Category Archives: Appetizers

Talaba (Boiled Oysters)



Talaba  or Oysters have a soft flesh that can taste sweet, salty or even melon-like, depending on where they are harvested. These expensive treats can be eaten in various ways: raw, boiled, steamed, baked, fried, stewed, pickled, or roasted. Because raw oysters may contain dangerous bacteria, many people opt to boil their oysters to enjoy this seafood delicacy.

How to Boil Oysters in the Shell

Step 1
Purchase oysters with closed shells. If you find an oyster with an open shell, tap on the shell a couple times to see whether the shell closes. If the shell remains open, the oyster is dead and shouldn’t be consumed. Throw away dead oysters.

Step 2
Fill a small pot with water or broth until it is about two-thirds full. (It is important to use a smaller pot because a larger pot may prevent all the oysters from cooking properly.)

Step 3
Bring the liquid to a rolling boil, and drop the oysters into the pot. Boil for three to five minutes after the oyster shells open.

Step 4
Drain the oysters in a colander and rinse with cool water to prevent more cooking. Throw away any oysters that did not open during cooking.

Step 5
Serve the oysters plain or with (sinamak) vinegar or melted butter or hot sauce.

How to Boil Shucked Oysters

Step 1
Follow Step 1 above to discard dead oysters.

Step 2
Place a fresh oyster in a towel, and grab it with the palm of your hand. With your other hand, pry open the shell with an oyster knife. (See References for more information.)

Step 3
Insert the tip of the knife between the shell halves next to the oyster’s hinge. Wiggle and twist the knife until the oyster breaks open.

Step 4
Cut the oyster from the top shell, and place it in a bowl or on a plate. Then repeat with the bottom shell.

Step 5
Fill a small pot with water or broth until it is two-thirds full. Bring the liquid to a rolling boil, and drop the oysters into the pot. Boil for at least three minutes. The ends of the oysters will curl once the oysters are fully cooked.

Step 6
Remove the pot from heat once the oyster edges have curled. Drain the oysters in a colander, and rinse with cool water to prevent further cooking.

Step 7
Serve the boiled oysters plain or with (sinamak) vinegar or melted butter or hot sauce.

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Kadios, Baboy, Lanka – KBL (Beans, pork, jackfruit)



The “Kadios” are black beans. If you’re not from Iloilo or the Visayas, you may not recognize this.  The “Langka” is jackfruit, raw and green, for the purpose of this recipe. Since there is no raw and green fresh jackfruit in my part of the world, I used the canned ones imported from Thailand (available at all oriental stores).
Which brings me to an important point – this recipe is intended for those in the U.S. or other parts of the world who don’t have access to a cook or ingredients.
Ingredients: (good for a family of 3 to 4, good for lunch, dinner and lunch the next day)
about 3/4 cup of Kadios. (Look for it in the frozen section. If you are in L.A., Florida, or Las Vegas, I heard they have fresh ones.)
beef shanks meat – about 2 to 3 pounds (sliced into desired sizes)
a can of young green, jackfruit (use fresh if you have, again, lucky you)
soy sauce, vinegar, salt to taste
3 cloves of garlic (crushed)
1 ginger (about a thumb-size, crushed as well)
1 medium-sized tomato (sliced into pieces)
1 medium-sized onion (sliced as well)
vegetable oil
(optional) lemon grass (tanglad)
(very optional) pechay (baby bokchoy)
– Soak the kadios in cold water overnight. This will rehydrate the beans. (they were dehydrated to preserve them to start with). Get rid of the floating ones.
– In a pressure cooker, together with the re-hydrated beans, add about 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil. After 15 to 20 minutes of that dreaded pressure-cooker “hissing” sound, turn the fire off.
– In a separate pot or pan, put the garlic and ginger in about 3 tablespoons of hot oil. When they turn light brown, add the tomatoes and onions. Sweat the onions out a little, then add the meat (include the bones), about 3 tbsp (maybe more) of soy sauce, 3 tbsp (maybe more) of vinegar and salt to taste. You can adjust to your own taste later. Mix and cover for a good 5 minutes. The smell is very tempting at this point.
– Open that pressure-cooker with the kadios in it and add the just-sauteed meat. Add more water if necessary (kun gusto mo damu’ sabaw), put cover, turn the fire on and let it “hiss” for another 15 to 20 minutes. (If you’re using pork, remember that pork needs a shorter time to tenderize, you may want to shorten the time, or skip this step altogether.)
– After 15 to 20 minutes, turn off fire, and let hissing sound subside. You may transfer the pressure-cooker contents (the meat and beans now tenderized) if you wish to a regular pot. Bring to a boil again and add the “langka” (for about 5 minutes). Add the tanglad for its incredible aroma. Add more salt to taste.
– Add several pieces of pechay leaves if you want. To make it healthier (you wish). But you don’t have to.
– Get the rice, the soda and sleep afterwards…
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The “Kadios” are black beans. If you’re not from Iloilo or the Visayas, you may not recognize this.  The “Langka” is jackfruit, raw and green, for the purpose of this recipe. Since there is no raw and green fresh jackfruit in my part of the world, I used the canned ones imported from Thailand (available at all oriental stores).

