February 24, 2012

brussels sprout stir-fry

When I first came upon this veggie, I innocently thought these were miniature cabbages, heheh! And ever since, I craved for it as cabbage is one fave vegetable of mine which I usually take slightly blanched or even raw and simply dipped into or dressed with bugguong (salt-fermented fish paste/sauce) with sliced tomatoes and onions. I learned later that this is after all a type of wild cabbage, and that those tiny bulbs grow actually as buds (hence "sprouts") in a rather large stalk. And ever since, I wanted to try to boil/steam it and make it into an Ilokano salad. But here, it's stir-fried/sauteed, and they're just as lovely I wanted them.

Photo credit: chowtimes.com

Photo credit: vietworldkitchen.com

Here are brussels sprout recipes to try: from chowtimes.com and from the Viet World Kitchen


February 23, 2012

pancit batil-patung

Pancit (flour/rice noodles) is ever popular in the Philippines and almost every regions (ethnographic group of provinces) has its own brand of pancit unique to their own taste and cooking procedure, from the making of the miki (noodle) to the choice of toppings. Tuguegarao City and the southern towns of the province of Cagayan has its own pancit called pancit batil-patung (or patong). Aside from the locally made miki, batil-patung has as main ingredients carabeef (carabao or water buffalo meat) and egg, and other toppings. It is served with diced fresh onions, calamansi slices, and lots of toyo (soy sauce), and vinegar-fermented chili. This pancit variation is normally cooked the same as the popular pancit canton or pancit guisado, but what makes it stand up and alone is the egg put atop it and the corresponding egg soup that accompany it.

Photo credit: pinakbetrepublic.blogspot.com

Photo credit: pinakbetrepublic.blogspot.com

In Tuguegarao, there are no similar batil-patung preparations, taste, or even texture and presentation as each panciteria (noodle house) has their own recipes and "styles." I always wanted to mimic my favorite panciterias' secret concoctions but I always fail. Ugh. I have yet to perfect my own formula and patent it soon as a closely-guarded trade secret. Heheh!

Now here's a pancit batil-patung recipe from the Skip To Malou foodblog, if you fancy a try.

And here's my own amateur cellphone video of various pancits in the city, and of course, a video of one of my pancit escapade one rainy day in the city.

And for my Ilokano readers, here's an essay I wrote some years ago, about pancit batil-patung, Tuguegarao City's pride.


February 22, 2012

balut adobo

Pinoys usually eat balut (also balot, boiled fertilized duck--or chicken--egg) as is: you crack the still warm egg's top shell open, taking care not to spill the really oh-so-tasty "juice" for a pleasant sip, sprinkle some salt in it (others even "dress" it with vinegar and chili), and eat the whole thing, embryo and the remaining egg yolk matter, discarding the hardened white... Oh, well, but this is not for the squeamish, though. Balut is even included in some "most bizarre food" or "yucky food" lists elsewhere. But then, balut can be prepared and presented in a variety of well, "presentable" ways. Such as being cooked as adobo.

Photo credit: thepeachkitchen.com

I really wanna try my next balut into a delicious adobo. Join me in my balut craving, there are nice balut adobo recipes at The Peach Kitchen and at Casa Veneracion, and also at the Pinoy Recipe site.


February 20, 2012


Isaw, chicken intestines, grilled/barbecued, is a popular street food in the Philippines. Marinated in vinegar, ketchup (banana) and other condiments and then skewered with bamboo stick and grilled right on live coals and then dipped into a vinegar with chili and onions or into a mixture of thick, sweet and spicy sauce. Not every body, even some self-professed gourmands or culinary aficionados may have the intestines, errr, guts, to try this Pinoy street delicacy. But aren't these ohotographs sweet and wicked temptation enough? Come on!

Photo credit: philboxing.com

Photo credit: pinoyphotography.org

Photo credit: tumblrrmokong.tumblr.com

I prefer to make isaw at home, though, when ever I can, as I am wary I may ingest those dreaded street germs causing some unpleasant and unnecessary ailments. Have your isaw only on your trusted isaw vendor to make sure it's prepared clean, at least.

