Auguest 2017: Jialing Mew

Curried Lentil & Vegetable Stew

Curried Lentil & Vegetable Stew

Happy Guestember everyone! I’ll be taking over Amcarmen’s kitchen this week, for my third guest appearance. Having lived in Sydney for the past few years, I’ve crossed paths with several people, all with different lifestyles, backgrounds, and interests. Amidst the social and cultural melting pot, I’ve found that food is always a common talking point and a great way to bring people together. And what’s better than food that can be enjoyed by all? I’ve certainly managed to surpass my own expectations this year – not only does my recipe use multiple ingredients from Allison’s high-blood-pressure-lowering list, but it is also gluten-free, dairy-free, and… vegan! (Read about last year’s vegan recipe struggle here MATE YOU GOTTA LINK THIS PART WHERE IT SAYS HERE TO THE RECIPE FROM LAST YEAR PLZ CUZ I DONT KNOW HOW TO DO EET AND ALL THIS TEXT IN RED PLZ REMOVE FROM POST TENKS. Yes, 2017 Jialing can laugh about it now).

[I’m sorry Jialing, I had to share the text in red for the blogging world to see because it’s just too funny!] – Ally xx

Inspired by seasonal ingredients in my kitchen, staples in my pantry, and great people in my life, this dish is something that I hope everyone can enjoy. True to my appetite, my recipe makes a LOT, so it’s best made in the largest pot or pan you can scrounge up, then shared with a small army. Or simply halve the first lot of ingredients for a more regular quantity. Enjoy!

Curried Lentil & Vegetable Stew Ingredients

PREP TIME 10 MINS | COOKING TIME 45-50 MINS | SERVES 12

INGREDIENTS

  • 500g scrubbed potatoes, cubed
  • 500g split lentils
  • 500g sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 can (400g) white beans, drained
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 bunch kale, roughly chopped
  • 1 head garlic, minced
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges
  • 3 tbsp hot curry powder (use mild if less heat is preferred)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp ginger paste
  •  (optional)
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • A small handful of dried curry leaves
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Optional

  • 1 tbsp cornstarch, for slurry
  • 2 tsp chilli powder
  • Lemon and coriander, to garnish

METHOD

  1. In your very large pot over high heat, fry onion in oil until browned. Add garlic and stir until fragrant. Add ginger paste and tomatoes, stirring until tomatoes are soft and start to break down (being careful not to let the garlic burn).
  2. Add curry powder, coriander powder, and chill powder if desired, stirring briefly for a few seconds.
  3. Add potatoes, sweet potatoes and lentils, increase heat to high, and add enough water to the pan to cover the potatoes and lentils. Keep covered until the water boils.
  4. Once the water boils, reduce the heat to low and add lemon wedges, stirring occasionally and topping up water until lentils and potatoes are all cooked through (may take roughly half an hour). Be sure to leave enough liquid to just cover the lentils.
  5. Add curry leaves, then salt and pepper, adjusting to your taste (I usually end up adding about 1 tbsp of salt). At this point, make the optional slurry with cornstarch and 1 tbsp of water, and add to the pan to thicken the gravy.
  6. Add drained white beans to pan, stirring until heated through. Take your pan off the heat.
  7. Toss in the kale, stirring through gently until evenly distributed. Be careful not to spill, as I always do…
  8. Garnish with fresh coriander and lemon. Serve hot with basmati rice or flat bread, chutney or fresh yogurt, or even on its own. Enjoy with friends or family 🙂

Curried Lentil & Vegetable Stew

Curried Lentil & Vegetable Stew

Recipe Copyright © 2017 | jialingmew

BON APPÉTIT

– xx Jialing

myTaste.com

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Spinach, Carrot, and Zucchini Dog Treats

Spinach, Carrot, and Zucchini Dog Treats

Happy Birthday Blacky!

Hello Everyone! Wow I’m definitely on a roll here with the recipes – posting 3 back-to-back for this week! Well, the only reason for that is just because two very special days just happened to sandwich my normal Wednesday post schedule. So yes, today is indeed another special day and having read the title of this recipe, you already know who’s special day it is. Of course it is none other than my not so baby boy anymore, Blacky! Happy 6th Birthday to my Mutt Blacky, or as my friends have nicknamed him, Mr. Black and Cinnabon (because of his cinnamon scroll-like tail).

