Sunday, 23 September 2012

Pakbet or Pinakbet

Is it Pakbet or Pinakbet?  

It depends on what you are used to calling this dish, either way, they are both correct. At home, we call this dish pakbet or pinakbet depending on the mood of the speaker (evil grin)

There are different versions of pakbet or pinakbet.  I have mine which is different from my husband's.  I want my pakbet / pinakbet to be almost dry or with little soup.  Frederick wants his to be soupy and fat-less. Mammy has hers too and so does Pappy.  Pakbet / pinakbet is one of those Ilocano dishes which has find its way to most Filipino kitchen's worldwide.  If you are not familiar with  pinakbet and you want to know more about it check out other posts and recipes on pinakbet .

Now that I am here in Tabuk,  it is my mission to gather a few versions/recipes of pinakbet.  My fathers, Papi, version of pinakbet has lots of meat specially pork fat in it and the meat are usually large when he cuts them. While Mami's version will have pork but she prefers using those parts with less fat and sliced them thinly.   My Brother-in-law #2 (Sister #2's husband) has another version, here is his recipe.



Lady Finger
Bitter gourd
Taro, cut into cubes
Squash , cut into cubes
String Beans
Pork, sliced into strips
Ripe Tomatoes
Red Onion, diced - 1 medium 
Garlic, crushed - 3 cloves
Ginger, crushed and sliced - 1/2"
Bagoong patis - 5 tbsp
Ground Black Pepper

Cooking Procedure:

1.  Place the pork, garlic, onions, ginger, ground black pepper, and tomatoes in a wok or in a pan.  Add water and the bagoong patis just enough to cook the pork until it's tender.
2.  Add the taro and bring to a boil.  Add more water just enough to cover the taro.
3.  Add the rest of the vegetables in this order:  eggplant, squash,  and the rest of the veggies.
4.  Let simmer until the veggies are cooked and most of the liquid had evaporated


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© Fresha-licious (23September2012)

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Inkiwar II: With Cinnamon


I have previously posted a traditional way of cooking inkiwar (check my Mammy's  Inkiwar / Malagkit na may latik.)  This is my version of it, cooked the way I want it.

Inkiwar or malagkit na may latik  is an Ilocano glutinous rice cake and is a favorite of mine but there is a certain way I want the glutinous rice to be cooked.  I don't want it to be soggy nor wet.  I want the glutinous rice to be whole and large like that of a Japanese style steamed rice , not so sticky but a bit chewy. If you are familiar on how Cagayano's cooked their glutinous rice, the steamed type, that's how I want it to be.  But steaming my glutinous rice is not an option as it will take me hours to cook it and the little ones are already hungry.  They can't wait for the inkiwar to be cooked. Nonetheless, I will be steaming it that way next time

With this version of inkiwar, I put cinnamon for a twist in its flavor.  Try it if you like.  It is really delicious.

Cinnamon Barks

You can also use the powder cinnamon, you just need to estimate how much of it to use in order that the cinnamon flavor doesn't overpower the flavor of the latik or ladek.  I'll try to use the cinnamon powder next time when I ran out of sticks :-)



Glutinuous rice - 800 g.
Cinnamon Stick - 3 pcs
Ladek or Latik (see recipe here - ladek / latik) - 1 to 2 cups
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Brown Sugar - 16 tbps or to taste
Coconut oil (small amount only)

Cooking Procedure:

1. Wash the glutinous rice by just swishing your hands in it then soak it in water for at least 30 minutes. 
2.  Drain the glutinous rice, add water and the cinnamon sticks.  Bring to a boil.
3.  When the mixture boils, stir it.  Remove as much excess liquid as you can.  Set aside the liquid.  Remove the glutinous rice from the fire.
4.  In a wok where you cooked the ladek / latik, continue heating the ladek / latik and the coconut oil, under low fire.  Add the liquid from the glutinous rice, as well as the sugar, and salt.  Stir.
5. Continue stirring until the glutinous rice is cooked. 
6. Transfer into a serving tray. Slice into squares and serve.

I usually use a non-stick pot to cook the glutinous rice.  If you don't have non-stick pots and you do not want your glutinous rice to be sticking on the surface of your pot, you can follow how my Mammy cooks her glutinous rice.
If you are wondering about how a Japanese style steamed rice is cooked, click this link.

