Saturday, July 30, 2016

REPOST: Top 10 Things You Didn’t Know Taste Delicious With Chocolate

From the title alone, you already know that this article from Endless Simmer of  Huffington Post is an interesting read. What does taste good with chocolate? You'd be surprised when you find out!

Just click on the pic to get linked!

Thursday, July 28, 2016


Recently had old friends over for dinner. And when I say “old” I don’t mean geriatric. I mean friends from way back like since the first grade. Almost everyone in our barkada live outside of the country but thanks to social networking technology we still keep in touch. So when when we do see each other in person, it’s a very special occasion. One that needs to be celebrated with good food to go along with the great conversation.  So, for that particular day I made an effort to cook something Pinoy, Prawns in Red Egg Yolk Sauce.

It’s easy to make. Here’s the recipe so you can try it yourself.

·  500 gms.  Prawns, shelled and deveined
·  4 pcs.       Red Egg Yolks, mashed
·  2 tbsp.      Butter, salted
·  2 tbsp.      Cooking Oil
·  5 cloves    Garlic, minced
·  1 stalk       Leeks, sliced
·  Salt & Pepper to taste


Prepare the prawns by removing the shell  and keeping the head on. Devein. Wash, drain and set aside.

Halve the red eggs and scoop out the yolk. Set the whites aside and use it later on somethine else like fresh tomato salad. I recommend to use the whites on the same day otherwise, keep it in the ref overnight.  Make sure to remove the flimsy white membrane that encloses the yolk a.k.a. vitelline. 

Make your own double boiler by heating water in a pan. Place the red egg yolks in a metal bowl and place on your DIY double boiler. Mash the red egg yolks with a fork. You can skip this part but I find that mashing the yolks over heat allows the yolk adhere to the butter better, making the sauce creamier.

Heat up the oil in the pan. Once it’s hot enough, fry the prawns. Once the color of the bottom part changes, turn the prawn over. Once the prawns are half-cooked, remove from the pan and set aside.

In the same pan, add the butter and stir fry the garlic. Once the garlic turns light golden brown, add the mashed salted egg yolks. Wait for the mixture to turn frothy before tossing in the half-cooked prawns. Season with salt and pepper. Saute for about 3 minutes for small sized prawns, 5 minutes for big prawns.

Once cooked, place in a serving dish and top with chopped leeks. Serve hot.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016


I like neighborhood restos. Most are unpretentious and cozy. It's like having lunch at your house but not. Had the chance to eat at Lula’s House of Kare-kare, along Major Dizon Street in Marikina. It’s usually a quiet street unless the Katipunan traffic goes into overdrive and motorists find themselves taking a short cut to Marcos highway via this residential area.

Since the resto owner tagged itself as a  "House of Kare-kare," I expected a selection of Kare-kare but there was only one- oxtail. My expectations were raised. After all, if you named your resto after one dish, then it must be truly outstanding.

So when it came, warm and neatly presented in a white ceramic bowl, I quickly spooned a portion into my plate, along with the bagoong.

The dish was a classic concoction of oxtail, tripe and vegetables in a peanut-based stew with a side of bagoong alamang. The orange-brown broth was bright and appetizing but watery and not as 'malapot' as what I'm used to. The peanut-y taste was not evident so I'm guessing they either used freshly ground peanuts or imported peanut butter which  tends to be blander

I would probably eat there again but I can think of other restaurants that serve Kare-kare I would truly crave.

8 Pres. Roxas St. cor. Major Dizon St.
Industrial Valley Subdivision,  Marikina City

Sunday, July 24, 2016


Back in my 20's, I took my first trip abroad to Hongkong.  In those days, airline promo fares were non-existent and travel was a luxury even for my middle class family. It was for work and my boss had generously booked me a business class seat ( jackpot!). I made sure to prepare everything ahead of time. 
Image courtesy of
On the day of the flight, everything that could go wrong went wrong. I couldn't get a cab for about an hour. On the way, a truck had fallen over and traffic stood still for three hours.  And it was before the advent of the mobile phone so I had no way of calling my boss who, I was very sure, would fire me the next time she sees me. StillI plodded on and after 5 hours, I got to the airport. The plane had left and I was left on my own to re-book my flight, contact my boss and get my ass to Hongkong. I did all that while think up ways of how to beg and grovel at my boss' feet when I finally see her.

It was already dinner time when I finally reached Kai Tak Airport. I was going to have to find the hotel on my own, have my dollars changed to the local currency and check in with the Manila office to see if my boss had fired me and I should just go straight back to Manila. Hungry, I saw a Watson's stall and picked a box of the only thing that looked good to me- a box of pretzels dipped in chocolate. Pocky.

