Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Hot Chocoffee

Chocoffee, that's how I call my favorite hot chocolate with coffee drink.  This actually started when I was still working with Puratos in the Philippines.  It's a breakfast ritual or an afternoon beverage.  I'll just mix a sachet of 3-in-1 instant coffee and then add a few drops of belcolade C501 dark chocolate couverture (it has 56% cocoa mass) or the 71% dark chocolate, and presto I have my chocoffee ( I miss those days)

Belcolade chocolates are hard to come by these days, luckily there are still specialty stores that sells couverture chocolates (Phoon Huat here in Singapore / Chocolate lover in the Philippines sells a range of couverture chocolates).  Couverture chocolate are not sold in most supermarkets/hypermarkets here in Singapore nor in the Philippines.


Full Cream Milk - 200 ml

Instant Coffee - 1 tsp

Dark Chocolate Couverture - 5 g. ( around 5-10 drops depending on the size)

White Sugar - 1 tsp


1)  Boil the milk over fire or inside a microwave.

2) Add the instant coffee, sugar, and the chocolate drops.  Stir.

Serve steaming hot :-)  with Putong Puti , French Toast with Cheese , Cinnamon Bread (My Cinnamon Bread) or just plain bread

-foodformylove (30August2011)

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

French Toast with Cheese

French toast for breakfast. Frederick paired it with Char kway teow which he claimed to be a good combination.  I didn't try though. I had mine drizzled with honey and I downed it with ceylon tea.  Allen (airene's son) liked it so much that he ate almost four sandwiches (7 slices)

Here's the recipe;:


Slices of Loaf bread

Cheddar cheese slices


Honey or maple syrup or any syrup as desired

Egg Mixture

Fresh milk - 200 ml

Condensed Milk - 100 ml

Eggs, whole - 2 medium

Sugar - 2 tsp

Cooking procedure;

1) Mix the fresh milk, condensed milk, Eggs, and sugar together.

2) Heat a non-stick pan over medium fire.  coat pan with a thin layer of butter.

3) Soak the bread slices in the egg mixture, coating each side fully.  Coat only the bread you can cook at a time.

4) Place the coated bread slices on the pan.  Toast both sides until they turn brown. Place a slice of cheese on top of one browned bread then sandwich it with another bread slice.

5) serve on a plate.  drizzle with honey or maple syrup as desired.


Monday, 29 August 2011

My Way of Losing Weight

I gained weight again after stopping with my weight loss regimen that I started more than 3 months ago.   My husband Frederick did too, obviously, with his bulging tummy sticking out and a triple chin that’s hiding his neck.  So yesterday after our dinner at JustAcia (of course we feasted on delicious Japanese dishes, fried food, ice cream, sotdrinks, sweet teas, coffee, iced tea, chocolate, Me,  My husband Frederick, my sister Kristine and her boyfriend Aba all decided it’s time to lose weight.  We place a wager on the biggest weight loser every month.  We agreed to a bet of SG$ 50 each and the person who sheds the most kilo will be the winner and the winner takes all the bet and the person who loses the least will treat everybody to a buffet dinner.  There, so I need to redo my weight loss regimen again :-) For Frederick, he will do his own weight loss regimen too

My Effective Weight Loss Regimen

I have PCOS (Policystic Ovary Syndrome) that's why losing weight was never been easy.  I've tried different ways to lose weight, from rigorously exercising at a minimum of 1 hour a day 7 days a week doing cardio and a bit of resistance training, I have gotten into a lot of diet programs (GM diet, banana diet, low-calorie diet, no-carb diet, I can’t remember the rest) including starving myself, I have tried slimming teas, L-carnitine’s, and I was willing to try bankok pills or anything that will make me slim, because nothing had been working on me until I researched more on PCOS to understand it better.  When I say nothing worked, I mean, either I lose a little weight like less than a kilo in 2 weeks or worse in a month, or I drastically lose weight in a week or 2 then will gain back the same. I need a weight loss program that will not only let me shed off some pounds but maintain it.

So I started dealing with the real culprit, the very reason why I am still gaining weight even if I’ve done everything to slim down- my PCOS.   I had considered these factors for my weight loss program:

1)     reduce sugar intake

2)     need for more protein in my diet

3)     higher calcium, magnesium, and Vitamin D intake

4)     lower calorie intake by at least 500 kcal per day

5)     increase my metabolism

6)     reduce sodium intake

7)    lower down intake of bad fat

Since I am always constipated I also considered food high in fiber in my diet

And, the real reason I want to slim down is for me to conceive better.  So a more nutritious diet is what I needed that is high in folate, iron, vitamin C, etc. and I know I can’t get that from my new diet considering the above factors so I decided to take multivitamins.

I also can’t do rigorous exercise anymore since I want to conceive.  I only considered light exercise or any physical activities that are light and still will help me burn some calories.

Here’s my special regimen that allowed me to lose 6 kilograms gradually in 2 months and was able to maintain it until I went for a vacation and over indulged in high in sugar and high in calorie food L


Supplements (to be taken daily)

1)     Evening Primrose (GNC) – 1 to 2 capsules for 14 days from first day of menstruation

2)     L-carnitine (GNC) – 1 capsule everyday (stop when pregnant)

3)     Multivitamins for women (GNC) – 2 tablets per day for the first month then reduce to 1 tablet per day for the succeeding months

4)     Zinc – 1 tablet per day everyday



1)     Brisk Walking - at least 30 minutes up to 1 hour at least 3 times a week

2)     Swimming - at least 30 minutes up to 1 hour at least 3 times a week

No jogging, running, weight lifting, sit-ups, crunches, or any physically challenging exercises.


Food Diet

-  this food diet is on a 14 day duration; I had repeated these for at least 3 months

- Eat four meals a day : breakfast, lunch, afternoon snack around 3:30, and supper (eat at least 2 hours before going to sleep)

- avoid foods high in sugar and sodium  as much as possible

- meat and fish portions should be 100 grams only per meal.

- vary amount of calorie intake per day (example:  day 1 - 500 kcal, day 2- 600 kcal, day 3 - 400 kcal etc.)

- first 14 days, maximum calorie intake at 600 kcal per day

- second 14 days, maximum calorie intake at 800 kcal per day

- third 14 days, maximum calorie intake at 1000 kcal per day

- Maintenance 14 days, maximum calorie intake at 1200  kcal per day depending on your desired weight to maintain

- Drink a maximum of 2 liters of liquid per day

14 Days Diet Program

Day 1 to 11

1)     Drink upon rising : 2 tbsp Lemon juice + 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar + 500 ml warm water

2)     Take the supplements with 250 ml water, except for the L-carnitine, at least an hour after No. 1 and at least 30 minutes before no. 3

3)     Breakfast : Food group to meet - carbohydrates.  Freshly made fruit smoothies from 2 pieces of any one of the following apples, oranges, kiwi, pears  or one grapefruit otherwise eat the fruits as is.  Eat only one kind of fruit at a time.

4)     Drink psyllium husk with 250 ml water 30 minutes before lunch :

5)     Lunch :  Food group to meet - Protein, carbohydrates, and fat.  Choices of pork, beef, or chicken (100 g. raw weight) and one kind of leafy vegetable ( I prefer those veggies belonging to the cruciferous group) cooked as desired but must be low in sodium and sugar and definitely not fried.  I sometimes eat rice as long as I still meat my calorie intake limit for that day.  Drink green or oolong tea afterwards, no sugar

6)     Afternoon Snack :  oatmeal only without sugar, milk or anything or just plain green or oolong tea, no sugar

7)     Take L-carnitine 30 minutes before exercising

8)     Supper : Food group to meet - Protein and fat only, no carbo. 100 g. of any kind of fish and any one kind of leafy vegetable; cooked as desired but must be low in sodium and sugar and definitely not fried.  