You can click the links below for a collection of kakanin  and Filipino merrienda recipes we have posted in this blog:

1.  Kakanin collection
2. Filipino Merrienda collection

© Fresha-licious (22September2012)

Friday, 21 September 2012

Simple Pancit Miki Guisado

My family is fond of pancit (noodles),  it is one of those one-dish-meal that my parents would usually cook every so often.  If most people are very particular about what ingredients to put in a pancit, like, it has to have cabbage and/or carrots, or what-have-yous, my father (Papa Ambring or Pappy) on the other hand cooks delicious pancit with whatever ingredients he can find from the kitchen or from our backyard, as long as there is pork, fatty pork at that.  It's the same principle I apply when it comes to my pasta dishes, except for the usage of fatty pork.  I got that from him I believe.

Here's one of the simplest pancit recipe I've ever eaten that is 101% delicious.

( )


Dried Flat Miki - 500 g.
Pork belly - 300 g.
String Beans, diced
Fish Sauce
Garlic, crushed
Onions, diced
Black Pepper, ground
Magi magic, sarap
Water - 4 cups
Vegetable oil

Cooking Procedure:

1. Heat oil in a wok then fry the pork fat until they turned almost brown.  Sauté the garlic and onions in the same wok, then add the rest of the sliced pork belly.  Pour water in it and bring into a boil until the meat is fork tender.
2.  Season with the fish sauce, salt to taste, black pepper, and magi magic sarap.
3.  Add the dried flat miki.  Add more water as needed to cook the miki but not too much to make sauce.
4.  when the noodles are almost cooked, toss in the diced string beans and cook for another 5 minutes until most of the liquids evaporates

Serve as  one-dish meal and enjoy.

© Fresha-licious (21September2012)

Scrambled Egg and Corned Beef

I've been a dakilang yaya (for free) for my two rascal nephews for almost 2 months now since their yayas left (manggulo ba sa bahay ang asawa ng yaya kasi).  And it's been so difficult finding a yaya this days.  Those who wants to be a katulong (house-helper) do not want to take care of kids.  All they want is to clean the house and cook and do the laundry (sigh).  We need a yaya, someone who we can trust and who could take good care of these 2 naughty rascals.  I won't be staying long in the Philippines and my husband keeps on reminding me to process my papers the soonest so I could join him in Qatar the soonest.  So please, if you know of anyone who can be a trusted yaya, please let us know.  Thank you so much for the help and we greatly appreciate it. 

My two rascal nephews, the 2  Ambritch, are choosy and difficult to feed specially during mealtimes.  I have already employed different strategies like making them face the wall, or threatening them to whip them, and even scaring them with voodoo dolls and Mammy and my sibling #2's dentures.  Mammy would usually cook them their "food".  It's a special food for the three rascals (2 nephews and a niece). I'd be posting their "food" later on.  BUT, they've grown tired of it I believe.  Every meal time is a chaos.   There are Scoldings and shoutings (that's me) and cryings or throwing tantrums (the kids) during lunch or dinner.  I force feed them actually even if they don't like the food (it's healthy by the way).  My nephew eldest nephew would voluntary eat on his own if the viand is egg or chicken adobo, but most of the time I force feed him armed with my whip-stick and a belt.  

Just this morning, after the two pupils (eldest nephew and niece) went to school and as I am preparing for my youngest nephew's breakfast, I found out that he is already eating the scrambled egg and corned beef that my sibling #2 cooked.  He liked it so much that he didn't even want to share it with me and I also need to hide away the remaining scrambled egg and corned beef  from him before he overeats :-)  I'll let the two pupils try it during lunch to see if they will like it.

This is my sister #2's recipe for scrambled egg and corned beef.  By the way, she used Argentina corned beef which according to my Pappy tastes nothing like beef. 



Corned beef - 2 cans 
Eggs, beaten - 3
Garlic, crushed - 3
Onions, diced - 2 medium
Vegetable oil
Salt & ground black pepper to taste

Cooking Procedure:

1.  Heat the oil in a pan and sauté the garlic, onions, then the corned beef.  Stir for a few minutes minutes.  
2.  Season with salt and black pepper.
3.  Pour the egg on the corned beef and briskly stir it. 