Which brings me to an important point – this recipe is intended for those in the U.S. or other parts of the world who don’t have access to a cook or ingredients.

Ingredients: (good for a family of 3 to 4, good for lunch, dinner and lunch the next day)

about 3/4 cup of Kadios. (Look for it in the frozen section. If you are in L.A., Florida, or Las Vegas, I heard they have fresh ones.)

beef shanks meat – about 2 to 3 pounds (sliced into desired sizes)

a can of young green, jackfruit (use fresh if you have, again, lucky you)

soy sauce, vinegar, salt to taste

3 cloves of garlic (crushed)

1 ginger (about a thumb-size, crushed as well)

1 medium-sized tomato (sliced into pieces)

1 medium-sized onion (sliced as well)

vegetable oil

(optional) lemon grass (tanglad)

(very optional) pechay (baby bokchoy)

– Soak the kadios in cold water overnight. This will rehydrate the beans. (they were dehydrated to preserve them to start with). Get rid of the floating ones.

– In a pressure cooker, together with the re-hydrated beans, add about 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil. After 15 to 20 minutes of that dreaded pressure-cooker “hissing” sound, turn the fire off.

– In a separate pot or pan, put the garlic and ginger in about 3 tablespoons of hot oil. When they turn light brown, add the tomatoes and onions. Sweat the onions out a little, then add the meat (include the bones), about 3 tbsp (maybe more) of soy sauce, 3 tbsp (maybe more) of vinegar and salt to taste. You can adjust to your own taste later. Mix and cover for a good 5 minutes. The smell is very tempting at this point.

– Open that pressure-cooker with the kadios in it and add the just-sauteed meat. Add more water if necessary (kun gusto mo damu’ sabaw), put cover, turn the fire on and let it “hiss” for another 15 to 20 minutes. (If you’re using pork, remember that pork needs a shorter time to tenderize, you may want to shorten the time, or skip this step altogether.)

– After 15 to 20 minutes, turn off fire, and let hissing sound subside. You may transfer the pressure-cooker contents (the meat and beans now tenderized) if you wish to a regular pot. Bring to a boil again and add the “langka” (for about 5 minutes). Add the tanglad for its incredible aroma. Add more salt to taste.

– Add several pieces of pechay leaves if you want. To make it healthier (you wish). But you don’t have to.

