Showing posts from October, 2010

What is the best camera for taking food photos?

What is the best camera for taking food photos? Several of my readers have been asking what type of camera I have been using to take all those amazing photo that I featured. You might be surprised if I tell you that I just used a compact digital still camera, it’s an old Panasonic DMC-TZ1 camera. I have been using the camera since I started Overseas Pinoy Cooking sometime in July, 2007.

My old Panasonic DMC-TZ1 camera
The camera was actually bought to be used in my work. At that time I needed a digital camera that is easy to use, durable and I could carry around. I wanted a camera that could take macro photos and with high zooming capabilities, a camera that could take fast and steady photos as I will be using it candidly and sometimes at difficult places. The camera has to have a decent megapixel picture quality and the camera has to have a battery that could last longer.

Photo on oily food
The Panasonic DMC-TZ1 at that time was my best choice. It has all the features that I wanted. I wa…

Aussie Burger, Burger with the Lot

Aussie Burger, Burger with the Lot is an Australia classic super hamburger sandwich. Its massive sandwich that you would not bother having it with potato chips (fries). They are not available in McDonald’s or Hungry Jack’s (Burger King) but sold in fish and chips shops, canteens and other sandwich shops, you can find them almost everywhere except but not on the multinational fast food chains. I have had my try on the burger during my work stints at different places in Australia. During those work assignment I have the opportunity to see Australia’s country side.

Watch out for those Kangaros
Ok this is a food blog not a travel blog, back to the subject. The Aussie burger is made up of large soft rolls (buns), loaded with large beef burger and the lot made up of cheese, bacon, pineapple slice (remember the Hawaiian Hamburger of Tropical Hut) sunny side up fried egg, sliced beet root, sliced tomato, grilled sliced onion rings, lettuce, sliced gherkins with tomato sauce (ketchup) and must…

Boneless Crispy Pata

Boneless Crispy Pata. I was watching a video of an episode of Delicioso hosted by Sam Oh and Jackie Ang-Po, the guest cook is no other than the amusing Chef Boy Logro. On the video Chef Boy Logro explain how to debone a pork leg. Click here to see that Delicioso Video Then I got inspired to make a simple boneless crispy pata that I could share. I know it’s not easy to debone a big pork leg. Here is a better and easier way to debone and cook boneless pata.

You would not need all those methods that chef boy Logro explained in the video, it is however important that you watch the video to learn how to debone a pork leg. For my method select a moderate or small size pata. Ask the butcher to cut the pork leg in two at the joint, cut and discard the ends where the nails are. If you wish you may keep it for other use. Now that the pork leg is cut into two pieces it is easier to debone and of course cook. When the pork leg deboned, straight away boil it till tender with the aromatics and gene…

Tinolang Manok sa Ampalaya

Tinolang Manok sa Ampalaya is an Ilokano version of chicken in ginger soup with ampalaya or bitter gourd. Ilokano loves vegetables and including the bitter gourd (parya in Ilokano dialect) the vegetable is usually added from the famous Ilokano vegetable dish pinakbet to guinisang mongo and other dishes including tinola. Ilokano uses ampalaya instead of the usual papaya or sayote which makes the soup of the dish taste bitter. Ilocano who for some reason love bitter dishes one such famous dish is the papaitan.

There is one similar soup dish where sotanghon noodles is also added to the tinolang manok. If the ampalaya fruit is not available the leaves and tendrils is also used, click here to see that post. Cooking method is similar to tinolang manok with papaya or tinolang manok with sayote. I could not find chili leaves so I substituted it with baby spinach I just used extra green chili to compensate for the supposed chili aroma from chili leaves. Here is the recipe of tinolang manok wit…

Seafood Bouillabaisse, Pinoy Style

Seafood Bouillabaisse, Pinoy Style. I have been receiving several request of a bouillabaisse recipe for some time now. After managing to collect some ingredients I am finally cooking my version of bouillabaisse soup, I call it Seafood Bouillabaisse, Pinoy Style. I have to substitute ingredients that can be found on a most Pinoy kitchen.

Cooking is fairly easy except for preparation of the soup base which could take anywhere from 45 minutes to more than an hour, it really depends on one preference if you have time then go ahead boil it a little longer. 

My version of bouillabaisse is made up of some mussels, clams, crabs, prawns and for the fish I used talakitok (trevally). I substituted the expensive saffron with annatto powder (Mama Sita Annato Powder in sachet, it is available in most Asian store. Okey here is the recipe of my version bouillabaisse soup.
1 medium size talakitok, trevally or any similar fish 6-8 pieces medium size prawns, pre-boiled shelled 2-3 pieces med…

Ginataang Tahong, Mussels in Coconut Milk

Ginataang Tahong is another alternative cooking method for mussels which I like to share. In the Philippines we have the green mussels which we Pinoy usually cooked it with ginger, tinolang tahong or broiled it with cheese, baked tahong. The mussels available here in Australia are the blue mussel varieties. They are sold live, scrub cleaned, de-bearded and ready to cook. They are vacuumed pack in plastic packs with salt water to last and stay alive for at least 7days and available in most supermarkets and seafood shops at 1 kilo a packet “live pot ready mussels”.