Serve with sinangag. (See sinangag recipe here )

© Fresha-licious (20September2012)

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Buttered Cabbage & Cauliflower

This is my usual one-dish meal back in Singapore whenever Frederick is not around.  It is an easy, no-fuzz, and healthy dish.  Great for people who are always in a hurry or for those who wanted a quick-tummy-fix.



Cabbage -
Cauliflower, cut into tiny florets
Carrots, diced - 1 small
Green Peas
Corn kernels
Salted Butter
Ground pepper

*  for the carrots, green peas, and corn kernels, you can just buy a pack of frozen mixed vegetable from the supermarket or you ca freeze them on your own.  I usually freeze cauliflowers or brocolli :-)

Cooking Procedure:

1.  Melt butter in a pan then toss in the thawed veggies.  Season with ground pepper.

© Fresha-licious (20September2012)

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Paksiw na Saluyot

My husband is currently cooking paksiw na saluyot.  He'll be bringing it to their office for his dinner since he is already tired and cloyed of the curried dishes, specially curried chicken served by the caterers in their office.   It's a good thing that those meals are for free :-)  otherwise, he'd be ranting about it every time we talk on skype.  ALSO, he wants to share his paksiw na saluyot to his colleagues to let them taste what Filipino, Ilocano vegetable  dish, to be specific,  is all about. Yes, he is in Qatar.  And, yes, we are talking right now on skype.

Saluyot, for the Ilocanos, refers to the leaves of the jute not the okra (lady finger).  Saluyot may be regarded by some non-Ilocanos as ordinary weeds as it grows abundantly anywhere as long as there is a good soil, whether in a dry or wet environment.  

What is saluyot if you may ask.  Here's a good answer from the website of the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI)  click here for the link to the website

... it is rich in beta-carotene for good eyesight, iron for healthy red blood cells, calcium for strong bones and teeth, and vitamin C for smooth, clear skin, strong immune cells, and fast wound healing. In other words, saluyot is a nourishing green leafy vegetable. Secondly, it is the legitimate source of the world's raw materials for containers of rice, corn, sugar, mongo and other commodities.

Saluyot is a leafy vegetable popular among Ilocanos, pasao, pasao na bilog or tagabang among Tagalogs, and lumbal, sumpa or panigbin among Visayans. Saluyot is easy to propagate, you can start harvesting the leaves after one month. It is easier to plant saluyot than any other crop since you don't need pesticide and fertilizer to grow the crop. 

Paksiw na saluyot, by the way is an authentic Ilocano dish.  Here's the Husband's recipeAND he'd been gushing as to how delicious this is :-) 



Saluyot (jute) leaves, young -  1 bundle
* Padas (fermented fish)

Garlic, crushed - 5 cloves
Onions, diced - 2 medium
Black Pepper, ground
Magi Magic Sarap
Water - just enough to cover the jute leaves - 2 cups

*  Frederick cannot find any bagoong so he used padas instead.  BUT if you have bagoong  you can use that.  You can also use plain fish sauce too.

Cooking Procedure:

1. Pour water in a pot, add the garlic, onions, Magi magic sarap, and ground black pepper.  Bring to a boil.
2. Get 2 spoonful of padas (fish and sauce), place it in a bowl.  pour a small amount of the boiling water and mash the padas fish.  Strain to remove the fish bones.  Mix the padas liquid with the ingredients in the pot and bring to a boil again,
3.  Add the saluyot and cook it until done.
4.  Add the vinegar and cook for a minute.  


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© Fresha-licious (19September2012)

Chicken Afritada With Pineapple

I've cooked afritada before in Singapore (see Duck Afritada ) The plan was for us to cook the different tomato-based Filipino stews but we were only able to cook beef mechado, beef caldereta, and the  Duck Afritada .  Unfortunately, it was not fulfilled since we made some major changes :-)

We will try to complete the list of tomato-based Filipino Stews before the year ends.  Tomatoes are available in Qatar :-), aren't they.  Definitely they are, and probably there will tomato sauces or tomato pastes just the same.

Try this chicken afritada I cooked for the little ones.  My nephews and niece did love it.