Day 12-14

It's feast day so I can eat and drink and do whatever I want.  I didn't over indulged myself though during my feast days, I still stayed out as much as possible on sweets specially sugary foods and drinks.

Repeat Day 1 - 14 diet program.

Oh by the way, before I started with my weight loss regimen, I had undergone a 3 day detox program to cleanse my body for better nutrient absorption and to rewire my system and help my internal organs function better.

- foodformylove(29August2011)

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Putong Puti

Frederick has been craving for putong puti and I had been promising him since last week and also yesterday to cook puto but I wasn’t able to (because I cooked pancake instead which he requested also).  So I decided to cook puto for breakfast today.

The thing is, my husband has his own preference of puto in terms of taste, texture, and appearance  and that which he calls as authentic pinoy puto.  Actually, he is referring to the putong puti being sold at Manaoag, Pangasinan and the Chinese steamed rice cake we once bought from one hawker around Serangoon Central . That’s the kind of puto he wants me to cook.  If only my Lola Esting Buston  is still alive, I can easily get the recipe from her (she has the best puto ever in the whole of Tabuk.  May she rest in peace. I hope she knows how much grateful I am to her for everything)

this is the putong puti Frederick wants me to make (image from google)

Anyway, I cooked putong puti, trying to copy the Manaoag putong puti.  The thing is, my puto came out crumbly and the rice flour I used has a bad after taste.  It tasted like an old NFA low-class rice L

I am still keeping this recipe as it is still ok.  I just need to use a good rice flour.  However, I don’t know how to make my puto moist.  Help, anyone?

I will try to make the putong puti the way Frederick wants it next time.  I won’t stop until I get it right. I am really going to make use of galapong (finely ground rice) and he is going to grind the rice X(


Rice Flour – 300 g.

Sugar – 120 g.

Double Acting Baking Powder (bake king brand) – 10 g.

Salt – 2g.

Kara coconut cream – 200 ml

Water – 200 ml

Sliced cheddar cheese

Cooking Procedure:

1) Mix all of the ingredients.

2) Pour on cupcake moulders. Place inside the steamer.

3) Boil water on a pan.  Place the steamer on top of the pan.  Steam the puto batter for 30 minutes or until the toothpick comes out clean when piercing the puto.

4) Top puto with the sliced cheeses at least a few minutes before it is cooked.

- foodformylove(28August2011)

Rosemary-Basil Steamed Chicken

This is one of my steamed chicken recipes.  This was our lunch's centerpiece yesterday along with boiled okra, satay fried rice, and chutney by wellington as dipping sauce for the chicken.


Chicken – 1 whole

Sprite (mountain dew can be used) – 500 ml

Onion, diced -

Rub Mixture:

Salt – 2 tsp

Black Pepper, ground -  ½  tsp

Rosemary, dried – 2 tsp

Basil, dried and ground – 2 tsp

Oregano, dried and ground – ½  tsp

Thyme, dried and ground - ½  tsp

Sage, dried and ground - ½  tsp

Cooking Procedure:

1)     Marinade Chicken in sprite overnight

2)     At least an hour before steaming:  drain chicken and reserve the marinade for steaming

3)     Rub the whole chicken, including the cavity and inside the chicken skin with salt and pepper

4)     Rub chicken again with the rest of the rub mixture ingredients. Let sit for at least an hour.

5)     Pour the sprite marinade and water in a pressure cooker.

6)     Steam the chicken for at least 20 minutes.  Start counting time from the moment the pressure cooker whistles.

This is great with chutney.  Frederick bought this from Africa

- foodformylove(28August2011)

See recipe for satay fried rice here (Satay Fried Rice )

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Satay Fried Rice

Add caption

Here's a fried rice recipe that Marco (Airene's husband) taught me.  Actually, nangelam sya sa pagluluto ko (he meddled with my cooking) hehehehe.  It was great indeed.



Cooked Rice (whatever is available)

Cooking Oil - 2 tbsp

Garlic, crushed and chopped - 8 cloves

Dilis (dried anchovies), chopped - 10 grams

Satay Powder - 3 tsp

Salt - to taste

Cooking procedure:

1) Sauté garlic until it is fragrant, add the rice and stir.

2) Move the fried rice into the other side of the wok and fry the dilis.

3) Mix dilis and rice.  sprinkle with satay powder and salt


Char Kway Teow

It was Char kway teow supper last Thursday night, thanks to my husband who did the experimental cooking on this famous dish.  Though, the taste came on short of the “smokey” flavor that is found on the char kway teow usually sold at food hawkers and that my husband loves, I still find Frederick’s char kway teow delicious (despite one obviously missing ingredient – the mongo sprout)

Char kway teow, is my husband’s favorite noodle next to batil patong, he got hooked to it ever since we went to Bintan last April. It is also my sister Kristine’s favorite hawker noodle dish.

Let me share some historical background of Char kway teow :

From Wikipedia

Char kway teow, literally "stir-fried ricecake strips", is a popular noodle dish in Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei and Singapore. The dish was (and still is in some places in Malaysia and Singapore) typically prepared at hawker stalls especially in Penang, Malaysia.  

It is made from flat rice noodles of approximately 1 cm or (in the north of Malaysia) about 0.5 cm in width, stir-fried over very high heat with light and dark soy sauce, chilli, a small quantity of belachan (shrimp paste), whole prawns, deshelled cockles, bean sprouts and chopped Chinese chives. The dish may commonly be stir-fried with egg, slices of Chinese sausage and fishcake, and less commonly with other ingredients. Char kway teow is traditionally stir-fried in pork fat, with crisp croutons of pork lard, and commonly served on a piece of banana leaf on a plate.


Kway Teow noodles - 500 g.

Clams- 250 g.

Prawns - 300 g.

Fish Cake - 3 rectangles

Chinese Sausage - 160 g (4 pcs)

Onion, diced - 2 medium bulbs

Garlic, chopped - 6 cloves

Sambal chilli paste - 1 tsp (as desired)

Vegetable oil for sautéing

Ground Pepper

Char Kway Toew Sauce:

Oyster sauce

Sweet Sauce

Kikoman Soysauce

Shrimp broth

Cooking Procedure:

1) Boil the shrimp until it changed in color.  Scoop it out and take out the heads and the shells. Set aside the shrimp broth

2) Slice the fish cake into thins 1 inch wide strips

3) Slice the Chinese Sausage diagonally

4) On a wok Sauté the garlic until it is fragrant then add the onions.  Stir until the onion becomes translucent then add the clams, shrimps, sliced fish cakes, sliced Chinese Sausage. Stir vigorously

5) Add a few spoons of the condiments for the sauce.  Stir vigorously

6) Add the kway teow noodles, some spoonful of the condiments and a small amount of the shrimp broth and mix vigorously.

7) Add more condiments specially the soy sauce when needed.

8) Mix the sambal chili then sprinkle with ground pepper

Serve with chopped leeks and drizzle with lemon juice.


