Author Archives: Kram

Gyros with Greek Chicken, Tzatziki and Homemade Greek Pita Flatbread


Gyros with Greek Chicken
Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 3 hours

Yield: About 6 servings


Chicken Soulvaki
2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 Tbsp plain Greek yogurt
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1/3 cup chopped red onion
2 cloves garlic
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp coriander
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
For serving
6 – 8 Greek Pita Flatbread, homemade or store-bought (recipe follows)
Tzatziki sauce, homemade or store-bought (recipe follows)
Diced Roma tomatoes, peeled and diced cucumbers, chopped Romaine lettuce, diced red onions, feta cheese, cilantro and Kalamata olives (olives optional)

In a mixing bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, Greek yogurt, red wine vinegar, chopped red onion, garlic, oregano, thyme, coriander and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Place chicken in a gallon ziploc bag, pour marinade over chicken, seal bag while pressing out excess air and transfer to refrigerator to marinate 2 – 4 hours. Remove chicken during the last 30 minutes of marinating to rest at room temperature before grilling (leave in marinade).
Brush grill grates lightly with oil and preheat grill over moderately high heat. Once hot, add chicken and grill until cooked through (internal temperature should register 165 degrees on an instant read thermometer), rotating once halfway through cooking. Remove from grill transfer to plate and brush chicken lightly with olive oil then cover with foil and allow to rest 10 minutes. Dice into strips.
To assemble gyros:
Layer chicken in a row along center of pita, top with lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, Kalamata olives, red onion, feta, cilantro and tzatziki sauce. Wrap and serve.

Tzatziki Sauce
Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes


1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped into chunks*
1 tsp salt, plus more to taste
1 cup plain Greek yogurt (I used fat free)
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1 Tbsp chopped fresh dill (or 1 tsp dried)
Freshly ground black pepper

Place diced cucumber in a mesh strainer or colander and sprinkle with salt, toss to evenly coat then allow to rest 30 minutes at room temperature.
Rinse cucumbers and place over several layers of paper towels. Squeeze some of the liquid from cucumbers (almost as if wringing moisture from a cloth). Place cucumbers in food processor and pulse to chop to desired size. Add in Greek yogurt, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, red wine vinegar, parlsey, and dill and season with salt and pepper to taste. Plus to blend (or if you want it chunky you can simply stir the other ingredients in using a bowl and spoon so the cucumbers are chopped up more). Store in refrigerator in an airtight container up to 3 days.
*I just peeled the cucumber, sliced in half lengthwise, then used a spoon to scoop the seeds out and diced into chunks.

Greek Pita Flatbread
Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours, 5 minutes


2 tsp active dry yeast
2 1/2 tsp granulated sugar
2/3 cup warm water, 110 degrees
1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp milk, heated to 110 degrees
1 1/2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus more for bowl
1 1/4 tsp salt
3 cups bread flour (can add up to 1/4 cup more flour as needed)

In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, whisk together yeast, sugar and warm water until yeast has dissolved then let rest 5 minutes. Add in warm milk, olive oil, salt and 1 1/2 cups bread flour and fit mixer with whisk attachment and blend mixture until well combined. Switch attachment to hook attachment, add in remaining 1 1/2 cups flour and knead mixture on low speed until blended, then increase to medium-low and allow to knead about 5 minutes longer until smooth an elastic (dough should not stick to sides of the bowl, so add more flour if necessary). Transfer dough to bowl lightly coated with oil, cover with a damp towel and allow to rest in a warm place until double in size, about 1 1/2 hours.
Press dough down and divide dough into 6 – 8 equal portions. Working with one piece at a time, roll dough out into a round (I made 6 large 8-inch pitas) on a lightly floured surface. Heat a large non-stick skillet slightly over medium heat. Once hot, add flatbread and cook until bubbles begin to appear on surface and bottom is golden brown, then flip and cook opposite side until golden brown. Transfer to a large plate, cover with foil leaving a small opening for excess moisture to escape. Repeat process with remaining flatbread. Store in an airtight container (best served day prepared. I’d rewarm mine wrapped in damp paper towels in the microwave).

