Showing posts from August, 2009

Ginataang Puso na Saging

Ginataang Puso ng Saging, Banana Blossom in Coconut Milk is another unique Pinoy food that uses the banana blossom (flower bud) or puso ng saging to Pinoy parlance. Choosing the best banana blossoms is a problem for those who are not familiar of the type of banana blossoms. As a rule choose blossoms that have a round tip end or those that are long with smaller diameter. Other types have bitter tastes which require squishing out the juices by soaking the sliced banana blossoms in water and salt solution. Generally banana blossoms sold at most vegetable market are the non bitter type and on most Metro Manila wet markets they are sold already sliced. Here is the recipe.


6 cup thinly sliced puso ng saging, banana blossom
4 cup malungay, moringa leaves
2 cup fresh alamang, krill
2 cup coconut milk, kakang gata2 cup coconut milk, second extract
1 thumb size ginger, cut into strips
1/2 head garlic, chopped
1 medium size onion, chopped
3 tbsp. vinegar
1/4 cup patis, fish sauce

Chicken with Ampalaya Tendrils and Sotanghon

Chicken with Ampalaya Tendrils and Sotanghon is an Ilocano version of chicken tinola. This dish is best with native chicken hen preferably those that have started laying eggs. For this reason the dish is something special that is served at Ilocano households to important or especial guest.

Bitter guard in a chicken ginger soup might not sound right to most Pinoys especially those who shy away from ampalaya, but I assure you it is a delicious dish. Of course any chicken can be used should a free range native chicken is not available. Here is the recipe.
1 kilo chicken 1/2 kilo sotanghon, vermicelli noodles, soaked in water 2 thumb size ginger, cut into strips 2 bundle ampalaya tendrils, remove from stem 1 bundle chilli tendrils, remove from stem 1/2 head garlic, chopped 1 medium size onion, chopped 3 pcs. siling haba, green chili 1/2 cup patis, fish sauce salt and pepper cooking oil
Cooking procedure:

Cut chicken into serving pieces with the bones intact. Wash thoroughly and …

Steamed Tilapia

Steamed Tilapia. I was surprised the first time I learned that steamed fish from Chinese restaurants are first pouched before steaming with the required ingredients. And at some instances they never actually steam the fish. I later learned that this is done for the following reason. First is to rid off or reduce the unpleasant fishiness and to significantly reduce the cooking time of the fish especially with large fish. My steamed tilapia uses the same poached/steam method, of course there are several method by the Chinese in steaming a fish including pouring hot oil over the steamed fish but that is reserved for future post. Here is a simple method of steaming a fish.


2 medium size tilapia2 thumb size ginger, cut into strips
1 small bundle spring onion, cut into 2” length
1 small bundle kinchay, Chinese parsley copped
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 tsp. sugar
toasted sesame seeds (optional)
1 tsp. sesame oil

Cooking procedure:

Remove gills, scales and innards of fish. Trim fin…

Bangus Belly Bistek Tagalog

Bangus Belly Bistek Tagalog. The best part of a milkfish is the belly, I am speaking on my personal preference but I am sure most of Pinoys will agree with me. Bangus belly are available in the most supermarkets and they are even sold boneless therefore availability is not a problem.

I preferred it fresh so I have to use the belly from a large milkfish I bought from the fish market. I just used the fatty belly and keep aside the remaining part for other dish. To cook a milkfish belly in a bistek Tagalog style the fish has to be fried first. To avoid damaging the belly fats, the fish have to be fried with the skin positioned at the bottom and then carefully flip over and just quickly fry the fatty side.

Warning when frying milkfish, expect a lot of splashing. Here is the recipe.
1/2 kilo bangus, milkfish belly 2 medium size onion, sliced into rings 1/2 head garlic, finely chopped 1/2 cup soy sauce 1/4 cup kalamasi juice pepper cooking oil

Cooking procedure:
Marinate milkfish…

Vigan Ukoy

Vigan Ukoy is also sold along side the popular Vigan empanada at the Vigan Empanadaanunder the bell tower of St. Paul Cathedral. This ukoy may be less popular but it is equally as good as the Vigan empanada. Vigan ukoy is crispy shrimp fritter made up of small shrimps and glutinous rice batter and served in Ilocos cane vinegar with garlic, onion and hot chili.

