Thursday, 26 March 2015

Dinengdeng nga Saluyot ken Prinito nga Bangus

I will let you in in the world of Ilocanos.  Our world. 

We Ilocanos love our meat and fish but we love our vegetables more.  Vegetable dishes is often present in any meal time of the day and they are often boiled and dipped in bagoong (fermented fish sauce) or cooked in it. One distinction for us Ilocanos also is our love for bagoong  (fermented fish sauce). It has become part of us and embedded in us.  That holds true for Ilocanos who grew up in the provinces but I'm not sure for those who grew up in the big cities.

For the Ilocanos and anyone with an Ilocano palate, dinengdeng is part of our food tradition. Any "grass" or vegetables growing in the backyard or along the roadsides or any public area can be turned into this rustic yet delicious dinengdeng, all you need is water and one distinctly Ilocano ingredient, the  bagoong, and viola, you now have a delicious dish for the family to enjoy. Saluyot or jute leaves is a kind of vegetable, to some, a kind of "grass" because it just pops out any where and everywhere as long as the soil is rich. In the province, this kinds of vegetables enables us poor people to live and survive. 

If you haven't tried dinengdeng nga saluyot well your missing a lot :-) Add this to your bucket list now!


Ingredients :

jute leaves  (Saluyot)  - a bundle
Fermented Anchovy Fish Sauce (Bagoong sauce) - 2 tbsp

ginger (laya), crushed and diced
Onions (sibuyas), diced - 1 medium
garlic (bawang), crushed and peeled 
black pepper, ground (paminta)
water (danum)- 2 cups or just enough to cover the veggies

Fried Milkfish

Milkfish or any kind available - scaled and gutted then sliced

Oil for frying
Cooking Procedure:

Fried Milkfish:

1. Rub milkfish with salt and let stand for about 30 minutes
2. Heat oil in a frying pan then shallow-fry the milkfish in it one side at a time until all sides turned brown.
3. Place your fried fish on top of paper towels to remove excess oil.  Set aside


1. Place water in a pot then add the ginger, garlic, and onions and bring to a boil.  
2. In a bowl, place the bagoong sauce with some of its fermented fishes.  Pour boiling water from the mixture you boiled. Mash the fish to separate the meat from the fish bones.  Pour the bagoong into the mixture excluding the fish bones.  Let it simmer.  
3.  Toss in the jute leaves and simmer until the leaves are softened.
4.  Before you remove from fire, throw in the fried milkfish. Remove from fire after a minute

Enjoy :-)


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Monday, 23 March 2015

Binagoongang Tilapia

Food is all I can think of all day every day. Maybe because since I cannot cook what I want and I feel like
 I am deprived of eating good food. Not that the husband is not cooking for me but there is a difference between somebody cooking for you and you cooking what you like. I really need to get well very very very soon.

Oh well, for now let me tell you  of a delicious accidental discovery.  It was about my Binagoongang Tilapia 

Since Christmas of 2014,  my husband had been wanting to eat "binagoongang baboy" that he would incessantly request for me to cook one several times.  But since I'm no friend with pork, I tend to keep on postponing cooking  "binagoongang baboy" until I forgot about it. For those who have been following our blog, you may know by now that I don't eat red-meat, not because I don't like pork, beef, or lamb nor do I find them unhealthy.  It was not even my choice to eliminate them from my diet; I was just forced to (hu-hu-hu...sob...).  My digestive system cannot process red meat no matter how small the amount I ingested which left me no choice but to give up my favorite pork lechon and steaks.  Now you understand why most of the time, cooking red meat doesn't interest me (har har)

One day, several weeks ago, my husband took out a few pieces of tilapia from the fridge and asked me to cook it as "binagoongan"  . We "argued" as always, "exchanged views", will describe it better, whether to add or not to add coconut milk. You see, I've cooked my fair share of "binagoongan" dishes and most of the time I add coconut milk.  My husband actually suggested not to add coconut milk because he wants something similar to the "binagoongang baboy" cooked by my husband's colleague last Christmas.  His colleague's "binagoongang baboy" consisted of pork slabs boiled until tender, diced, then sauteed along with the bagoong alamang. No coconut milk was added and it was tasty ( I tasted the sauce, well, what was left of it)  I was hesitant to do the same as I thought that such cooking procedure might only be applicable with chicken, pork, and other red meat and I don't think it would be appropriate to do the same on fish.  I can steam the fish or fry it but not boil it before I add the rest of the ingredients other wise I will end up with flaked fish. The problem with those cooking methods is that, the flavor will not penetrate the meat of the fish and I want a way that would allow the bagoong flavor to seep deep into the fish's flesh.

