I love Nasi Lemak but good Nasi Lemak is hard to find in Manila. My version is by no means authentic but it satisfies my craving. If you want to try making it at home, here's how.

You need

shrimps, shelled and deveined
sambal belachan / I used this

rice cooked with coconut milk or you can cook the rice with some pandan leaves

fried tofu cubes
boiled eggs
(I didn't have these two ingredients when I made this so I used whatever is in the fridge)

kangkong which I cooked with some oyster sauce and garlic

dilis (if you have)

roasted peanuts

mung bean sprouts (optional) I wanted to add some more crunch to my dish

Let's do this!

Marinate the prawns in a little bit of sambal (depending on how spicy you want your dish to be) and season with salt. Let this marinate for 20 minutes.

Cook the rice. Just substitute one cup of coconut milk for 1 cup of water. For example, if you cook with 2 cups water, make it 1 cup coconut milk and 1 cup water.

Let's cook the shrimps. Add oil to a wok. Cook the prawns until done. Set aside. If you want to add sambal to your fried tofu, just add them to the wok and season with more sambal if desired.

For the kangkong, heat oil in a pan. Add some pressed garlic. Cook until fragrant. Add the kangkong. Season with some oyster sauce and soy sauce. Set aside.

For the sprouts, I just blanched them in hot water and set aside. In a bowl, I mixed together some garlic, green onions, salt, fish sauce, sesame seeds and sesame oil. Mix well. Add the sprouts and mix by hand well.

All that's left is to assemble everything on a plate. Serve with a refreshing cold drink to cool down your tongue and taste buds! 

I think the only good thing about being sick is that I can blog. Mom has been helping out a lot so I get to rest and do some writing. Hence, the sudden burst of posts in all my blogs. 

This is a very simple side dish to make that you can serve with chicken, especially fried chicken. 

You need:

baby potatoes
salt and pepper
olive oil
grated Parmesan
chopped parsley (I didn't have any when I made this but trust me, add some parsley)

Let's do this!

Boil the baby potatoes until cooked. Transfer to a baking dish and smash with a potato masher. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Bake in the oven for 5-10 minutes. I wanted to experiment so I fried them. The result was a crispy exterior and soft interior. My oven is out-of-whack and I was in a hurry to get dinner done that's why I fried them. Bake them for a healthier version. Sprinkle with Parmesan and parsley before serving. 

Every Christmas season, the hubby gets a Christmas basket (or in last year's case, a Christmas Megabox) from the office. It included a big can of local mackerel. I usually just saute it with some vegetables but I wanted to make something different this time so I made them into meatballs. Read on if you want to try it.

You need

a big can of mackerel
chopped onions
chopped garlic
olive oil
tomato sauce
canned crushed tomatoes
green bell pepper
red bell pepper
parmesan cheese
Italian seasoning
chili powder
salt and pepper

Let's do this!

Empty the mackerel into a bowl. Set aside about 1/4 cup of the juice. As for the other 3/4, you can use it to flavor your gisa (sauteed) dishes.

I removed the cooked bones and other yucky things (local canned seafood are not very clean) I could find. Then I mashed the meat with my hand. Add the salt, pepper and chili powder. Add the Parmesan cheese.

Add the egg and about a tablespoon each of onions, garlic and bell peppers. Combine all the ingredients and form into meatballs. 

Heat some oil in a pan. Brown the meatballs on all sides. Be gentle as the meatballs are soft and moist. I added some cornstarch before forming them into balls to make the process easier. Remove from the pan and set aside. 

Into the same pan, add the remaining onions, garlic and bell peppers. Cook until soft. Add more salt, pepper and chili as desired. Add the crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce and the juice from the can. Add the Italian seasoning. Add some sugar to cut the acidity. My family doesn't like marinara sauces to be too sour so I put sugar just enough to get rid of that terrible tang. Bring this to a boil and then lower heat to simmer. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Add the chopped parsley and the meatballs. Let this cook again for another 5 minutes. I served this with rice. 

