Pork Binagoongan (fermented shrimp paste stewed pork)

Pork Binagoongan with coconut milk

This is Jade’s 2nd favorite Filipino dish.   I cooked this batch because she requested me to make it for dinner.

Just like the salty and fermented Korean Kimchi, the Filipino shrimp paste is a perfect match with pork.

This recipe is very flavorful and is best eaten with steamed white rice.

Here’s how I made it:

Boil 1 1/2-2 lbs. of pork shoulder (cut into small serving pieces) in a deep pot with 4 cups  water, 4 pcs. of bay leaf, 1 medium onion, sliced and ground black pepper.  Make sure to skim the broth to keep it clear and clean.  Once boiling, cover the pot and simmer the pork for 25 minutes until it is tender.

Uncover the pot and continue to boil until the stock evaporates.  We don’t want a lot of stock on this recipe.  When we see just enough broth, add in your favorite Filipino sautéed shrimp paste about 1/2 cup or more (depending on your taste), some sugar and 3 diced tomatoes.  Continue to simmer.  Add some green chili and a few tablespoons of coconut cream.  When chili is cooked, it is done!

Another variety for this is adding sliced eggplants into the recipe.  It’s like Thai curry without the curry 😊 but instead, it’s Bagoong (shrimp paste).

I hope you try this recipe.  By the way, you can buy Filipino fermented shrimp pastes at a lot of Asian stores.  You need to use the cooked/sautéed shrimp paste, not the raw (bright pink) kind.

Ginisang Bagoong Alamang (sautéed fermented shrimp paste)
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Pinakbet (Filipino steamed mixed vegetable dish)

 

When I saw this Veggie grab bag ad in one of my favorite Asian grocer (Tokyo Central formerly known as Marukai Market) magazine, I thought the veggies will be more like green beans, carrots, Brussel sprouts but when we went to the market, I grabbed a veggie bag and filled it with cherry tomatoes, okra and mushrooms.  With all that I have, plus my left-over quarter kabocha (a Japanese variety of winter squash), today I cooked Pinakbet.

Store magazine ad for All-You-Can-Fit-In-A-Bag
Store magazine ad for All-You-Can-Fit-In-A-Bag (Vegetables) for $1.88/bag

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Maíz con hielo (Corn with Ice) at Manila Sunset, National City California

Maíz con hielo is a cold, sweet and refreshing desert snack in the Philippines.  We used to make these a lot during the hot and humid summer months when we had no school.  It’s a very economical treat and it’s very easy to make even minors can do it themselves (except for opening a canned corn, they will need assistance from a grown-up)

The picture shown on my blog is a special version of Maíz con hielo.  I ordered this from a small Filipino restaurant in National City and their version includes a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a small chunk of Leche Flan (Filipino Custard).  Really, when you want to make this, you don’t need these special ingredients.

Maiz con Hielo with Vanilla Ice cream and custard

Here’s the recipe for Maiz con Hielo

Ingredients:

  • Canned sweet corn (Whole Kernel or Creamed Style)
  • Shaved Ice
  • White sugar
  • Evaporated Milk (or any milk available)…

Procedure:

In a large glass, put as much canned sweet corn that you like.  i usually put 1/4 cup or a little bit more.  Then add the shaved ice, sugar (depending on how sweet you want it to be) and milk.  That’s it!!!  Mix it well before enjoying.  You can add any special ingredients like sweetened fruits, nuts, granola, ice cream, etc.

Easy right?  I hope you can make some and show me some pictures of what you made.  I will make some for my children tomorrow, they love it!

By the way, because we were in a Filipino restaurant, we ordered other delicacies like the Bibingka (Charcoal steamed Rice Cake) and Fresh Lumpiang Ubod (Egg roll Crepe with Palm Hearts and vegetables).