The ukoy is fried in a wok of hot cooking oil, to achieve that extra crispiness, the ukoy batter is slowly poured on the hot cooking oil in a circular manner. This method will result a crispy thin airy fritter compared to the solid patties of a regular ukoy. Here is the recipe.


3 cup small shrimps
1 small bundle spring onion, chopped
2 cup glutinous rice flour
1 teaspoons baking powder
1 piece medium size egg, beaten
salt and pepper
cooking oil

Cooking procedure:

In a bowl mix glutinous rice flour add dash of salt and pepper to taste. Blend in the beaten egg and 1 1/2 cup of water until a smooth batter is produced. Ad…

Vigan Empanada

Vigan Empanada. I finally tried to make myself a Vigan empanada. I have to make that visit to Mac’s Deli empanada stall at Mall of Asia to see how they actually cook it and to try to dissect what is actually inside the filling. I have seen the empanada makers at Vigan on how they make them but I did not have a change to confirm what is in the empanada filling. Some version of the Vigan empanada uses other vegetables in addition to the basic grated papaya filling. Mac’s Deli empanada uses just grated papaya, longganisa filling and a piece of egg, half of the egg whites discarded.

Making the crust was a challenge it is not easy at all, if it is to thin it can not hold the filling and it will break, if it’s too thick it is like the crust of a pie. Rolling and folding the crust and eventually deep frying need a lot of practice. Here’s how I made it.


1 1/2 cup glutinous rice flour
1/2 cup water
1 tbsp. atsute in oil (optional)
1 small size unripe papaya, grated, blanched
4 pcs.…

Spaghetti with Halaan

Spaghetti with Clams. Spaghetti to most Pinoys is made up of usually overcooked spaghetti in sourly sweet tomato sauce and sometimes with banana ketchup ground pork and/or beef, hotdog and other finely chopped vegetables. With all those required ingredients Pinoy spaghettidon’t come cheap, for this reason most of the time home cooked spaghetti are only served at special occasions. There are other simpler and cheaper ways to cook and enjoy spaghetti that can be prepared at home, one such is spaghetti with sardines. Click here to see that post.

Today I would like to share another way of cooking spaghetti. Spaghetti with halaan uses clams that are in abundance at wet markets and just garlic and kinchay (Chinese parsley) as aromatics ingredients. Olive oil might not sound normal to Pinoy cooking, if not available use a good vegetable oil. Using wine is an option for this recipe but if it’s available it is good to use some. Fresh clams are best for this recipe but the clams should be thoro…

Batchoy Tagalog

Batchoy Tagalog is not similar to the La Paz batchoy of Iloilo. The Tagalog version is more similar to tinola in cooking method. Batchoy Tagalog is a soup dish made up pork loin and pork innards like kidney, spleen, liver and heart sautéed in ginger, garlic and onion. Pork blood is also added to the dish. Misua noodle is used instead of miki noodle. The pork blood is added in liquefied form which result a murky black soup dish that is un appealing to those who are not familiar with this delicious dish.

Here is my version of a more subdued batchoy Tagalog, in terms of visual appearance. Pork innards will also contribute on the murky color of the dish especially the spleen and liver, so I omitted the pork innards. Beside they are probably not readily available at some part of the globe. Pork blood is an essential ingredient, I have to use coagulated pork blood and pre-boiled to a firm solid, rinse and cut into cubes. Now you have good batchoy Tagalog that is visually appealing as well. …

Cebu Pochero, Bulalo

Cebu Pochero, Bulalo. There is no better way to cook a bulalo than to slow cook it until the tendons and meats almost fall off from the bone. Cebuanos call their bulalao pochero. Beef shanks in one piece with meats still clinging to the bone and the bone marrow safely intact at the bone cavity are slow cooked for hours which results a very savory beef broth with out the addition of artificial flavorings.

Flavors are further enhanced by the use of bamboo shoots and sweet corns in cobs, these are the two vegetable ingredients of Cebuano pochero that distinguished the dish from the Tagalog bulalao version. I love bulalo but the dish is loaded with cholesterol that is evident by the amount of floating fats on the broth. I have to scooped them out, the best way is to chill the broth until the fats solidify this way it is easier to scoop them out. Here is my recipe.