The other day I bought one and kept it in my refrigerator for a couple of days that was convenient, just imagine live mussels you can keep in your refrigerator and cook it whenever you have time with in 7days. Today as I mentioned above I like to share how I cook Ginataang Tahong or Mussels in Coconut Milk. The best method is to first steam the live mussels in their own juice, remove from the pot and separate the juices and t…

Fried Fish with Pinoy Mango Avocado Salsa

Fried Fish with Pinoy Mango Avocado Salsa, I bought a very fresh fish from the Fish Cooperative Market this morning. The fish is called yellow fin bream which is a common fish on this side of Australia. I just fried it using a lot of oil just enough that the skin is crisp but the meat is still succulent and not dry. I paired the fried fish with a salsa made up of mango, avocado, tomato and some onion with a dash of fish sauce. The salsa was so perfect with the fish. Mango is in season now on this part of Australia however they are still quite expensive at AU$2.50 apiece. Never the less it was worth a meal, I just love fresh fish. Here is the recipe on how I made my Fried Fish with Pinoy Mango Avocado Salsa.


1 medium size yellow fin bream fish, or any similar fish.
1 small size half ripe mango, peeled, de-seeded, diced
1 small size avocado, peeled, de-seeded, diced
1 medium size tomato, diced
1 small size onion, diced
fish sauce
salt and pepper
cooking oil

Cooking procedure:

T-Bone Steak with Mushroom Gravy, Pinoy Style

T-Bone Steak with Mushroom Gravy, Pinoy Style. Most of us Pinoys want our dishes with sauce that goes with our rice. The steak is not an exemption, we like it serve with gravy. Today I will share to you how to make a steak with mushroom gravy. The gravy I made for my T-bone steak is different from the mushroom sauce that I have already featured in my Salisbury steak recipe or pork chop with mushroom sauce recipe which all used Campbell Mushroom Condense Soup. The gravy mix is similar to the gravy I used on my Kentucky fried chicken recipe. I used roux as a base for the gravy. The steak was pan broiled with generous amount of butter. The extra butter in pan broiling the steak is needed to extract some of the flavours from the steak. The T-bone steak which I used is about an inch in thickness it take about 5 minutes each side to broil at high heat, then I let it rest while I am cooking the mushroom gravy. Cooking time really depends on how you want your steak cooked and thickness, but d…

Stuffed Squid in Oyster Hoisin Sauce

Stuffed Squid in Oyster Hoisin Sauce. Here is another kitchen experiment I just made for lunch today and I want to share to everyone. This one is fairly moderate to prepare in the sense that it involves stages of preparation and cooking, not to mention the time and effort in cleaning the squid. For the recipe I used small to medium size squid, I would have preferred the use of larger size squid but I’m afraid the stuffing might not be properly cooked. The squid should be thoroughly clean including removal of the skin membrane, all the innards was discarded but the head and tentacles are reserved.

For the stuffing I used finely diced pork coarsely ground pork may be used, finely diced bacons for flavors, finely diced shrimp I used a lot and frozen mixed vegetables I used the regular ones but you may choose you on combination if you prefer fresh vegies. I have to sauté the stuffing with garlic and onion before actually stuffing them to the squid cavity for the reason that squid will be …

Crab with Sotanghon in Black Bean Sauce

Crab with Sotanghon in Black Bean Sauce is another experimental dish I would like to share. This is one good way to recycle left over crabs if you happen to have some. The recipe is fairly easy, no secret ingredients it is basically a noodle stir-fry cooking method. Bottled black bean sauce are available in most supermarket or Asian food store, it may be substituted by mashing drained and rinsed tausi or fermented black beans.

The crabs are stir-fried with ginger, garlic and onion then simmered with black beans sauce for a few minutes then let the vermicelli noodles absorbed all the flavors. Here is the recipe of my experimental Crab with Sotanghon in Black bean Sauce try it.
4 to 6 medium size crabs, steamed, cut in half 250 grams vermicelli noddles, soaked with warm water, drained 1 thumb size ginger, cut into thin strips 1/2 head garlic, chopped 3 to 5 stalk Chinese parsley, chopped 1 small bundle spring onion, chopped 1 small size onion, chopped 1/4 cup black bean sauc…

Paksiw na Lechon

Paksiw na Lechon. Should you happen to have a lot of leftover lechon baboy, which I doubt it, here is an easy cooking method for paksiw na lechon. The procedure is dead easy just throw in everything in a saucepan and let cook until the meat literally start to fall apart. This recipe does not require any sautéing, we are cooking paksiw na lechon here not guinisa. You cannot go wrong with this recipe as long as you used bottled all-purpose lechon sauce.