– Get the rice, the soda and sleep afterwards…

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Chicken Inasal (Chicken BBQ)

Preparation & marinating: 6 hours to overnight
Estimated cooking time: 40 minutes
Chicken Inasal Ingredients:
2 Chickens (free range if available)
3/4 cup Filipino vinegar
1/4 cup Garlic finely minced
2 stalks Lemon grass optional
Salt
Annatto oil (see notes below)
Wooden skewers
Spiced vinegar
Additional Ingredients Instructions:
2 free-range chickens, approx. 3 pounds each, or if you can find smaller chickens, use 3 of them
3/4 cup Filipino vinegar, palm if you can find it, or cane; or if you must, the equivalent in kalamansi juice (available in the frozen aisle of your Asian market if you don’t have access to fresh)
1/4 cup garlic, minced very finely, or better yet, mashed into a paste with 2 teaspoons sea salt
achuete or annatto oil, made by steeping 1/4 cup annatto seeds in 1/2 cup hot oil for half an hour (If not available, you may mix a small amount of paprika and tumeric to achieve the same color.)
thick wooden skewers, soaked for 1 hour in water prior to cooking
Bottled spiced vinegar for serving, or make your own by mixing Filipino vinegar, lots of crushed garlic, a bit of salt, and a handful of Thai peppers or other tiny red hot peppers
Chicken Inasal Cooking Instructions:
Quarter the chickens, or if using the small ones, halve them. Marinate in the vinegar, garlic and salt, several hours or overnight, turning several times.
Preheat grill to 350 degrees. Make sure your grill is cleaned and oiled well. Cook over indirect heat for 20 minutes, basting with the achuete oil.
Turn and cook for 10-15 minutes more, or until thickest parts of chicken exude clear juices when pierced. Can also be made in a grill pan on the stove if no outside barbecue is available.

Serve immediately with the spiced vinegar. Other welcome additions to the vinegar: some soy sauce or fish sauce if you like, or even some minced ginger.

Preparation & marinating: 6 hours to overnight

Estimated cooking time: 40 minutes

Chicken Inasal Ingredients:

2 Chickens (free range if available)

3/4 cup Filipino vinegar

1/4 cup Garlic finely minced

2 stalks Lemon grass optional

Salt

Annatto oil (see notes below)

Wooden skewers

Spiced vinegar

Additional Ingredients Instructions:

2 free-range chickens, approx. 3 pounds each, or if you can find smaller chickens, use 3 of them

3/4 cup Filipino vinegar, palm if you can find it, or cane; or if you must, the equivalent in kalamansi juice (available in the frozen aisle of your Asian market if you don’t have access to fresh)

1/4 cup garlic, minced very finely, or better yet, mashed into a paste with 2 teaspoons sea salt

achuete or annatto oil, made by steeping 1/4 cup annatto seeds in 1/2 cup hot oil for half an hour (If not available, you may mix a small amount of paprika and tumeric to achieve the same color.)

thick wooden skewers, soaked for 1 hour in water prior to cooking

Bottled spiced vinegar for serving, or make your own by mixing Filipino vinegar, lots of crushed garlic, a bit of salt, and a handful of Thai peppers or other tiny red hot peppers

Chicken Inasal Cooking Instructions:

Quarter the chickens, or if using the small ones, halve them. Marinate in the vinegar, garlic and salt, several hours or overnight, turning several times.

Preheat grill to 350 degrees. Make sure your grill is cleaned and oiled well. Cook over indirect heat for 20 minutes, basting with the achuete oil.

Turn and cook for 10-15 minutes more, or until thickest parts of chicken exude clear juices when pierced. Can also be made in a grill pan on the stove if no outside barbecue is available.

Serve immediately with the spiced vinegar. Other welcome additions to the vinegar: some soy sauce or fish sauce if you like, or even some minced ginger.

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Adobo Ilonggo (Chicken and Pork Adobo)

adobo-ilonggo

Ilonggo Adobo is so very popular in the Philippines that every home has the mastery of cooking such a dish. Adobo makes everyone eat so much rice.

It is a dish of chicken or pork marinated in a mixture of soy sauce, vinegar, crushed garlic, whole black peppercorns (paminta) and some bay leaf. Its savory taste depends on the proportion of the ingredients and the procedure. The color is usually golden or dark brown.