So I decided to add  coconut milk to make sure that the fish will be cooked through and that the flavor will penetrate the meat of the fish.  As I was stir-frying the fish and about to prepare the coconut milk, I noticed that the coconut milk powder we had was several weeks past its expiry date. In short, no usable coconut powder = binagoongan without coconut milk. There :-) and what do you know, this fish dish turned out delicious and became one of my husband's favorite.

And since it is the Lenten Season, we will be posting meatless and seafood dished for the next few days.  I cooked this twice already so try it yourself


Ingredients :

Tilapia - 2 medium sized cut into 2 or 3 parts
Bagoong Alamang - 2 to 3 tbsp
Garlic, coarsely chopped - 10 cloves
Onions, diced - 1 medium
Ginger, sliced thinly - size of a thumb
Green onion leaves, diced -  3 stalks
Green chilies - 3 to 4pcs
Chili Flakes - as desired
Olive oil-2 tbsp
Sukang Paombong - 2 tbsp

Cooking Procedure :

1. Gut and wash your tilapia properly then slice them.
2. Pour the olive oil in a wok or deep frying pan and heat it.
3. Toss in the chili flakes and stir until the oil turns somewhat orange.  Add the garlic, ginger, and onion and give a quick stir. Add in the bagoong alamang and stir for a few seconds.  Make sure your fire is under low only.
4.  Throw in the sliced tilapia and stir.  Stir-fry for about 5 minutes.
5.  Drizzle with the sukang paumbong and continue to stir-fry for a few minutes until the fish is cooked through.
6.  Toss in the green chilies and green onion leaves a minute before turning off the fire.

Serve with lots of rice 


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Sunday, 22 March 2015

Chicken & Shitake Mushroom Noodles ala Singapore Hawker-Style Noodles

Hi friends! How's your weekend so far? All is well hopefully.

More than 5 weeks ago my husband hoarded on Chinese egg noodles.  It's the first time we saw this type of egg noodles from one of the supermarkets based here and being accustomed to how some products are sold in supermarkets/hypermarkets here in Qatar, the kind of "now-you-see-it-tomorrow-you-don't", we decided to buy a few packs.  This brand of dried egg noodles is so far good in terms of quality, texture, and taste (no unwanted after taste).  Far better than the "pancit canton" or Filipino dried egg noodles widely available in Doha.  Hopefully, we'd be able to find this same brand again in the future. You see, my husband and I are particular with the brands we use in cooking, so if we have a good experience with one brand we tend to stick to it.  

You can use pancit canton or any other egg noodles for this recipe if you wish.  Though I wouldn't suggest using "pancit canton or the Filipino dried egg noodle" as it possesses a certain after-taste that is actually not appropriate for Chinese or other Asian noodle dishes.  Just saying.

Singapore Hawker-Style Noodles- When we were still living in Singapore, we used to order this kind of noodle dish from hawker stores (kumbaga sa Pinas panciteria or karinderia). The noodles usually were drizzled with the same base sauce that is salty and a bit sweet, but they come in a variety of toppings like char siu pork or chicken, steamed or boiled chicken, chicken chop (breaded chicken sliced into strips), roasted duck, minced pork, fish balls, squid balls, crab balls, fried meatballs, etc. Whatever toppings you choose, whichever way they were presented, Singapore hawker-style noodle dish is cheap,filling,and delicious.

And since I crave a lot for Singaporean food and since we cannot find any restaurant here in Qatar that serves such, I decided to cook a somewhat similar noodle dish. That was 4 weeks ago. There's one restaurant here in Qatar, that we know of, that sells a noodle dish called "Singapore Noodles" yet it tasted anything but. Frustrating right? So the best way to satisfy my cravings is to  cook my own version, isn't it?

For my version of  this famous Singapore hawker-style noodles,  I used boiled chicken and stewed shitake mushroom.  The noodles and the rest of the ingredients are usually assembled in individual bowls but I decided to just assemble everything in one wok since I cooked only for  my husband and I.  The recipe is good for 3 people.