Tuna-Veggie Spring Roll

Two Saturdays ago, Airene Sarmiento, Reggy Figer, and I attended a small gathering of COMM-RES alumni in Singapore which was hosted by Mr. Fernando Paragas, our former professor at UP Diliman, It was a small gathering of 15-20 people and it was held at Mr. Paragas' place inside the NTU campus.  A sumptuous and delicious meal had been served by the generous host, some Filipino he cooked all by himself, some Chinese which he bought somewhere, and of course the tuna-vegie spring roll he made which delighted my palate so much that I copied it :-) (I hope Mr. Paragas don't mind me copying his recipe)

And so here’s the recipe.  Thanks to Mr. Paragas.


Tuna flakes (in oil or water) - 2 cans

Mixed Veggies (corn, carrots, beans, peas) - 250 g.

Garlic, crushed and chopped - 5 cloves

Vegetable oil - 2 tsp

Spring roll wrap

Salt and pepper to taste

Oil for frying

Cooking Procedure:

1)     Drain the canned tuna.

2)     Sauté garlic in oil until toasted then add the drained tuna. Fry tuna until it is almost toasted.

3)     Add the thawed mixed veggie, salt and pepper to taste.  Fry for 2 minutes.  Set aside and let it cool for a few minutes until it is cold enough to be wrapped.

4)     Scoop tuna-veggie and place it on top of a spring roll wrapper.

5)     Roll then fold at both left and right edges, then roll completely

6)     Deep fry the lumpia until it's wrapper changed in color a bit (don’t wait till the wrapper turns brown otherwise the filling will be toasted.  Drain in paper towels and serve immediately while they're crispy.

Frying Tip :  Put the lumpia seam down first so that it won't open.

The dipping sauce is prepared by Aba:

          Lumpia Dipping Sauce


Apple Cider Vinegar

Light Soy Sauce

Ground pepper

Garlic, chopped

Onions, chopped

Mix and serve witht he lumpia

 - foodformylove (26August2011)

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Grand Marnier Dark Chocolate Truffles

A bit tipsy after overindulging in my dark chocolate truffles with cognac.  I only had a few truffles that I rolled on cocoa powder, yet I feel drunk already :-)

My husband Frederick definitely loves this divine and delicate chocolate truffle. He loves the smooth velvety texture of the truffles along with the warm yet gentle sensation from the cognac.  Watching my husband Frederick and my sister Kristine devouring all the grand marnier dark chocolate I made, brought more pleasure to me :-), more than eating the chocolate truffles :-)  They scooped and rolled the chocolate ganache on ground cashew nuts and peanuts which they preferred over the cocoa powder, and munched them with gusto.

This grand marnier dark chocolate truffle is our dessert for tonight.  My recipe is based on Christine Paredes and Krisby Bella's usual grand marnier chocolate truffle recipe.  I used dark couverture chocolate by Barry Calebaut because I can't find any retailer of belcolade (my sister Kristine is requesting that I use belcolade next :-( but where can I buy belcolade in small packing here in Singapore?)


Dark Couverture Chocolate (Barry Calebaut) - 240 g.

Grand Marnier - 20 g.

Heavy Cream - 80 g.

Coating:  Cocoa Powder, ground cashew nuts, peanuts, or any ground nuts available


1)     Heat the Heavy Cream in the microwave oven for 20 seconds. Don’t let it boil.

2)     Add the chocolate a few tablets at a time, let it melt.  Stir continuously until all the chocolates melted.  If the mixture is not hot enough to melt the chocolate, microwave it for 5 second.  Then stir until all the chocolates melted.

3)     Add the grand marnier and stir until the mixture is homogenous.

4)     Chill the ganache until it is hard enough to be rolled into balls.

5)     Scoop ganache and roll into balls.  Roll the chocolate balls on the cocoa powder/ground nuts

6)     Place the truffles in a sealed container then chill

Enjoy the pleasure :-)


Monday, 22 August 2011

Steamed Tilapia w/ Lemon Cream Sauce

steamed tilapia with lemon cream sauce

Here's our supper last Friday (I posted this late) - Steamed Tilapia w/ lemon cream sauce, chicken rice (recipe below), bitter stewed tilapia innards cooked by Frederick, and an ice cold coke.  It is simple dish as it only use a few spices and ingredients, but a tedious one to cook :-( but a delicious meal like that? it's worth every sweat :-) specially if Frederick likes it :-)

If you want the recipe for the chicken rice, click here Chicken Rice.


Tilapia - 2 big fishes

White Onions, sliced into rings - 2 bulbs

Ingredients for the rub

Salt - 1 tsp

Coarsely Ground Black Pepper - 1 tsp

Garlic Powder - 1 tsp

SauceLemon Cream Sauce (click to see recipe)


1)     Clean the tilapia (see How to Clean Scaly Fishes)  make a pouch through the butterfly method (see How to Split or Butterfly a Fish)  however, do not split open the fish.

2)     Rub the internal and external parts of the fish with the rub mix.  Stuff with onions and let sit for at least 30 minutes

3)     Steam the fish in a pressure cooker by placing water underneath the steam platform of the pressure cooker.

I steamed the tilapia in a pressure cooker for about 8 minutes

4)     Steam for 8 minutes.  Start counting the time from the moment the pressure cooker whistles.

Place on a platter and drizzle with the Lemon Cream Sauce .  Serve with Chicken Rice and ice cold coke


Frederick, personally cleaned and gutted  the tilapia, and he made this pinapaitan dish out of the innards and gut of the tilapia.  He calls it pinapaitan nga bagbagis ti lames. In  English, Fish innards in bitter sauce - click Fish Innards in Bitter Sauce for the recipe.

Frederick's pinapaitan nga bagbagis ti lames (Fish innards in bitter sauce)

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Chicken Rice

I based this from my colleague's Chicken Rice recipe (thanks to Glenda Goh).  I didn't cook steamed chicken tonight, instead I made steamed tilapia, that's why no natural chicken broth is available.  Good thing my husband has a lot of chicken powder on stock :-) so I made use of that.  I'm not sure if this will pass my colleague's taste but t'was acceptable for my husband :-)


Jasmine Rice grains - 3 cups

Red Onion, diced - 1 bulb

Ginger, crushed and diced - 1 thumb size

Garlic, crushed and chopped - 4 cloves

Water - 3 cups

Chicken Powder - 4 tsp

Onion - 1 tbsp


1)     Wash the rice grains and drain the water. Set aside

2)     Sauté garlic and ginger, add onion when you can smell the aroma coming out from the garlic and ginger.

3)      Add the washed rice grains and stir.  Place the mixture in a rice cooker and add the water.

4)     Cook as per the rice cooker’s instruction.


Lemon Cream Sauce


This sauce is great with chicken and fish :-) I used this for the steamed fish I cooked for supper a while ago.



Butter - 2 tbsp

Flour - 2 tbsp

Evaporated Milk - 200 ml

Heavy Cream - 200 ml

Freshly Squeezed Lemon juice - 2 1/2 tbsp

Lemon zest - 1 tsp

Salt to taste



1) Make a roux by melting the butter under low fire.  Add the flour and stir until homogenous,  Cook mixture for a minute to remove the flour taste.

2) slowly add the milk then the cream stirring continuously.

3) Add the lemon juice, lemon zest and salt.  Stir until the sauce thickens.

