Posts Tagged ‘Comfort food’

It’s a rainy Monday and PAGASA said we will have these monsoon rains for the next five days. Typhoon Egay hasn’t left yet and there is another one coming but has not yet  entered the Philippine area of responsibility. I hope it will divert its course farther from the country.

Josef and I have thought about it even before we reached the market this morning, braving the early morning shower. He asked me what is the best food for merienda (snacks) on a rainy day. I suggested soup with crackers but he didn’t buy it. What about arroz caldo or minatamis na saging? Can you prepare both, he asked. Why not?

Arroz caldo or congee is best prepared with sticky rice and chicken wings with lots of fried garlic while minatamis na saging is the easiest version of cooking saba banana (Philippine plantains) but you can simply boil it or eat it raw, it does not matter. I bought eight pieces and a cup of mini tapioca pearls. We had this for snack this afternoon.

Believe me, it's yummy and the sweetness is just right .

Believe me, it’s yummy and the sweetness is just right .

Perfect for a hot cup of green tea and lemon...

Perfect for a hot cup of green tea and lemon…

If I am not too lazy tomorrow, I will cook arroz caldo  not for merienda but for dinner. Dinner today is fresh bean sprouts topped with  crunchy flaked tinapa, another comfort food on rainy days like this.

The sun showed its face for a while so  I went out to visit the garden and took a few shots. I love those silver raindrops clinging to  the leaves  after the rain.

Look at those dark threatening clouds...

Look at those dark threatening clouds…


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I’d like to think that Adobo is an authentic Filipino dish and there are so many ways to cook adobo as there so many recipes for chicken and pork. You could try chicken-pork adobo, chicken adobo,  pork adobo, chicken adobo mixed with chicken liver and gizzards or adobo with coco cream. Basically, the ingredients are the same but the taste depends on the one cooking it.

And the good thing about this Filipino cuisine is the longer you keep it in the ref, the more it absorb the sauce and the more it taste better. Since  the main ingredients consist of vinegar and soy sauce, it will keep for long. Unlike other adobo recipes, mine is dried with so little sauce and lots of garlic.  I don’t measure the ingredients as usual and I sauté it first in garlic then add the mixture of  vinegar , soy sauce  peppercorn then let it simmer without mixing it until the vinegar is cooked so it won’t have that sour taste, add a bit of sugar last to balance the taste.  You can do away with using laurel leaves, fry more garlic instead sautéing  and set aside some for garnish. One thing that makes the taste unique however is, I added a pinch of Garam Masala in this dish.

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A few months ago, I blogged about a favorite comfort food – ice cream!  I was on  my way to meet a friend at the University of Santo Tomas this morning when I chanced upon Mang Fidel, UST’s   ice cream vendor since I can remember. Some students were lining up to buy, what else, ice cream in cone. I signalled  one shot and he graciously took a pose. The students clapped and I was rewarded with a smile. Mang Fidel is definitely growing old with the university. And I say, student days would not be complete somehow without Mang Fidel with his ice cream cart.

And eating ice cream is more fun in the Philippines, right?

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It’s raining outside and it’s cold. There’s a gentle breeze blowing but this beckons – a plain ube ice cream with crunchy Pandan wafer sticks  to boot!

Do you think it’s weird, eating ice cream on a rainy day?

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Palabok is one of the many different noodles used in Filipino cuisine. Essentially it is also called pancit meaning noodles.  handed down by the Chinese, it was adopted into the Filipino cuisine and is also known as comfort food for many Filipinos.

Tinapa smoked fish which is used for Palabok toppings.

Pechay Baguio is also called Pakchay or Napa cabbage.

Ingredients for Palabok Sauce:

1 head red or white onion diced

2 and 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 cup white flour
1 can 8-ounce cream of Mushroom soup
1/4 cup annatto water for coloring
1/2 cup water
2 tbsps. soy sauce


In a saucepan, add 1/4 cup of chicken broth to the flour to make thin paste. Stir in the rest of the broth, place over medium heat and bring to a boil. You may use egg beater to stir the broth especially after adding the cream of mushroom soup. Once it starts to boil, add 1/2 cup water and soy sauce and simmer for 5 minutes. Correct seasoning with salt and pepper. Keep warm over low heat until ready to use. Makes 3-4 cups of sauce.

For the Palabok toppings:

In a skillet over medium heat, saute 3 cloves minced garlic in 2 tbsps oil for a minute or until brown. Remove garlic from oil and set aside for garnishing. Saute 1/2 lbs diced pork (I use pork giniling) in the garlic flavored oil for 10 minutes. Add 1/2 lbs of shrimps then add 1/2 cup of chicken broth, 2tbsps fish sauce or patis, salt and pepper to taste. Strain the mixture, reserving the liquid and set the meat aside.  (Note: Pork giniling is the same as ground pork)

Soak the Palabok noodles in water for an hour. Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil and cook the noodles to a desired softness, al dente.

Pour the previously prepared sauce over the strained noodles, sprinkle the crushed pork rind or chicharon and tinapa flakes over the sauce. Top with fried garlic, pork and shrimps, green onions, pechay Baguio (blanched) and hard boiled eggs. use kalamansi or lemon on the side. You can use additional toppings of seafoods like pusit or mussels(optional)

Above ingredients are good for 1/2 kilo Palabok noodles, the cream of mushroom gives it that extra yummy taste…

Here’s the finished product, a yummy Special Palabok!




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