Greek Chicken Souvlaki with Lemon Rice


Greek Chicken Souvlaki with Lemon Rice
Serves 6

4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
**vegetables like mushrooms, onion and zucchini, if desired

Marinade Ingredients:
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice {about 3 lemons}
1 1/2 tsp red wine vinegar
2 tsp finely minced garlic
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried thyme

Trim chicken and cut into large chunks- mine were about 1.5″ big and I got 4-6 chunks from each chicken breast.

Combine olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, garlic, oregano, and thyme into Ziploc bag or plastic container. Add in chicken. Seal and squeeze bag or turn container over and shake gently so all pieces of meat are well-coated with marinade. Put into refrigerator and marinate 6-8 hours or more.

To get ready to grill, remove chicken from refrigerator, pull out chicken pieces and dump remaining marinade. Thread chicken onto skewers. Spray grill with non-stick spray or mist with olive oil, then preheat gas or charcoal barbecue grill to medium high.

Grill skewers about 12-15 minutes, turning the first time as soon as you see nice grill marks. Souvlaki is done when the chicken is slightly browned and firm, but not hard to the touch. {If you use a meat thermometer, the temp should register 160 degrees. It will increase to 165 degrees even after you take it off the grill. I love using a thermometer as it really helps me not over-cook the chicken!}

**If you’d like to grill some vegetables along side your chicken, I highly recommend it! We did a skewer of mushrooms, plus we also sliced some white onion to thread along with the chicken. The mushrooms were amazing!! To marinate vegetables, if you just have a few, set aside 3-5 TBSP of the marinade prior to mixing with the chicken. Then just put vegetables & marinade in a separate ziplock bag in the fridge, turning the bag occasionally to mix it. If you’re doing a good amount of vegetables, I’d double the marinade instead!

Greek Lemon Rice
Serves 4-5 as a side dish

1 cup long grain rice
2 TBSP olive oil
1 tsp salt
2-3 TBSP lemon juice {I loved 3 TBSP but my kids preferred it less lemony}
2 cups hot chicken broth

Heat a saucepan over medium heat. {Make sure pan has a lid!} Add in oil. After about a minute, add in rice and saute for 2-3 minutes, stirring often so it doesn’t brown too much. Add salt and lemon juice to rice and saute 1 minute more.

Slowly add in chicken broth. Let it come to a boil, then reduce heat to the lowest setting and put the lid on the pan. Cook for 30 minutes.

If all the liquid has been absorbed after 30 minutes, remove lid, turn off heat and let it sit for about 10 minutes prior to serving. If there’s still a bit of liquid, let it cook without the lid on for another 5 minutes or so. Then turn heat off and let it sit for 10 minutes.

***I highly recommend making this rice the night before you’re planning on serving! The flavors are so much better plus the rice is able to absorb the liquid and turns fluffier when it’s had time to sit. I just heated it in the microwave just before serving and it was fantastic!




Binagoongang Baboy – Pork Sauteed in Shrimp Paste


The idea of adding shrimp paste to a dish was brought to locals of island of the Philippines by migrants and traders from the peninsulas in Southeast Asia – Borneo, Malaya, and Java in particular – prior to the coming of the Spaniards. In fact, shrimp paste is a common ingredient used to dishes across the Mainland and Maritime Southeast Asia. It was believed that the Malay who once settled in Central Luzon created Binagoogang Baboy where the dish is most popular.


2 pounds pork shoulder, cubed
1/3 cup vinegar
1 cup water
2 tablespoon soy sauce
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, chopped
2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 tomato, chopped
2 tablespoons Shrimp Paste or Bagoong Alamang
1 long chili pepper, seeded and cut in strips
1/2 teaspoon chili flakes (optional)


COOKING TIME : 30 minutes

1 Combine the pork, vinegar, water, soy sauce and half of the garlic and onion in a pan. Bring to a boil, then simmer until meat is tender, about 20 minutes. Add 1/2 cup water if it’s drying out before the meat gets tender. Sauce left on the pan should be about half a cup when done.