Pour on your fish or chicken


How to Split or Butterfly a Fish

This is how to split open or butterfly a fish properly, according to how I want it to be.  Here in Singapore, I do not like the way the aunties and uncles at supermarket fish areas do it - they cut open the fish at the belly part  :-( which I don't like

So here's how I like to butterfly a fish, my husband's way.  I need to butterfly a fish specially when I make daing na bangus or I stuff it.

Things needed :

Sharp knife

Cuttting Board

cutting board


1) First wash the fish, clean and gut it. If it is scaly then you have to remove the scales first (see this How to Clean Scaly Fishes) if the fish has no scales, proceed to number 2.

2) Slice the fish along the spine starting from the tail towards the head. Use the fish's backbone as a guide. Slice the head in half lengthwise.

3) Extend your slicing to 1-3 inches deep depending on the fish. Slice it through the fish's ribs to cut them loose from the backbone.

4) Split open the fish.

- foodformylove(19August2011)

Fish Recipes that needs butterfly cutting :

Daing na Bangus

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Steamed Pineapple-Chicken

steamed pineapple-chicken

This is an imitation of our Mama Tessie’s steamed chicken which she usually serve when there are occasions specially during Noche Buena (Christmas Eve)  and Media Noche (New Year’s Eve) Her’s is more delicious though and I have no idea how she does it.

My steamed chicken-pineapple, is so soft and smooth and so juicy.  The sweetness of the pineapple juice plus the spiciness of the garlic powder and ground pepper enhanced the natural flavor of the chicken.  Try it so you’ll know :-)


Chicken -  1 whole

Onions, sliced into rings - 2 bulbs


Garlic powder -  1 tsp

Iodized Salt - 1 tsp

Ground Pepper - 1 tsp


Pineapple Juice - at least 250 ml

Cooking Procedure:

1) Marinate chicken in pineapple juice for at least one hour.  It would be best to marinate overnight :-)

2) Rub the whole chicken with the garlic powder-salt-ground pepper mixture. Tuck some of the mixture under the skin. Let sit for at least 30 minutes.

3) Pour the pineapple juice marinade in the pressure cooker. Place chicken on a stand inside the pressure cooker,  top with the onions, and steam chicken for 15 minutes starting from the time the pressure cooker whistles.


Sweet Vinegar Dip

I often make this dip every time I have steamed chicken or fish.  But it's also good with fried pork and chicken.  You can also toss in some blanched vegetables for those who are into green veggies.

Try this with our   Steamed Chicken Pineapple


White Vinegar or Cane Vinegar - 1/2 cup
Garlic, minced - 2 pcs
Onions, minced - 1 medium
Sugar - 1 tsp
Salt and pepper to taste
Red hot chili pepper (optional)


Mix all the ingredients together and serve.



Saba Mackerel Teriyaki

I cooked saba mackerel Teriyaki last night for supper. T’was juicilicious :-)

Saba Mackerel, or just saba, is considered a poor man’s fish in Japan. Well, mackerel in general is a poor man’s fish, like galungong in the Philippines  because they are sold cheap (though galunggong now is more expensive compared to tilapia and milkfish :-()

Anyway, saba is an oily variety of mackerel that “get’s spoiled easily” according to one article I read.  It’s being sold in supermarkets here in Singapore at a high price specially those cut in fillets.  the Husband and I like saba because it is tasty and moist regardless of how you cook it (fried, grilled, soup, baked, etc.). We grill or pan-simmer it (with little oil) most of the time without adding any spices, not even salt, and still, it is delicious.



Saba Mackerel - 3 fishes sliced into fillets

Onions, sliced into rings - 1 to 2 bulbs

Vegetable oil - 1 tbsp

Teriyaki Marinade:

Kikoman soy sauce - 3 tbsp

Rice Wine - 3 tbsp

Mirin - 1 tbsp

White Sugar - 1tbps

Garlic Powder - 1/2 tsp

Ginger, crushed and chopped - 1 thumb size

Ground Pepper

Ingredients for the Teriyaki Sauce:

Kikoman soy sauce - 4 tbsp

Mirin - 2 tbsp

White Sugar - 1/2 tbps

Honey - 1 tbsp

Water - 2 tbsp

cornstarch - 2 tsp

Cooking Procedure:

1) Clean and slice Sabainto fillets (see How to Clean and Fillet Saba Mackerel ) Pat dry the fillets

2) Combine all the ingredients for the teriyaki marinade and marinate saba in it for at least an hour  (the longer, the better)

3) Heat oil in a shallow non-stick pan or griller. Place the fish fillets, make sure each fillets are oiled.

4) Pan simmer/pan grill fish fillets for 2 minutes on both side or until the fish turned light brown

5) Place grilled saba on a plate.  Set aside.

6) On the same frying pan, sauté onions (do not add oil). Scoop out when onions are wilted.

Teriyaki Sauce:

1)      Mix the cornstarch with the water, stir until homogenous.

2)      Mix all the ingredients including the cornstarch with water and let it simmer under low fire.  Stir continuously.  Do not let the sugar caramelize.

3)      Let simmer until the sauce is a bit thick.  Add more cornstarch if you want your sauce to be thicker.

4)      Once desired thickness is achieved, turn off heat and pour sauce on the saba. Top with the sautéed  onion.

Served with boiled pechay, rice and an ice cold nestea iced tea made by Kristine :-), that made a great supper for us :-)


Monday, 15 August 2011

How to Clean and Fillet Saba Mackerel


I’m cooking saba teriyaki tonight.  I used to buy the saba cut into fillet type but then it’s twice as expensive compared to buying a whole saba mackerel soFredericksuggested we buy the whole fish, and so we did.  

Now, I need the saba to be cut into fillet type soFrederickis doing it now.

I’m posting this instruction for my know-how.


Things needed :  

Sharp knife

Cuttting Board



1) Wash the fish thoroughly

2) Cut along the belly of the fish up to the gills making all the way to the head.

3)Splitopen the abdominal cavity and remove the entrails with your fingers. Check the cavity carefully to make sure everything's been removed.

4) Rinse the cavity well with water. Wash the fish inside and out. 

5) Remove the head.

6) Let’s make fillet this time by cutting the fish all the way to the tail using the fish’s backbone as a guide for the knife.  Make sure you use a very sharp knife.  Set aside the cut fillet flesh side up.

7) Flip the fish over and do number 7 again.

Now we have three pieces, 2 fillets and the backbone of the fish.  I also used the backbone for the teriyaki.  Saba Mackerel is bony.  I tried picking the bones out but it was too laborious so I left it as is.  For the fish head, we just throw them away :-( Next time, I’ll keep them and make fish soup out of them.


- foodformylove(15August2011)

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Lechong Kawali (Deep Fried Pork Belly)

Lechong Kawali is our mama's specialty - crispy in the outside and moist and tasty in the outside. We don't need mang tomas sarsa (commercially made gravy for lechon) It's good on its own.  Mama will cook more than 5 kilos of lechon kawali every christmas or new year, just for our family.  She makes more if my sister Kristine will invite her friends for dinner at home (christmas day is also her birhtday).  I miss spending christmas back home (it's been almost 4 years :-( that I haven't).

Lechon kawali  is already a tradition on its own.  Most Filipino families serve it during special occasions, that is if they cannot afford the bigger and more expensive Lechong baboy (drooling)

What makes a delicious lechon kawali? Like my mama's lechon kawali - crispy in the outside and moist and tasty in the outside. and I'm doing my best to cook my lechon kawali the same way as she does it.


