Pinoy Streetfood: Nilagang Mani (Boiled Peanuts)

Boiled Peanuts

Nilagang Mani (Boiled peanuts) is a very economical snack available everywhere in the Philippines.  Memories of traveling by bus with my Mom going to Pangasinan or Baguio City.. Mommy buys me a bag of boiled peanuts and boiled eggs to snack on during the long road trip.

It’s very common to see street peddlers in Manila selling these boiled peanuts.  Sometimes, they come in pre-packed brown bags and peddlers would quickly load a tour bus to sell to travelers for their long bus ride to the provinces.

Recently, my husband and I bought a small pack of these boiled peanuts from an Asian store and knowing that my eldest daughter loves to eat this too, I was inspired to make some from my kitchen in order to save money, control the saltiness of the peanuts and add more seasoning to make the boiled peanuts more aromatic and flavorful.

Street peddler posted online by Richard Macalino
Street peddler posted online by Richard Macalino

Here’s my very simple recipe:


  • 2 lbs. raw Peanuts
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 5 pods of Chinese Star Anise
  • 1 tbsp. Garlic powder

Cooking Procedure:

Wash raw peanuts well.  In a large stock pot, add raw peanuts and cover it with water or fill the pot until it’s about more than half way filled.  Add salt and start boiling.  When the water in on a rolling boil, add star anise and garlic powder.  You can add more or put less depending on your taste.  Continue to boil covered for 2 hours.

Turn off the heat after 2 hours and leave the peanuts to cool down with the salted water.

After 3-5 hours, drain and your boiled peanuts are ready!  Enjoy!

It’s truly a healthy and fun snack for the whole family.  Making a big batch is a good idea.  It holds well in the refrigerator for 2-3 days, even up to 5 days.  You will find boiled peanuts from Asian markets but I think it’s more fun to just make some at home.

Raw peanuts soaked in water with salt ready for boiling
Healthy boiled peanuts great for snacking


Watermelon Season is here!!!

Red, juicy and sweet watermelon

Day after day, my family craves for some sweet and juicy watermelon.  
We’ve been buying watermelon for more than a week now.  Prices are going down and it is getting cheaper and cheaper, truly a bargain.  I just bought 2 whole seedless watermelons at Wholefoods Market today for $2.49 each.  

Filled with nutrients such as vitamin C and lycopene, our watermelon sure quenches our thirst and fills our hunger.  

Read more about the “Benefits of Watermelon” from the World’s Healthiest Food Website.

Go ahead and buy your watermelon today.  Summer is just around the corner so let’s enjoy what’s in season and buy them at a reasonable cost today!


Giant watermelon

Honey-Baked Chicken Wings



This is a very easy baked chicken wing recipe great for any day of the week.  This scored high in our family so I am sharing my recipe to everyone.


  • 10 Whole Chicken Wing pieces (washed and pat-dry)
  • Julienned fresh Ginger
  • Sliced small Onions
  • Honey
  • Light Soy Sauce
  • Salt and Pepper

In a bowl, mix cleaned chicken wings, 2 tbsp. light soy sauce, ginger, onions, salt and pepper.  Mix well and marinade for a minimum of 2 hours.  I marinated mine for 10 hours.

When ready to bake, place chicken wings (remove onions and ginger) on a foil-lined baking dish topped with a rack.  

Mix 2 tbps. of honey with 1 tsp of water.  Mix well then brush on top of each chicken wing.  Bake the chicken wings for 15 minutes on 375 degrees Fahrenheit.  After 15 minutes, bring out the baking rack and turn over each chicken wing.  Brush the other side with more honey water, return to the oven and bake for 20 more minutes or more depending on how much you want the chicken caramelized.

Rest for 10 minutes before serving.


