Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Can't. Sleep. Will make Adobong Tahong and Tawilis Pasta.

I've been working 'til 3 AM and I have to be on the road by 8:30 AM again. Life's not particularly sucky right now, just tightly scheduled.  Last time I had a similar schedule, I slept through the morning and barely made it to my morning appointment. What to do so it doesn't happen again? Fight sleep with a little early morning kitchen action.

Here's a picture of the Adobong Tahong and Tawilis Pasta I finished a few minutes ago.

And now here's how to make it...


1 can bottled Tawilis, drained and shredded
1 can bottled Tuyo, drained and shredded
500 grams of Adobong Tahong by Jaq's Kitchen (a small stall at the Salcedo Market)
400 grams of pasta (Linguini is preferred by Spaghetti will do)
1 can whole peeled tomatoes (about 500 gms)
1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes, finely chopped
1 cup bacon (not the honey cured kind), chopped
1 cup olive oil
1 clove garlic, peeled and sliced
1 big onion, peeled and finely chopped
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
2 pieces red cherry peppers, finely chopped
a dash of dried basil
a dash of dried sage
salt and pepper to taste

Cook the pasta as directed in the packet. drain and save about 1 cup of the pasta water.

Boil the bacon in about 1/8 cup of water and brown it in its own fat. Add 1/2 cup of olive oil to the pan and saute the onions and garlic. Add in the adobong tahong. Once it boils, add in the whole peeled tomatoes, sundried tomatoes and the shredded tuyo. Let it boil and then add in the pasta water, and the herbs. Reduce the sauce to a thick consistency over low heat. Just before the sauce reaches the consistency you want, add in half of the Parmesan cheese and the cherry peppers.

Once the sauce has thickened, in a separate pan, heat the remaining olive oil and add in the sauce. Mix gently. Add the pasta slowly and mix gently just so you cover all the noodles with the sauce. Put aside at least 1/2 cup of the sauce. Once the noodles have been evenly coated, plate and top with the extra pasta sauce, shredded tawilis and parmesan cheese.

For a little punch, drizzle some truffle oil. Mine s courtesy of my good friend and kindred foodie, Daki Fernando.

You can also add in some arugula leaves or whole Tawilis pieces for a prettier plating. 

Saturday, June 25, 2011

FOOD FIND: Bangus Tocino (Sweet Cured Milk Fish)

Saw this in the Supermarket... Century Tuna's Bangus Tocino.
 Tried it today. it thawed easily enough and though the fish meat looks a little too brown for comform once it's thawed, it does cook well. Of course, just not as pretty as the fish cuts you see on the packaging.

 The fish takes some time to redden (smaller amount of salt peter or salitre than the pork tocino variety, I suppose)  and caramelize but it tastes just like tocino. It's not malansa (fishy) but you do get to taste the bangus (milk fish) after all the sugar has melted away in your mouth.  For a tocino, it's not  dispapointing.

And nope, this is not some paid blog.

Xcolat and cold mint chocolate drink

I usually prefer hot coffee drinks over cold caffeinated drinks. The cold choco-mint drink of Xcolat over in Katipunan is a winner though. That's all I'm going to say.

Sumo Sam and Spam

It has been months since I've had this quirky Waikiki Salad from Sumo Sam made of soft waffles cooked with spam, shredded lettuce, dried shredded pork and Japanese mayonnaise. Listed on the menu as a breakfast meal inspired by Hawaii and its surfing culture, the salad promised to be one hefty meal all in itself.
But it turned out to be one of those meals that you think you'd remember and in doing so, you kind of regret having  a memory of a dismal dining experience. All this photo evokes is blandness and the lack of the tangy, processed meat (and other stuff not necessarily in the food category, I'm sure. But it's the kid of stuff that makes spam so much more addictive). It looked interesting on the menu but on my palate, it was  just a big giant wave that fizzled out even before the  surfer could mount his board.