2 In a separate pan, saute the remaining garlic and onion in oil. Add the tomato and cook until it’s wilted.

3 Add the boiled pork (without the sauce). Cook for a minute. Then add the sauce and bring to a boil.

4 Stir in the shrimp paste and chili pepper, then simmer for 2 minutes.

5 Serve with rice.


If you prefer a hot and spicy Binagoongang Baboy, add some extra chili flakes to suit your taste.

The chili pepper is added towards the end to control the heat of the dish and just so it’s not all wilted and makes for a nice plate presentation.

I also put the shrimp paste in towards the end so that the flavor is more pronounced and not lost by being absorbed in the cooking process.

If fresh bagoong alamang is all you have, drain and wring out the salty liquid that came with it, then saute it in garlic and onion, and also add the juice of one lemon and a little sugar, too. This will help to mellow out the strong flavor and cut down the salty taste.

Adjust the amount of shrimp paste to your taste. If you like it more salty, add just a little bit. Remember, you can always add more, but once it gets too salty, your dish is ruined…so be careful.

Chicharon – Fried Pork Rinds


In the Philippines, people eat fatty and salty food. There’s no other food that can be fatty and salty than the mystical Chicharon. Chicharon is now an acceptable variant term, a derivative of the Spanish word chicharron is usually eaten with vinegar or with bagoong, lechon liver sauce, or pickled papaya called atchara. Chicharon Bulaklak, made from pork mesentery, is also popular.

Pork Chicharon is also a tasty topping for Pakbet, Bangus Sisig Recipe, Arroz Caldo, Pork Sisig, Lechon Sisig, La Paz Batchoy and Pancit Palabok.


Pork Rinds or Balat ng Baboy, fat trimmed

4 cloves Garlic
1 large Onion, quartered
1 tablespoon Salt
1 teaspoon Peppercorn
Enough Water to fully cover rinds
Cooking Oil for Frying
1 Simmer the pork rinds in water seasoned with garlic, onion, salt and peppercorns. Cook until tender, about 40-50 minutes.

2 Using a pair of scissors, cut the rinds into 1 1/2″ squares.

3 Bake in a 200°F; for about an hour up to one hour and a half or until the rinds are thoroughly dry.

4 Remove from oven and set aside to cool down, or refrigerate to fry at another time.

5 To fry, heat up enough oil for deep frying. Use medium to medium high heat or at 350°F;.

6 Fry until golden brown or 2-3 minutes and drain excess oil.

7 Sprinkle salt and pepper right away.

8 Serve with vinegar dipping sauce.

Salmon Kilawin


Kilawin is a Filipino dish where seafood is marinated in vinegar, a citrus fruit (calamansi in the Philippines), chili, onions, garlic and like ceviche, is served without cooking since the vinegar and citrus “cook” the seafood. There are different variations depending on the region, plus you can get creative and add different ingredients.


Sushi Grade or High Quality Boneless Salmon – 1 lb (We like the salmon fillet from Costco)

Garlic – 2 Cloves Crushed

1 Red Onion – Diced

1 Tomato – Diced

1 Cucumber – Diced
(Tomatoes and cucumbers are optional, but I love adding them)

1/2 Red Pepper – Diced

1/4 cup Fresh Ginger – Diced

1/2 Cup Vinegar

Lime Juice from 3 limes

1 Chili Pepper – Diced

Pinch Salt

Cracked Black Pepper

1. Wash the fish well and slice the fillet into 1/2 inch cubes.

2. Combine the salmon and vinegar in a bowl and cover. Make sure that the fish is well covered in vinegar. Refrigerate for at least an hour.

3. Drain the liquid from the salmon and gently squeeze the fish, combine the rest of the ingredients (red pepper, onions, tomato, lime juice, garlic, ginger, chili pepper) and mix well. Add salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate again for at least an hour.


Pork Kilawin


Other Filipinos think that when they heard Kilawin food, they think it’s a raw fish cooked in vinegar (deboned fish soaked in vinegar). Kilawin is a Kapampangan recipe again that has pork and liver cooked in vinegar.

Ingredients and cooking procedure after the jump.