Pork Belly, cut in 2 parts for easy handling - 1 kg

Garlic , crushed - 10 cloves

Salt - 2 tsp

Peppercorn kernels - as desired

Water - enough to cover the pork belly

Oil for frying - enough to cover the whole of the pork

Sauce :

Vinegar-Soy Sauce

Kikkoman Soy Sauce

Balsamic Vinegar

Onions, chopped - 1 medium bulb

Garlic, crushed and chopped - 2 cloves

Red hot chilies - as desired

Cooking Procedure:

1. Place the pork cuts in pressure cooker and cover with water . Add the rest of the ingredients, except the oil.  Let it sit for an hour.

2.  Boil for 20 minutes (start timing from the moment the pressure cooker whistles) or until the pork cuts are fork tender.

3. Scoop out the pork cuts and dry it on paper towels.

4.  Heat oil in a wok. Add the pork and deep fry each cut until each sides are golden brown and blisters appear on the skin. Make sure that you fry the pork under medium fire to allow slow cooking.

5.  Let it cool down and then chop into 1 inch-cube

6.  For the sauce.  Mix all the ingredients together. Set aside.  Use it after at least an hour.

Note: sprinkle water into the oil while frying at least twice.

Serve with the vinegar-soy sauce, hot steaming rice, and ice cold coke.  Ooops, don't forget the steamed or blanched green leafy veggies or okra.

Makes 8 servings . Here’s the estimated Nutritional values per serving based on the ingredients used.
Calories :  798 kcal Total Fat:   84 g.
Cholesterol :  90 mg. Saturated fat :  27 g.
Protein :  11.7 g Dietary fiber :  0 g.
Sodium :  630 g. Carbohydrate :  0 g.


Salabat (Ginger Drink)

Salabat or ginger drink is considered as an herbal drink that is always recommended by our grandparents and parents as effective remedies against the common colds and flu and also it has a soothing effect on the sorethroat.

I made this for Frederick since his tonsils are again inflamed.  It is relieving, however, he doesn’t like the taste of the ginger despite the amount of honey I put on his salabat.

Anyway, for those who can take the taste, this is the recipe:


Ginger, sliced and crushed – 1 thumbsize

Honey – 2 tbsp

Water – 300 ml



1. Combine water and ginger in a pot and bring to a boil.

2.  let it boil for 10-15 minutes then reduce the fire and let it simmer

3.  Transfer into 2 cups and stir in 1 tbsp of honey for each cup

- foodformylove(12August2011)

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Cinnamon Bread

my cinnamon bread
My husband has been requesting for a cinnamon bread for a long time because nobody is selling cinnamon bread here in Singapore except for the cinnamon pretzels from Auntie anne’s.  Cinnamon bread is a personal favorite of mine.  I usually ask Patricio, Lolo Clauds, Richard, or even Krisby (the best bakers and pattisiers and chocolatiers I’ve ever met and worked with) or my ninang Klay who is the best bread R&D there is who can “copy” any existing bread recipes in town.
I am actually trying to copy cinnabon’s cinnamon bread :-) patricio gave me the recipe before but I think I lost it. so now, I’m starting from scratch :-)   My aim here is too achieve the bread itself, toppings will come next as it is easier.

The thing is, I’m just using a home-baking mixer (Kenwood) in which case, it is sooooooo difficult to achieve gluten development. It took me a long time to do so.  Good thing I used cold milk otherwise, my dough will be toasted hot.

My blooper:  I am actually going to bake a sweet soft bread and the instant yeast I purchased is for dough with less than 10% sugar.  I bought bruggeman’s blue label instant yeast instead of the brown label. (thanks for Puratos and ex-Puratos friends for explaining the difference to me :-) )   So, I decided to use another yeast which is from Le Saffre.  I also used bread improver though I prefer using puratos softr’ cotton but since there is no available bread improver at phoon huat aside from supertex, then I made do of it :-)

The Result?  first, I over baked it wehehehe BUT the texture of the bread is good and soft.  the outer skin, since it was over baked, came out to be a little bit ”gummy” (my husband’s term, and he loves it that way) My husband loved it, my friends and sister too and most of all the kids of ais and macoy liked it.

I’ll do this again next time, I’ll just have to increase the eggs & fat quantity of my recipe and I won’t over bake :-)

Here’s my recipe.  If you want to try it, please follow it exactly.  do not use cups or tablespoons or teaspoons for measurements.  baking is an exact science :-) The addition or ommission of even 1 gram of any of the ingredients will affect the end result.  If you don’t believe me, please ask food techs or qualified and experienced bakers :-)


Percentage based on flour weight
Quantity in grams
All purpose flour
Bread Improver (Bakel’s supertex)
White Sugar
Saf gold Instant Yeast
Cold Milk
35 to 40%
175 to 200
Butler(Butter & Margarine) (salted)
Egg (whole)
50 (1 medium)

Cinnamon Sugar Filling :

White Sugar  – 200 g.
Cinnamon Powder – 30 g.
Softened Butler
Raisins (as desired)
Egg wash

Baking Procedure:

*Fermentation time : 60 minutes
Resting time :  10 minutes
Proofing time – 45 minutes (humidity not taken)
Baking – 180 degrees celsius for 15-20 minutes

* Fermentation and proofing time depends on the yeast used.

1. Mix all dry ingredients including the yeast, except for the salt.  Let the mixer turn in slow speed for a less than a minute
2. Add the salt and the rest of the liquid including fat ingredients.  Mix under slow speed (speed 1 for Kenwood mixer)
3. Then mix to medium speed.  Make sure that the dough is not hot (not over 40degrees Celsius)
4. Mix the dough until the gluten is developed. To check if gluten is developed, take out a piece of the dough, stretch it out, if a plastic-like appears in the middle, then the gluten is well developed.  Just make sure that the dough is not hot or not more than 40degrees Celsius.
5.Once gluten development is achieved, form the dough into a ball and cover with plastic.  Ferment for 60 minutes or until the dough doubled in size.

fermented dough

6. Cut the dough in two.  Round and rest for 10 minutes.
7. Mix the white sugar and cinnamon well. Set aside
8. With a rolling pin, roll out dough to make a sheet.  Brush  dough sheet with the melted butler. Spread half of the cinnamon-sugar mixture on the dough. Spread some raisins on top.

9. Roll the dough sheet to form a cylinder shape.  Cut into desired sizes
10.  Put cut dough into a greased baking pan and proof for 60 – 120 minutes or until the dough doubles in size.
11.  Preheat oven
12.  After proofing, brush the sides of the dough with the egg wash.
13.   Bake the bread at 180 degrees Celsius for 15 to 20 minutes or until the bread turned brown

Proofed dough ready for baking


Pork Sisig III

My husband cooked sisig a few days  ago and he, actually, we weren’t  satisfied about it.  So he is asking me to cook sisig for lunch today.  And so I cooked, despite my grogginess and drowsiness (my cough syrup caused these).

This time, I made do with whatever was available in the kitchen. The recipe is easy and simple, yet Frederick loved it :-) Now he knows I cook sisig better than he does :-)


Pig’s face – 1/3 of it

Garlic – 3 cloves

Pickled Green Chilis - as desired

White onion, coarsely chopped – 1 bulb

Light Soy Sauce – 2 tbsp

Lemon juice – 2 tbsp

Vegetable Oil – 1 tbsp

Frederick's Marinade:

Soy Sauce

Fish Sauce

Salt and Pepper

Balsamic Vinegar


Optional toppings:

Eggs – as desired

White Onions, chopped coarsely – 1 large bulb or as desired

Mayonnaise – as desired

Cooking Procedure:

1) Mix all the ingredients for the marinade.

