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.

Pork Barbeque

Ok from pulutan, let us now turn our attention to charcoal cooked food. Imagine the chunky juicy taste of food cooked in natural charcoal, smoked to perfection. One of my all-time favorites is Pork Barbeque. This is one of our family recipes and I'm sure that it will keep your mouth watering. Keep this recipe handy on your vacations.

Toi's Pork Barbeque

  • 1 kilo pork, for best results try the liempo part.
  • Bamboo sticks (skewers)
  • soy sauce
  • 1 medium garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup of calamansi juice or lemon juice, whichever is available in your country.
  • 1/2 cup of Sprite or 7up, whichever is available
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons of brown
  • 1/2 cup of banana catsup

Cooking Directions

1. Cut pork into thin, long slices , separate the fatty skin part to be used later.

2. In a large mixing bowl, marinate the port with the soy sauce, minced garlic, chopped onions, calamansi juice, ground pepper, sugar, banana catsup and the soda.

3. Mix well and keep in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes (turning occasionally).

4. Clean up the skewers and at least scrape off the wood splinters to avoid burning the barbeque during cooking.

5. Kebob! Place the pork in the skewers, place the fatty skin part first, that should be the placeholder for the rest of the port.
6. Over live charcoals, barbeque the pork on skewers until cooked - turning every few minutes on each side and basting the leftover marinate on the barbeque.
7. Serve and Enjoy! Goes well with beer!

Pork Kilawin (ceviche)

Speaking of beer drinking sessions. An event would never be complete without this oh so yummy pulutan, "pork" kilawin. Kilawin is derived from the word ceviche which pertains to food that are mostly prepared and marinated by citrus fruits and vinegars. As we all know, this recipe has many variations from fish up to red meats. So lets start preparing this delectable recipe.

Toi's Pork Kilawin

  • kilo pork
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup Vinegar
  • onions, chopped
  • cups of water
  • teaspoon salt
Cooking Directions

1. Place pork in a large casserole, toss in a pinch of salt.
2. Bring to boil for 20 minutes until the pork is tender.
3. Remove pork and slice into small pieced while still hot.
4. In a large mixing bowl, place the pork and add in the vinegar, soy sauce and the chopped onions.
5. Serve immediately! and enjoy

Baked Tahong (Mussels)

Whenever there is a beer sessions. A good pulutan should always be present. One of the best seafood pulutan that we always love is the Baked Tahong (mussels). First, tahong is really cheap and its easy to cook in just a snap. Add in a few seasonings and there you go, an instant cuisine to accompany your beer drinking session.

Toi's Baked Tahong

  • 2 lbs clams in shell
  • 4 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 medium onion minced
  • 1 small tomato minced
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup shredded quick melt cheese
  • cheese
  • calamansi or lemon slices
Cooking Directions

1. Clean the clams, remove the half upper shell. Prepare baking tray by putting aluminum foil and thinly cover with salt. Line up cleaned, opened clams.

2. Prepare the garnish in a small bowl, mix minced garlic, onion, and tomato with a dash of salt and pepper. This will be the garnish.

3. Garnish opened clams with the mix and add some cheese at the clam tops.

4. Put in oven at 350 F, and bake for 15-20 mins.

5. Serve immediately with freshly squeezed lemons. This can serve as appetizer.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Pork and Beans Stew! - Nilaga lang with beans!

Another one of my favorites. This is a Nilaga recipe variant and the main ingredient is white beans. It blends perfectly with the pork pata broth. Also the white beans add thickness to the broth which makes it ohh so tasty. This is very much perfect on cold and rainy seasons. Add a few leafy veggies such as Cabbage or Pechay and we're good to GO! If you want a different variation, you can use other beans such as black and red ones.

Toi's Porn and Beans Stew!

  • 1/4 kilo white beans or sitaw beans (tip, soak in water overnight)
  • 1/2 kilo of pork pata, choose the hind part since its meatier
  • 2 medium onions, peeled and diced.
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 cabbage or 1 bundle of pechay, sliced
  • crushed pepper for seasoning
  • fish sauch (patis)

Cooking Directions

1. Boil the pork together with the beans in medium fire until both are soft and tender. Continue to add water as needed. (tip, place a metal spoon, this shortens the boiling time). Add a few pinch of salt. 2. In a different pot, sautee the garlic together with the onion and then add the pork. 3. Add the boiled beans together with the broth. 4. Add pepper, and then bring in the cabbage. Add some fish sauce to taste. 5. Simmer for another 10 minutes. Serve and Enjoy!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Peanut Sauce? Oh Kare Kare!

This is a traditional Filipino dish served on special occasions as well as family dinners, again it has variants but everything revolves around the combination of the rich, thick flavored peanut sauce combined with the delectable salty taste of a shrimp paste (alamang). One of my college kumare asked for a Kare Kare recipe. So here it goes, enjoy!

Toi's Kare Kare

  • 1/4 cup peanut oil
  • 2-3 pounds oxtails
  • 1-2 pounds beef tripe
  • 1 large onion, peeled and sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 1 and 1/2 cups beef stock homemade or use canned
  • 1 and 1/2 cups water
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tablespoons annatto oil
  • 3 tablespoons peanut butter mixed with 1/2 cup hot tap water
  • Several shots of Tabasco, or more to taste
Toi's Alamang
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 1 small tomato, sliced
  • 4 tablespoons alamang
Cooking Directions

Kare Kare

1. Heat a large frying pan and add 3 tablespoons of the peanut oil. Fry the the oxtails until brown. Make sure that both sides are well. Place it in a pot
2. Boil the Ox Tripes for a few minutes, drain, and cool. Cut the tripe into strips 1/2 inch wide and 3 inches long. Add these to the oxtail pot.
3. Add peanut oil to the frying pan and saute the onion and garlic. Add to the oxtail pot along with the tomato, beef stock, water, salt, and annatto oil. Cover and simmer for 1-1/2 hours. Simmer partially covered for another 1-1/2 hours, stirring now and then.
4. At the beginning of the last hour of cooking, add the peanut butter mixture and the Tabasco. Taste and add more Tabasco and salt if needed. If all is not very tender, continue to cook a bit longer.

Shrimp Paste

Saute garlic, onions and tomato in a little oil. Add alamang. Saute for another minute.
2. Serve alongside the Kare Kare.