Chicken, cut into serving sizes - 800 g to 1 kg
Carrots, diced 1" in length - 2 medium
Sweet Potatoes, diced 1" in length - 3 medium
Green Peas
Pineapple Tidbits w/ the syrup - 115 g (1 sachet)
Garlic, minced
Red Onions, diced - 2 medium
Ginger, crushed and diced - 1"
Vegetable Oil
Tomato Paste - 5 tbsp
Fish Sauce - 3 tbsp
Salt & ground black pepper to taste

Cooking Procedure:

1.    Heat the oil in a pan and sauté the garlic, onions, and the ginger until they become fragrant.  
2.  Add in the chicken and Stir fry it until it turned almost brown .  
3.  Add in the sweet potatoes and water enough to cover the chicken.  Let the mixture simmer until the chicken and sweet potatoes are almost cooked.
4.  Pour in the pineapple syrup and stir in the tomato paste, fish sauce, ground black pepper, and the green peas.  Continue to simmer
5.  Stir in the pineapple tidbits and simmer at least 2 more minutes.

Dish out and enjoy with a glass of cold nestea iced tea :-)  I had my cold brewed guyabano leaves, however :-)

Want more afritada recipes?  Check our Afritada collection and other tomato-based stews


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© Fresha-licious (19September2012)

Milkfish and Apple Soup

I saw a dish with a similar name at a food hawker at one of those HDBs behind SATA  Ang Mo Kio and it looked yummy.  So I decided to cook it a few weeks after that.  That's when we were still in Singapore :-)

I find the taste ok and acceptable.  But Frederick didn't like it. I can still vividly remember the weird expression on Frederick's face when he tasted the dish. Shocked.  Bewildered.  It's like he ate a gruesome food :-( He actually doesn't know how to react without disappointing me (evil grin) That's why we only finished a small portion of the soup and it stayed in the fridge for over a week until he finally decided to just fry the remaining milkfish :-)

This dish may look bad but I am posting my recipe anyway :-)  who knows, somebody might end up liking it :-)  Using apple in a soup dish is actually not a bad idea you know.  But my husband warned me not to be cooking similar dishes when I am in Tabuk coz I might not like what their reactions would be.



Milkfish, sliced into serving sizes
Apple, sliced thinly - 1 large
Onions, diced - 1 large
Ginger, diced - 1 inch
Salt and pepper to taste
Calamansi juice - 1 tbsp

Cooking Procedure:

1.  Mix all of the ingredients in a pot except for the milkfish and calamansi juice.  Bring to a boil until the mixture is aromatic.
2. Add the the fish and cook it.

Serve and enjoy :-)

© Fresha-licious (18September2012)

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Vegetarian White Beans Stew

I remember cooking this in April when we were still in Singapore.  Frederick was back in the Philippines to process some important matters for his new employment in Qatar.  I was actually toying on the idea of cooking white beans and pork trotters because I've been craving for pork fat for days.  I was on a no red meat and no pork fat diet during those times. 

BUT I went for this dish.  Self-discipline kicked in and over-powered my palate's desire.  This dish was so great by the way :-) 



White Beans - 250 g.
Yellow Capsicum (green or red can also be used), diced - 1 large
Onions, sliced into rings - 2 medium size
Garlic, crushed and chopped - 4 tbsp
Parsley, dried - 2 tsp
Oregano - 1/2 tsp
Rosemary - 1 tsp
Thyme - 1/2 tsp
Ground black, white, red pepper - 1/2 tsp
Paprika - 1/4 tsp
Tomato sauce - 100ml
Salt - 1 tsp
Splenda sugar - 1 g.
Olive Oil - 2 tbsp

Cooking Procedure:

1. Soak the white beans over-night.  
2.  Drain the beans and place it in a pressure cooker with water.  The water should be a cetimeter from the top of the beans.  Bring to a boil under pressure for 15 minuutes from the moment the pressure cooker whistles.
3.  Remove the pressure and open the lid.
4.  Heat the oil in a pan and sauté the garlic, onions, then the rest of the herb until aromatic. 
5.  Add in the white beans and bring to a boil.  Add the Tomato Sauce and season with salt, sugar and ground peppers.  Cook until the beans are done.
6.  Add the capsicum and let simmer for a minute then remove from fire.

Serve as is or with a wholegrain red rice

© Fresha-licious (17September2012)

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Tortang Talong (Eggplant Omelette) III

Mammy's breakfast menu always includes eggs.  Didn't I mention that before?  Anyway, this is what we have for our breakfast this morning - Eggplant omelette, my Mammy's version.