The name sounded funny, like the Filipino word for vagina. But I didn't want to spend any of my money as there was still a chance that  I was already jobless. I bought the box and just like in a TV commercial, the first bite just made me smile.  Things went right after that. I found a kind cab driver who could speak in English, and when I got to the hotel, my boss was in a good mood and didn't fire me.  Pocky had become like my lucky-charm and feel-good food.

Just today, I got boxes of Pocky's new flavors: Matcha, Cookies & Cream and, Banana.

The Matcha flavored pretzel sticks approximates the non-commercial taste of the green tea chocolates you find in Japanese wet markets like Tsukiji. I'm not a big fan of matcha chocolate but this one has that right after taste, a mix of slight bitterness from the tea which balances the sweetness of the chocolate.

The Cookies and Cream variant is just your regular chocolate dip, the cookies are too small (since the sticks are too thin to hold anything bigger than a grain of salt). Not very exciting for me. But if you're a fan of this combination, you'd probably like it. 

The Banana-flavored variant is my favorite among the three. It tastes and smells like Tokyo Banana, a sponge cake that is popular as a souvenir sweet in Japan. This is a treat for sweet-toothed snack lovers. 

Friday, July 22, 2016


The full moon hanging in the dark night sky, its light reflecting in the calm waters of the sea. A basket in my hands, waiting for small crabs to emerge from their sandy holes. My cousins and I squeal in delight as we trap the crustaceans rushing to the foams of seawater rolling in the shore.

This is the first memory I have of close encounters with crabs. I grew up enjoying the hard-shelled crustaceans boiled, broiled or battered.  And whenever I come across crab that I enjoy thoroughly, I always remember that night when I was seven at the beach in my father's hometown.

Back in 2009, I had the chance to visit Hawaii and taste one of the best crabs I had ever come across.

Hawaii looked and felt very much like the Philippines but with wider streets and outdoor airconditioning. Think Subic structures, with the view of Ilocos and  Baguio weather. I did the touristy things like visit the Polynesian Cultural Center where I got a taste of native Hawaiian delicacies like poi, made of mashed kalo (or taro). Unlike the ube, poi is not eaten sweet but usually with meat.
I'm an amateur when it comes to posing for the camera!
Also visited the Pearl Harbor and rode a submarine to see porpoise swimming amidst World War II wreckage.

Where does the crab come in?

At the Blue Water Shrimp and Seafood shack along Kuiho Avenue. Found this place when my travel buddy and I were trying to find our way back to the hotel after a morning of swimming at the Waikiki beach. People were lined up in front of a bus-turned-food truck, eagerly waiting for their food. That was a sign that this place served good food. So we lined up, too.

We had a look at what other people were having and ordered the Ahi and Garlic shrimp platter which was served with a trio of carbs- rice, corn and garlic bread.  The shrimps and fish were grilled and the Ahi was coated in black sesame.

We also shared a plateful of Garlic Clams. Buttery, garlicky and with a bit of tang coming from the fresh tomatoes which it was sauteed with.
Then I saw them serve up snow crabs to the lady beside me. Couldn't help myself and ordered one for myself. It was the best decision I ever made in Hawaii. Snow crabs tend to be thinner and less fleshy than the alimasag (blue crabs) that are commonly found in Philippine we markets. They are named such since these long-legged crustaceans are often found in cold northern oceans. They were simply boiled and that brought out the freshness. I could taste the subtle sweetness of the flesh underneath the saltiness, a sign of freshness in seafood.

When food is this good, it makes you want to come back. So was thinking of Hawaii a few hours back and went searching for this food truck and sadly found out that they have closed.  It's a pity but I'm just glad that I got an honest taste of Hawaii when I had the chance.

Sunday, July 17, 2016



That there are several Truffle Festivals around the word? Sarlat, France has a Truffle and Foie Gras Weekend in January.  Italy has several including the Fiera International Tartufo Bianca  D'Alba and the La Sagra del Tartufo Bianco. In Spain, there's the Fitruf International Exhibition. Northern America, there's the Napa Truffle Festival n the US and the first ever British Columbia Truffle Festival held in February earlier this year. Down Under there's the Mundaring Truffle Festival in Perth, Australia.
I can't go to my own festival looking like shit!
That the  ancients Egyptians, Greeks and Romans - used the sac-like truffle mushroom as medicine and aphrodisiac? They believed that it made the male species more potent. It's been  said that Napoleon Bonaparte believed this and consumed truffles to make him more of a man in bed and the battlefield.
It's the truffle trying to get out of my pants.

