Tuesday, June 30, 2009

I'm fascinated with fish fillets nowadays. My rice intake has dwindled and I'm looking for other dishes that won't require me to eat too much rice. I'm not dieting. I just want to explore other dishes and flavors. I'm also looking for light dishes and fish fillet seems to fit the bill quite nicely. In the next few entries, I will be posting Japanese inspired meals. This baon is more Chinese inspired though.

This requires two parts of cooking. First, the pechay. Saute some garlic, ginger and onions in sesame oil. Add some water and 1 teaspoon sugar. Add the pechay and turn off the heat. Allow the pechay to cook in the sauce's heat. Transfer to your lunch box.

Put fish fillets in a bowl, small (or large) enough to fit your steamer. Pour 2 tablespoons each of water, sake and ginger, 1/2 teaspoon sugar, 2 tablespoon light soy sauce and 1/4 teaspoon sesame oil. Season with pepper. Cover the steamer and cook for 10-15 minutes or until the fish turns a little flaky. When cooked, put the fish on top of the pechay and sprinkle with spring onions. Pour the sauce (from the fish) over the fish and spring onions to cook the onions.

You can also use bok choy in place of the pechay. I love, love this dish. It was light but satisfying.
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Friday, June 26, 2009

With the success of my first dish using red wine, I immediately experimented more. For the next night's dinner I cooked this simple spicy shrimp pasta.

Cook thin spaghetti according to package directions. Heat olive oil and butter in a pan. Saute garlic and shrimps. Add a little water and boil shrimp heads and shells. Mash the heads then remove from pan. Mix. Add chili, Spanish paprika, Worcestershire sauce, chili garlic sauce and liquid seasoning. Pour in some red wine and finely chopped tomatoes. Simmer on very low heat until the tomatoes are very soft and the juices have combined with the seasonings, making a sauce. Stir in the cooked pasta and sprinkle with chopped parsley.

We loved this dish so much that we intentionally had some leftovers so that we can enjoy this again for the next day's dinner and boy was it more flavorful the next day.

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Thursday, June 25, 2009

I'm all better now and with that comes the eagerness to cook new dishes again. Chicken afritada might be a no-brainer for most people but I find it hard to cook a good dish of afritada. After countless attempts I end up with too dry, burnt or too salty versions so I just gave up until I found this recipe from pinoycook.

This recipe uses red wine so it piqued my interest even more. After consulting a friend about wines, I chose Merlot and cooked my first afritada after so many years. As always, I didn't follow the recipe per se.

Here goes. Fry the chicken pieces until brown. Add garlic, onions and laurel leaves. Mix until the onions are cooked. Pour some red wine and let the mixture boil then reduce the heat and allow it to slow boil until the liquid is reduced into half. At this point the chicken will turn purple!

Add the chopped tomatoes and dried oregano. Season with salt and pepper according to taste. Also add some sugar to control the acidity of the tomatoes and the wine. Allow the tomatoes to soften until most liquify into a sauce. Lastly, add the carrots, potatoes and in my case, frankfurters. The original recipe called for chorizo but I don't like chorizo so I settled with the leftover frankfurters in the freezer.

Cook for 15-30 minutes more, on low heat, so that the flavors will have time to permeate into the chicken and vegetables. I served this immediately with rice and some buttered haricot verts.

It was marvelous! I will definitely cook this again. The leftovers went to Monday's lunch box and it tasted even more delicious!
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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

This recipe called for other greens but I still had half a pack of native pechay leftover from a previous dish and so that's what I used.

Fry the sukiyaki cut beef in a pan for about 2 minutes. Make sure that the stove is on high. You wouldn't want your beef to be rubbery.

Saute garlic, mushrooms and pechay. Season with mirin, honey, light soy sauce and water, about a tablespoon each depending on how saucy you want the dish to be. I added more. I also added a splash of sake. Just a little. The original recipe did not include mirin and sake. That's just me. You know I don't always follow recipes to a t.

Add the beef to the pan then mix. Serve on top of hot rice for a very comforting dinner on a cold summer night. (It was a rainy summer when I cooked this).

And that's the end of the lazy chronicles. The next posts will feature more challenging dishes.
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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Knowing that the instant marinade was a bit bland (but used it anyway) prompted me to make another batch of chicken teriyaki, this time using light soy sauce, mirin and sake. I omitted the ginger because I don't want the flavors too pronounced as I'm going to use this in a salad which requires ranch dressing.

The rest of the bento contains cut up pepperoni pizza and grapefruit. This is frozen pizza which I bought at Landmark. Just cut up then heat. Everything in the bento was mine as MB was out that day. Teehee!
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Monday, June 22, 2009

I was craving for pizza last week and decided to make a simple one for dinner. The chicken was cooked using ready made teriyaki sauce by Kikkoman. Just fry the cut up chicken pieces then pour teriyaki sauce all over. Sprinkle grated melting cheese over the pizza crust. Top with chicken teriyaki pieces and sliced tomatoes. Sprinkle some olive oil then pop in the oven. I used an oven toaster and set this to 12-15 minutes. This would have tasted better had I not forgotten to add onion rings on top. To compensate, we just ate this with Pringles sour cream and onion flavor and a glass of very cold ice tea.
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Friday, June 19, 2009

3 days and no rice for lunch. This was my Bento last Tuesday. Those are chicken fingers from Magnolia. The pita contained forest ham from Santi's, lettuce, melting cheese and miracle whip. On the other red container is buttered haricot vert and cauliflower. So fast to make!
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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Because of lack of meds, I am experiencing crazy symptoms such as dizziness, nausea and a lack of appetite so I haven't been able to eat a lot. I only eat small portions so that I can keep them where they should be.