Meat is usually cut into small chunks but there’s one exemption, try checking out Tobeng’s Eatery near Iloilo Doctor’s College and they will give you a large pork chop.

Ingredients

* 1 kg pork  and chicken
* 1 big onion, chopped
* 5 garlic cloves
* 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
* bay leaf
* 1/2 cup atsuete oil
* 1/4 cup soy sauce
* 1 tablespoon fish sauce
* 1/2 cup cane vinegar
* 1 tablespoon muscovado sugar
* 1/2 cup water (or more)
* salt
* 1 long green chili pepper
* 4 hard-boiled eggs (optional)

Directions

1.  In a deep frying pan or casserole mix all the first 10 ingredients. Bring to a boil w/out stirring. After it boils start mixing it to get even color. When the meat is cook and liquid consistency starts to get thicker add boiled egg and mix uniformly. Salt to taste and garnish w/ green long pepperbefore removing from heat. Enjoy!

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Ilonggo Guinamos (Ilonggo Shrimp Cake)

Materials and Equipment

  • Small shrimps (alamang) Salt Mortar and pestle
  • Polyethylene bags Drying trays Banana leaves
  • Plastic bowls

Procedure

  1. Remove adhering materials from shrimp. Wash thoroughly by placing them in a woven basket and dipping in clean seawater several times.
  2. Partially dry the shrimps for one day to lower the moisture content, by spreading them thinly on clean mats or drying racks.
  3. Add salt to shrimp (2:3) during tracing. Tracing is done by pounding the shrimp-salt mass with mortar and pestle. After mixing, dry the mass for one day.
  4. Form into round shape or cubes
  5. Package product in clean banana leaves or in low-density polyethylene bags.

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Adobong Kambing (Goat Meat Adobo)

nggshow

Adobong Kambing Recipe (Goat Adobo) is another way of cooking goat’s meat, if you are bored with Kalderetang Kambing which require a lot of spices and ingredients.

Estimated cooking time: 1 hour and 20 minutes
Adobong Kambing Ingredients:
1 kilo kambing spareribs (Goat’s Spare ribs), cut into serving pieces, bones intact
cooking oil
2 thumb size ginger, sliced
1/2 head garlic, crushed
1 large onion, sliced
1 tsp. peppercorns
2 stalk lemon grass
3 bay leaf
1/2 c. soy sauce
3-5 pcs. green hot chilli
3/4 c. vinegar
salt and pepper
Adobong Kambing Cooking Instructions:
Marinate kambing in 1/2 c. vinegar ( this will remove the pungent odor of the meat )
1 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper for 15 to 30 minutes before cooking.
Drain and discard marinade.
In a frying pan fry kambing in batches until color changes to golden brown and start to sizzle.
In a saucepan put in fried kambing, pour in 2-3 c. of water, 1/4 c. vinegar and soy sauce.
Add lemon grass, ginger, onion, garlic, peppercorns, bay leaf and chilli.
Bring to a boil and simmer in medium heat for 15-30 minutes or until tender and liquid is reduced to almost dry.
Serve hot with a lots of rice.

Estimated cooking time: 1 hour and 20 minutes

Adobong Kambing Ingredients:

1 kilo kambing spareribs (Goat’s Spare ribs), cut into serving pieces, bones intact

cooking oil

2 thumb size ginger, sliced

1/2 head garlic, crushed

1 large onion, sliced

1 tsp. peppercorns

2 stalk lemon grass

3 bay leaf

1/2 c. soy sauce

3-5 pcs. green hot chilli

3/4 c. vinegar

salt and pepper

Adobong Kambing Cooking Instructions:

Marinate kambing in 1/2 c. vinegar ( this will remove the pungent odor of the meat )

1 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper for 15 to 30 minutes before cooking.

Drain and discard marinade.

In a frying pan fry kambing in batches until color changes to golden brown and start to sizzle.

In a saucepan put in fried kambing, pour in 2-3 c. of water, 1/4 c. vinegar and soy sauce.