There's a simple recipe at the Food Recap waiting, let's give it a try!


grilled mussels

Mussels (tahong), who doesn't love mussels? Baked. With soup. Fried. And grilled. Anything you fancy, it's still tahong with that so unique flavor, aroma, texture distinct from other shellfish. Now, let's have these sea shell bounty simply grilled, succulence intact, its own juice oozing as it cooks, its tantalizing smell, errr,  fragrance wafting mischievously:

Photo credit: bucaio.blogspot.com

Photo credit: lyzalane.info

Photo credit: lyzalane.info

Let's grill them tahongs by following the simple recipes at the Bucaio blog and at Lyza's Lane!


baked sea salt chicken & pinaupong manok

This picture literally speaks a thousand nom nom nom! Really yummy all the way I look and ogle at it that I wanted to cook my next whole-chicken dish like it. I usually roast or bake chicken with the usual mixes and spices and trimmings but I have yet to try just plain salt, rock salt, sea salt (the famous sea salt in Pasuquin, Ilocos Norte comes to mind) as a sort of make over. I'm using salt for my whole-chickens but only when I steam them, making them "sit" down on a bed of salt (pinaupong manok). Now, this sea salt chicken recipe is a challenge!

Photo credit: beachloverkitchen.com

The recipe is there over at the Beachlover Kitchen, let's have a try!

Meanwhile, here's "pinaupong manok" in all it's sumptous glory:

Photo credit: bucaio.blogspot.com

We'll try this salt-sitting chicken recipe, as well, from Bucaio, of course!


February 19, 2012


I love avocados, yes, simply with sugar--you'll just have to halve the ripe fruit, remove the seed, put in sugar in the hollowed core, and eat it in spoonfuls. Of if you prefer, pour in some condensed milk or cream in it. Or blend it in a food processor for a refreshing smoothie. Or dice it into your salads.

I have yet to try pretending to be a Mexican with guacamole to go with tacos or tortillas, though. This definitely is worth a try! Looks so good and really appetizing!

Photo credit: simplyrecipes.com

Photo credit: blogs.babble.com/family-kitchen

Yeah, try, I will, let's do it! Let's head on to two guacamole recipes, at Simply Recipes and the one at The Family Kitchen..!


frog adobo

I really, really miss this! It's been eons ago since my last consumption of this amphibian delicacy, that was tinola a tukak (its Ilokano name; palaka in Tagalog), froggie soup with tender chili leaves. Frog, the edible ones, is a regular fare throughout Asia, "frog legs are a delicacy in China, France, Indonesia, the Philippines, the north of Greece and in many parts of the American South, especially Louisiana," according to Wikipedia.  For some, it takes a lot of guts, will & determination, to convince them to even taste it, so much so that this food has become kind of exotic.

This is frog adobo, Ilokano version, and I'm dying, green, with envy, what with those bugi (roe) so beautifully intact!

Photo credit: blauearth.com
I want this ASAP!

Come on, we'll try the recipe at the popular Blau Earth blog!


beef in wild betel leaf

I was amazed and intrigued and thus curious upon knowing that betel leaf has some culinary uses, evidenced by this Vietnamese beef dish. I only know, of course being in the Philippines, betel leaf (called gawed in Ilokano, ikmo or buyo in Tagalog) as chewed along with areca palm nut (bua or bunga), lime (apog) and tobacco leaf (mascada) to comprise the mama (moma) or nganga.

Here, betel leaf, for its aromatic properties, is used as a wrapper to spice the ground beef.

Photo credit: vietworldkitchen.com

Worth a try. Well, then, go ahead and try its recipe at Viet World Kitchen blog!


February 18, 2012

kangkong stir-fry

Kangkong it is. Called water spinach and morning glory, but yes, it's called "kangkong" in most East Asian countries, not only in the Philippines, but in Malaysia, Indonesia and elsewhere where this is a common, even staple, vegetable. And while Pinoys like it blanched as a salad dressed with patis or bugguong or with  sautéed shrimp paste, or sautéed/stir-fried as an adobong kangkong with lots of garlic and soy sauce or oyster sauce; our Malay brothers stir-fry it with their beloved sambal belacan, which is but spicy shrimp paste full of chili. And I want to try it soon as I saw the other day an "imported" bottled sambal belacan in one of the supermarkets in Tuguegarao City. Mmmm, delicious!