Daddy’s Filipino Pork and Chicken Adobo


Updated this post today… Today it’s all about my Dad. We’re eating Adobo tonight…

Originally posted on DOYD74:

Daddy Jun's Special Adobo Daddy Jun’s Special Adobo

When I miss my Dad, I always think of Adobo.  Pork and Chicken Adobo is a classic Filipino hearty meal served with steaming white rice and some fresh ripe mangoes on the side.  My Dad used to make the BEST Adobo and he cooks it with precision and love.  He even cooks adobo using other ingredients like squid, local vegetable greens, pork hocks and more.

I like to make adobo because it stores well in the fridge.  Since it is cooked with a good quality vinegar, it lasts longer in the fridge than other meat recipes.

I remember when I was little and we had a school field trip for Girl Scouts, my Dad would cook adobo so I can pack it for our lunch. We did not have insulated lunch bags before :-)  and keeping my rice and adobo in a Tupperware lunchbox was enough to keep my lunch fresh…

View original 127 more words

Balikbayan Filipino Street Food at Centris Weekend Market

My Kapeng Barako and Fresh Lumpiang Ubod

2014 was the year I feasted my eyes with local Filipino food at the Centris Weekend Market in Quezon City, Manila.  This is a place where my sister would go every early Sunday morning to get her produce and ready-cooked Filipino food for a simple weekend treat.

It was a super humid day but I forgot about my sweaty nape and back, just by staring at all the local delicacies and fresh Filipino vegetable varieties.

Without a doubt, I had to have my Taho (soybean pudding with brown sugar syrup and sago pearls), my cheese and ube (yam) flavored Sorbetes (local Pinoy “dirty” street ice cream — it’s NOT dirty, it’s just the way Filipinos got used to calling it), my coffee Barako (fresh local Batangas coffee) and my Lumpiang Sariwa/Ubod (Vegetable egg rolls from the heart of Banana palms wrapped in crepe, served with sweet sauce infused with fresh minced garlic and ground roasted peanuts).

This is a must-see, a must-visit and a must-experience place to go to for all the Balikbayans going to Quezon City.


Mamang Sorbetero. Order your ice cream on a cup, a cake cone or a bun!! Yes, a BUN!


Arurusip (seaweed) and Manila Clams


Local Roasted Cashew nuts
Wild Pig and Deer Tapas (Dried or Cured Meat)
Sugar-Apple or Atis in Filipino… Childhood memories eating this for snack.
Variety of Dried & Smoked Fish
Ready to eat deep fried snack varieties (Fish, Pork belly, Ukoy, etc)
Heart-attack in a tray (Deep fried Pork skin and fat)
Exotic roasted Calf
My favorite Filipino Pork Barbecue in a Stick!! A must eat for everyone.
Fried here, fried there, fried everywhere!!! Time to eat! Great with Spicy vinegar dipping sauce.

Smokey grilled fish


Ma, it’s our Day!

Life is always celebrated by get togethers, banquets, and laughter but when our most beloved Mom is not around anymore to be appreciated and loved on Mother’s Day, there’s emptiness somewhere unexplainable. Looking back, I have so much to thank my Mom for, and the two most important things are for my life and for the unconditional and unending love she gave me. I miss you on this very special day.

Ma and Me circa 1975, Katipunan Metro Manila Philippines

Why the late post?  It’s because I too celebrated Mother’s Day.  I thank my children and my husband for making my life complete.  My two most precious girls have brought so much happiness, laughter and love into my life.  Because of my girls,  I have learned about my strengths that I never knew I had.  Now that I’m a Mom, I understand… Now that I am a Mom, I just want to thank back my Mom for everything.

Mama & Mei
Portrait of my Mom by Jade Art Masters Class
Ten things I know about my Mom From my Jade for Mother’s Day 2015

Song for Mommy: “Mama”

I used to not like singing this to my Mom because of the sad words in the song but she loved it a lot everytime I sang it to her.  I won my first singing medal when I was in 3rd Grade singing this song by Lea Salonga.

