Wednesday, January 27, 2010

I've been making seafood kebab for years now. I always use the same ingredients - lemon or calamansi for the souring agent, sugar or honey for the glaze and Maggi Savor or salt for flavor. And of course, the ever reliable pepper. This is the first time that I'll be tasting Portobello mushrooms. I often use fresh button mushrooms or other vegetables. I also use shrimps, scallops and squid for my kebabs. I don't buy Portobello mushrooms because they're too expensive and it has only been a few months since they made an appearance in the Landmark Supermarket in Makati. One tray costs P188 but I think it's worth it. There were more than 10 pieces of mushrooms inside. It's made in Malaysia though. Local farmers, can't we grow Portobello mushrooms here? You've got a great market for it in the city! If you can lower the price, I promise I'll buy Portobello mushrooms every week!

If you feel that the fish you're using is too malangsa (fishy smelling), Squeeze some lemon juice or calamansi juice onto them, making sure all sides come in contact with the juice then rinse with running water. For the marinade, put the fish fillet, chopped onions, red bell pepper and mushrooms in a bowl. Put some calamansi or lemon juice in a separate bowl. Add some honey or brown sugar, a splash of Worcestershire sauce, some Maggi Savor classic and a little salt and pepper. Let this marinate for 3 minutes while you prepare the grill or in my case, a huge pan. Brush the grill or pan with olive oil. You can also add some olive oil to your marinade to be sure that your kebabs won't stick to the grill. Place the stove on low heat because you still have to skewer your fish and veggies. Place the kebabs, about 3 at a time and brush with the marinade. This cooks under 5 minutes. Be sure to turn every now and then.

Oh, wow. The reason why I don't cook this often is because I want the taste to remain special. It feels so good to savor every bite with rice. MB dipped this in his favorite Kuratsoy. As for the Portobello? Well, it was okay. Nothing special there.

I removed the kebabs from the two sticks and reheated it with EVOO and more Maggi Savor the next day for a wonderful baon. This time the mushrooms rocked! I think I'll be experimenting more with this ingredient when budget permits


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Looking for a quick snack or a light dinner? Try this recipe! You only need garlic, onions, ground chicken, a can of tomatoes, cream, salt, pepper, basil and oregano to taste.

Cook the ground chicken first. As always, discard any excess oil or water. You can actually cook the ground chicken without adding oil. Just be sure to use a nonstick pan. After discarding the oil, add some olive oil. Add chopped garlic and onions and mix. If you're using whole peeled tomatoes, chop them up first. If you're too lazy, buy canned chopped tomatoes. Add the tomatoes and the tomato water to the pan. Allow to boil. The moment it boils, turn down the heat to the lowest setting then add cream.l I used one tetra pack of Nestle cream. Stir. Season with salt, pepper, basil and oregano. Top the sauce on farfalle/bowtie pasta.

This recipe was able to feed me and MB. Then we reheated the leftovers and had them for dinner again and also gave some to mom. After all that, there was still some leftover sauce so we reheated that and boiled the leftover pasta and gave it to the cats. = )

The sauce is so flavorful that you only need a small amount to satisfy you. That's why I separated the sauce. This also makes a great baon. Just be sure to pack the sauce separately.

Monday, January 25, 2010

You can Google the original recipe of Nasi Goreng. This however is my trying hard version.

Saute some garlic and onions in a little oil. In a bowl, combine oyster sauce, soy sauce, golchujang and bagoong. I used the same amount of oyster sauce and soy sauce. Lesser golchujang and more bagoong. Mix well then add to pan. Add shrimps. When the shrimps are half cooked, add some cold mashed rice. Mix until everything is well coated. Serve with some calamansi.

The verdict: MB loved it plain. I loved it with a little squeeze of calamansi. This rice is hot, hot, hot! I told MB that I would lessen the golchujang next time. He said no. He likes spicy food. I will also add some shredded chicken next time and perhaps serve this with steamed shrimps? This will also make a great bento.

Friday, January 22, 2010

*Photo taken using my phone

This is a simple, wonderful dish that utilizes leftovers. I think "leftovers" is becoming a constant in my dictionary. For the ingredients, you need one carrot, 1/8 head of a cabbage sliced into strips, garlic and onions, a few pieces of chicken and one pack Happy Peanuts - those 1-peso packs that you can get from your suking sari-sari store.

*Photo taken from JBC Food's site

We love Happy peanuts at home. My mom and grandma constantly munch on them after lunch while watching TV. MB and I love snacking on them after dinner while watching DVD's. We buy packs of the small ones. You might be wondering, why not just buy the big one? Well, the flavor differs. The small ones are more flavorful in our opinion. And crunchier.

Anyway, back to the recipe.