How's the taste, you may ask? Well, it came close to the real thing. I'm no expert but my version is better than the one bought from one restaurant here. I'll try to add pork and lard next time.

         ala Singapore Hawker Sytle Noodles

Ingredients :

A.  Boiled Chicken
Chicken (skin removed and set aside) -200 g
Water enough to cover the chicken - 500 ml

B.  Stewed Mushroom
Shitake Mushroom (I used the dried ones) -50 g
Chicken broth- 500ml
Soy Sauce - 2 tbsp
Dark Sweet Sauce - 2 tbsp
Brown Sugar - 2 tsp or to taste
Garlic, minced - 5 cloves
Onions, minced - 1 small
Chicken Oil or Sesame oil - 1 tbsp
Salt to taste
Black Pepper Powder

C. Noodles
Egg Noodles - 100 g
Water enough to cover the noodles

D.  Sauce
Dark Sweet Sauce - 1 tbsp
Stewed Mushroom Sauce - as desired
Soy Sauce - 2 tbsp
Chili flakes
Chicken Oil or Sesame oil- 1 to 2 tbsps

E.  Crispy Fried Chicken skin (optional)
Chicken skin -50 g
Vegetable Oil - 1 tbsp

F:  Additional Ingredients
Lettuce (blanched, drained, and diced)

Cooking Procedure :

A.  Boiled Chicken
1. In a  pot, pour the water then the add chicken.Bring to a boil and simmer for about 30-45 minutes or until cooked through (you can cook for 20 minutes if you want). 
2. Remove chicken and let it cool, reserve the broth. Shred the chicken by hand and set aside.
B.  Stewed Mushroom
1. Rinse shitake mushrooms then soak it in water for at least 30 minutes or until softened. Squeeze out excess water from the mushrooms then slice into thin Strips. 
2. Place the oil in a suace pan, then throw in the garlic, stir until aromatic. Add in the onions and give a few stirs.
3. Throw in the shitake mushroom and stir-fry for a minute or two.
4. Pour the rest of the ingredients and simmer for about 10 minutes or until the mushroom are tender.  Remove the mushrooms and set aside.Reserve the stewing sauce.
C. Noodles
Place the water in a pot and bring to a boil.  Throw in the noodles and cook for about 5 minutes or until they are just cooked. Rinse in cold water to prevent further cooking.  Drain and set aside.
D.  Sauce
1. Place the oil and chili flake in a wok under low fire.
2.  Add in the rest of the ingredients and simmer for a few minutes.
E.  Crispy Fried Chicken skin (optional)

1. If you opted to add this then you should wash and drain the chicken skin.  Pat them dry. Sprinkle salt on the chicken skin
2. Heat the vegetable oil then fry the chicken skin in it until they are crispy. Remove the golden brown chicken skin and set aside.Use the oil for the sauce and the mushroom stew 

F. Assembling the noodles

1. After making the sauce in a wok, turn-off the fire. Throw in the noodles and mix them thoroughly. Make sure that each strands are coated with the sauce, adjust the taste by adding either more soy sauce or more of the mushroom stew

2.  Place the coated noodles in a plate or bowl whichever you prefer.  Top them with the blanched lettuce and a spoonful or more of shredded chicken and stewed mushroom.  

Serve and enjoy :-)


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    Friday, 20 March 2015

    Portuguese Egg Tart

    Portuguese Egg Tart by Sharon Rimando

    I've been on bed rest for more than 2 weeks now and I am still not allowed to do small chores at home let alone cooking nor baking.  The husband is doing everything so I have no right to complain even if.... hehehe (Thanks Dear)

    As I lie on our bed, in between watching tv, browsing the internet on my android phone, and playing with Lazie (our Persian cat), all I can think of are cakes, chocolates, cookies, ice cream, scrambled egg, chinese noodles, sashimi, roasted duck,  roasted pork (even if I am no longer eating red meat), and so many more. My food cravings are off-the-charts and my appetite becomes voracious. This may just be some nasty side-effects of my fertility and progesterone shots. They tend to make my hormones chaotic.  Well, that's my justification for feeling this.

    Since browsing facebook and instagram and the internet has been my past-time, I usually come across pictures and recipes of delectable baked goods and delicious-looking dishes which often leaves me drooling and craving for anything and everything.  Have you experience something like, just by looking at a picture, you can taste the flavor of the dish and smell its aroma?  That often happens to me hehehe.  And it frustrates me knowing that I can't bake nor cook and so is the husband (he has so much in his plate right now to indulge my whims) Staring at photos of cakes and cookies and breads and tarts is a self-inflicted torture (uugghh) So, my husband would try to satisfy my appetite by buying cakes or chocolates or some cooked meals but I tell you I'm unquenchable.  