Last year a made him a batch of bacon doggie treats, and since the theme of my blog for this month is vegan, I decided to make him a healthy treat this time ’round. Okay, okay. I know. This isn’t vegan treat, but I realised a little bit too late when I was photographing the ingredients for this recipe. I guess I could’ve easily omitted the eggs from the recipe – but would that have somehow ruined the recipe altogether? Or is there a substitute for the eggs that I could’ve used instead? Any vegans out there please let me know in the comments section below. Thank you 🙂

Spinach, Carrot, and Zucchini Dog Treats

That aside, I know Blacky hates his vegetables. Whenever we feed him some soup with meat, veggies, and rice, he is able to pick out anything green that he sees in his bowl. I thought that maybe by hiding some greens into a doggie treat, he wouldn’t notice and eat them. I guess I was wrong…ish. He still ate the treat, but it looked like he was being very picky in the beginning by just playing around with them, but not actually eating them. Then after a few hours, he’d eat half of the biscuit. Then by the end of the day, once I’m home from work, he’d show off and eat the rest of them and made sure that I saw him eating it. What a clever and devilish dog he is haha!

Once again, Happy Birthday Blacky! Original recipe can be found over on Damn Delicious.

Spinach, Carrot, and Zucchini Dog Treats Ingredients

PREP TIME 5-8 MINS | COOKING TIME min. 40 MINS | SERVES 75 BISCUITS

INGREDIENTS

  • 225g pumpkin, steamed and then puréed*
  • 3 cups wholewheat flour, or more as needed
  • 1 cup baby spinach, chopped
  • 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 2 large free range eggs
  • 1 carrot, peeled and shredded
  • 1 zucchini, shredded

*225g of pumpkin should be able to make 1 cup of cooled pumpkin purée which is needed for this recipe

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 180C (350F or gas mark 4). Line a baking tray with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat and then set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cooled pumpkin purée, peanut butter, and eggs on medium-high until well combined, about 1-2 minutes.
  3. Gradually add the old fashioned oats and 2 1/2 cups flour at low speed, beating just until incorporated. Add an additional 1/4 cup flour at a time just until the dough is no longer sticky. Then, add in the carrot, zucchini, and spinach, beating just until incorporated.
  4. Working on a lightly floured surface, knead the dough 3-4 times until it comes together. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Using cookie cutters, cut out desired shapes and place onto the prepared baking sheet.
  5. Place into oven and bake until the edges are golden brown, about 20-25 minutes.**
  6. Let cool completely. Makes about 75 biscuits.***

**Baking time will vary depending on the size and thickness of the treats.
***Serving size will also vary depending on the desired shapes and cookie cutters used.

Spinach, Carrot, and Zucchini Dog Treats

Spinach, Carrot, and Zucchini Dog Treats

So just like last year, I decided to try the biscuits for myself. Of course, they tasted really bland to me because I didn’t add any sugar or anything to sweeten it up a bit. I gave some to my Mom and sister to try, and my Mom actually liked them. Because I ended up making around 75 biscuits, I asked my Mom if I could give them to a colleague of mine who also has a dog. To which my Mom replied, “No, I will eat them” *crying laughing face emoji* Well, at least I know someone in the house will finish them if Blacky can’t! Hahaha!

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Cucumber, Green Apple, & Kiwi Juice

Hello Everyone! Before I begin, I just wanted to take this opportunity to say (before I forget that is), that I am not a huge fan of cucumber. Why am I saying this? Well, it’s only because I realised that I posted a recipe last week with cucumber in it and I didn’t mention about this love/hate relationship that I have with cucumber. I actually paused for a bit there when I was trying to decide whether love/hate was the right choice of words – because it’s more hate and not even an ounce of love. I can’t exactly put my finger on why I’m not all that about cucumber, I just know that if I see it on my plate, I won’t touch it. I don’t know if it’s taste, or texture, or whatever else there is to it. I just don’t like it. However, I do realise that when it is cut up quite small and finely, and it is mixed with other foods, then I’ll eat it, but only because I’m too lazy to pick them out one by one *cheeky grin* Yes, so after all that, I still wonder why I’d drink a juice with cucumber in it. Well, I can’t exactly answer that question myself to be honest.