This is the best dish I always look forward to, to break the fast.  Surely.  Mammy's eggplant omelette is so tasty that  I always find myself wanting for more. I  know her recipe but I don't know what tricks she uses every time she cooks eggplant omelette.  And this morning, as I watched Mammy skillfully flipped the omelet without deforming it, I was amazed.  She makes sure that her omelette has to come out "round" so she can slice it equally dividing it fairly among us :-)



Eggplant – 2 pcs (medium size)
Leeks, diced - 2 stalks
Ripe Tomatoes, diced - 1 large
Onion, diced - 1 medium
Garlic, crushed and minced - 2 cloves
Eggs, medium – 2 pcs
Salt – to taste
Magi Magic Sarap – 1/4 tsp
Ground Black Pepper
oil for frying

Cooking Procedure :

1. Broil the eggplants over charcoal until it’s cook and tender.  You can also grill the eggplants on top of an open-flame stove. Cool the eggplants then peel off the charred skin.
2. Flatten the eggplants using the back of a fork.  Check for any worms in the eggplant. Set aside.
3. Heat a small amount of oil and sauté the garlic, onions, and tomatoes until the tomatoes are cooked. Then add the eggplants and season with salt, magi magic sarap, and ground black pepper.

4. Beat the eggs then add salt. 
5. Mix the beaten eggs, sautéed eggplants, and leeks.
5. Heat oil in a saucepan.  Spread the egg-eggplant mixture on the pan tilting it so that the egg mixture will be evenly distributed on the pan.
6.  Flip the omelette to fry the other side. Mammy used a plate to flip the omellete without deforming it.  Drain on paper towels.

We have other recipes on tortang talong (eggplant omelet) you can check this link for the recipes Tortang talong.  You can also check other omelet recipes here.

© Fresha-licious (16 September 2012)

Inkiwar / Malagkit na may Latik

It's Sunday.  And when Sunday comes Mammy will cook a special something for the bulilits' snack.  What I am sharing is one of my favorite glutinous rice cake that Mammy often cook.  My niece and nephews love it too.

Inkiwar is a glutinous rice cake mixed with sugar and latik or ladek in Ilocano.  Latik or ladek are the brown coconut milk curd that is the residue when coconut milk is cooked until all liquids have evaporated leaving only the oil and the latik or ladek.  Latik or ladek is usually used as garnishing to any kind of glutinous rice cakes.

This glutinous rice cake, inkiwar, is famous among people in the Northern Luzon provinces and each ethnic culture has their own way of cooking inkiwar. This is my Mammy's recipe. I'd be posting some of my variations later on.  

If you are on a no carb diet or low sugar diet, please don't attempt to eat even a slice of this :-) check the recipe to find out why :-)



Glutinuous rice - 800 g.
Ladek or Latik (see recipe below) - 1 to 2 cups
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Brown Sugar - 16 tbps or to taste
Coconut oil (small amount only)
Ingredients for Ladek or Latik
Coconut meat, shredded (from at least 3 coconuts)
Hot Water - 6 cups
Cold water as needed

Cooking Procedure:

How to make ladek or latik:

1. Pour 2 cups of hot water.  Mix well and let it sit for a minute.  Squeeze out the milk from the shredded coconut milk.  If it is still too hot to the touch add cold water.  Strain the coconut milk to remove any coconut milk.  Repeat 3 times.

2.  Place all the coconut milk in a wok or big kawali.  Bring it to a boil.
3.  Stir continuously until all the liquids evaporated leaving the coconut oil and the brown thingy called Ladek or Latik .

 How to cook the glutinous rice:
Cook the glutinous rice like the way you cook your regular rice. Wash the glutinous rice, add water and bring to a boil.

Mama usually places banana leaves on the pot first before pouring the glutinous rice and the water.  That way, the cooked rice will not stick on the surface of the pot.

How to make Inkiwar:

1. Mix the cooked glutinous rice, coconut oil, ladek or latik , sugar, and salt
2.  Transfer into a serving tray.
3.  Slice into squares and serve.

