing until golden brown. Finally, add in the onions and cook until they are soft and translucent.
  2. Add in the chicken wingettes together with a bit of salt and pepper. Give it a good mix, then cover the pot and let it cook for about 8-10 minutes.
  3. Add in the water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add in the papaya wedges and cook for a further 15 minutes or until the papayas are tender. Taste and if needed, season a bit more to your liking.
  4. Turn the heat off and serve immediately with steamed rice. Enjoy!

Tinolang Manok (Chicken & Green Papaya Soup)

The secret to making a good chicken tinola is to simmer the chicken for a long period of time. This enables the flavours of the chicken to infuse into the soup and also tenderises the chicken. I’d say cook it between 45-60 minutes, but 20 minutes cooking time is good enough if time is not on your side. Both has worked out fine for me.

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Leche Flan (Crème Caramel)

Leche Flan (Crème Caramel)

Hello Everybody! Today’s recipe is definitely one of my favourite desserts and hands-down a crowd pleaser. It is one of the most-made desserts this year, today being the 4th time and in 3 consecutive weeks in June. Each and everyone of my friends love it, crave it and always look for it whenever I’m around during house parties. I’m pretty sure I’ll be making a lot of people happy by posting this recipe today – hint: Pam, Rachel, and Francesco.

Leche Flan, or also known as Crème Caramel, is a rich and heavenly dessert (the way I make it of course), made up of egg yolks and milk with a soft caramel top. It is widely known throughout the world (especially in Europe) and has been in the dessert menu of most restaurants because of its convenience in preparation – and it really is that simple! In the Philippines, celebrations such as parties and town fiestas won’t be complete without it.

Leche Flan (Crème Caramel) Ingredients

PREP TIME 5 MINS | COOKING TIME 25 MINS MAKES 6 MINI FLANS

INGREDIENTS

  • 6 egg yolks, at room temperature
  • 1 can (395g) condensed milk, at room temperature
  • 1 cup milk, at room temperature
  • 6 tsp caster sugar
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Yes, you only need 5 ingredients! And makes 6 small, round flans. Working with ingredients at room temperature is ideal as I found that when I made them with chilled ingredients, the egg yolks started to form and you’ll then find lumps of egg yolk in your flan.

METHOD

  1. Add one teaspoon of sugar to each round metal mould. Caramelise the sugar by placing the mould on the stovetop. Mix thoroughly until the solid sugar turns into liquid (caramel) and turns light brown in colour. Be careful as the sugar can easily burn. Set aside to wait for the caramel to fully solidify and cool down.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks and vanilla extract together. Then whisk in the condensed milk, and finally the milk until well combined. You may see tiny bits of egg yolk starting to form. If so, strain the mixture through a sieve into another bowl.
  3. Pour the mixture equally into the moulds and cover the tops with foil (this is to prevent any water droplets from the steaming process dripping nto the mixture – trust me, I’ve done this once before and I got very watery flans).
  4. Place in a steamer and steam for 15 minutes. Once done, turn the heat off and leave it in the steamer for a further 10 minutes. Remove from the steamer and set aside to cool down before placing them in the refrigerator for at least 4-5 hours before serving.
  5. To plate up, run a butter knife around the edges of the flan, place a serving dish on top of the mould, invert, and enjoy!

Leche Flan (Crème Caramel)

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Paksiw na Lechon Kawali

Paksiw na Lechon Kawali

Hello everyone! This is another Filipino dish that I really love. I have a lot of favourite Filipino dishes actually, but there are some that I cannot bring myself to eat – I’m pretty sure they taste good, but a little bit off putting for me, and yes, I am talking about the infamous dinuguan (a savoury stew of meat and/or offal, simmered in a rich, spicy dark gravy of pig blood, garlic, chilli, and vinegar). I get the shivers every time I think about this dish. Anyway, enough about this dish for it’s thankfully not what today’s post will be about.

Lechon Kawali is basically a pan-roasted pork dish popular in the Philippines. It is usually accompanied by sarsa ni mang tomas (basically a sauce blend of liver, vinegar and spices that give that distinct sweet and spicy taste it is famous for), ketchup, or soy sauce with calamansi (Philippine lime). Lechon kawali is cooked by boiling then later deep frying a portion of the pig.

Lechon Paksiw is essentially a term associated to a dish that is cooked with vinegar, garlic, onion, and sarsa ni mang tomas sauce. It is a pork dish made from leftover roast pig which is known as Lechon. However, fresh pork can also be used to make lechon kawali. Traditionally, as mentioned above, the pork is deep fried. Because I don’t like deep frying stuff, I roasted the pork in the oven like I would do for pork crackling – the result I find is better, not oily and the meat remains tender and juicy on the inside where as deep frying has a tendency to make the meat tough and dry.