Cucumber, Green Apple, & Kiwi Juice

This combination of Apple + Cucumber + Kiwi helps improve skin complexion. However, after doing some research, I’m pretty sure that this combination of fruits and veggies help in many more ways that just keeping us from ageing:

In my previous post, I mentioned that cucumbers are beneficial in helping one to avoid nutrient deficiencies, especially those that are accustomed to eating a typical American diet. In addition, cucumbers contain an extraordinary amount of naturally purified water and therefore contains a higher quality of water content than that of ordinary water. It is no wonder that cucumbers should be eaten all year long. Yeah – even after all that research and knowing how good cucumber actually is for my health, it’s still a no, with the exception for this juice recipe and the previous one I guess.

Aside from the health benefits of cucumber, pair it with a kiwi or two and you’ve got your hit of vitamin C and E. It is known that two medium-sized kiwis contain a whopping amount of vitamin C (boosting up to about 230% more than the daily recommended about of vitamin C intake), that aids in boosting our immune system, fights the stress away, and helps protect our skin from ageing. It also promotes wound healing and iron absorption for healthy bones, blood vessels, and teeth. Besides the C, there’s also the E which, a kiwi carries a rare and fat-free form of it. This is a potent antioxidant said to help lower cholesterol and boost immunity. I could write a whole essay on the health benefits of kiwis as the list goes on – but I won’t *cheeky grin*

Lastly, we all know the saying “an apple a day drives the doctor away” – but what does it really mean? Well, apples are extremely rich in important antioxidants, flavanoids, and dietary fibre, and therefore may help reduce the risk of developing cancer, hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease. I mean, I guess that pretty much says it all doesn’t it? The list of benefits continue on! And here are 15 health benefits of apples.

PREP TIME 5 MINS | COOKING TIME | SERVES 1

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 large green apple, quartered and cored
  • 1 large cucumber, peeled and cut into thirds
  • 1 kiwi, peeled and halved lengthwise

METHOD

  1. Juice all the ingredients using an electric juicer. Pour into a tall glass and add ice if you want your juice cold. Serve and enjoy, especially on a hot tropical afternoon for a nice refresher!

Apple, Celery, & Cucumber Juice

Swap out the kiwi and go for a combination of Apple + Cucumber + Celery to help prevent cancer, reduce cholesterol, and eliminate stomach upset and headache. We ran out of green apples, so we used the red ones we had in the fridge – I don’t see a difference in using either, but for me it would’ve just looked visually nicer if the apple was green in the photograph hehehe. Happy Juicing!

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Paella de Marisco (Seafood Paella)

Paella de Marisco (Seafood Paella)

Hello Everyone! Maligayang Pasko! Joyeux Noël! ¡Feliz Navidad! Vrolijk Kerstfeest! And a very Merry Christmas to my family, friends and followers from all around the world! It’s weird knowing that Christmas  Day is coming to an end, and that the New Year is just around the corner! The year definitely went by real quick! Anyway, tonight will by my last post for the year (maybe) and it is also the very last post for my Festive Filipino Foods series for the blog. Day 12 of 12 is finally here and I have definitely saved the best for last!

If you weren’t able to guess from the hints I dropped in yesterday’s post, tonight’s dish is a Valencian rice dish with ancient roots that originated in its modern form in the mid-19th century near Albufera lagoon on the east coast of Spain adjacent to the city of Valencia. The dish is highly regarded as Spain’s National Dish with various types ranging from Vegetarian/Vegan Paella (Paella de Verduras), Seafood Paella (Paella de Marisco), Mixed Paella (Paella Mixta), and many, many more variants! From the name of this blog, you’ll already know what type of Paella I’ll be covering tonight, but now that I look back and think about my dish, it can actually be a Paella Mixta because what I will be sharing with you tonight is a free-style combination of land animals (well mainly processed pork in the form of a chorizo sausage), seafood, and vegetables.

According to tradition in Valencia, Paella is cooked over an open fire, fueled by orange and pine branches along with pine cones. This produces an aromatic smoke which infuses the Paella. It is cooked in a special wide-flat pan called a Paellera, and dinner guests traditionally eat directly out of the pan as well. Since paellera’s aren’t commonly found, or if you don’t have one handy, the recipe method below will show you how you can still make paella in a normal cooking pot. The last time I made Paella was back in 2012 if I’m not mistaken. I cooked it up together with my then housemate Vanessa and shared it with a friend of mine and her mother one cold wintery evening. We cooked it in a large frying pan and even served it up in that pan!