This sweet and sour chicken is soooooooo easy to make. Fry chicken poppers. Prepare Del Monte sweet and sour sauce according to package directions. Place in a pan and heat. Simmer mixed vegetables (packed frozen) then add chicken poppers. That's it!

Also in the bento are mashed potatoes and butterd haricot vert or French beans which I got at Landmark for P90 for 200 grams. The rice is for MB. I only ate the mashed potatoes and beans and some chicken. Poor me.... huhuhu. Still, it was a nice, filling lunch.
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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

This is the start of the Lazy Journals. I wanted to eat burgers during the weekend but I was also too lazy to cook so there's nothing fancy in this.

Just mix some ground beef, egg, chopped onions, salt and pepper and breadcrumbs and form into patties. Fry. I spread some mayo on the bread (crusty roll) then placed the patty then topped it with melting cheese and tomatoes and some catsup.

I served it with herbed potato wedges on the side. Fry some potato wedges in olive oil. Season with oregano, salt and pepper. Too bad my gums were still swollen when I cooked this...
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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

I feel 50-50 about this recipe. Somehow I think the bottled tuyo brand that I bought doesn't jive well with this recipe. It tasted good but something was off. I really believe that it's the bottled tuyo because I can't even pair it with fried eggs or scrambled eggs. And it's tuyo for crying out loud!

Anyway, saute some garlic, onions and tomatoes (which have been boiled earlier) in olive oil. Add tuyo and mash into tiny bits. Add the sliced asparagus. Mix then allow to cook. Add cooked pasta and sprinkle with a generous amount of parmesan cheese before serving.
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This is like your regular chopsuey. Saute vegetables of your choice. I used carrots, button mushrooms, wombok pechay, baby corn and cauliflower. I think it also has some red bell peppers. I also added some chicken chunks and cooked quail eggs. Then season with light soy sauce and pepper. If you want to thicken the sauce, add some cornstarch dissolved in water.

That's lumpiang shanghai that I bought from Landmark. It's actually good. It has big ham pieces and shrimps. If I remember correctly, the brand is Yam Cha. It's the same brand that I buy for siomai and fried dumplings. Unlike other brands, this brand actually has edible stuff inside the wrapper. On the lower quad are banana slices and espresso chips from French Baker. Easy breezy.
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Monday, June 15, 2009

My apologies for being MIA for so long. I've had a couple of terrible weeks. Been down with flu (had it only now after 10 years!), had conjunctivitis, my wisdom tooth started erupting and when I thought things couldn't get worse, my doctor is out of the country and I had to get prescription for my meds because I'm down to two! So I've been out of meds for the past few days and I'm always feeling queasy and light headed or dizzy. Bottomline - I need my meds! I still have to endure this for a few days as he won't be back until next week. Huhuhuhu....

I wasn't able to eat properly for a few days because of the tooth but now the tooth is better. My appetite is down because of the lack of meds. I can't eat properly. So after posting backlog files, I will be posting the Lazy Baon/Meal Chronicles. I can't eat so please bear with me.

This pasta was a big hit. I used homemade tomato sauce which you can find the recipe for in the archives. Cook spaghetti according to package directions. I used thin spaghetti, San Remo brand. In a pan, saute garlic and onions in olive oil. Pour prepared tomato sauce and let simmer for about 2 minutes. Add some chopped pitted black olives. Add the chicken chunks which have been fried earlier, mix. Add the cooked spaghetti and mix well to coat the pasta evenly and top with lots and lots and lots of melting cheese.
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Monday, June 8, 2009

Here's a continuation of the vegetable chronicles. Ampalaya (bitter gourd) is a vegetable that everybody in my house eats. It's something that I prepare when I can't think of anything else to cook.

I bet most of you know how to cook this but for those who don't, here's how. Saute some garlic, onions and tomatoes in a little oil. I add the tomatoes first as I want it to be wilted by the time I finish cooking. Add water, depending on how much soup you want. We like soup so I put about 2-3 cups of water. Then add shrimp heads and shells. Mash the shrimp heads to get the essence then remove when cooked. Add the ampalaya and shrimps. Season with salt and white pepper or Magic Sarap, whichever you prefer. Add beaten eggs and mix until they form into chunks.

I served this with store-bought siomai. Those are animal cocktails picks from my bento collection. Here's a close up pic. Those bottles in the upper red quadrant are furikake shakers which I made into soy sauce containers.