Fry the chicken pieces in oil. I usually wait until they get brown to be sure that they are cooked through. Then add chopped garlic and onions. Add the julienned carrots and sliced cabbage. Pour about a cup of water and turn heat to high. Season with soy sauce, pepper, honey and crushed Happy peanuts. You don't need a mortar and pestle to crush the peanuts. Just pound the peanuts with the knife handle while they're still inside the packet. Just be careful not to pound so hard as you might rupture the plastic and all your peanuts might "fly" in different directions. Been there, done that. You can also add them whole. I wanted some of the crushed peanuts to merge with the sauce to give it a smooth, robust taste that's why I crushed them. Serve hot with rice or in our case, as baon.

Can't tell you how excited I was to have lunch that day. And our baon didn't disappoint.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

This photo was taken at the office using my phone so please excuse the quality. You can use leftover adobo flakes or like me, cook some adobo, flake 'em and fry 'em. I wanted a quick, satisfying lunch that day and so this is what we had. You will need some adobo flakes, sliced fresh button mushrooms, cream cheese spreadable from Magnolia, some lettuce and half a pita pocket. Remember to fry the mushrooms with the adobo flakes. Just assemble everything as you like then take a big bite, sit back and relax. Great with juice or ice tea.

I have 2 posts on adobo flakes here and here.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

I know, I know I promised not to post Japanese inspired meals for a while but I just had to post this. This is the best tasting yakisoba I've ever cooked. I used the yakisoba pack I bought from Landmark. It comes with pre-cooked noodles and a pack of yakisoba sauce. As I mentioned before, I find this a bit too sour. So what I did was I added more yakisoba sauce (the one from Saizen) and mirin. Yes, mirin! The only vegetables in this yakisoba are onions and red bell peppers but we didn't care. The noodles were so flavorful! We didn't even finish the saury because of the noodles. I'm doing this again and next time, I'm going to take a pic of the yakisoba pack so that you'd know exactly what to get when you're in the super.

If you want more yakisoba recipes, you can find them here and here.

Yakisoba on FoodistaYakisoba

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

With the exception of the top of that one sandwich which I botched, these are all white sandwiches through and through. Cook some ground chicken in very little oil. The liquid will run out and will be replaced by oil. Discard most of the oil. Add some chopped garlic. Mix. Add some sliced fresh button mushrooms. If you don't have fresh ones, open a can. But fresh mushrooms really make a difference. Season with salt and pepper. Spread some cream cheese on a panini and add the ground chicken mixture. Heat in an oven toaster for about 2 minutes. You can also put lettuce and tomatoes but I forgot so they came out all white. Add the lettuce and tomatoes after heating. One is enough to fill me up. I wasn't able to finish the second one so I gave it to the cats.

MB wolfed these down in a flash. Or maybe because he was too excited to eat his ice cream. Hmmm...

Monday, January 18, 2010

The dish might look a little too mushy but it was delicious! I purposely mashed some of the squash to create a thicker soup. Actually, the first batch of this included crabs. We had it for a Sunday night dinner. I added a few shrimps so that we can have the leftovers as baon the next day.

My grandmother is from Bicol and we all know what that place is famous for - gata, ginataan or dishes made with coconut milk. When I was a kid, I hated laing and anything with gata. I didn't like eating ginataang langka or jackfruit cooked in coconut milk. But when I visited Bicol, I fell in love with gata. Maybe it was all part of growing up - I appreciate more types of food now than 10 years ago. I love ginataang langka, laing and anything in between. Ooops, but not Bicol Express. I don't like pork.

This dish is simple to make apart from squeezing the niyog (grated coconut). I leave the squeezing part to MB. But you can always use canned coconut milk. I hate to say this but the canned coconut milk from Thailand tastes better than the local ones (in my opinion). It's a pink can, of which the brand escapes me at the moment. But there is absolutely no substitution for freshly squeezed gata.

I used the milk of one niyog for this recipe. First, I heated the kakang gata. That's almost pure milk extracted from the first squeeze. Then I added some chopped garlic and onions. Then added about 2T of bagoong. Then I poured the remaining milk. I then added the chopped crabs and let them cook. When half cooked, add the squash then the string beans. Before everything is fully cooked, add the shrimps. Serve hot with lots of rice.

The one on the picture was just taken out of the ref. We just reheated it and had a hearty Monday lunch.  What's your favorite gata dish?


Friday, January 15, 2010

When I get the craving for Japanese food, it really hits me, no? I think it was more than a week that we constantly had Japanese inspired meals. But I think this is the last Japanese inspired meal for this period. Whew!

I had a handful of ground chicken and half a can of mushrooms in the ref. I sauteed some garlic and onions in very little oil then added the ground chicken. Allow this to cook until all the water evaporates. If it's too oily, discard some of the oil. Add the mushrooms. Season with oyster sauce, Kikkoman and mirin. Add some pepper. Serve hot.