It's yummy with coffee :-)

You can click the links below for a collection of kakanin  and Filipino merrienda recipes we have posted in this blog:

1.  Kakanin collection
2. Filipino Merrienda collection

© Fresha-licious (16September2012)

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Beef Mechado

 © Fresha-licious:  Beef Mechado
I was browsing the draft folder of our blog and look what I've found!  Buried in a pile of unpublished posts is this beef mechado recipe which I believe I had cooked sometime in April.  This is my very first mechado recipe and I'm wondering why I didn't post it immediately (sigh).  Maybe because during those times, my stomach had already been in hay wire making my life a bit miserable :-)

Anyway, I may not know the story behind this recipe or the reason why I cooked it but I can vividly remember the glowing look on my husband's face when he tasted it :-) The Husband loved it :-) and so did Ais' kids and those are all that matter.  I'd be cooking this same dish for my husband when I join him in Qatar very soon :-)  I'll try a few variation while I'm still here in Tabuk.

This is another tomato-based stew that is popular among Filipinos

© Fresha-licious:  Beef Mechado



Beef, sliced into cube (1”x1”x1”) – 500 g.
Potatoes, diced (same size as the beef) – 2 medium
Carrots, diced (same size as the beef) – 2 medium
Bell Pepper, diced (same size as the beef) – 1 medium
Red onion, diced – 1 large
Garlic, crushed and chopped – 5 cloves
Ripe Tomatoes, chopped – 1 large
Tomato Sauce – 12 tbsp or 120-150 ml
Ground black pepper
Bay leaves – 3 pcs
Soy Sauce – 3 tbsp or 50 ml
Sea Salt – 1 tsp or to taste
White Sugar – 1 tsp or Splenda / Equal – 0.5 g
Beef Bouillon – 1 cube
Water – enough to cook the beef
Canola Oil – 2 tbsp

Cooking Procedure:

1. Heat oil in a sauce pan (do no let it smoke).  Sauté the garlic until it almost turns brown, add the onions, then the beef.  Let it simmer for 2 minutes.  Add the tomatoes and stir until they wilt. 

2. Transfer the beef mixture in a pressure cooker.  Add water, bay leaf, ground pepper, soy sauce, white sugar, and the potatoes and bring the mixture to a boil under pressure for 10 minutes.  Remove pressure from the cooker and scoop out the potatoes.  Add more water if needed then bring the beef to a boil under pressure until the meat are tender.

3.  Add the tomato sauce, salt to taste, and the rest of the ingredients except for the bell pepper.  Simmer

4.  Add the bell pepper when the carrots are almost cooked.  Simmer until the bell pepper is half-cooked.

Serve and enjoy

© Fresha-licious (15September2012)

White Beans & Pork Trotters Stew

I often wake up every morning annoyed and grumpy not because I lack sleep cause I'm currently a full time yaya to my two nephews but due to irritating news, topics, discussions on tv, radio, and even on the internet on politics and dirty politicians.  Like the involvement of Under secretary of DILG Rico Puno in an anomalous deal in the PNP, which came several weeks after the death of DILG Secretary Jessie Robredo (by the way, my nephews and niece named our puppy Jessie :-) ). And the undying debate on the passing of the RH bill. Idiot senators are misleading the public through their fact-less and evidence-less tales.  They're just spreading their contagious disease of ignorance and idiocity to the public. Politics! Dirty politics over and over and over again. There are also those gruesome incidents like robberies, snatching, killings here and there even on broad daylight which makes me wonder if there are existing vigilantes who are willing to kill these notorious social menace. They can also consider eradicating dirty politicians and public officials from the face of this country.  And the constant flooding in Metro Manila regardless if there's a typhoon or just monsoon rains. No comment on that. There's the usual heavy traffic reports along EDSA and other major roads in metro manila. Not that I'm affected as I have taken refuge in our rural hometown but i feel so concerned about Metro Manila commuters. What alternative way can commuters take when even the MRT is always jam-packed every minute making it impossible to enter and to go out of it? They better walk.  Walking is beneficial to the health.  

Local news in Tabuk is no exemption.  I hear complaints from the radio, friends, and neighbors about corruptions of public officials, and even among rank and file employees of local government agencies, and lots of deaths.  Like the death of a grade 2 pupil in Casigayan due to dengue.  Which reminds me to spray baygon inside the house this afternoon. Oh well, what's new?  I'm in the Philippines and news like these are already part of normalcy.