Paella de Marisco (Seafood Paella) Ingredients

Paella de Marisco (Seafood Paella) Ingredients

PREP TIME 20 MINS | COOKING TIME 30-40 MINS | SERVES 8-10

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups plain medium-grain rice, washed and drained
  • 1 cup glutinous rice, washed and drained
  • 1 cup frozen green peas
  • 300g fresh or frozen mussels
  • 200g fresh prawns, peeled and deveined, peels and heads reserved
  • 150g fresh or frozen baby clam meat
  • 100g squid, cleaned and cut into rings
  • 4-5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2-3 dried bay leaves
  • 1 brown onion, diced
  • 1 chorizo sausage, sliced diagonally
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges
  • 1 yellow capsicum, sliced
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • Ground salt and black pepper, to taste
  • Pinch of Saffron threads
  • Whole black peppercorns

METHOD

  1. Start by making the broth to flavour your paella by adding 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, bay leaves, 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. Once done, turn the heat off and set aside.
  2. Heat about 2-3 tablespoons of oil in a large pot over medium-high, and panfry the chorizo slices until browned, about a minute per side. Remove and transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel to soak up any excess oil.
  3. In the same pot, sauté the garlic until fragrant and golden brown. Add in the onions and cook until soft, about 2-3 minutes altogether. Follow with the diced tomatoes and cook until soft, a further 3-4 minutes.
  4. Add in the rice, paprika, saffron threads, and season with and bit of ground salt and black pepper. Give it a good mix before adding about 3 cups of the prawn stock. Cover and leave it to cook without stirring – at this point, you may want to turn your heat down to medium to avoid the rice sticking to the bottom of the pan. Leave it alone for about 15 minutes or once the rice has absorbed most of the liquid.
  5. Turn the heat down to low, and add the seafood (if you are going to serve it up in the pot you cooked it in, then I suggest that you arrange your seafood in a presentable way, if not, then you can just chuck them in and arrange it later when you transfer your paella to a serving dish). Cover and leave it to cook/bake for a further 15 minutes, or until the seafood is cooked through. Add the vegetables and chorizo slices and cook for a further 5 minutes, after which you can turn the heat off and leave it in the pot for a further 5-10 minutes before serving.
  6. Serve immediately with a fresh squeeze of lemon, and enjoy amongst family and friends!

Paella de Marisco (Seafood Paella)

Paella de Marisco (Seafood Paella)

Paella de Marisco (Seafood Paella)

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

ps: I may or may not actually post up two more festive recipes, depending if I have time to write them up from tomorrow onwards before the New Year kicks in.

myTaste.com

Pancit Bihon Guisado (Filipino Style Stir-Fried Rice Noodles)

Pancit Bihon Guisado (Filipino Style Stir-Fried Rice Noodles)

Hello Everyone! It a whole new month and you already know what that means! A new month on Amcarmen’s Kitchen means a new theme, and for the month of November, I will be sharing with you guys some of my favourite noodle dishes of all time! But before I begin, I’d just like to apologise for my later than usual post – I’ve been super busy for the past three weeks with things I cannot say yet for security reasons, but yes, super busy that I am always mentally drained and find it difficult to just sit down and concentrate on writing for my blog. I’ll probably be able to tell you guys everything somewhere in February next year, but if you really want to know, you can ask me privately. If I don’t tell you, then you’re probably one of the reasons why I can’t talk about why I’ve been busy on any form of social media 😉

Anyway, noodles were first introduced into the Philippines by the Chinese, and since then, noodles have been adopted into local cuisine with endless variations, those popular being pancit bihon guisado, pancit palabok, pancit canton, pancit habhab, etc. The term pancit is actually derived from the Hokkien piān-ê-si̍t (pian i sit) which literally means convenient food. Tonight, I will be kicking it off with a noodle that has been served on our tables countless times over my childhood years up until now – Pancit Bihon Guisado!