However if your leftover lechon baboy comes with a leftover sauce that was made together with the lechon itself then I would advise to adjust the amount of vinegar and sugar. You might also need to correct the saltiness. Here is the simple recipe of my paksiw na lechon, enjoy.
1/2 kilo leftover lechon 1 cup lechon sauce 1/2 head garlic, crushed 1/4 cup vinegar 1/2 -1 tbsp. sugar 2 to 3 tbsp. soy sauce 2-3 pcs. bay leaf 1/2 tsp. peppercorns
Cooking procedure:

In sauce pan place the left over lechon and add in the vinegar, soy s…

Sinigang na Sugpo sa Buko

Sinigang na Sugpo sa Buko. A couple of weeks ago there were several articles that come out about sinigang sa buko, its origins or as the article claims created by someone else. This was of course rebuffed by most of the readers especially the Bikolanos and some from the Visayas. I totally agree with the readers any dish like the sinigang sa buko that is unique to its place of origin should not be attributed to individuals but to the locals of the regions where the dish is known for. I myself have had sinigang sa buko in the early 80’s on my Provincial work assignments at Legaspi. I also have read sinigang sa buko being served by restaurant in some part of Visayas, even in Mindanao and Palawan I did a Google search for the recipe but there are none. Except for one but I doubt it if the author really have cooked the dish imagine using 1/2 cup of sinigang mix powder. Ok I’ll guess I will just start from scratch to recreate the dish, anyone who have been regularly cooking sinigang sa buko

Sinuam na Halaan at Mais, Clam and Corn in Ginger Soup

Sinuam na Halaan at Mais, Clam and Corn in Ginger Soup. Today I found this vacuum packed pre-cooked gourmet clams at a seafood shop. It is excessively costly but what the heck it’s been ages since we had halaan. I wanted a soup of halaan with corn kernels with ginger and lemongrass similar to Bisaya tinowa soup. Fresh sweet corns on cobs were available on my favourite supermarket but it was equally costly and it would end up an expensive lunch. In the end I have to settle for canned corn kernels.

Frozen chili leaves are also available on one of the Filipino food shop here, again it was excessively exorbitant and they come in large package it’s not worth for its purpose as an alternative I will just use baby spinach and will use extra green chilli. The lemongrass was also expensive but I have one stalk siting in my fridge for some time. Use of lemongrass may be omitted if it’s not available. In some supermarket bottled chopped lemongrass are available but I have not tried them they may…

Sautéed Hairy Melon, Pinoy Upo Style

Sautéed Hairy Melon, Pinoy Upo Style. I got intrigue by the constant presence of the hairy melon on the vegetable section of Woolworths Supermarket. It has been some time since the last time I had Upo. I learned from the Ilocano readers of Ilokano Food of FaceBook (check out the site for authentic Ilocano food that are being posted by the members) that zucchini are being used as substitute for upo.
Then I thought hairy melon can also be used as substitute. I was not sure if it work but the resultant dish was great. It is comparable with the Pinoy upo. Here is the recipe of my sautéed hairy melon, Pinoy upo style, try it.
1 medium size hairy melon, peeled, sliced 200 grams pork, boiled, cut into short strips 250 grams small size shrimp, shelled 1/4 head garlic, chopped 1 medium size onion, chopped 2 medium size tomato, chopped 1/4 cup fish sauce vegetable oil salt

Cooking procedure:
In a sauce pan, sauté garlic, onion and tomato. Add in pork and stir cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Add in fis…

Crispy Fried Pla-Pla, Tilapia

Crispy Fried Pla-Pla, Tilapia. I bought a large frozen tilapia at my favorite Pinoy store the other day , I was fascinated by the size of the fish. It’s been ages since I last seen tilapia this size, we Pinoys call these extra-large tilapia “pla-pla”. There was a time in the early 80’s that pla-pla were so popular that a lot of tilapia cooking method was invented.
The most popular was the pinaputok na tilapia, okey I am not cooking pinaputok na pla-pla, I don’t have the extra large frying pan for this fish. Instead I am sharing a crispy fried fish, I am not frying the fish as a whole I don’t have the big pan remember. To make my crispy fried fish I have to cut the fish in to fillet and into serving pieces. I also included the fish head, bones and tail for presentation. For added crispiness I dusted the fish with cornstarch before frying. Here is the recipe of my crispy fried pla-pla.

1 large size tilapia, pla-pla cornstarch salt and pepper cooking oil spring onion for garnish