    All I can do right now is to list all the things I want to bake and cook and when I get better, the first thing I will do is to bake and cook (whichever I feel like it). Right now, it's kind of difficult to sit in front of my laptop and type this blog entry.  My left hand is still trembling and now I'm tired. I'll continue in a bit.

    Rested so I'm back.  I want egg tart!  Ever since I saw a post on BHM (Bake happy Manila - a facebook group page) about egg tart, I cannot help but imagine how delicious and creamy and luscious egg tarts are specially the ones from Lord Stowe.  I've been begging my husband to bake me some but he would just shrug and stare at  me blankly.  So when I get better, I vow to bake this first on my list. 

    Our good friend Sharon Rimando who is now based in Bulacan, Philippines and running her own baking business was generous enough to share me her recipe. Thanks very much!  I just wish we were neighbors (sigh...) You can find her bread and cake creations on her FB page -  Milk and Butter Concoctions on FB 

    Portuguese Egg Tart by Sharon Rimando

         Portuguese Egg Tart by my good friend 
           Sharon Rimando


    All Purpose Flour  -200g 
    Powdered sugar -30 g 
    Butter - 200 g (under room temp)
    Cold water -50 g 
    a pinch of salt

    Filling :

    egg yolks from 4 eggs
    powdered sugar -1/3 cup
    heavy whipping cream -1/3 cup
    milk -1/3 cup 
    tantya lang sa vanilla extract

    Baking Procedure:

    1. Whisk together all the ingredients for the filling .
    2. For the crust, cut butter into small cubes (make sure that your butter is under room temp but not softened) .
    3. In a separate bowl, mix together all purpose flour, powdered sugar, and salt. 
    4. Put in butter and incorporate the butter into the flour.  With yourhand, rub the butter against the dry ingredients until well incorporated. Do not knead. 
    5. Pour water a tbsp at a time just until it can be formed into a ball. 
    6. Form the dough into a disk and wrap with a plastic or cling-wrap and chill for 20 minutes. 
    7. pre-heat and set the temp. of the oven to 200 deg C
    8. After chilling, cut dough into pieces weight 30 grams each. 
    9. Roll dough into a floured surface then flatten using your palm.
    10. Place each dough-sheet into the muffin pan. 
    11.  Spoon or pipe your cream filling into tart shell 
    12. Bake it for 15 mins at 200C then lower temp to 180C and bake for another 10-12 mins

    Yields around 12 tarts


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    Thursday, 12 March 2015

    Baked Parmesan and Rosemary Crusted Fish

    Hi there! It's been a while since my last post. Was just busy  you know. Been doing things here and there. For now, since I've just been sleeping the whole day for the past several days, I've decided to why not update my myfresha-licious and check on things that needed to be published.  I've missed writing and blogging and cooking and experimenting on food and so here I am again :-)

    Let me start this year's post with my Baked Parmesan and Rosemary Crusted Fish . My first attempt at this Parmesan & rosemary crusted fish was in March last year, that makes it almost a year ago. I think I was able to cook this same dish thrice because I ran our of ideas to cook. I usually tweak the recipe by adding some other herbs like oregano, thyme, or basil. 

    I did not make use of the cheap fish fillet commonly found in supermarkets (i'm talking about the pengiasus) since I don't like the taste and the smell,  I make use of any fish BUT pengiasus.  Anyway, if the taste is acceptable for you then go ahead and make use of pengiasus as it is cheaper compared to other kinds of fish.

    I'm sure you have your own version of cheese and herbs crusted fish,  hope you can share the with me. Cheers!


    Ingredients :

    Fish Fillet - 4 pcs 
    Olive Oil

    Parmesan & Rosemary Crust:

    Parmesan Cheese, grated - 3 tbsp
    Rosemary Leaves, ground - 2 tsp
    Black Pepper Powder - 1/2 tsp
    White Pepper Powder - 1/2 tsp
    Sweet Red Paprika Powder - 1 tsp

    Cooking Procedure :

    1. Heat oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
    2. Wash and dry the fish fillet with paper towels then make diagonal slits on the fish fillets.Coat each one with olive oil.
    3. Mix together all the ingredients for the crust then dredge each fish fillet with it.
    4. Arrange the fish fillet on a baking pan or dish and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the fish flakes easily


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