Bibingka (Charcoal Steamed Filipino Rice Cake with salty cheese, sugar and freshly grated coconut
Lumpiang Ubod (Fresh Crepe rolled Palm Hearts and mixed vegetables topped with sweet sauce, peanuts, garlic…

Pinoy Streetfood: Nilagang Mani (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:

Ingredients:

  • 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

NOTES:

Balikbayan Filipino Street Food at Centris Weekend Market

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)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sugar-apple
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

 

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.”

Chinese Tsa/Cha misua and Misua birthday noodles

Special thanks to Mommy Dylebing 🙂 for being my teacher

Marrying into a Filipino-Chinese family was a life-changer to me.  Since childhood, I enjoyed learning about different cultures in Asia and now that I am older, food culture really catches my interest.  One thing me and my husband promised to one another is that after getting married, we will continue one special Filipino-Chinese tradition he grew up with.  That is, having a yearly traditional chinese birthday noodles called “misua.”

From day one of marriage we have always made this soup to traditionally serve first thing in the morning for our birthday celebrant in the family.

What does having misua soup or cha misua mean to the Chinese?  From what I read and what I learned from my mother-in-law, having this soup symbolizes several things – The long noodles symbolizes longevity.  It is said that for a traditional Chinese birthday, serving long noodles represent many more years to live.  It is a Chinese superstition that breaking or cutting the noodle will bring bad luck so every time we make this soup, the utmost care is observed to make sure the noodles are cooked well without breaking them.

Chicken to Chinese represents happiness, prosperity and if served whole, it means family reunion or togetherness of the family.   Eggs symbolizes fertility or fruitfulness.  And so on and so forth…

Now, I want to teach my viewers how to make this traditional Chinese birthday noodles.  I made two types of birthday noodles.  First is the Misua birthday soup and the next is the Cha/Tsa Misua or the stir-fried noodles which my husband always calls “tuyong misua” (dry misua) in Filipino.

MISUA SOUP INGREDIENTS:

1 whole chicken, boiled for 30-45 minutes (no salt)

Misua noodles

Hard boiled eggs (one per person), peeled and served whole

Minced garlic, browned in oil with a little salt

Chopped Green onions, for garnishing

Shred shards of chicken (himay in Tagalog or pull by hand) then set aside.  Reboil the chicken stock used to boil the chicken making sure to skim off any foam.  Upon boiling, add the shredded chicken meat and misua.  No need to put salt as the misua noodles are already salted.  Cook for 3-5 minutes depending on how you want your noodles done.  Serve in a bowl and top with one whole hard-boiled egg, sautéed brown garlic and chopped green onions.

INGREDIENTS FOR TSA/CHA MISUA

1 whole Chicken Breast, sliced thinly

5-10 pieces of medium-sized Shrimp, deveined and sliced in half

1/2 cup of good quality fish balls or scallops, sliced

Small piece of Pork, tenderloin or any tender part (boiled and sliced thinly)

Chinese long-life birthday noodles

4 large Eggs

1 bunch of sliced green onions, for garnishing

5-10 pieces dried Shiitake mushrooms, rehydrated with warm water for 1-2 hours

1/2 cup shredded Cabbage

1/2 cup sliced Crimini mushrooms

1/2 cup julliened Carrots

1/2 cup threaded and sliced Sugar snap peas

3/4 cup raw Peanuts with skin

1 bunch of fresh Cilantro, washed and roughly chopped for garnishing

Lots of Shallots, for garnishing

Oyster Sauce

Rice cooking wine

Olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

First thing I do is I always roast the peanuts on a hot frying pan.  It is done when the aroma of freshly roasted nuts, about 3-5 minutes of medium heat is fragrant in the kitchen.  With the same pan, using 2 beaten eggs, make a very thin omelet for garnishing later.  The other two eggs needs to be cooked in boiling water until hard-boiled, about 12 minutes.

In another shallow cooking pan, boil water and cook the long life noodles according to package instructions.  This will always depend on the kind of noodles you have available in your area.  Mine took 2-4 minutes to cook in boiling water.  After boiling, strain the noodles and quickly wash with cold water.  Before setting aside, put a little bit of sesame oil and mix the noodles well to prevent it from sticking.