Pancit Bihon Guisado (Filipino Style Stir-Fried Rice Noodles)

When one says pancit, it is usually associated with bihon, which is a recipe that uses very thin rice noodles, fried with soy sauce, some citrus, possibly with some fish sauce as well, and some variation of sliced meat and chopped vegetables. The composition of bihon varies quite a lot because it depends on your personal recipe. I can say that the recipe that I will be sharing with you today did even start out like this when my mom first made it for the family – the ingredients have definitely changed over the years! So don’t be afraid to improvise or get creative with the ingredients; s’long as you’ve got the base of the noodles covered with this recipe. You can even take all the meat out and replace the chicken stock with veggie stock for an all vegetarian pancit bihon guisado!

Pancit Bihon Guisado (Filipino Style Stir-Fried Rice Noodles) Ingredients

PREP TIME 15 MINS | COOKING TIME 30-45 MINS | SERVES 8-10

INGREDIENTS

  • 450g bihon noodles
  • 100g fish balls, halved
  • 100g thin fish cake, sliced diagonally
  • 3 pcs dried bay leaves
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 celery stalks, sliced
  • 2 pcs thin sliced pork belly, cut into 1cm chunks
  • 1 carrot, julienned
  • 1 chicken crown, breasts removed and sliced, bone reserved
  • 1 small brown onion, diced
  • 1/2 a head of cabbage, sliced
  • 4-5 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • Ground black pepper and salt, to taste
  • Spring onions, sliced
  • 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, fish balls, and sliced fish cakes. 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 carrots and celery. Mix well and leave to cook for a further 2-3 minutes. Lastly, add in the cabbage and spring onions, and cook until just slightly wilted. Once done, transfer to a bowl and set aside.
  4. In the same frying pan, add the chicken stock to the pan together with the soy sauce, fish sauce, and oyster sauce. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, add the bihon noodles in and cook until all the liquid has evaporated. Make sure that while cooking, you mix and untangle them periodically. Altogether this should take about 10 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!

Pancit Bihon Guisado (Filipino Style Stir-Fried Rice Noodles)

Pancit Bihon Guisado (Filipino Style Stir-Fried Rice Noodles)

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

Kamayan sa Palaisdaan

Kamayan sa Palaisdaan

Hello Everyone and welcome back to an all new Review Sunday! Most of the food that you’ll see here have either already been touched on in previous reviews, and/or recipes, so I may not write much about the food only because it’s nothing quite so special. Kamayan sa Palaisdaan has both a Hotel & Resort, as well as a restaurant, both carrying the same menu but differ in ambience. It is the ambience of the restaurant just down the road from the Hotel & Resort that made me want to write a review and share this place with you – floating bahay kubos on bamboo rafts!

Kamayan sa Palaisdaan

Other than the ambience, I couldn’t really pick out anything special from their menu that really made me want to say, “I’m coming back here for this particular dish!” Though they say it’s an ideal getaway restaurant for seafood lovers, the seafood did not really impress – well I mean, we barely ordered any seafood to be honest.

I don’t know why I am so negative when it comes to reviewing Filipino food. The only reason I can think of is that most of the food that you get dining out, you can easily cook it up yourself at home and it tastes exactly the same. From the dishes that you will see below, I can definitely cook up all the dishes. I guess it’s because I know how to cook these dishes, that I comment the way I do. I’m not saying that these are terrible dishes; if anything, they are my favourite dishes to have when eating at home. It’s just that when I dine out, I want to eat something that I can’t cook myself (or I guess in my case, haven’t attempted to cook yet).

Kamayan sa Palaisdaan - SINIGANG atbp: Sinigang na Sugpo
SINIGANG atbp: Sinigang na Sugpo (₱320.00)

Sugpo, as you can already tell from the photograph above is prawn (or shrimp if you’re from that part of the world that calls them that despite being huge-ass prawns). Sinigang is a soup that is characterised by its sour and savoury taste that is most often associated with tamarind. This is a dish that my mom would make a few times a month, varying between different meats such as beef and pork, and seafood like prawns and fish, accompanied by all sorts of vegetables from daikon, water spinach, okra, taro corms, etc. This is a dish I love especially when the weather is quite chilly.

Kamayan sa Palaisdaan - SINIGANG atbp: Tinolang Manok
SINIGANG atbp: Tinolang Manok (₱255.00)

This is another dish that my mom would always make, and also great for cold and rainy days. Tinola is a ginger and onion based soup with manok (chicken) as the usual main ingredient, best complimented with green papaya wedges (an alternative is chayote/chokos) and chili leaves. Again, a dish that I love, but very close to the way that I’d make it at home.