2) clean the pig’s face.  Remove all hair by either plucking or burning.  Cut into pieces then

3) Marinate pork for at least a day.  We marinated ours for more than 3 days and the flavors really penetrated deep inside the meat.

4) Bake Pork until it turned brown and crunchy.  Let it cool down for a few minutes then chop it into small pieces.  The size depends on your preference.  My husband prefers a bigger size he can chew on :-)

5) Sauté chopped garlic in oil until it turns brown, add the onions and stir until it wilted.  Add the pork, lemon, and soy sauce and stir.

6) Add the chopped pickled chilis. Continue to stir until the liquids evaporates and the pork releases it’s own oil.  Let the pork fry on its oil for a minute or two.

7) Drop eggs on top of the pork mixture if you like.  Turn off the fire and serve

You can add some extra freshly chopped white onions.  I purposely didn’t include it becauseFrederickcan’t eat fresh onions.

Since Frederickand Abaprefer having the sisig without the mayonnaise so I also didn’t mix it.  My sister Kristine and I mixed some mayonnaise and freshly chopped onions on our sisig.

Serve with some boiled okra and pechay on the side


check my other sisig recipe Oh my Sisig  and my husband's sisig recipe Frederick’s Pork Sisig

Monday, 8 August 2011

Roasted Italian Herb Chicken

I’m not feeling well today, in fact, I called in sick so Frederick did the cooking. He made roasted chicken for lunch. He showed off his Italian herb recipe that he’d been bragging about since he was in Congo.   Aba and Kristine are also back (they just arrived at dawn today) so it’s just timely for him to cook something special like his roasted chicken.

Frederick’s roasted chicken is soft and succulent not to mention that it is flavorsome.  The skin was golden brown but not crispy, however, it's as moist, juicy, and delicious like its meat.  He marinated the chicken for more than 24 hours that may be was the reason why his chicken was so tasty.  The flavors from his marinade  had penetrated deep inside the meat giving it a very herb-y (sic) and spicy flavor.

The thing about roasting is that, sometimes when I do it, I get a tough, somewhat dry (not to mention that I over-do the roasting until the chicken almost turned black), and flavorless roasted chicken even if I marinated the chicken over night.  The secret according to my husband to make it flavorful is not just on the marinade mixture nor merely marinating it overnight, it's more on how the marinade or "rub mixture" is applied.  The herbs and spices (the marinade) should be rubbed not only on the skin and cavities of the chicken but also they should be tucked under the chicken’s skin.

For a succulent roasted chicken meat, cook it on low heat until the chicken turned brown.  Then increase the oven temperature to high for a few minutes to achieve a golden brown skin.


Chicken - 1 whole

Lemon, sliced - 1 whole

Apple, sliced -  1 whole

Ingredients for the "rub Mixture"/marinade:



Knorr chicken powder

Garlic Powder

Ground dried leaves of the following: Rosemary, oregano, sage, thyme, parseley

Ground Lemongrass

Ground black and white pepper

Cooking Procedure:

1) With the rub mixture, rub all over the outer parts of the chicken including its cavity.  Tuck the "rub mixture" under the chicken skin.  Marinate for at least 24 hours.

2) Before roasting, stuff the chicken with the the remaining "rub mixture", sliced lemons, and sliced apples.

3) preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius.  Then reduce it to 150 degrees celsius.  Roast chicken at this temperature until it turned brown or until the chicken is done. To check if the chicken is cooked, insert a knife into the chicken's thigh, if the juice runs clear and if no blood comes out, the chicken is done.

4) Increase the temperature to 200 degrees celsius for around 3-5 minutes to turn the chicken skin to golden brown.

Let is sit for at least 10 minutes before serving to cool the chicken down.  Serve whole or chop into bite sizes.


Sunday, 7 August 2011

Bak Kut Teh

Frederick's Bah Kut teh

We had Bak Kut Teh for lunch today, cooked by my husband Frederick.  It is one of those soup dishes in Singapore that I first liked.

Bah Kut Teh is a Chinese soup literally means  "meat bone tea", and, at its simplest, consists of meaty pork ribs simmered in a complex broth of herbs and spices (including star anise, cinnamon, cloves, dang gui, fennel seeds, and garlic)  for hours (from For my husband's bah kut teh
he used pork trotters and bah kut teh spice premix (Red man brand).  He also added some leafy vegetables and carrots.  The spice premix he used is good, it provides the real taste of the bah kut teh.

Here's the recipe:

Ingredients :

Pork trotters - around 1 kg

bah kut teh spice premix by Red Man- 1 sachet (good for 1.2 L of water)

Onion - 1 bulb cut into 4 slices

Garlic powder - 2 tsp

Salt & pepper to taste

Chicken Powder - 1/2 tsp

Chinese Cabbage - as desired

Carrot, cubed - 1 medium size,

Water - more than a 1 liter

Cooking Procedure:

1) Place the meat, water and onion in a pressure cooker and cook for 5 minutes from the time it starts whistling.

2) Season with the spices and condiments.  Let the soup boil.

3) Add in the carrot cubes, then the Chinese cabbage, let it boil until the vegetables are cooked.

Serve with boiled rice.


Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Natural Remedies for Tonsillitis

Having a sore throat causes discomfort in a person let alone having tonsillitis where in the 2 glands at the back of the throat are not only sore, but swollen, inflamed, and even enlarged (as the case of my husband Frederick)  It does not only cause pain  when swallowing it also sometimes cause pain in the ears.  To know more about tonsillitis, please check my post about tonsillitis (click Tonsilitis )

My husband Frederick has chronic tonsillitis that recurs at least 2-4 times a month, every month at that.  The doctor recommended that he gets his tonsils remove and that’s why we are currently searching for the best and most affordable tonsillectomy, either here in Singaporeor or in the Philippines.

While deciding on what we are going to do about Frederick's future tonsillectomy, I have been encouraging him to try some alternative cures for his tonsils.  Yes, natural treatments that will prevent the recurrence of his tonsillitis.  Here are a few natural remedies/treatments that one who is suffering from tonsillitis can do at home.  Please exercise caution and discretion should you decide to follow any of these remedies / treatments for instant relief, prevention, and sometime curing the illness.

1) Gargle with salt water. This can be used as an oral habit which is specially important for those who has pus on their tonsils as it helps prevent the occurrence of pus as well as from developing tonsillitis. And also for those suffering from cryptic tonsillitis, as it cleanse out the crypts in the tonsils and prevent the formation of tonsil stones.  In general, this method helps  to decrease discomfort and alleviates the soreness of the glands.

2) Diet and exercise is recommended by one article on Tonsillitis at  (see below)

Diet and exercise can be used as home remedies for almost any ailment, condition or disease, but is often overlooked. Even with tonsillitis, diet and exercise are fantastic natural cures. For diet, first fast for three to five days having nothing about water and orange juice; then do a three-to-four-day all-fruit diet; then slowly incorporate a balanced diet, avoiding spices, condiments, sour foods and fried foods.

Daily breathing exercises and cardiovascular exercise will also help.