In a large wok, heat olive oil to medium heat.  Cook the shallots until translucent then season with salt to taste.  Set this aside for garnishing.  I make lots of shallots because this makes the misua taste so good.

In the same wok, heat more olive oil to medium high heat.  Cook the drained shiitake mushroom until brown and fragrant.  Add the garlic, chicken, shrimp, pork and fish balls.  Cook until everything is more than half done.  Season with a little salt and pepper then stir fry with some rice cooking wine.  Next, add the rest of the ingredients – carrots, cabbage, sugar snap peas and crimini mushrooms.  Mix in 1 tbps of oyster sauce then cook and mix everything well.

To serve, put the noodles on a serving platter/bowl.  Top with the meat and vegetable mixture.  Garnish with sliced omelet, sliced hard-boiled eggs, roasted peanuts, chopped cilantro leaves and green onions.  Each person who eats will mix in their own fried shallots according to their preference.

VOILA!!!!  All done!

I love cooking this for my family.   Even our children had their first misua soup on their first birthdays and still does every year as their birthdays are celebrated.  As for me, my family makes it for me when it’s my birthday and that what makes our celebration very special.  It’s not the gifts, the cakes, balloons or ice cream – it’s our birthday misua soup that we enjoy as a family together first thing in the morning on our special days.

Enjoy!!!

Daddy’s Filipino Pork and Chicken Adobo

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 and ready for eating.

There are many recipes online on how to make this.  My recipe was handed down to me by my Dad so to me, it is a very special recipe dear to my heart and unfortunately, I am not willing to share 😛

I may not be the best Adobo cook but still, each time I follow the step-by-step instructions my Dad taught me, it reminds me of the good happy days as I watch him do his tricks in our small kitchen.

I know maybe you’re thinking, then why am a blogging about Adobo??? Because I want to share my photos 🙂

Okay, here’s a link I found on how to cook Adobo.

I miss you Daddy! This is for you!

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Philippine Tamarind Pork Soup (“American Sinigang”)


Philippine tamarind pork soup.
Originally uploaded by doyd74

Today, I want to share this all-time family favorite dish. Sinigang (as how we call it in Filipino) is a Philippine soup characterized by it’s sour flavor. To me it is somehow similar to Thai’s tom yam soup.

All the children in our family, both father and mother-side loves this soup. If we want the kids to eat a lot for dinner or lunch, just cook Sinigang 🙂

Here’s how to make it:

1 pound of Pork (short ribs, neckbone, belly, shoulder or even tenderloin)
1 large Tomato
1 medium Daikon (you can use Korean daikon too)
1 bunch or pack of Spinach
4-5 pieces of Taro corms (Gabi)
1 pack of Sinigang mix (can be purchased at a local Chinese/Filipino supermarket)
1 teaspoon of Fish Sauce

Cut/chop the pork into large bite sizes. Wash it well.
Boil 8-10 cups of water. Upon boiling, add the pork. Let it simmer for a few minutes. Remove all the pork scum or brown bubbles that forms on top of the soup making sure nothing’s left.

Add the tomatoes, sinigang mix and gabi. Reduce the fire to medium and cover the pot. Let it simmer for about 30 minutes.

Once the pork is tender, add the daikon and fish sauce. When daikon is cooked according to how you want it to be, you may add the spinach and simmer for another minute or two.

I call this my American Sinigang because I make it using the ingredients we have here in America. Originally, when I was small, my Dad would use pork neckbones and he would simmer it until the soup really tastes so good. Then he added water spinach (“kang-kong”) or yardlong beans/chinese string beans (“sitaw”), sometimes even eggplants and okra.

Most Filipinos like to cook Sinigang with a piece of green finger pepper. Here in the US, I use Korean green chili or anaheim peppers to enhance the taste while adding a little kick of spice to the soup.

Sinigang… a best-loved dish from my kitchen. Try it!!