Speaking of normalcy, my post today is a  normal and common dish in our dining table. It's one of our family's comfort foods, dishes if you want to call it that. Fatty pork :-) yes, you got that right should you have guessed.  My favorite... before.  It's been months since my last ingestion of red meat and fatty pork.  Mammy cooked this dish yesterday for our supper and I decided to post it today.  I used to love this dish specially the soft, melts in the mouth fatty pork trotters but since I am on a no-red-meat diet, I just settled with the white beans.  I got the same protein I need :-)



White beans - 1 1/2 cups
Pork Trotters, cut into serving portions - 500 g.
Ripe Tomatoes, diced - 2 large

Onions, diced - 1 medium
Garlic, crushed - 3 cloves
Ginger, crushed and diced - 1/2"
Salt and Black Pepper to taste
Cooking oil

Cooking Procedure:

1. Wash and Soak beans at least overnight (please check this post for tips on how to cook legumes)
2. Drain the soaked beans and place it in a pressure cooker along with the pork trotters and water enough to cover the meat and beans.  Boil it under pressure for 20 minutes from the time the pressure cooker starts whistling.
3.  Heat oil in a pan and sauté the garlic, onions, and ginger.  Add the cooked beans and meat and the rest of the ingredients/seasoning and bring to a boil again until most of the liquids evaporated.

Serve with your favorite steamed white or brown rice.

Oh by the way, politics in the Philippines never changed.  Most of the officials in power are either corrupt or useless or both.  Some are already campaigning for the 2013 national elections.  You can see their advertisements all over the tv, radio, and billboards.  Makakapal ang mukha!  But of course I still believe that there is/are someone/some people, somewhere, who is/are a good public servant. 


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© Fresha-licious (15September2012)

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Stir fried pancit Cabagan

When Frederick and I were still in Singapore we often crave for Pancit Batil Patong or Pancit Cabagan that's why when noodle dishes in Singapore could not sate our cravings, Frederick will cook Pancit Batil Patong using whatever egg noodles we can find in the Supermarket.  Hhhmmm come to think of it, Frederick never tried to cook the "Pancit Cabagan".

If we say Pancit Cabagan, we do not refer only to the dish per se but also to the noodles being used in the noodle dish.  The dish is very famous among Cagayanos and Isabellanos (Is that how people from Isabella are referred to?) as Cabagan is a town in the province of Isabella.  And as implied by the noodles name itself, pancit cabagan originated from Cabagan.

The Pancit Cabagan noodle dish is almost similar to that of the batil patong.  The difference is that, in Batil patong, egg is placed on top of the noodle dish (Check our recipes on batil patong)  It is not batil patong without the sunny-side-up-egg and it also comes with a soup since the noodle dish itself is a bit dry.  Pancit Cabagan noodle dish comes with a dark and thick sauce, and that the noodles has to be wet.  Oh and there's boiled quail eggs in it too. Toppings? you can use anything as you please but since cara-beef is in abundance in Isabela in Cagayan, this is the meat that is used for both.

By the way, what I am about to post is not "Pancit Cabagan Noodle Dish".  I cooked a Chinese style stir-fried noodles a few days ago using the pancit Cabagan for the noodles.  I will try to cook pancit cabagan noodle dish next time and post it here ok?



Pancit Cabagan, dried - 500 g.
Bologna, sliced into strips - 200 g
Pork Belly, sliced into strips - 300 g.
Monggo sprout
Cabbage, diced
* Tengang daga, diced
Garlic, crushed and minced - 5 cloves
Red Onions, diced - 1 large
Vegetable oil - 3 tbsp

I was actually looking for chorizo but could not find any in our town.  So when I saw those slices of bologna, I gave it a try.  Chorizo or maybe longganisa or any sausage available can be used instead of bologna.

*Tengang daga (rat's ears) is a local mushroom and it is called so because the mushroom resembles that of the rat's ear :-)  It taste good you know.  It's a cheap substitute for shitake mushroom.  By the way, since I am in the rural city of Tabuk,  shitake mushroom is not available here :-(


Soy Sauce - 11 tbsp
Sweet Sauce - 5 tbsp
Magi Magic Sarap
Water 5 tbsp
Ground Black Pepper

Cooking Procedure:

1.  Pour water in a pot and bring to a boil.  Add the pancit cabagan and let it cook under medium fire.  Drain and set aside.  Do not overcook it.
2. Blanch the veggies:  cabbage, monggo sprout, and tengang daga.  Drain and set aside
3.  Heat the oil in a wok and pan-fry the fat, remove from the pan and set aside.
4.  In the same wok, using the same oil, fry the bologna.  Scoop it out and set aside.
5.  In the same wok using the same oil, sauté the garlic then the onions and add the remaining pork belly slices and pan-fry it for five minutes.  Add a little water to cook it until it's tender.
6.  Mix all the ingredients for the sauce and add it into the pork slices.   Stir and let it simmer.
7.  Toss in the cooked and drained noodles, veggies, bologna, and pork fat.  Heat for at least 5 minutes and serve.