I have been trying to make these crunchy chickpeas for the longest time. I have an old hand-me-down oven and the heat is not smack on. Most of the time it burns food on the lowest setting. So I have to be careful when using it. I need to literally watch the food as it cooks. But, stubborn me, I still continue to experiment with dishes that need an oven. The things I put myself through...

Anyway, my son loves chickpeas. I tried to make crunchy chickpeas once and failed but that didn't stop my son from cleaning out the bowl. So, I tried again. The results were better this time. Not quite there but better.

You need

a can of chickpeas
salt and pepper
Spanish paprika
garlic powder

Let's do this!

Drain and rinse the chickpeas. Remove any super loose skins. Spread the chickpeas on a paper towel and let them dry. This will take about 30 minutes to an hour. 

Preheat your oven. I'm sorry, I can't tell you how hot but I'd say about 200C. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. I used Glad's baking paper. Evenly spread the chickpeas and bake for 40-60 minutes. When they are crunchy, they are done. I got them out too soon for fear that they would burn. Season with salt, pepper, garlic powder and Spanish paprika. You can also use some sweet seasoning or even make it spicier. If you want to use honey, drizzle the honey and put the chickpeas back in the oven to caramelize them. 

My chickpeas turned out crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside. I wanted crunchy, crunchy, crunchy. Oh, well. At least they didn't burn and my son still loved them. I'll try again soon. 

Pasta that is. My boys love pasta so it is always on the menu. Pasta can be boring at times and can also lack nutrition so I sneak in a few veggies as best as I can. This one is very easy to make. If you have leftover rotisserie chicken, even better. Prep time will be faster. If not, just use some chopped chicken breast fillets. 

You need:

olive oil
chicken breast fillet, skins remove or leftover rotisserie chicken
minced garlic
Parmesan and mozzarella cheeses
your pasta of choice
broccoli florets (I cut them up into tiny florets so that the taste won't over power all the ingredients)
cooked bacon, chopped
salt and pepper

Let's do this!

Cook pasta according to package directions. 

In a pan, heat olive oil. If you are using chicken breast, season with salt and pepper before cooking. Cook the chicken. If you are using rotisserie chicken, cook the garlic first. Add the broccoli florets.  Then add the cream and milk and bring to a boil. Add the cheese and stir until completely melted. Season with salt and pepper. Add the chicken and bacon.  Add the cooked pasta and mix well. Taste again and season accordingly.

This is another quick dinner for all you busy moms out there. It's actually great because it utilizes leftovers. Let's get started.

You need:

 pancit canton (you can even use instant pancit canton noodles. Just chuck the seasonings and use the noodles)
chopped garlic
toasted sesame seeds
soy sauce
oyster sauce
rice vinegar
sesame oil
a handful of salad greens (yes, I know but this turned out delicious)
canola oil

Let's do this!

In a wok, heat some oil. Add the chopped garlic. Add the mushrooms and cook until brown. In a bowl, mix together some soy sauce, oyster sauce, rice vinegar and sugar. Set aside. Pour about a cup of water into the pan. Add the noodles. Mix well until the noodles soften a bit and then add the seasonings. (Note: you need to adjust the water depending on the type of noodles you are using).

When the noodles are cooked, turn off the heat and add the chopped salad greens. I had some leftover that were begging to be eaten so I thought, why not? Add the sesame seeds and a dash of sesame oil and mix well. Serve with the 10-minute salmon.

Calkag are tiny dried shrimps. They are pretty much tasteless on their own so I decided to make calkag rice.

This is very simple. Just heat some butter and a little bit of oil in a pan. Add the calkag until they are cooked (which is fast) and add the rice. To make it more flavourful, I added some aligue or crab fat. I served it with some chicken adobo and salted egg salad.

Sorry if I've been in and out. A lot has been going on plus my son got sick over the weekend. We also had a lot of engagements to honor and so I couldn't find the time to blog. I've been missing it, really but time is a luxury nowadays. I'm also having a bit of trouble with our homeschool as my son's preferences have changed. He is getting older and his personality is starting to shine through and along that comes his likes and dislikes. When I find the balance, the rhythm that we need, I will go back to regular programming. In the mean time, feel free to browse the archives for more recipes and visit my other blogs. 