Photo credit: highoverhappy.blogspot.com

I'll do it with this perfect recipe over at High Over Happy!

Join me!


beef jerky

This is tapa as it's popularly known in the Philippines, be it beef, pork, lamb, carabeef (carabao, water buffalo), or python jerky. Dried meat, sun-dried or smoked. This is one of the delicacies that I long to make but I always fail to do, so when I came upon this on a wonderful food blog, Forks Knives & Spades, I literally salivated and promised myself to make my own beef or pork jerky ASAP!

Photo credit: forksknivesandspades.blogspot.com.

And it's not only one, but Forks Knives & Spades has three beef jerky recipes! See it for yourself here.

Let's do it and enjoy a delicious chew!


February 17, 2012

camote leaves and shrimp stir-fry

I wanna try this, definitely! Will substitute sambal belacan with the local shrimp paste (bagoong alamang). Sweet potato leaves or tops is usually blanched/boiled and prepared as a salad garnished with our version of salsa: sliced tomatoes and onions and bugguong or patis or salt to taste, and a little vinegar. Sometimes, it is  sautéed as a kind of adobo, in little oil, garlic, onion, soy sauce or oyster sauce.

Photo credit: myasiankitchenny.com

This is so good, with that plump shrimp, let's try it! Recipe is here, from My Asian Kitchen.


February 16, 2012


(from Simple Recipes and Our Best Bites)

Actually, Pinoys have their own fresh salsa, sliced tomatoes (kamatis) with grated green mango and sliced onions dressed with patis (fish sauce) or salted shrimp paste (bagoong alamang). The Ilokanos especially has it with bugguong (salted/fermented fish) and they fondly call it as KBL (kamatis, bugguong, lasona; not to mistake as the old political party of the late Apo Marcos).

Photo credit: ourbestbites.com

Photo credit: simplyrecipes.com

But I want the real Mexican fresh salsa there is, I'll note it on my recipes-to-do list, and maybe dress it with bugguong juice instead of just simply salt to taste.

Here is a simple fresh salsa recipe from Simple Recipes and from Our Best Bites.


grilled tomatoes

I always fancy grilling veggie fruits, but I tried just a few, like bitter melon, sweet pepper, okra, kabatiti (sponge gourd), banana blossom, rattan shoots, etc. Of tomatoes, I still have to try. Tomatoes are usually grilled in American and European and other cuisines, as part of their barbecues or kebabs or of other grilled vegetables like asparagus, mushrooms, artichoke, etc.

Photo credit: simplyrecipes.com

Here, we can try this simple grilled tomato recipe from Simple Recipes.


(from saveur.com)

This kind of barbecue or kebab-like skewered foodie-goodie is deliciously mouth-watering looking that I want to include it at once among my list of fantasies, of food that I wanna try to both consume and prepare soonest. Bacon-wrapped chicken or duck liver? I want it!

Duck liver rumaki. Photo credit: saltyseattle.com

Pineaple rumaki. Photo credit: trust the fatman

Chicken liver and water chesnuts rumaki. Photo credit: Baha'i Views / Flitzy Phoebie

So, let's try it! This recipe from Saveur.com will suffice our cravings, surely!

giant freshwater prawns in coconut milk/cream

(From EatingAsia)

This totally floored me, giant prawns! I can only fantasize I was that one lucky fellow who's about to feast on that big shrimp cooked in gata (coconut milk)!

And yes, that's real as there's an actual recipe of it for the non-believer and/or envious to try. You can substitute with midget, errr, smaller prawns if you can not find those jumbo ones.

Go ahead to the EatingAsia food haven and give it a try, at least!


cooking the perfect sirloin steak

(From Cook Sister!)

I always fantasize preparing and cooking steak, what ever kind of steak. Now, here's how to cook the perfect sirloin steak...

Wanna try it.

Want a try? Off you go to the Cook Sister blog and follow the recipe!