Great with chili paste or with a sauce made of diced onions, soy sauce, and vinegar. 

© Fresha-licious (13September2012)

Sautéed Hot & Spicy Eggplant & Minced Pork

This is one of those eggplant dishes that Frederick always request for when we were still in Singapore.   He would stuff his mouth with it, chew it once or twice and swallow all the way down.  Sometimes I just sit there on the table and watch him eat and that's enough to sate my hunger.

I've cooked this today for lunch to let my parents have a taste of it.  I think they liked it :-)



Eggplant, sliced – 4 medium sizes
Minced Pork - 200 g.
Red Hot Chili Pepper - 5 pcs or as desired
Silver Swan Soy Sauce – 4 tbsp
Brown Sugar – 2 tsp
Garlic, minced – 5 cloves
Onions, diced – 1 medium
Vegetable oil –  5 tbsp
Water – 6 tbsp

Cooking Procedure:

  1. Hot the oil in a saucepan and add the garlic.  Sauté garlic under medium fire until it is aromatic.  Add minced pork and fry until cooked.
  2. Add the onions and the eggplant. Fry the eggplant until they are cooked but not roasted.
  3. Season with the chili paste, soy sauce, sweet sauce and water.  Let simmer until the liquids evaporated.

© Fresha-licious (13September2012)

Ginataang Hito / Catfish with Coconut Milk

© Fresha-licious : Mammy's Ginataang Hito
Hi everyone.  It's been a while since my last post, that's almost 4 months based on my counting.  There had been some major changes in our lives (mine and my husband's).  One of which is leaving Singapore for good.  My husband found a better career opportunity in the Middle East, that's why, and we're moving there.  Frederick is actually in Qatar right now and I'd be following him soon.  I'm so missing him :-(

Right now, I'm in the Philippines. Savoring the fresh food bounty my birth town, city at that, can offer.  Eating and enjoying fresh produce on a daily basis; some organic, some not.  That's giving my organs a detox from chemically sprayed vegetables and fruits just to keep them looking fresh.

I'm giving myself a fresh start on this blog after a long hibernation.  Though I am not feeling well (my unruly stomach is giving me a hard time these days not to mention that I feel like going down with a flu) I have decided to blog again and I'm starting it with our favorite (my siblings and I) viand that our Mama Tessie often cook everytime we come home to Tabuk for Vacation.  She usually serves this during Sunday lunch or as per our request. It's her specialty.  Actually cooking ginataang hito is a teamwork between our Mama Tessie and Papa Ambring.  By the way, they are fondly called mammy and pappy by my niece and nephews instead of lola nor lolo so I will call them the same way in my posts from now on.   As I have said, it's  teamwork.  Pappy usually "kills" and cleans the catfish (he doesn't want it done by the fish monger for "hygiene" reasons) and Mammy does the cooking
Here's the recipe for Mammy's  GINATAANG HITO :


Catfish, cut into serving portions - 1 whole
Coconut milk squeezed from 2 coconuts
Vegetable of your choice (eggplant, string beans, okra, or pechay)
* Green chili
Magi Magic Sarap
Onions, dice - 2 medium
Garlic, crushed - 3 cloves
Ginger, crushed - 1"
Fish Sauce and salt to taste
black pepper
Vegetable oil

Green Chilis being sold in our home town Tabuk are most of the time not hot and not spicy.  That's the reason why we make sure that we have green chilis whenever we cook ginataan or pinakbet or any other Ilocano dishes. I don't know what variety of chili they are though.

Cooking Procedure:

1. Heat oil and stir in garlic, then onions and ginger, sauté under medium fire until it is aromatic
2. Add in the sliced catfish and pan-fry them for at least 5 minutes.
3. Pour the coconut milk and bring to a boil.  Season with magi magic sarap, fish sauce, salt, and black pepper. Bring to a boil again
4.  Add the vegetables and let boil until the veggies are cooked

© Fresha-licious (12September2012)