Paksiw na Lechon Kawali

PREP TIME (see below)* | COOKING TIME 1 HOUR 20 MINS |
SERVES
4-6

*If you plan on making dish, plan for about 1-3 days ahead for resting time in the refrigerator.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1kg fresh pork belly or shoulder
  • 1 bottle (330g) mang tomas all purpose sauce
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 3 bird’s eye chillies
  • 3/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1 cup pork stock
  • 1 tbsp white sugar
  • 6 dried bay leaves
  • 2 tsp whole black peppercorns
  • Ground salt
  • Oil for rubbing

METHOD

  1. Score the skin with a very sharp knife. Place the meat in a large pot with water, 1 tsp of the whole peppercorns and half of the bay leaves. Boil for 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and drain, placing in a large bowl and let to cool to room temperature. Reserve the pork stock for cooking later. Once the meat has cooled down, refrigerate uncovered for at least 24 hours or for up to 3 days for a better result. Refrigerating the meat will help to draw out any remaining moisture. Remove from the refrigerator and bring back to room temperature prior to roasting in the oven
  2. Preheat oven between 220-240C. Rub oil and plenty of salt into the scored skin, really getting it into the slits of the score marks. The fat under the skin will react to the salt and that is what makes the skin puff up and crisp up. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes and then bring the temperature down to 160C and roast for another 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let the meat rest for 20 minutes. Then cut the pork into chunks.
  3. Add all the remaining ingredients into a large pot together with the pork belly chunks. Simmer for 20 minutes and then serve with steamed rice.

Paksiw na Lechon Kawali

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Pork Spare Ribs Sinigang

Pork Spare Ribs Sinigang

Hello everyone! So I realised that I haven’t actually posted any Filipino recipes since starting this blog. For those of you who don’t know, a big part of my diet consists of delicious homemade Filipino food cooked by my Mama while growing up. Her food was always the best. And today I want to share with you a nice sour soup that’ll definitely warm up your insides during a cold winter. Well, growing up in the tropics didn’t stop us from having a nice bowl of this soup! I’m actually quite proud to be Filipino because there is nothing that I love more than Filipino food.

Sinigang is characterised by its sour and savoury flavour that is traditionally tamarind based. There are other base variations where the soup obtains its sourness from such as guava, calamansi, bilimbi, or unripe mango. Seasoning powder or bouillon cubes based on tamarind is also used in place of natural fruits. This dish can be made with any type of meat ranging from fish, pork, beef, shrimp, or chicken, stewed with tamarinds, tomatoes, and onions as its base. The dish is then accompanied with various vegetables such as okra, gabi (baby taro), daikon (white radish), kangkung (water spinach), snake beans, and eggplant. Often, chillies or peppers would be added to the dish in order to enhance the taste while adding a little spice.

PREP TIME 10 MINS | COOKING TIME 1 HOUR 15 MINS SERVES 4-6

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 kg pork spare ribs
  • 2 small spanish red onions, quartered
  • 2 red bird’s eye chillies
  • 1 large tomato, cut into wedges
  • 1 medium sized daikon, peeled and sliced
  • 5 small baby taro, peeled
  • 1 bunch kangkung, washed, leaves separated from the stems, and stems cut into short lengths
  • 1 tbsp tamarind soup base
  • Ground salt
  • Fish sauce (optional)

METHOD

  1. Add the pork ribs into a large pot with water filled to about halfway. Boil the ribs on high heat for 30 minutes, then add the chillies, onions, tomatoes, and season with salt. Boil for another 30 minutes.
  2. Add the baby taro and let to simmer for 5 minutes before adding the daikon in. Simmer for another 5 minutes. Remove 2 of the baby taro and push them through a sieve. Return to the soup to thicken the base and make it richer (this is optional).
  3. Add the tamarind soup base, if you want your soup a little less sour, add in a teaspoon at a time to adjust to your liking (I love my sinigang soup really sour!). Add a few drops of fish sauce if the soup is tasting a bit bland.
  4. Remove from the heat and add the kangkung in. Serve immediately with rice.

Pork Spare Ribs Sinigang

Filipino is not a very famous cuisine as that of its Thai and Vietnamese neighbours. I only know of one Filipino restaurant here in Sydney, and only 1 grocer in Chatswood that sells all things Filipino. Otherwise there are only a small selection of Asian grocers that carry Filipino ingredients like mang tomas sauce, bagoong, tamarind soup base, etc. There’s more to Filipino food than the mind-boggling balut (duck embryo) as we are blessed with an abundance of seafood, tropical fruits and creative cooks. Also, with more than 7,000 islands and a colourful history, we have some delicious dishes of our own.

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com