Add lemon grass, ginger, onion, garlic, peppercorns, bay leaf and chilli.

Bring to a boil and simmer in medium heat for 15-30 minutes or until tender and liquid is reduced to almost dry.

Serve hot with a lots of rice.

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Balut (Broiled Duck Egg)

balut2

One of the many well known Filipino food delicacy that can be found here only in the Philippines is called “balut”.

A balut is a fertilized duck (or chicken) egg with a nearly-developed embryo inside that is boiled and eaten in the shell. It is commonly sold as streetfood in the Philippines.

Balut is usually served warm and fresh. Some of the pubs in Philippines serves the balut with beers.

The Pinoys usually tap the tip of the Balut to make a small crack on the top and drink up the juices inside the egg shell. After that the Balut shell will be cracked open and a pinch of salt will be springled on the Balut. Then, get ready to ‘wallup’ the whole thing into your mouth. I’m sure it’d taste good with beer.

Filipino Food Delicacy BalutBalut are most often eaten with a pinch of salt, some prefer chili and vinegar to complement their egg. The eggs are savored for their balance of textures and flavors; the broth surrounding the embryo is sipped from the egg before the shell is peeled and the yolk and young chick inside can be eaten. All of the contents of the egg are consumed, although the whites may remain uneaten, due to its toughness depending on the age of the fertilized egg.

Balut is now being served as appetizers in restaurants; cooked adobo style, fried in omelettes or even used as filling in baked pastries.

Ingredients:

> Fresh duck’s egg

> Salt, vinegar or fish sauce

How to cook?

1. Place the fresh duck egg on a boiling water for 5-8 mins till hard boiled. Do not over cook the eggs.

2. Serve with salt, vinegar or fish sauce.

How to eat a Balut?

1. Place the egg in an egg holder so that it is resting vertically. The “long end” of the egg should be standing up.
2.Crack the egg around the top by gently tapping your spoon against the shell. Remove the top of the shell once you have traveled all the way around the egg. Make sure to discard any bits of shell which fell into the Balut.
3.Add a dash of red wine vinegar, a dash of chili sauce and a tiny pinch of sea salt. (Don’t go overboard on the salt because the chili sauce will have sodium in it as well.) The combination of the chili sauce and the vinegar will provide a spicy sweet flavor.
4.Drink the broth from the surrounding duck embryo. It is customary to drink the broth before ingesting the embryo.
5.Throw back the rest of the Balut as if you were taking a shot. Once the duck embryo has been boiled, the bones become soft. So there’s not need to worry about crunching on anything.
6.Drink any residual broth that was in the shell and then discard.

1. Place the egg in an egg holder so that it is resting vertically. The “long end” of the egg should be standing up.

2.Crack the egg around the top by gently tapping your spoon against the shell. Remove the top of the shell once you have traveled all the way around the egg. Make sure to discard any bits of shell which fell into the Balut.

3.Add a dash of red wine vinegar, a dash of chili sauce and a tiny pinch of sea salt. (Don’t go overboard on the salt because the chili sauce will have sodium in it as well.) The combination of the chili sauce and the vinegar will provide a spicy sweet flavor.

4.Drink the broth from the surrounding duck embryo. It is customary to drink the broth before ingesting the embryo.

5.Throw back the rest of the Balut as if you were taking a shot. Once the duck embryo has been boiled, the bones become soft. So there’s not need to worry about crunching on anything.

6.Drink any residual broth that was in the shell and then discard.

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Dinuguan with Puto (Pork dark soup with rice cake)

One Friday evening my friends and I decided to have dinner at Jologs at the Lucky Plaza. I find it to be a clean, cozy restaurant that serves food for value. I’ve tried their -silogs and I always recommend it to my Filipino friends who are looking for Filipino foods. That evening though, I was in the mood to try something other than silog on their menu. And since I was not keen on eating rice either, I settled on puto and dinuguan. I was not the least disappointed. :o )

Dinuguan is traditionally made up of pork intestines cooked with pig blood (yah, to other cultures this sounds a bit ewwyy). As long as the cook knows how to clean the intestines, and the secret to remove the odor, dinuguan can be a truly delicious experience. The dinuguan I had at Jologs was not made up of intestines though, I think the meat came from the ear or face portion of the pork since it was a bit crunchy.