It just made me miss the Spam Jam restaurant in Robinson's Galleria around 2004 or 2005.

A. had better luck, though with his Wagyu rice and fish tempura. The cream Dory was well-cooked and the batter just light and spiced moderately so that when you dip it the golden brown piece into the dipping sauce, the fish meat was coated with a right amount of flavors.
The Wagyu rice, had enough amounts of flavorful beef pieces. and the rice fluffy yet sticky enough to enjoy the meal on chopsticks.

It will definitely take some time before I go back again to Sumo Sam to sample their other dishes but I have definitely not crossed it out off my list.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

FOOD FIND: Rosy's Pancit Malabon

I lived in Malabon for around 4 years and I have eaten Pancit Malabon at every special occasion. Of the many "original"  pansiterias that have been selling this rice noodle recipe is 'Rosy's Pancit Malabon' which has been open since 1940's.

Almost 15 years after leaving Malabon, I got the chance to finally set foot in this famed eatery.

We ordered a big bilao good for about 20 persons and cost us about P1,000.  Which wasn't bad considering it was abundant with fresh shrimps, meat slices and eggs.

I was booted out of the kitchen even before I could take any more photos.

I had to wait for our bilao to be taken out of the kitchen before I could take any more photos.

Friday, June 10, 2011


In my last episode for a parenting talk show I was writing for, the topic discussed was learning disabilities, focusing on dyslexia. this was a topic I had been pitching for a long time. Sad as I may be due to the axing of the show, I am just glad that I got the chance to do an episode on the topic. 

Since fish is one of the more accessible brain food, I shared my recipe for Tuna lumpia in that episode. Here it is...

- 1 can of tuna chunks or solid in brine, water or oil
- 1 medium-sized potato
- 1 medium-sized carrot
- 1 bunch green onion leaves), finely sliced
- 1 tsp. of chili flakes
- 1 tsp. of salt or to taste
- 1/2 tsp. of freshly ground black pepper or to taste
- 1 egg, beaten
- 12 pieces of 6-inch spring roll wrappers, separated
-  about 2 c. of vegetable cooking oil for frying

-       Drain the liquid from the canned tuna.
-       Heat the cooking oil in a wok or frying pan. Cut the potato and carrot into 1/4-inch cubes. Fry the potato and carrot cubes until lightly crisp. Scoop out and drain on a stack of kitchen paper.
-       In a bowl, put the drained tuna, potato, carrot, scallions, chili flakes, salt, pepper and half of the beaten egg. Mix.
-       Place about a heaping tablespoonful of filling at the center of a wrapper and roll, sealing the edges with the remaining half of the beaten egg.
-       Reheat the oil until you see fine wisps of smoke above the surface. Fry the spring rolls until golden, in batches if necessary so as not to overcrowd the pan and make the temperature drop which will make your spring rolls greasy and soggy.
-       Serve the spring rolls with sweet and sour sauce

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

FOOD FIND: Cafe Kapitan's Pancit Canton

Discovered Cafe Kapitan in Marikina City a month ago and still can't get over the Pancit Canton.
It's the Pancit Canton that other pancit cantons should strive to be--- light golden brown sauce sliding and drippin off the starchy noodles; deep-fried liempo bits (with crispy skin on) and tender shrimps mixed with crunchy vegetables --- all go together.  It doesn't even need the dash of calamansi juice we Pinoys are so accustomed to. Although they say one serving can be shared by two people, I can definitely finish a plate  by myself.

The specialty of the place is Paella but I didn't get to order it as the pancit was enough to fill up my carbo quota for the day.
Paellera lamp shade
I did get to taste some other dishes...
Lumpiang Shanghai

Crispy Chicken

Lapu-lapu in Sweet Sour Sauce
... but it's definitely the Pancit Canton that will keep me coming back for more.