* 1 Kilo of pork, sliced thinly into 1 inch long

* 1/2 kilo of pork liver, sliced thinly

* 1 cup of native vinegar

* Rock salt

* 2 pieces of big onions, sliced thinly

* 6 cloves of garlic, crushed

* 4 tbsp. of shortening

* 1/2 cup of water

Cooking procedure:

1. Soak pork and liver separately in a mixture of vinegar, salt, pepper and onions.

2. Saute’ garlic in shortening until brown. Add pork mixture, pressing the pieces very well.

3. Cover and simmer until pork is tender.

4. Add liver mixture and water, boil and allow minxture to thicken.

5. You can also add chopped green chilli if you want it a bit hot.

Sweet Braised Pork Belly – Humba

Humba - Sweet Braised Pork Belly

Humba – Sweet Braised Pork Belly


  • 1 kg. pork belly or pork hocks
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 1 cup pineapple juice
  • 1/2 cup crushed pineapple 
  • 1/2 tsp whole black peppercorns
  • 3 tbsp salted black beans
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 star anise
  • 100g dried banana blossoms
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar or sangkaka
  • 8 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 4-5 cups water (or more, if you like it really saucy)


  1. Wash and drain meat. Cut in chunks.
  2. Marinate pork cuts in soy sauce, vinegar, garlic and peppercorns for about one hour. But if you have plenty time in preparing this, better marinate it overnight in the fridge.
  3. Remove the meat from the marinade. Reserve the marinade sauce.


  1. Heat the oil in a pan. Cook until each side of pork is brown. In the process, pork will render its own oil. This makes the dish tastier. Set aside the pork.
  2. Get rid of some oil in the pan if it’s too oily.
  3. Add the meat marinade, water, laurel leaves, star anise, and pineapple juice and crushed pineapple. Let it boil for 5 minutes.
  4. Add meat and black beans. Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes.
  5. Then add the brown sugar or chunk of sangkaka. Let simmer in very low heat until the meats gets really tender and sauce thickens.
  6. Then add the banana blossoms. Cook for 5 more minutes.
  7. The salted black beans were enough to flavor so you adjust the amount of salt to add.
  8. Add a few hard-boiled eggs if you wish. Serve with rice. And just like any other braised dish, (Humba tastes great as a leftover)

Grilled Spicy Pork Salad (Dinakdakan)



“Dinakdakan” Ilocano’s famous Pork Recipe in the Philippines

Dinakdakan is a word used by Ilocano’s as name for this grilled pork recipe. It is a well known recipe in all Ilocano towns in the Philippines and has been tailored by other regions because of its wonderful flavor and simple preparation. We have unusual ways of preparing Dinakdakan these days, as many make inventive twist on its taste and preparation.

For Grill and boil:

  • 1/2 lb Pork ear
  • 2lb Pork belly
  • 1/2 lb Pork nape
  • 1/2 lb Pork tongue
  • 1/2 lb Pork liver
  • 1/2 lb Pork intestine (optional grilled or boiled)

For the seasoning:

  • 4 pcs kalamansi (Use Lemon or Lime to substitute)
  • 1/4 cup Coconut Vinegar
  • 2 Chopped onions
  • 4 Chopped chili
  • 4 Stalks Chopped green onion
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1/8 lb Pork’s brain (boiled)
  • 3 spoon Mayonaise (optional)

1. Grill all the pork ingredients until golden brown and simmer the pork brain for 10 mins
2. Slice the grilled pork into bite size
3. In a bowl, mix the sliced grilled pork with the boiled pork brain and the rest of the seasoning
4. Add salt and pepper to taste
5. Add mayonnaise to make it thick, this is optional.

Pork Belly Sandwich – Bahn Mi

Pork Belly Banh Mi

Pork Belly Banh Mi

Pork Belly Sandwich – Bahn Mi

Pork belly sandwich recipes – Bánh mì is a Vietnamese term for all kinds of bread. Bread, or more specifically the baguette, was introduced by the French during its colonial period. The bread most commonly found in Vietnam is a single serving baguette, therefore the term bánh mì is synonymous with this type of bread. The bánh mì is usually more airy than its western counterpart, so as a result, has a thinner crust.

