Thursday, May 29, 2008

Grilled Tilapia (Inihaw na Tilapia)

One of the best and affordable dished in the Philippines. This recipe is delicious, simple, and really easy to cook. It suits best during vacations and outings especially on beaches where you had to cook most of in the grill.

Toi's Grilled Tilapia

  • fresh whole tilapia, trimmed and cleaned (gutted and scaled)
  • tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger (optional)
  • 1/2 cup chopped onions
  • 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
  • Salt or fish sauce and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Banana leaves or foil for wrapping tilapia

Cooking Directions

1. some slits into the flesh of the tilapia, down to the bone. You can do this several ways: parallel to the backbone, or perpendicular (make it several slashes then), or use crosscuts.
2. Mix garlic, ginger if using, onions, tomatoes, salt or fish sauce and pepper in a small bowl.
3. Press down on tomatoes a bit with a fork to bring out the juices.
4. Carefully this mixture into tilapia cavity and into each cut/slash you’ve made.
5. Wrap the whole tilapia in banana leaves or foil and cook on the grill for about 20 minutes or just until cooked through and fish is fragrant.
6. If using the oven preheat to 400°F and bake, wrapped in leaves or foil, on a baking sheet, for about 20 minutes.
7. Serve hot!

Braised Pork

Hmm yummy braised pork. Actually this is just pork afritada!, haha! Again, another all time favorite especially during lunch time at weekends when the the whole family is complete. A great combination of pork, tomato sauce, herbs and spices, and potatoes make up this amazingly tasty treat.

Toi's Braised Pork (Pork Afritada)

  • 1 lb. pork, cut into serving pieces
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 tbsp. patis (fish sauce)
  • 4 potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper, sliced
  • 2 tbsp. fine breadcrumbs (or flour, or cornstarch)
  • vegetable oil

Cooking Directions

1. Put pork in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Let stand 10 to 20 minutes.

2. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Stir-fry pork pieces until no longer pink in color and turn lightly brown.

3. Add and sauté garlic until fragrant. Stir in onion until soft and translucent. Season with patis and then add potatoes, stir-fry for a few minutes.

4. Pour in water and tomato sauce and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and let it simmer covered for about 25 to 30 minutes or until pork is cooked and potatoes are tender.

5. Add in bell peppers and stir to blend. Correct seasonings. Thicken sauce with breadcrumbs (or flour, or cornstarch, if using). Stir and blend and let simmer for another few more minutes.

6. Remove from heat. Transfer to a serving dish and serve hot.

Tinolang Manok

Chicken Tinola is one of the best chicken broth based recipe that is usually best during rainy season. Sipping that hot and delicious broth combined with herbs and spices will surely make you feel hungry for more.

Toi's Tinolang Manok

  • 3 chicken breast, cut up into small pieces
  • 2-3 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons gingerroot, zested
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 chayote, peeled and cubed (You can also substitute green papaya or winter melon)
  • olive oil
  • 3/4-1 cup water

Cooking Directions

1. Saute garlic, onion and ginger in oil for 30 seconds over med heat.
2. Add chicken and saute until chicken meat turns white. Add fish sauce.
3. Cover and simmer until chicken is almost completely cooked (7-10 min.). At this point, there will be a fair amount of broth, since all the juices from the chicken are coming out.
4. Add water (I usually add 3/4 cup and that gives me a pretty good, concentrated flavor. my mom adds a little more than a cup, and the flavor is much mellower and sometimes I add more fish sauce at the table. really, you should just experiment).
5. Add chayote and simmer for 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
6. Serve over rice.


Another native Filipino recipe with different variations depending on your location. Pinakbet is a combination of veggies and meat. Different meats can be used, ranging from chicken, pork, beef and even fried fish. The seasoning also varies but the most common is the salted fish sauce (bagoong). Anyone will surely love the tangy delectable taste of this native veggy recipe.

Toi's Pinakbet

  • 1/4 kilo pork with fat, cut into small pieces
  • 2 Amapalya (bitter melons) sliced to bite size pieces
  • 2 eggplants, sliced to bite size pieces
  • 5 pieces of okra, cut in two
  • head garlic, minced
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 5 tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon of ginger, crushed and sliced
  • tablespoons bagoong isda or bagoong alamang
  • 3 tablespoons of oil
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Cooking Directions

1. In a cooking pan, heat oil and fry the pork until brown, remove the pork from the pan and set aside.
2. On the same pan, saute garlic, onion, ginger and tomatoes.
3. In a casserole, boil water and add bagoong.
4. Add the pork in the casserole and mix in the sautéed garlic, onion, ginger and tomatoes. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes.
5. Add in all the vegetables and cook until the vegetables are done, careful not to overcook.
6. Salt and pepper to taste.
7. Serve hot with plain rice.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Beef Caldereta

This is one of the so called luxury Filipino dishes due to its prime delectable cuisine taste. Together with the right mixture of seasonings and tomato sauce. This recipe really stands out on occasions. Pork can also be used as an alternative, but beef brings out the taste. Another so called technique for this recipe is to let it chill in the refrigerator for a couple of hours after cooking and let the thick sauce sink into the meat. Then re-heat and serve.

Toi's Beef Caldereta

  • 1 cup bell peppers cut into strips
  • 1 cup grated cheese (or use cheese spread)
  • 1 cup unsweetened pineapple juice
  • tabasco sauce
  • bay leaf, 3 large pieces
  • salt, peppercorns
  • mushroom, potatoes and carrots2 cups beef broth (1 beef cube dissolved in hot water)
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup tomato paste
  • 2/3 cup liver spread
Cooking Directions

1. Boil the beef in the beef broth and pineapple juice, with the onion and a dash of salt and about 20 pcs of peppercorn. Let it simmer until the beef is tender.

2. Saute garlic, when almost brown, add the beef.

3. Add the tomato sauce and tomato paste.

4. Allow to simmer for 10 minutes.
5. Add the bay leaf, bellpeppers, carrots, mushroom, and potatoes.
6. If the sauce is too thick, add water.
7. When the potatoes and carrots are cooked, add the liver spread and cheese.
8. Add tabasco sauce.
9. Season to taste.

Tip: Chill in the fridge, until the sauce seeps into the meat. Re-heat and serve.