3) Lemon : Drinking lemon is a good home treatment for tonsillitis.  Mix freshly squeezed emon juice with honey and a bit of salt added to a glass of warm water and is sipped slowly, letting it linger on the throat area before totally swallowing it provide an instant relief. You can also add apple cider vinegar for a more potent tonic against tonsillitis (see recipe Lemon & Apple Cider Vinegar Tonic )

4) Lime :  similar to lemon (see  Calamansi Juice (Lime Juice)

5) Apple cider vinegar :  Gargle water and apple cider vinegar, a natural disinfectant that can help soothe the inflammation and discomfort of tonsillitis. Mix one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar with one cup of warm water and gargle for at least 30 seconds before rinsing your mouth. Drinking lemon juice and water after gargling will further disinfect the throat and can help clear the mouth of the strong taste of vinegar.  (source: How to Treat Tonsillitis with Natural Medicine (

6) Vegetable Juices: Cucumber juice, carrots juice and beetroot juice are all very effective in giving cure from tonsillitis. You can either have them separately or mix then and have them. Take 300 ml of carrot juice and add about 100 ml of both cucumber juice and beet juice and drink it.  (source : Home Remedies for Tonsillitis ( )

7) Fenugreek Seeds: Fenugreek seeds are a great home remedy for so many different conditions. To combat tonsillitis, you can make a gargle using two tablespoons of the seeds that have simmered in a liter of boiling water for about 30 minutes, and then cooled. Use on the same day.  (Tonsillitis ( )

The use of Fenugreek seeds is also recommended by a contributor, Dr. Tabassum at

A gargle made from fenugreek seeds is very effective in severe cases of tonsillitis. To make such a gargle, two tablespoons of fenugreek seeds should be simmered for half an hour in a liter of water and then set aside to cool. The entire quantity should be used the same day as a soothing gargle for tonsillitis.

8 ) Banafsha Flowers: Add some of the banafsha flowers in milk and boil them for some time. Filter this after cooling and drink it. This will give you relief from the inflamed tonsils. Or you can also apply this mixture over the throat during nighttime. For doing this first put this above made mixture in a pan containing clarified butter and mix it well. Then apply thin layer of this mixture over the throat and clean it next day. ( )

9)  Milk : Drink A glass of warm milk with a dash of turmeric powder, which is a natural antibiotics, and pepper powder before going to bed at night while suffering from tonsillitis will give relief from the body pain and reduce the inflammation of the tonsils too.

10) Garlic:  Consuming garlic, which is a natural antibiotic and it has anti-inflammatory properties which helps in relieving the symptoms of tonsillitis as well as curing the disease.
Peel a clove of garlic and cut them in half lengthwise. Boil for a couple of minutes in about 1.5 cup water and add a pinch of salt, teaspoon of butter, a pinch of pepper and sprinkle with nutmeg.  (source : Garlic Facts Remedies and Health Benefits of Garlic ( )

11) Onion : similar to garlic, onion is also helpful in relieving the symptoms of tonsillitis due to its anti-bacterial properties.  Make a gargle of onion juice and warm water.

12) Ginger - ginger has anti viral properties that helps fight tonsillitis. Make a gargle and drink by boiling ginger then adding honey to it.  slowly sip the ginger mixture, let it linger on your throat before gulping it.

13) Honey - honey has anti-bacterial properties that when mixed with the ingredients mentioned above makes a potent tonic that helps relieves the symptoms and cure tonsillitis


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

For further readings, please check my sources/references below :

1) Home Remedies for Tonsillitis ( )

2) Tonsillitis ( )

3)  Acute Tonsillitis – Symptoms, Treatments and Home Remedies ( )

4) Tonsillitis - Symptom, Treatment of Audult, Chronic, Acute & Cryptic Tonsillitis, Home remedy for Tonsillitis (

5) Cryptic Tonsillitis Signs, Symptoms, and Solutions  by Don Peysum ( )

6) 3 Ways to Cure Chronic Cryptic Tonsillitis ( )

7) Tonsillitis Remedies – Forum at

8) How to Treat Tonsillitis with Natural Medicine (

9) How to treat pus on tonsils  (

8) Preventive and curative nature of Tonsil Stone Remedies

what is a tonsil stone?  (

9) Home remedy for Tonsillitis  (

10) Natural Treatment for Tonsillitis in Children (

11) Home Remedies for Tonsillitis ( )

12) Home Remedies For Tonsillitis by  Kevin Pederson  (

13) Garlic Facts Remedies and Health Benefits of Garlic (

14) Natural Cures for Tonsillitis (

Apple Cider Vinegar Tonic

I've been drinking apple cider vinegar tonic for more than 3 months now.  My initial goal is to loss weight but it seems that this tangy tonic drink does wonders to the body, aside from fighting obesity by heping us loss weight, it also aids in the digestions of fatty/oily foods, lowering and regulating blood sugar, helps in the relief of tonsillitis, and most importantly for me, it helps in the regulation of bowel movement and thereby fights constipation.  That is not all of course, there is a long list of health benefits one can get from consuming apple cider vinegar.

I drink this tonic in the morning, upon rising, on an empty stomach.  You can check out another beverage recipe using apple cider vinegar which I also drink often :  Lemon & Apple Cider Vinegar Tonic


Bragg's Apple cider Vinegar - 3 tbsp
Honey - 1 tbsp
Warm Water - 500 ml

Procedure:  Mix all of the above ingredients and drink bottoms up.



Originally posted on my other blog  Enjoying Life and Loving It

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My husband suffers from chronic tonsillitis.  It recurs 3-4 times every month and just this month, his chronic tonsillitis went for more than 2 weeks.   He has difficulty swallowing not only solid food but including the watery and even liquid ones.  He said it is too painful as his tonsils are sore, swollen, inflamed, and even enlarged and have pus on both nodules.  His tonsillitis was (“maybe”) triggered and aggravated by my cough.  We are planning to have his tonsils removed because it has always been causing him pain and too much discomfort.  The Singaporean doctor who saw him last week recommended he goes for tonsillectomy.  Since then, I’ve been searching for tonsillectomy services here inSingaporeand in thePhilippines.  We have to compare prices, affordability, accessibility, and quality of the service.

As starters, I have done some researches about tonsillitis to better understand it and I am sharing these information I have gathered with you.  Please take note that I am no medical expert.   This is just a summary of my research and should you wish to read further on the subject, you may refer to my sources of information at the bottom.  Reader’s discretion is necessary.


What is Tonsillitis?

Tonsillitis refers to the swelling and inflammation of the tonsils most commonly caused by viral or bacterial infection.   Tonsils are the two glands in the back of the  throat. They are referred to as lymph nodes and they form part of the lymphatic system.  As part of our body’s immune systemt they serve as our first line of defense to help protect us from infections by trapping germs coming in through the mouth and nose.

Tonsillitis explained by  Under normal circumstances, as viruses and bacteria enter the body through the nose and mouth, they are filtered in the tonsils.[7][8] Within the tonsils, white blood cells of the immune system mount an attack that helps destroy the viruses or bacteria, and also causes inflammation and fever.[7][8] The infection may also be present in the throat and surrounding areas, causing inflammation of the pharynx.[9] This is the area in the back of the throat that lies between the voice box and the tonsils”.

What are the Types of Tonsillitis?