Kamayan sa Palaisdaan - SIZZLERS: Sisig Pork
SIZZLERS: Sisig Pork (₱205.00)

Of course, a meal in the Philippines would not be complete without sisig! I was actually quite disappointed with this sisig dish though – it came to the table, not only without a freshly cracked egg on top of it, but it also wasn’t sizzling and was very dry.

Kamayan sa Palaisdaan - IHAW: Inihaw na Spareribs
IHAW: Inihaw na Spareribs (₱310.00)

I love ihaw, and I love spareribs. Sadly, these ribs were dry and weren’t very tender.

Kamayan sa Palaisdaan - IHAW: Inihaw na Pork Chop
IHAW: Inihaw na Pork Chop (₱320.00)

The pork chop option was much better than the spareribs; juicy, tender, and full of that lovely char-grilled flavour.

Kamayan sa Palaisdaan - VEGETABLES: Chopsuey Chicken
VEGETABLES: Chopsuey Chicken (₱185.00)

Whenever we dine out, we try to avoid dishes like chopsuey, but because we couldn’t decide on any other vegetable dishes (I know there’s chicken in it but it was somehow placed under the ‘vegetables’ section on the menu). Why we try to avoid this dish is simply because it’s basically just stir-fried vegetables and nothing more exciting to that.

Kamayan sa Palaisdaan - PRITO: Daing na Bangus
PRITO: Daing na Bangus (₱160.00)

Bangus (milkfish) is the national fish of the Philippines and can be prepared and cooked in various ways. ‘Daing’ refers to dried fish from the Philippines. Fish prepared as daing is usually split open, gutted, salted liberally, and then sun and air-dried. I love eating fried bangus with a bit of pickled green papaya on the side with plain rice. But honestly speaking though, why order fried fish at a restaurant? In my case, because I love it and I couldn’t find anything else in the menu that attracted me to it.

Kamayan sa Palaisdaan - SALADS: Ensaladang Pako
SALADS: Ensaladang Pako (₱125.00)

Quite possibly the worst dish from this place based on my taste buds and opinion. For starters, the taste of what seemed to be raw pako (an edible Fiddlehead fern) did not sit too well with me; it tasted bitter. What made it worse for me were the raw onions and the obvious canned sardines in tomato sauce. Why did I order this? Well I didn’t, my uncle did. I don’t think I even touched this dish after a small bite of just the pako.

Kamayan sa Palaisdaan - JUICES: Buko FreshJUICES: Buko Fresh (₱60.00)

Fresh coconut juice straight from the shell, need I say more?

Overall, as I have already mentioned above, the menu is pretty average and can honestly be found in many other restaurants (and homes no matter rich or poor) across the Philippines. I guess it’s safe to say that if you are going to the restaurant for the food, it’s not worth the trip to this place seeing as it is also quite hard to find. However, if you want to dine in a bamboo hut on a bamboo raft floating over water, then you may want to make the trip here just for that experience. Dining at the Hotel & Resort isn’t bad as well as it provides a lot more recreational activities that you can enjoy aside from dining, and it also overlooks Mount Banahaw. So ambience and dining experience is a sure 10 for me. Service probably an 8 as even though there were quite a few staff members, it was pretty hard to flag one down whenever we needed something. Food – probably a 5; 6 if I’m feeling generous, but nothing more.

Kamayan sa Palaisdaan

Barangay. Dapdap
Tayabas, Quezon
Philippines

– Ally xx

Oxtail Kare-Kare

Oxtail Kare-Kare

Hello Everyone! So I was just browsing through all the posts I’ve uploaded since I got into a regular uploading schedule and I realised that I actually haven’t posted a savoury dish in a while. I’ve been posting about cakes, cookies, and muffins these past few months! The last savoury dish that I blogged about was back in October with The Ultimate Brekkie (for those who have not seen it, click on it and prepare to drool, seriously).

Today’s recipe is a little different, or may be different to some of my readers/viewers. It is one of my most favourite dishes of all time, and only because my mom used to make it on a regular-enough basis to always have this orgasmic sensation with every bite. It may not suit the taste buds for many I feel, but seriously, every person I’ve made this for, well okay 3 people, loved it so much that they’ve even gone and tried to make it for themselves!