Saturday, June 4, 2011


I had been to Indonesia only once and that was to get treated to a nice day at the Banyan Tree  at the Bintan Island. And that is as far as my affinity to Indonesia goes.

I tried my hand  at making Sambal Shrimp, but realized quickly that I had to innovate given that my blender has stopped working for weeks now (making it impossible to make the Sambal paste). So here it is...


Spice paste 1 tbsp ready-to-serve crispy red chilies
1 red onion, finely minced and pounded
2 tbsp bagoong

Sambal Sauce
3 tbsp cooking oil
250g shrimp (shelled and deveined)
1 cup water
1 tbsp tamarind paste (mixed with 1/2 cup water & strained)
2 dried kaffir lime leaves (crumbled)
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp brown sugar

Mix all spice paste ingredients.

Heat up the oil and stir-fry the spice paste for a minute or so.

 Then, Add the shrimps and stir-fry for about 2-3 minutes.

Once the fragrance of the sambal pastes fills the room, add in the  water mixed with tamarind paste and bring  to a quick boil.

Add in salt, brown sugar & kaffir lime leaves. 

Serve hot.

Oops, I Did It Again... Binagoongang Baboy with Tsokolate Tablea

There are things  I had done once and will probably never do again...spelunking for five hours in Sagada, rappelling in the rain in Batangas and ramming an RV into a pyre of burning trash in Boracay ... unless it involves a nice early retirement package.

And there are things that I dream of doing at least once...skydive in Australia, fly the Zero-G plane in Florida and wash the windows of the 100th floor of the Empire State Building  in New York.

I am not exactly an extreme sports kinda gal but I do like taking risks that make me feel like I am laughing in the face of death (even if it's just really lame stuff).  

When it comes to gustatory delights, though, I believe in a no holds barred policy. I like to live my life dangerously, at least in the dining table.

This food freak wants to have tongue wrestling with a live baby octopus in Korea, make an oven out of yak carcass  in Mongolia and, eat blowfish in Japan.

One thing that I don't understand, and it just irks me sometimes, is when people who have very low BMI or body mass index (also known as 'thin people') often ask me why I like eating fatty. I hate it when they make it sound like I'm committing suicide. asking me in an incredulous tone while they hungrily look at the dripping salty, oily mess I am biting into.  I retort that I want to die happy. If you have a perfectly grilled piece of fatty meat in front of you, and an earthquake happens or you see an errant vehicle about to crash into you, you wouldn't want your last thoughts to be, "Oh fuck, I should've eaten that barbecue!", would you? Such silly last words will never be heard from me.

And on that note... Here's one of my favorite salty, fatty recipes, not for the faint of heart and those who want to achieve unbelievably low BMIs.


0.75 kg country style pork liempo, cut into 2-inch thick strips
1 cup Shrimp Bagoong from Malabon (salty baby shrimp paste with a hint of sugar and spice)
1/ 4 cup cooking  oil
1 head garlic, peeled and finely minced
1 onion,  sliced into rings
3 cups water
2-3 pieces grated Tsokolate Tablea
1 Long pepper (Siling-haba)

Using 1/2 cup of water, boil the pork.

 When the water has evaporated, lower the fire and sweat the pork until it produces some fat, Add the cooking oil and  sautee the garlic as you brown the pork.

Once the pork is browned, add the bagoong. Add the remaining water and let the concoction simmer. Mix every once in a while so the bottom of the pan does not burn. When the pork is tender,but the sauce still watery, add the siling haba and onion rings.

This will give the dish an undertone of heat. Once the dish reaches a sticky consistency, add the grated tsokolate tablea. The bitter sweetness of the tsokolate  will temper the heat and bring out the saltiness of the bagoong. Mix and let it simmer for 1-2 minutes.

Separately, you may choose to blanche vegetables like okra, kangkong (water spinach), sigarilyas (winged beans), sitaw (string beans) or talong (eggplant) to serve with the binagoongan.

Serve with piping hot rice.