I served the leftover rice with some green mangoes, bagoong and calamares.

I am so behind with my posts! This was from late December, I think. Anyway, my sister brought home some small native onions from Baguio. She doesn't cook a lot and I know I will be the one who needs to think of a way to use them. The problem is I hate using those tiny pearl onions because they are too labor intensive. Then one day, my husband brought home a bottle of sangria, a gift from the party. We don't drink so it sat in a corner, waiting for me to be inspired. Alas, it hit me! Homemade Onion Jam! I can use the onions and sangria in one go! If you are interested, here's the recipe.

You need:

1/4 c canola oil
native onions ( I didn't count. I just got a bunch of them. Peel and slice into quarters. This was so laborious, I almost gave up.  You can also use red onions)
salt and pepper
2 cups sangria


1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup rice vinegar (because that's what I had. You can use red wine vinegar)

Let's do this!

In a pan, heat the oil until it begins to smoke lightly. Add the onions and season with salt and pepper. Cook until the onions give up their liquid, around 3 to 5 minutes. Add the sangria. Lower the heat and cook until the sangria reduces almost completely. Leave on low heat while you prepare the gastrique. 

In a small pan, heat the honey until it begins to bubble and froth. Cook until it turns caramel in color. Add the vinegar and simmer for a few minutes on low heat. Turn off the heat. Pour the honey mixture over the onions and continue to cook over low heat until all the juice is absorbed and the onions are a jam-like consistency. This can take about 15 minutes. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper if needed. 

I served this with homemade burgers. It was fortunate that I unearthed my old grill from all our junk and so I used it to prepare our burger feast. The onion jam was so good. It was sweet and tangy. It was the perfect accompaniment to the savoury burgers. My husband loved it so much that he put blobs and blobs of it on his burger.

You an also use it with steak and pork chops. 

This is something very easy to make if you are in a rush to prepare dinner. I made this using leftover ingredients in the fridge. My son and husband love to spoon sauces and soups over their rice that is why this version is swimming in sauce. 

You need:

butter, I used 1/4 of an Anchor bar
flour, about 2 tablespoons
salt and pepper
chicken cube
chicken breast fillet (I used about 4 fillets), cooked and diced
red and green bell peppers

Let's do this!

Melt the butter and brown the flour to make a roux. Add salt and pepper. Work quickly as the flour may burn. Add the water and milk and chicken cube. Mix well. Let the chicken cube dissolve. Add the mushrooms, chicken and peppers. Place in an oven-proof dish and stick in the oven for 5 minutes. I'm sorry I can't give you the exact temperature as my oven is broken and I always use the lowest setting and just keep an eye on the food baking inside but I'd say around 150C is okay. Serve with rice. This was soooo good! Fast and delicious!

Bringhe is the local version of paella. I like serving special dishes from time to time. The eggs are not super hard boiled that's why they were breaking apart. I like them this way. This was quite easy to make compared to paella and I made it on the stove top.

You need:

chicken (I used small adobo cut)
chorizo (I used Purefoods canned)
3 cups glutinous (malagkit) rice
some turmeric powder
red and green bell peppers, cored and diced
2.5 cups water and a chicken cube
1 cup coconut milk
bay leaf
salt and pepper
hard boiled eggs
frozen mixed vegetables (optional) 

Let's do this!

Heat oil in a pan. Fry the chicken and set aside. Don't over fry, just enough to cook it and get rid of the blood. You are going to cook it again later. Drain the oil.

In the same pan, heat some oil again and saute the onions until transparent. Add the garlic and chorizo. Saute for a minute. Add the mixed vegetables. I added this because I wanted some veggies in our dish. 

Add rice and turmeric. Stir to coat the rice with oil. Add the peppers and chicken. Mix well. 

In another pan, combine the water, chicken cube, coconut milk and bay leaf. Bring to a simmer. Make sure that the chicken cube dissolves. Season with salt and pepper and pour into the rice mixture. 

Cover and simmer until rice is done. Check every once in a while. Remove bay leaf, transfer to a platter and garnish with sliced hard boiled eggs.