There are a few things to cover in this recipe that many may not know about, so I’ll start of with what even is Kare-Kare. Pronounced kah-reh kah-reh, it is a traditional Philippine stew flavoured with ground roasted peanuts or peanut butter, onions, and garlic; creamy, rich, and thick. Traditionally, a palayok (clay cooking pot) is used to cook this dish and it is also used as the serving pot. Typical meats that make the base for this stew include oxtail (sometimes this is the only meat used), pork hocks, calves feet, pig feet, beef stew meat; and occasionally offal, or tripe, rarely goat or chicken. Besides the meat, vegetables are also cooked with the stew and these include a range of (but are not limited to): eggplant, Chinese cabbage (or other leafy greens), long beans, okra (lady fingers), daikon, etc. – usually equaling or exceeding the amount of meat in the dish. The overall dish is then coloured (and flavoured) with annatto seeds, which is extracted by add the seeds in oil or water. Since I didn’t have some in handy, I just left them out – I feel like it didn’t have a significant effect to the overall flavour of the dish.

This dish is often served and eaten with shrimp paste known in a Philippines as bagoong (pronounced ba-go-ong). Sometimes it is spiced with chilli, or sautéed with garlic, onions, tomatoes, and sprinkled with calamansi (small round lime) juice. Bagoong paste varies in appearance, flavour, and spiciness depending on the type. Pink and salty bagoong is marketed as “fresh”, and is essentially the shrimp-salt mixture left to marinate for a few days. I sautéed a whole jar of shrimp paste and only used about a generous tablespoon of it on the side for this dish. The rest I put back into the jar and into the freezer until for later use. There are many other dishes that you can make with the sautéed shrimp paste and it may pop up in my blog a few more times!

I cooked up this dish for our supposed International (Asian) Feast Night that we had been planning for a while. I say “supposed” because instead of having food from 5 different Asian Cuisines, we ended up only having 3 and it turned out to also be Lydia’s farewell dinner. Basically Lydia cooked a dish from China, Vidhya from India, and me from the Philippines. Jialing (who did not show up by the way because she had a staff dinner) was supposed to make a dish from Malaysia, and Marissa, who already went on holiday, was supposed to make a Vietnamese dish. I was seriously so tired that night, I mean first of all, I had just come back from my Outback trip and only felt the tiredness after returning back. Secondly, I worked from 9am-5pm that day, and when I got home, I straightaway went into the kitchen to cook. I was SO tired that I actually seriously fell asleep at the table after dinner, during dessert. Talk about an induced food coma!

So for this night, which by the way happened about 3 days after I got back from the Red Centre, I decided to make my famous Oxtail Kare-kare. I also made a chicken version for Vidhya because the only meat she eats is chicken (and fish). I’ve never actually tried the dish with chicken before; it turned out okay but in my honest opinion, it wasn’t as flavourful as the Oxtail. I have made this dish in the past as well where I used pork hock/leg, pork shoulder, beef shank or gravy beef, and my mom made it a few times with beef tripe – all these cuts of meat work perfectly well with the dish. Some butchers sell oxtail either whole or cut. If your local butcher happens to seek them whole, just kindly ask them to cut it into rounds for you, that’s what I did. I remember as a little kid that I would always love the bigger cuts because they had more meat in them… Until someone ruined it for me saying that “the bigger the cut, the closer it is to its bum!”

Oxtail Kare-Kare Ingredients

PREP TIME 10 MINS | COOKING TIME 1 HOUR 45 MINS | SERVES 4-6

INGREDIENTS

For the stew

  • 1kg oxtail, cut into rounds
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 5 dried bay leaves
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed then minced
  • 1 large onion, halved and then sliced
  • 1 tbsp crunchy peanut butter (a very generous tablespoon)
  • 1 tsp rock salt
  • 1 tsp whole black peppercorns
  • Ground salt and pepper
  • Buk Choy, separated
  • Eggplant, sliced diagonally
  • Long beans, cut into 1-inch long strings
  • Okra (lady fingers), whole and then sliced later once cooked

For the sautéed shrimp paste

  • 345g bagoong alamang (shrimp paste)
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed then minced
  • 2 large tomatoes, diced
  • 1 large onion, halved and then sliced
  • 1 tbsp sugar