That only female pigs are used as truffle hogs? The female pig is attracted to its scent which smells a lot like androstenol, the musk-like pheromone that male boars produce and store in their testes, released when they're looking for some sexy time.
Is there a man boar down there lookin' for some sexy time?

That not all truffle oils are made from truffle? Home-made truffle oil is usually olive oil infused with actual truffles. But commercially produced truffle oil uses thioether, a chemical compound which contains a sulfur atom that is responsible for its pungent truffle-like aroma.

That truffles were one believed to grow where lightning has struck the ground? The truth is these sturdy fungi grow underground to adapt to environmental conditions like forest fires, winter frost and severe drought.
I will strike the earth with lightning so we can have fabulous truffles for dinner.

Saturday, July 16, 2016


Are you into weird food? I am.

Not that I like the taste of most weird food but I like to take my chances. You never know if you come across a discovery of a lifetime.  According to Allison Spiegel, food writer and editor for Huffington Post, chocoalte chip cookies, crepes and potato chips were all discovered by accident.

The hubby was out dining at Alab he texted me if I wanted him to bring home Laing and Kamote Ice Cream, I immediately said "Yes!"  

Why are these flavors weird? 

Kamote-Q or for the less street savvy- Camote Cue, is a street food made of sliced sweet potato fried with brown sugar and skewered on a stick often sold as merienda (snack).
As an ice cream, the inherent sweetness of this street food puts it to an advantage. What you miss in the ice cream is the starchiness you get in every bite of the fried version. I wonder if this would work better if they had swirls of honey or brittle brown sugar crystals.

On the other hand, Laing is a bicolano dish made of gabi leaves, coconut cream, chili and pork.You heard me right... pork! 
I was expecting to gag and spew on the first spoonful but lo and behold... it tasted like Matcha (Green tea) ice cream. There was no trace of pork or chili. It works as an ice cream but it does not taste like laing.

Here's to weird food, the people who make them and suckers like me who will try anything in the name of food.

67 Scout Rallos Street, Sacred Heart, Tomas Morato, Quezon City, Philippines
Telephone: (632) 3649631

Wednesday, July 13, 2016


Earlier this year, I heard from a friend that they were closing down Tokyo's famous Tsukiji Market, one of the world's largest fish markets, to transfer it to a more suitable location in tome for the 2020 Summer Olympics which the city is hosting.

According to its website,  the market, which started as an Uogashi or a riverside fish market in the  16th century Edo period, is open for 24 hours because of the early morning fish auction. I wanted to catch that but coming from a long day of walking and riding rollercoasters, the hubby and I resolved to just get a taste of the fisher later in the day. That was not a good decision.

At 10:00 AM, the best sashimi places (according to most online reviews), Sushi Dai and Daiwa Sushi, had lines snaking out to the corner of the street. The attendants were already politely turning away clientele explaining that they only had a limited amount of fresh seafood for the sashimi.

I had just come from a month-long bout of seafood allergy. I am now a walking  seafood freshness detector. When fish is not fresh, I break into hives all over (even my hair and nails would itch) and would need shots to counter the swelling. This did not deter me from queueing in one of the sushi restaurants that still had open waiting lines.

We had to wait for about an hour, taking turns to secure our place in the line and going around the market. Looking at souvenirs and pasalubong. I cheated a little and had a few sticks of Edomaki, rolled omelette mixed with fish paste. Tasted like fishy thin pancakes which was weird for me because I like my pancakes sweet, not salty.
When we got in, the place was cramped, with only a long counter good for about 12 people. The choices were limited but I think it works that way so the get to serve the fresh inventory by the end of the lunch service.
The hubby, who is not a fan of raw fish, ordered the safest selection- sushi platter. The slices of raw fish, rolled at the center of rice wrapped nori (seaweed) were fresh. The platter also came with tamago (egg) and tobiko (flying fish egg roe).

I had Chirashidon, vinegared sushi rice topped with an assortment of pickled garnishes and sashimi that included tuna, salmon, uni (sea urchin) and tobiko. My chirashidon came with snow crabs, shrimp, squid and scallops. It had strips of nori as toppings and the wasabi was freshly grated. Yes, I was pushing the limits. Luckily for me, everything was fresh and I had only very minor itching after finishing the bowl in record time.

After the meal, one has to traverse the narrow walkway to the exit on the other end of the restaurant.

It was a truly Japanese dining experience that I would not be able to do again because the 23-hectare Tsukiji raket will be transferred to a 40-hectare site in Toyosu in the reclaimed area of Koto starting November 2016. The new market will be a more modern version. I'm sure it will have its own attractions but will probably lack the old-world charm of Tsukiji. I'm glad to have experienced this centuries-old market before it becomes an entry in the pages of Japanese food history.