For the beans, I just cooked them in a soy sauce + lemon juice mixture and sprinkled some sesame seeds. Again, that's miso soup and some boiled corn with butter. The sweet, sour, salty taste was a great palate pleaser.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

When I cook miso soup, I put a lot of tofu  - like half a block of tofu! In Edward's words, tofu is good for you. When we eat at Japanese restaurants, I always look for the tofu in their miso soup. I get frustrated when they use the cheap kind or when they're entirely missing. That' why I spoil myself when I cook miso soup at home. It also helped that the tofu at Hatchin were on sale at 50% off so I bought 2 blocks!

We had the miso soup with pacific saury and some mixed veggies cooked a bit like chopsuey.

Again, the veggies are leftover in the fridge. That was like an eight of a small head of cabbage, one small carrot and a handful of beans. I just sauteed this in oil with garlic and onions and seasoned with Magic Sarap and pepper and a little Kikkoman. I also added a bit of water for the sauce and about half a tablespoon cornstarch diluted in water.

If you're wondering if we ate pacific saury everyday, the answer is, of course not! It just so happened that these are the meals that I decided to take pictures of. = )


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Quick meals don't have to be junk. They don't have to lack the nutrition that you need. And they should definitely satisfy your hunger. Here is an example of those 5-minute meals that are healthy. I just opened a can of pacific saury and placed that in a serving dish. I also opened a pack of sweet, crunchy nori. This goes well with the fish and rice especially Japanese rice. For the veggies, I just cut up a whole head of broccoli then cooked it in Kikkoman with some lemon juice. Sometimes I use calamansi (calamondin). Other times I add garlic. You can also steam the broccoli and just pour the soy-calamansi sauce over it. You can also use soy sauce and oyster sauce. Another variation is soy sauce and mirin. There are so many ways you can cook a quick dish. You just have to be really creative and imaginative. So what's your 5-minute meal secret?

Monday, January 11, 2010

Can you tell these are leftovers? I really hate wasting food. I make use of everything that we have inside the ref. Aba! Food is so expensive na no! You can view the corned beef rice recipe here.

Before giving you the recipe for the tofu, let me warn you. This is an acquired taste. I used the leftover soft tofu used for the miso soup. I grated some Korean radish (the big ones) and washed and squeezed the juice out of them to remove the bitterness. I then put this in a pan and poured some Kikkoman, mirin and sake and let it simmer about 2-3 minutes. Remove from pan and put on top of soft cubed tofu. Add some bonito flakes and sliced leeks.

It tasted good with the corned beef rice and boiled eggs. Even MB ate a few bites of this. But when I ran out of miso soup, I stopped eating this. I told you, it's an acquired taste. We were not able to finish that serving. But if you're feeling adventurous and would like to try something new with soft tofu, I recommend you try this.

Lady E's extra notes: Be sure to squeeze out as much radish juice as you can. I made the mistake of not squeezing everything out and ended up with some bitterness. If you're still not sure, add more mirin and cook longer.


Friday, January 8, 2010

Here's another bibimbap rice made from leftovers - one carrot, 2 chicken breast fillets and parsley. I cooked some onions in  a little oil then added the chopped chicken. You can cut them into bite size pieces or shred them into bits after boiling. I then added a tablespoon of gojuchang (Korean hot pepper paste), some soy sauce and then mixed. I added the carrots and let it cook for about 30 seconds then added the rice. Mix, mix, mix then add some chopped parsley.

The result was okay. Not great but okay. I'm still having trouble using gojuchang. I can't seem to find the correct combination of ingredients. We ate this with some brick ham and miso soup. No, it wasn't baduy for someone sick.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

This is the first dinner featuring the canned pacific saury. As with most of my Japanese inspired meals, this one's fairly easy to make (or assemble?). That's the crunchy nori featured in a previous post. And the noodles which have dehydrated wontons. I will take a picture of the pack next time. And just for fun, I sprinkled the rice with some sesame seeds...because Japanese rice would've been much better and I didn't have that.

Isn't my kitty hashioki just adorable? Got that for only P85 at Saizen.

Monday, January 4, 2010


I think the fish would be more flavorful if you allow this to sit in the marinade overnight. I did it for 10 minutes. For the marinade, you will need:
  • 4T soy sauce
  • 4T oyster sauce
  • 1T fish sauce
  • 2T brown sugar
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1T calamansi or lemon juice ( I used about 2T)
  • 1/2t chili 
Mix all the ingredients until the sugar dissolves. Pour over the fish and let sit for 10 minutes while you heat up the grill. In my case, the stove with an P88 grill on top. Brush the grill with some oil. Grill the fish, turning as needed to allow even cooking and brushing with the sauce to avoid drying up. Sprinkle with spring onions.

So how did it do? I'd give this a 2.5 out of 5 stars. Don't get me wrong. It was delicious. But again, maybe allowing it to marinate overnight might do the trick. Or maybe I'm just not really fond of grilled fish. I also served this with


and you know what that means. It's time for Japanese inspired dishes again!


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