METHOD

  1.  Add the oxtail, bay leaves, rock salt and whole peppercorns to a large pot with about a litre of water, or enough to submerge the meat. Boil for about 1 to 1 and a half hours until tender. If you are using a pressure cooker (which I don’t have), 30-35 minutes should do the trick! Once the meat is tender, remove from the heat and set aside. Do not throw away the stock.
  2. While your meat is tenderising, move onto sautéing the shrimp paste. Heat oil in a medium-sized frying pan and sauté garlic and onions until fragrant. Add the tomatoes in and sauté until they have softened. Add the shrimp paste in and give it a good mix. Add in the sugar and let it simmer for about 5 minutes. Turn the heat off and set aside. You may need to heat it up again before serving.
  3. Heat oil over medium-high heat in another pot and sauté the garlic and onions until fragrant. Add the the oxtails, season with ground salt and pepper, and give it a good stir. Add the peanut butter to two cups of the stock and stir until the peanut butter has softened. Add the peanut butter mix to the oxtail and bring the heat to low. Let it simmer for about 8-10 minutes. If you want your stew to be less creamy and thick, add more stock to your liking.
  4. Meanwhile, bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil and cook your vegetables for no longer than 5 minutes. Drain and transfer the cooked vegetables to your oxtail stew just before serving. Serve hot with sautéed shrimp paste and enjoy!

Oxtail Kare-Kare

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Kangkung Belacan

Kangkung Belacan

My mom used to make this dish all the time back home. Honestly, I’ve never made it for myself ever since being here in Sydney, except for today. On occasions though when I’d be eating out with friends in various Asian-Malaysian restaurants, I would come across this on their menu and MY GOODNESS were they overpriced! Like I get the whole profit making thing but honestly, it’s like more than a 500-600% profit for this simple dish! Mamak in Chinatown for example is priced at $14.00 while Delima Restaurant is priced at $17.95. I know Delima adds prawns to their kangkung, but seriously. Overall, if I totalled how much I spent for this dish, it would total to about $3.00 inclusive of all the ingredients, and naturally it’d be even cheaper back home. Here a bunch of kangkung averages to about $1.50 depending where you get it from, while back home you paid 99c for five bunches.

Kangkung, also known as ‘water spinach’, is a vegetable commonly used in Southeast Asian cuisines, mainly Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore where it is usually stir-fried in a chilli sauce. Kangkung is also evident in other Asian cuisines and I do recommend that you check out how else it can be used by going to wikipedia (I know, the whole conception of wikipedia not being a reliable source, but trust me). Belacan, or sambal belacan, basically consists of fresh red hot chillies, roasted Malaysian shrimp paste and lime, made into a paste or sauce to be used either as a condiment, or as an ingredient in cooking.

So for today’s recipe as titled: Kangkung Belacan (stir-fried water spinach with chillies and shrimp paste).

Kangkung Belacan

PREP TIME 5 MINS | COOKING TIME 10 MINS SERVES 3-4

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 2 red bird’s eye chillies, sliced
  • 1 & 1/2 tbsp sambal belacan*
  • 1 bunch kangkung, washed, leaves separated from the stems, and stems cut into short lengths
  • Handfull of small-sized ikan bilis (dried anchovies)

*I used a store bought paste, but you can always follow a recipe make your own.

METHOD

  1. Heat oil in a medium frying pan over high heat. Add the ikan bilis and fry until crisp. Set aside.
  2. In the same pan, add the garlic and 1 of the sliced bird’s eye chilli and sauté until golden brown. Add in the onions and sauté until soft. Bring the heat down to low and then add in the sambal belacan, cooking the belacan over high heat will cause it to spit all over the stovetop and we don’t want to have a messy cooking area. Cover if needed. Sauté the belacan until fragrant.
  3. Add the the kangkung leaves, stems and a little bit of water to dilute the belacan you think can’t handle the heat. Cover until the leaves start to wilt. Toss around the belacan to coat the leaves and stems evenly (kangkung literally takes only a minute to cook).
  4. Transfer to a serving plate and top with the fried ikan bilis and fresh red chillies. Serve with hot rice.

Kangkung Belacan

BON APPÉTIT!

– Ally xx

myTaste.com