Preparing baon need not be hard and boring. This is a perfect example of a simple but fun baon.
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Friday, June 5, 2009

No meat here. I don't eat pork nor animal innards. B-A-W-A-L. Health reasons. When I make kare-kare, I usually use beef or seafood. This time I tried it with just the vegetables. We went on a 1-week vegetable diet and I'd have to say that I enjoyed it. I'm doing it more often. Now I'm trying to look for vegetable recipes that are out of the ordinary so that eating veggies won't be boring.

Same procedure here of cooking kare-kare just omit the meat. I did add 6 pieces of shrimp though but that's it. I also used Mama Sita's Kare-Kare Mix. I also added about 2 tablespoons peanut butter. To cook, just follow the instructions on the back of the mix. = )
Justify Full
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Thursday, June 4, 2009



If you haven't seen (or heard) it yet, Japanese Fast Food Chain Tokyo Tokyo has set their standards higher with the new Tokyo Tokyo Metro. They still have their signature dishes plus a lot more.The decor is the first thing you will notice. Clean Japanese lines, mixing modern with traditional.
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You can learn a few Japanese phrases while waiting for y0ur food.

Or you can read trivia about some Japanese food, like my favorite, ramen...

Now for the food. For starters, we were served some miso soup. This was better than the ones from the regular Tokyo Tokyo. This had more flavor and more tofu! I enjoyed this even though I couldn't taste the flavors that much because of my flu (no, it's not AH1N1). Even MB, who hates miso soup liked this one.

Next, the California Roll arrived. It used to be California Maki. This tasted better too and no worms! (side story: I once ordered California Maki at Tokyo Tokyo Glorietta and discovered a wriggling maggot under one of the makis)

...and the chic Metro Ice Tea. No Sumo size please!

MB's Chicken Tori Bento

Closer look. MB said the chicken was good. He also liked the kani and tamago sushi. I found the tamago sweet or maybe my taste buds were just crazy. I liked the Japanese salad but was too full to finish it. Plus that tomato wedge was scary! It's just too big! The rice serving was just right because if it had 2-3 tablespoons more, you wouldn't be able to appreciate what's in your bento.

My tempura bento

I had one large shrimp period. The batter was just too thick for me so I ended up removing the batter. Plus because of the thickness of the batter, some parts of it were still raw. I liked the dipping sauce too.

And dessert... I didn't like desserts at Tokyo Tokyo before but this definitely made me want to come back for more. Those are brownies shaped like biscotti with a cappuccino/mocha cream dip. The texture of the brownies was also like biscotti. Maybe it was biscotti?? Probably not. Too soft for a biscotti. I have no idea what the exact flavor was. I'll tell you when I get better. I just know it tasted great.
We paid P607 for the whole meal, much pricier than the regular Tokyo Tokyo but it was well worth it. The only thing I found annoying was the servers constant bowing and saying domo arigato. And when they bow, it's waist-length already! Everytime they bring food to your table, they would bow and say domo arigato. I'm used to the bowing customs as I've had Korean masters before but I think Tokyo Tokyo took it to the extreme. What I would suggest is, taking a step back after they place the food on the table and bowing the head a little. That's it. No more domo arigato everytime they bring water, straws, napkins, etc.

Will I come back? I'm actually planning on having lunch there again this weekend. I'm going to try the ramen next.


*This is not a paid advertisement by Tokyo Tokyo Metro. The above are the author's personal opinions.

Tokyo Tokyo Metro
Glorietta 5
Makati City
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Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Here in the Philippines, ginisang munggo or sauteed mung beans can usually be found on the table during Fridays. It's a tradition of lent of some sort. I'm not very familiar with it as I am not Catholic and so ginisang munggo in my house is not a humble meal but is quite an extravagant one.

Boil the mung beans until tender or a bit mushy (as I like it). This may take some time but if you're not in a hurry, you can let the beans sit in a bowl of water a few hours or overnight. Saute some garlic, onions and tomatoes in oil. Mash shrimp heads and shells in a bowl with hot water then add the shrimp essence to the pot. Add some peeled shrimps or pork if you like. I don't eat pork and so I stick to seafood. Then pour the boiled mung beans. You can also add ampalaya or bitter gourd. I then added some cut up slices of dried squid. The other time I made this I also added some danggit. I also put bagoong in my munggo guisado. Then lastly, lots of malunggay leaves.

This dish is normally eaten as an accompanying dish to fish or other fried dishes but with this version, you won't need any accompanying dishes, just lots of hot rice.

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Monday, June 1, 2009

I think French Baker has been feeling the pressure of competition lately because I've been discovering breads that were not in their line up before. Take this Tuna and Onion Loaf, for example. It's P80 for a loaf and is good for 2 breakfasts for 2 people (if you eat like us).

Take 4 slices of the tuna loaf. Sprinkle with some grated melting cheese and top with chopped parsley. Toast for about 2 minutes. I served this with fried eggs, some bacon and juice. If you noticed, there's no white in my egg. Don't eat it, don't like it, allergic to it. I'm allergic to egg whites if they're fried or boiled or as long as they're in their original state i.e. not added to soups, breading, baked, etc. Go figure...
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