 45 min
 2 hrs
 4 Large Sandwiches


2 1/2 Pounds pork belly
4 8 inch Baguettes
2 Tablespoons sesame chili oil
1 Teaspoon kosher or sea salt
1 Teaspoon black pepper


1 Egg yolk
1 Pinch salt
1 Cup Canola or Vegetable oil
2 Tablespoons Sriracha or other hot sauce
2 Teaspoons water
1 Teaspoon lime juice


2 Cups red cabbage, shredded
1 Cup daikon radish, sliced thin
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 Pinch salt
1 Cup carrots, shredded
1/3 Cup rice wine vinegar
Cucumbers, sliced thin (topping)
Cilantro (topping)


1. To make spicy mayo sauce, whip together yolk, water, lime juice, and salt in a medium mixing bowl. Set mixture over warm water and whip constantly until the mixture is steams and foamy. It should thicken slightly, but not harden totally.

2. Take away mixture from warm and start whiping in oil slowly. Begin with just little drops and gradually work up. Whip in the whole cup of oil which should form a chunky mayonnaise.

3. Stir in hot sauce and store mayo in the fridge until needed. You can also just stir hot sauce into one cup of store-bought mayo.

4. To make the coleslaw, shred carrots and cabbage. Cut into thin planks. Flip together with vinegar, sugar, and salt. Make at least 30 minutes before you utilize it.

5. To cook pork belly, put it skin side up in a frying pan. Using a very sharp knife, Slice into the fat of the belly. But try not to cut all the way dow. Make a grid of small cuts on the skin.

6. Rub pork belly with sesame chili oil and season it with salt and pepper.

7. Bake pork belly at 500 degrees for 30 minutes. Then reduce heat to 350 and bake for another 45-50 minutes until pork belly is cooked through and a lot of fat has rendered out of it.

8. Once belly has cooled a bit, slice it into small chunks.

9. To make a sandwich, toast baguette and slather it with spicy mayo. Add a layer of pork belly and top it with the slaw. Top with fresh cucumbers and cilantro and serve immediately!

Twice Cooked Pork Belly


Twice cooked pork  belly

Twice cooked pork belly

This is an easy, tender Chinese-Filipino dish that is packed full of flavor. Preparation and marinating takes longer than cooking this pork. Marinated pork belly is steamed, then stir-fried and tossed in a scrumptious spicy sauce.

Ready in 2 hours 30 mins

Makes: 3 – 4 servings
2 teaspoons soy sauce
500g skin-on, boneless pork belly
2 teaspoons rice wine
2 tablespoons sweet bean paste
1 tablespoon chilli bean paste
2 teaspoons sugar or to taste
1 tablespoon rice wine
2 tablespoons cooking oil
2 green chili peppers, chopped
3 spring onions cut into 2cm lengths
1 tablespoon cooking oil
Chicken stock granules to taste

Preparation method
Extra time: 2 hours, marinating
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
1. Stroke the pork belly with 2 teaspoons soy sauce and 2 teaspoons rice wine. Let it sit for 2 hours.
2. Place the pork belly meat on a heat-safe dish then place it on a steamer tray, steam for at least 20 minutes.
3. Then, mix the sweet bean paste and chili bean paste in a bowl. Add the sugar and 1 tablespoon rice wine. Mix well to form a sauce, set aside.
4. After 20 minutes, the pork should be cooked, let it cool. Cut the pork belly into thin slices.
5. Heat a wok or fry pan over medium heat, and pour in 2 tablespoon cooking oil. Add the pork and stir it for a few minutes until the meat color is light brown. Set the pork aside and reserve the oil in the wok.
6. Heat the reserved oil in the wok and stir-fry the chilies and spring onions for 1 minute. Remove and set aside.
7. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in the same wok until hot. Pour in the sauce and stir until its aromatic. Add the pork back into the wok and stir until the pork is evenly coated with the sauce.
8. Add the chilies’ and spring onions and toss. Season with chicken stock granules and serve.
Rice wine, sweet bean paste and chili bean paste can be purchased in Asian specialty shops or online.