Puto is steamed rice cake and has a spongy and lightly fluffy texture. Some recipes put cheese on top, which is equally delicious as the plain version. For puto paired with dinuguan, I like it plain and not so sticky. This was just what I had that night.

Ingredients:

1/2 kilo pork (diced)

1/8 kilo pork liver (diced)

1 small head of garlic (minced)

1 small onion (minced)

2 pieces laurel leaves

3 tablespoons oil

1/2 cup vinegar

3 tablespoons patis (fish sauce)

2-cups stock

1-cup pig blood (frozen)

4 long green peppers

2 teaspoons sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Instructions
1. In a pot, simmer pork for 30 minutes and remove scum
that rises to the surface. Keep stock.

2. In a casserole, heat oil and saute garlic and onion
for a minute.

3. Add in pork, pork liver, laurel leaves, patis, salt
& pepper and saute for another 5 minutes.

4. Add in vinegar and bring up to a boil without
stirring.

5. Lower heat and allow simmering uncovered until most of
the liquid has evaporated.

6. Add in stock and allow simmering for 5 minutes.

7. Add in blood, sugar and long green peppers.

8. Cook for 10 minutes more or until consistency
thickens, stirring occasionally to avoid
curdling.

9. Serve hot with puto.

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Bopis (Diced Pork Lungs and Heart)

bopis

Bopis is originally a spicy Spanish dish adapted by Filipinos. Its main ingredients include pork lungs and heart  sauteed in herbs and spices. Cooking time is around fifteen minutes so it can be categorized as a thirty minute dish, including prep time. Here’s how:

Ingredients:

1/2 kilo ground/minced/cubed pork lungs and heart

1 whole garlic head, crushed and minced

1 whole onion head, minced

1 red bell pepper, minced

pepper

chili slices (adjust according to taste)

atsuete /annato seed oil

2 tablespoons cooking oil

salt

*you can substitute salt for patis/fish sauce

Procedure:

Heat oil in a pan and saute garlic until you can smell its aroma then mix in the onions. After two minutes, mix the pork heart and lungs. Cook for about five minutes or just until the meat turns brown. Season with salt, pepper and the chili slices. Pour in the annato seed oil and bell pepper. Stir and let cook for around ten more minutes, adjusting the taste as you go along. Serve with plain steamed rice. :)

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Kahang na Pasayan (Szechuan Shrimp)

A delicious spicy stir-fry. If you like it hotter, stir in some sambal oelek (chile paste) to your dish at the end. Goes great with rice or noodles.

SERVES 4 (change servings and units)

Ingredients

* 1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
* 1 tablespoon ketchup
* 1 tablespoon Heinz chili sauce
* 1 tablespoon rice wine or sherry wine
* 1 tablespoon soy sauce
* 1 teaspoon sugar
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
* 1 tablespoon cornstarch
* 2 teaspoons canola oil (peanut oil if you prefer)
* 4 green onions, chopped
* 2 tablespoons minced gingerroot
* 2 teaspoons minced garlic

Directions

1. Mix ketchup, chili sauce rice wine, soy sauce, sugar, salt, pepper flakes, and corn starch in small bowl to make sauce.
2. Pour oil in seasoned wok before heating and wipe around.
3. Heat wok and add scallions ginger and garlic.
4. Stir-fry for a few seconds, then add shrimp.
5. Stir constantly for about 2 minutes, adding small amounts of water if food starts to stick; cook until shrimp turns pink.
6. Stir sauce again, then add to wok, stirring constantly until mixture thickens.
7. Serve with steamed rice.

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