1 to 1.5 kilo bulalo, beef shank, in one piece
2 bundles pechay, trimmed
1/2 medium size cabbage, cut into wedges

Crispy Pork Dinuguan

Crispy Pork Dinuguan is one popular version of the Pinoy's favorite blood stew dish. It is made up of crispy fried pork. In Vigan they use chopped bagnet a local version of crispy fried pork similar to lechon kawali. For my version I used chopped lechon kawali and pork intestines.

I like my dinuguan with pork intestine, personally I always thought pork innards are essential ingredients for a good dinuguan. Of course other pork part like the pig face or ears can also be used as an alternative.

For maximum crispiness fried pork should only be added when ready to serve. Enjoy…


1 kilo lechon kawali, chopped
1/2 kilo pork intestine
10 cup fresh pork blood, strain
1 1/2 head garlic, crushed
1/2 thumb size ginger, crushed
1 head garlic, chopped
2 medium size onion, chopped
3 cup vinegar
1 cup patis, fish sauce
6 pcs. siling haba
3-5 pcs. bay leaf
cooking oil

Cooking procedure:

In a pot, put intestine and add enough water to cover, add crushed garlic and crus…

Lemon Chicken

Lemon Chicken is one of the more popular methods of chicken preparation especially to Chinese and Western cuisines. To most Pinoy households lemon chicken is not as common, but is one of the main dish choices of bigger restaurants. Luk Yuen a Chinese specialty restaurant is now aggressively promoting their lemon chicken.

Big billboards and posters of their lemon chicken are being displayed at their restaurant, specifically at their Cash and Carry branch at Makati City. I have been eating to this restaurant several times when ever I am in the area. I like their food plus the prices are reasonable and the place is very clean, it is a value for money. The other day their lemon chicken caught my attention because of the obvious reasons mentioned above, as expected it was equally as good. The dish is simple, there are no out of this world fancy ingredient except the lemons and I though I could replicate it.

The fried chicken coatings are light brown in color but still crisp when the lemon …

Spaghetti with Fried Sardines in Hot and Spicy Sauce

Spaghetti with Fried Sardines in Hot and Spicy Sauce is a product from all those extra fried tawilis sardines in hot and spicy sauce from my last post. This one is straight forward all was needed was about cup of the fried sardines poured over a platter of cooked spaghetti noodles and topped with grated cheese.

It was simply great the fried tawilis sardines sauce was just right, sweet sour, hot and spicy. The idea started when I first tasted a can of Master fried sardine in hot and spicy sauce, it was how my recipe for the fried tawilis sardine was created.

Should you like to try this spaghetti version there is no need to cook the sardines yourself, just open a can of Master fried sardine, enjoy..


1 platter spaghetti, cooked
1 cup fried tawilis sardine in hot and spicy sauce
or 1 small can Master fried sardines in hot and spicy sauce
grated cheese


Pour over sardine in hot and spicy sauce in a platter of spaghetti noodles. Top with grated cheddar cheese and serve.


Fried Tawilis Sardines in Hot and Spicy Sauce

Fried Tawilis Sardines in Hot and Spicy Sauce. You might have known already the tawilis of Taal Lake processed into sardine Spanish style in olive or corn oil. On this post I am offering an alternative way of preparing tawilis sardine, fried in hot and spicy sauce.

Tawilis is actually a sardine fish, a fresh water sardine fish specie found only in Taal Lake. Tawilis are usually crispy fried, cooked paksiw style or even grilled. You need to visit Tagaytay or Batangas should you wish to have a really fresh tawilis. Tawilis sardine prepared as Spanish style sardine in oil have now hit most of the more popular supermarket in Metro Manila, they are available bottled form.

Fried tawilis sardines in hot and spicy sauce conceived when I came to taste a similar canned sardine preparation from a popular canned sardine brand Master Sardines. Master fried sardine hot and spicy sauce has the sour sweet taste similar to the Pinoy spaghetti that Pinoy childrens and even adults have come to love.

To c…