Bacterial tonsillitis  – tonsillitis that is caused by bacterial infection.  This is discussed in further details under causes of tonsillitis

Viral tonsillitis  – tonsillitis that is caused by viral infection.  This is discussed in further details under causes of tonsillitis

Acute Tonsillitis  :  Acute tonsillitis is caused by both bacteria and viruses and will be accompanied by symptoms of ear pain when swallowing, bad breath, and drooling along with sore throat and fever. In this case, the surface of the tonsil may be bright red or have a grayish-white coating, while the lymph nodes in the neck may be swollen  (source : )

Chronic Tonsillitis :  is a persistent infection of the tonsils and can cause tonsil stone formation. It is considered chronic when there is a seven episodes of tonsillitis in the preceding year, five episodes in each of the preceding two years or three episodes in each of the preceding three years  ( sources :  and )

Cryptic Tonsillitis & Chronic Cryptic Tonsillitis:   Cryptic tonsillitis occurs when the tonsils contains small pockets and pits called crypts. These crypts may trap food particles and form small white-colored growths called tonsilliths (more commonly known as “tonsil stones”). Tonsil stones are thought to be made up of bacteria and dead cells and usually have quite an unpleasant odor.   (source : )


What are the Causes of Tonsillitis?

There are two causes of tonsillitis, that is viral and bacterial.  Regardless of the cause, the infection is transmitted/spread from one person to another through social contact, such as contact to airborne droplets from sneezing, hand contact, or kissing.

Most of the time, tonsillitis is caused by a viral infection. Here some of the known viral causes of tonsillitis:

1) common cold viruses (adenovirus, rhinovirus, influenza, coronavirus, respiratory syncytial virus)

2) Epstein-Barr virus, which is the cause of glandular fever (infectious mononucleosis),

3) herpes simplex virus, cytomegalovirus, or HIV.

For Bacterial tonsillitis, here are some common causes:

1) Streptococcus pyogenes-the organism that causes strep throat. If left untreated, strep throat may lead to a more serious condition called rheumatic fever, which can affect the heart several years later.  Strep throat causes only about 30% of tonsillitis in children only 10% of tonsillitis in adults.

2)  Less common bacterial causes include: Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Mycoplasma pneumoniae, Chlamydia pneumoniae, pertussisFusobacterium, diptheria, syphillis, and gonorrhea.

3)  Sometimes, tonsillitis is caused by an infection of spirochaeta and treponema, in this case called Vincent’s angina or Plaut-Vincent angina

What are the Symptoms of Tonsillitis in General?

1. Sore throat that lasts longer than 48 hours

2. Pain with and difficulty swallowing

3. Difficulty feeding (in babies)

4. Fever and chills

5. Tenderness / stiffness of the jaw,  throat, and neck areas (swollen lymph glands)

6.  Redness and soreness of the tonsils and throat (inflamed)

7. Headache

8. White / yellow / green patches on the tonsils

9. Ear pain

10. Nausea and vomiting

11. Changes in the voice (hoarseness) and/or loss of voice

12. Nasal congestion / Runny nose

13. Cough

14. Abdominal pain

15. Redness of the eyes

16. body ache (flu)

Acute tonsillitis is caused by both bacteria and viruses and will be accompanied by symptoms of ear pain when swallowing, bad breath, and drooling along with sore throat and fever. In this case, the surface of the tonsil may be bright red or have a grayish-white coating, while the lymph nodes in the neck may be swollen.

Possible Complications:

Usually a throat infection, such as tonsillitis, causes no trouble and only lasts about a week.  But the following complications can arise.

  • A secondary infection may occur in the middle ear or sinuses.

  • If the sore throat is due to a streptococcus infection, there may be a rash (scarlet fever).

  • Peritonsillar abscess or abscess in other parts of the throat that may need surgical drainage (Quinsy throat).

  • Rheumatic fever and related cardiovascular disorders

  • Kidney failure

  • Blocked airway from swollen tonsils

  • Dehydration from difficulty swallowing fluids

  • Pharyngitis – bacterial

  • In very rare cases, diseases like rheumatic fever or a particular kidney disease (glomerulonephritis) can occur. This is much less commonly observed now than it was several decades ago.

Medical Exams / Tests to Diagnose Tonsillitis:

The doctor  will look in the mouth and throat for swollen / inflamed / enlarged tonsils, or white/yellow/green spots are present on them,   as well as they check the jaw and neck for any swollenness and tenderness of the lymph nodes.  The doctor may order diagnostic tests to identify the cause of the infection that requires a swab of the secretions of the throat and maybe a blood sample. In some cases, the doctor may start antibiotic treatment without tests.

Tests that may be done include:

  • Blood count

  • Mononucleosis test

  • Rapid strep test

  • Throat swab culture

Treatments Available for Tonsillitis

1) If the tonsillitis is caused by bacteria, it is treated with antibiotics,  penicillin or amoxicillin (clindamycin or amoxicillin-clavulanate)  or a macrolide such as erythromycin if the person is allergic to penicillin. If antibiotics are prescribed, it’s important to complete the full course, or the infection may not be cured.   The antibiotics may be given once as a shot, or taken for 10 days by mouth.Antibiotics are advisable for immunocompromised patients, eg those receiving chemotherapy.

2) If the tonsillitis is caused by a virus infection need only be treated with paracetamol (eg Calpol, Panadol) to bring the temperature down. Aspirin (eg Disprin) is also useful, but should not be given to children under 16 years of age, unless on the advise of a doctor.  Aspirin has been linked to Reye syndrome.

3) Surgery to remove the tonsils, tonsillectomy,  may be necessary for those patients suffering from repeated, severe infections (five or more per year) that refuse to respond to treatment and significantly interfere with their school or work schedule. But it’s now a relatively uncommon operation compared to previous practice.

4)  Other treatments include:

  • Drink cold liquids or suck on popsicles

  • Drink fluids, especially warm (not hot), bland fluids

  • Gargle with warm salt water

  • Suck on lozenges (containing benzocaine or similar ingredients) to reduce pain (these should not be used in young children because of the choking risk)

  • Take over-the-counter medications, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen to reduce pain and fever.

5) There are some alternative medical treatments and natural home remedies to be considered also please check my post on the Natural Remedies for Tonsillitis

How much does a Tonsillectomy cost in the  Philippines and in Singapore?

The price in Singapore for tonsillectomy varies from one hospital to another :  Gleneagles and Mount Elizabeth hospital offers tonsillectomy at a price of SG$ 4,000-$6,500;  Tan Tock Seng, Changi General, and other public hospitals here in Singapore charge around SG $ 2,400 +++.  These prices are just for the surgery alone and are exclusive of doctors fee, anesthesiologist fee, and other hospital bills.  Please check again with these hospitals for current surgery fees and the like related to tonsillectomy.  You may want to check with KK women’s and Children’s hospital, Natiional University Hospital, and Raffles Hospital for tonsillectomy services.

Prices of Tonsillectomy in thePhilippinesare are as follows:

1) St. Lukes Medical Center  :   P 30,000 – 40,000 plus doctors fee, anesthesiologist fee, and other hospital bills

2) PhilippineGeneralHospital– no surgery fee.  Just pay for the doctors fee, anesthesiologist fee, and other hospital bills that will amount to almost P40,000. The hospital also offer surgery for  “charity”.  I am not sure about the requirements or how to avail of this free tonsillectomy

3) Other hospitals in Manila offering tonsillectomy services:  Manila Doctor’s Hospital, The Medical City, Asian Hospital and Medical Center, Makati Medical, etc.

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For further readings, please check my sources/references below :

1) Medline plus









10) Costs for Tonsillectomy were requested from the  hospitals mentioned