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Tinolang Manok

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This chicken dish, which is cooked with sliced papaya or chayote (whichever is available), ginger, and chili/pepper leaves is what I always look forward to on rainy days or when recuperating from a cold or flu.  Tinolang manok is also an everyday dish because it is  easy to prepare and its ingredients are often readily available in any Filipino kitchen.  When cooking this dish, I prefer to use fresh pepper or chili leaves.  If these are not available, frozen chili leaves or spinach may be used.

What makes this dish different from other chicken soup is the warm aroma and spiciness of the ginger-infused broth that is sweet and savory.  It can be eaten as a side dish or a main dish.

I can’t wait. Let’s get cooking!

Ingredients:

  • 5-6 slices of chicken thighs and breast
  • 2 chayote (peeled and cut )
  • 1 pack of frozen/ 1 bunch of chili or pepper leaves
  • 1 small onion
  • 2  tbsp fish sauce
  • 4 cups water
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 thumbs of ginger (sliced thinly)

Instructions:

  1. Saute garlic, onion, and ginger in a medium sized pot.
  2. Add chicken and cook until slightly brown, stirring occasionally to prevent it from sticking to the pot.
  3. Add water and fish sauce. As soon as water boils, lower the heat.
  4. Simmer chicken for 20 – 25 minutes until thoroughly cooked.
  5. Add fresh or defrosted chili or pepper leaves and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  6. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. Serve hot.

Tip: Spinach may be used to substitute chili/pepper leaves.

 

 

 

Cassava Suman (Alupi)

Here in the US- my home away from home, I look forward to holidays and weekends when family and friends gather and celebrate. The centerpiece of the gathering is food. Filipino comfort food.

My circle of friends’ most requested merienda (snack) or dessert for pot luck is cassava suman. This kakanin, as we call it in the Philippines, can be cooked using grated cassava or rice flour, depending on one’s preference.

I remember growing up, I would help my mom serve customers at our “sari-sari” store after school and during the weekend.  A lady named “Manang Edna” would stop by selling her kakanin, in a bilao (bamboo tray) or bamboo basket.  One of my favorite kakanin was cassava suman (alupi).  She had other kakanin which I also liked, such as bitso-bitso (fried twisted rice cake), and puto lanson (steamed cassava cake) I will get to these two later.

One important tip in cooking this kakanin is to cook it from scratch. Here in the US, international stores sell fresh cassava or its more common variety, yucca. Grating your own cassava(or yucca) will ensure that the finished product is moist and chewy. Store bought frozen cassava is not only expensive, but it is also a bit too dry compared to its freshly grated counterpart. Grating your own cassava, however, will require some of your time. You can do this while watching your favorite “soap” on TFC. 🙂

Let’s get cooking!

Cassava Suman Recipe

Prep Time: 1.5 hours

Cooking Time: 45 min

Ingredients:

5 pieces medium size cassava

Or

3 packs frozen grated cassava

2 cups brown sugar

banana leaves (washed, pat dried, and wilted by having sides passed over a low burning stove)

Instructions:

  1. To peel the cassava, cut the ends off.  With a knife, cut into the skin by marking around it two to three times.  Then use your fingers to pull the skin away from its smooth surface.
  2. Wash it thoroughly. Then, grate the cassava.(Do not squeeze the juice off.  This will keep it moist.)
  3. Mix the grated cassava with brown sugar until well blended.
  4. Scoop two spoonfuls of the mixture and spread it on a 6 X 10 inches banana leaf.
  5. Roll it, fold the edges and tie both ends with a banana strip.
  6. Bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a steamer.
  7. Arrange the cassava suman in the steamer.(Do not stack them up, so it will cook evenly.)
  8. Boil for 45 minutes.
  9. Remove from heat.  Let it cool. Enjoy!

Tip for cooking:  Steaming the cassava instead of boiling it will ensure that it won’t stick to the leaves and become wet and soggy.

La Paz Batchoy

My cravings for Filipino comfort food begins with this iconic dish from my hometown- Iloilo: LA PAZ Batchoy! This dish is an original Ilonggo comfort food – made of pancit (noodles made of flour, egg, and water)  pork liver, pork shoulder, belly or feet, topped with pork rind (chicharon), green onions, and fried garlic, with the broth as the star ingredient of the dish.  You can easily tell the original La Paz batchoy from another province’s version by its broth. This dish is my number one comfort food. I only get to eat it whenever I visit the Philippines, which is not very often – every three to four years.

The scarcity  of Filipino restaurants that serve delicious authentic Pinoy dishes where I live and not knowing how to cook until recently, made me crave for this dish often. Thus, when something serious happened several months ago, which left me with more time on my hands, I decided to try a new hobby: cooking. And to satisfy my craving, the first recipe I attempted to cook was batchoy.  My journey in the world of food and cooking has begun!

Thank you very much for joining me today! My first featured Filipino dish is La Paz Batchoy. Let’s get cooking!

Below are the ingredients and instructions:

INGREDIENTS:

BROTH/ SOUP

1 lb pork shoulder

1 lb pig’s feet

1 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

2 teaspoons brown sugar

1 1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon shrimp paste

1 beef bouillon ( or beef broth)

1 shrimp bouillon ( or shrimp heads)

salt or soy sauce to taste

6 cups water

NOODLES

3 packs pancit(yellow egg noodles) or yakisoba noodles ( available in Asian and International stores)

TOPPINGS and GARNISHES

1/2 lb pork liver ( boiled separately)

1/2!lb pork stomach ( boiled separately)

5 long green onions ( cut 1 inch long)

10 cloves of garlic chopped and fried

pork rind (chicharon)

soy sauce and black pepper(to adjust taste)

INSTRUCTIONS:

Broth/ Soup

1. In a deep skillet, brown the pig’s feet to add flavor to the broth.

2. Then add 6 cups of water, black pepper, shrimp paste, beef bouillon/ broth, shrimp bouillon or cooked shrimp heads, brown sugar, onion powder and salt.

3. Boil the pig’s feet for at least 2 hours until the flavor comes out and the meat softens.

5. Add the pork shoulder and boil for another 30 minutes or until cooked.

7.  Remove the pork shoulder and some slices of pig’s feet and cut them into smaller pieces. Set aside.

Toppings and Garnishes

1.While preparing the soup, wash and clean the pork stomach and liver thoroughly.

2. Boil the  stomach in water twice and discard the water.

3. Then salt the pork stomach inside and out and boil it again with bay leaves and sliced onions to remove the gamy taste and smell.

4. When the pork stomach is cooked( 30-45 min) remove it from the skillet and cut it into smaller pieces.

5. Then boil the liver in the same skillet used for cooking the pork stomach(20- 25 min). Remove, cut into cubes and set aside.

6. Cut the green onions one- inch long and set aside.

7. Chopped ten cloves of garlic and fry it in a pan until brown. Be careful not to overcooked it because it will affect the taste of the broth. Set aside.

Noodles

1. Put enough noodles in a serving bowl.

2 . Add the toppings: pork stomach, liver shoulder, and pig’s feet

3. Pour  enough broth to cover the noodles and the toppings.

4. Garnish with fried garlic, green onions and pork rind(chicharron) .

“ It’s never to late to be what you might have been.” – George Elliott 

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