Mama, I miss the days when you were here beside me
Mama, those happy days when you were here to guide me
Safe in the flow of your love
Sent from the heavens above
No one can ever replace
The warmth of your tender embrace

Oh, mama
Until the days that we`re together once more
I live in this memory
Until the days that we`re together once more

Safe in the flow of your love
Sent from the heavens above
No one can ever replace
The warmth of your tender embrace


Oh, mama
Once more…

Filipino Chicken Arroz Caldo (Porridge)


When the family craves for something comforting, another recipe that comes in mind is porridge.  I cook chinese, korean and vietnamese porridge but today, it was a day for my childhood porridge called Chicken Arroz Caldo.

My Mom is not a good cook but when I see or crave for arroz caldo, I always remember her. Now that I cook a lot, I just realized Mommy does not prepare our Arroz Caldo the right way so we always end up eating super dense and sticky porridge, sometimes burnt on the pot but as always, it was heaven for us kids.  

Here’s how I made mine:

1/2 Organic Chicken, including liver, heart, gizzard and neck

3/4 cup short grain white rice

Sliced ginger

Chopped Onions

Minced Garlic

Fried Garlic

Safflower (Kasubha) 

Salt, Pepper, Fish Sauce for seasoning

Chopped scallions for garnishing

Hard Boiled Eggs

Sliced Lemons 

Boil chicken with 1 Tbsp. salt and a whole onion.  Make sure to skim the stock every now and then to keep it clear from scum.  Cook for 30-40 minutes on medium low heat.  Set aside when done.

On a different soup pan, heat oil then start stir frying the ginger, garlic, onions.  Add the rice and cook for a few minutes.  Pour 3 cups chicken stock then let it simmer in medium low heat until rice is half done. 

Add the chicken (roughly chopped or hand-shredded), season with salt, pepper, fish sauce to taste then add the safflower to add a vibrant shade of yellow to the porridge.  Add 4-5 cups more chicken stock and continue to cook until porridge is rich and glutinous enough to eat.

To serve, top with hard boiled egg, scallions, fried garlic and squeeze some lemon juice before eating.

Indulge!  Easy, healthy and comforting.

“Ma, I miss your Arroz Caldo.”

Phở Gà (Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup) using my homegrown Bean Sprouts

Pho Ga

The best part of growing your own sprouts is the day you harvest.  There are a number of family favorite recipes where I can use my bean sprout harvest but I decided to make hubby’s favorite comfort soup, Chicken Phở.

HarvestsBean Sprouts

Since we used our own harvested bean sprouts (grown in my Le Creuset Stock pot) and fresh basil from my garden, our children craved and dug into the pile of their choice toppings to fill their chicken noodle soup bowls.  Phở is one of the most vibrant, comforting and delicate flavors I’ve ever tasted.  I got hooked with this soup because of the many fresh ingredients mixed all together.  I learned my recipe from reading Vietnamese cook books, asking around Vietnamese friends and following Helen and learning her easy Phở recipe online.  Here it is:

Pho Ga


Wash a whole chicken (I only use organic chicken when making soup) very well.  Rub it with salt to remove the smell then rinse completely.  Add chicken into a big pot and fill it with water until water is covering chicken itself.  Add 1 tbsp. of salt and 1 medium whole peeled onion.  Bring to boil and carefully and consistently skim off the foam.  When all the foam are gone, continue simmering until chicken is tender, around 30-45 minutes depending on the size of your chicken.

I purchase a Phở packet from our local Vietnamese market and I added it to the stock 10 minutes before the soup is done.  This gives the soup the authentic Phở aroma.

When chicken is cooked, remove from stock, wash and cool down.  Slice the chicken meat depending on the size you like or shred it into chunks.

On a large serving bowl,  place a handful of blanched Vietnamese Phở Noodles (I buy the “802 Brand Rice Sticks at 99 Ranch Market).  Top with chicken, sliced lime leaves, chopped green onions, thinly sliced onions (soaked in cold water), basil and bean sprouts.  Serve the hot stock onto the bowl then serve the Phở with these optional ingredients:  cilantro leaves, fish sauce, hoisin sauce, and/or chili sauce.