Posts Tagged ‘Philippine cuisine’

So they call this pancit bato.  It is another noodle type very similar to the usual pancit canton  which I am familiar with. This was made in Bicol, a  town called Bato so you can deduce  why it was named such.  In the vernacular, bato means  something hard or a stone. So  how does this differ from the noodles we usually find in  supermarkets? The texture is harder and drier so one would need extra cooking time.

We’ll have this for dinner tonight. Based on my research, Pancit Bato could be cooked  even without the meat and vegetables  but I prepared it the usual way we cook noodles,  half kilo of pork kasim, carrot, sayote, and fresh green peas.

Pancit could be eaten on its  own without rice of course.  Let’s eat guys.



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It’s not our usual fare on the table, for one thing, it is costly when you buy it ready-to-eat unless you prepare it on your own. Sometimes though the thrill of eating something is when you just lift your spoon and fork and taste the delicious recipe in front of you.

Josef brought home a half-kilo of bagnet he ordered from their office. I sliced and fried it and he had it with fried rice and egg for breakfast.  Bagnet is a specialty in Ilocos. Actually, I find it bland and tasteless just like your typical lechon  without the sauce, but then when you mix it with monggo or with  veggies like squash, ampalaya (bitter gourd), eggplant and okra, you’ll have a yummy and tasty pinakbet. And the best partner for your bagnet would be fresh tomatoes mixed with a little fish sauce and  lazona, a  variety of onion  locally produced in Ilocos and other parts of the northern provinces in the Philippines. Or you could dip it with vinegar with lots of red chili, this is one of the best dips used either in pork or fish.

Bagnet, a deep-fried crispy pork with its skin on cooked like lechong kawali and chicharon.

Bagnet, a deep-fried crispy pork with its skin on cooked like lechong kawali and chicharon.

I haven’t tried cooking this yet, we don’t often eat fried pork. I prefer lean ground pork which is so versatile in the kitchen. I found a simple recipe for this from Sandy Daza. Why not try it?

How To Cook Bagnet

  • Boil a whole 3-kilo pork liempo covered for 1.5 hours. (You can use chicken broth instead of water.)
  • Deep fry the boiled liempo. Make sure the cooking oil is still cold when you introduce the meat.
  • Under a low fire, allow the oil to heat up slowly and fry the bagnet till it’s crunchy.
  • Fish out the liempo. Let the oil cool and then repeat the slow-frying step.
  • When done, get a spoonful of a mixture of spring onions, onions and tomatoes dressed in diluted fish bagoong. Then, add a piece on bagnet on top of it and enjoy.

Here’s a tip from Sandy I got from yahoo.com “Watch the bubbles on the surface of the oil. The bigger the bubbles, the more moisture the meat has.



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Let us not talk  about whether it is a fruit or a vegetable.  All I know is that fruits grow on trees and vegetables are harvested on the ground just like pumpkin, cucumber and squash. If it is a fruit, it is a healthy and refreshing one but then you’ll wonder if it is also considered a vegetable.

Yesterday, son and I bought a large watermelon at P100/head.  Watermelons are in season now and every summer you could enjoy them  served as desserts, mixed with other veggies as salad, refreshing coolers or if you are enterprising enough you can mix them with jellies or you can make them into ice pops. I love them cold and plainly sliced. They are anti-oxidants and so rich in vitamin C.

water melon

This reminds me of a recipe I tasted last week when some friends and I dined at Crisostomo Restaurant at Ayala Fairview Terraces.  It was my first time to visit this mall and  dine at Crisostomo. All branches serve authentic Filipino recipes and all the recipes are named after some characters in Rizal’s book, Noli Me Tangere and some biblical characters too. Crisostomo must be Crisostomo Ibarra.  One of the recipes we ordered was called Sinigang ni Eba and I was pleasantly surprised that they mixed it sliced watermelons. Oh boy, it was simply delicious. The blend of the tangy tomatoes and tamarind and the sweetness of the watermelons is just out of this world. Even their Laing (taro leaves cooked in coconut cream) was just as yummy. Would love to explore more of their recipes one of these days. Although, it is a bit pricey to dine there, you have lots of menu to choose from. Good ambience, friendly wait staff. They have a branch at Eastwood which is very near our place.


(note: second pic culled from the official website of crisostomo)

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Mom is still with us and she can’t wait to go home to the province to tend her garden.  She spends most of her time here watching her favorite soap programs and playing solitaire. She’s not much into cooking, she said I cook better than she does. Well, one thing I love about her is, she is so appreciative of what I prepare  in the kitchen, whether it is a simple meal or an elaborate dish for special occasions. This afternoon, she watched me prepare puto,  a steamed rice cake similar to English muffins. I did a little variation though, instead of just plain puto mix, sugar, eggs and oil, I added a cup of evaporated milk for that rich and creamy texture and Mom loved it. She said, it is better than those she has tasted before. I just smiled when she uttered “mananam”. In our dialect, that means yummy. It’s nice paired with a hot cup of decaf coffee. puto

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Mom and I had this for lunch today, a yummy dish of tilapia  wrapped in taro leaves and cooked in coconut cream.  Tilapia or St. Peter’s fish  could be cooked in so many different ways.  You can have it filleted, deep-fried or our usual way of cooking pangat. I like it cooked in kalamansi (Philippine lime) which I have plenty of  in our garden with chopped onions, green pepper and ginger. I was craving for something different  so I tried cooking it in gata using  two pieces of tomatoes instead of kalamansi. Mom loved it and she asked what the green leaves were.  I told her it’s a fresh harvest from the garden,some edible gabi leaves growing alongside my ampalaya plants. When you cook something with coconut cream, it needs to be a little spicy to go with the creamy taste of the gata.

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Perhaps you’re wondering how a sour fruit could  be a gourmet food on your table.  As I have said in my previous blogs, you don’t have to be a seasoned cook or a chef in a famous restaurant to learn and improvise  a recipe based on  what is available in the kitchen. I guess, from my experience, it’s more on getting the taste to one’s liking than following certain rules on how to cook  it.

I was searching the net earlier and never found the exact English term for santol. Some say it is wild mangosteen, others call it sandor.  Definitely though, it is considered a fruit. The skin of the fruit  comprises a thin outer peel and a thicker inner rind. The pulp is soft and contains a milky juice. It may be sweet or sour depending on the ripeness.  Our native variety that grows here are somewhat sour but the other variety which they call Bangkok  santol are sweeter and the pulp is thicker too. Here’s what we had for lunch today. Paired with fried tilapia, it’s heaven 🙂

And you need the following  ingredients for this:

8 pcs. ripe santol, peeled, seeded and finely chopped

3 cloves garlic

2 heads onion

1 pack Ginisa  Flavor mix

3 cups pure coconut cream (gata)

2 cups of water

4 pcs. green pepper

1/4 kilo ground pork(giniling)

salt and pepper to taste

Ideally, you could use fish sauce or “alamang” but my  son is allergic to shrimps so I have to make do with just salt.

Those eight santol pieces would yield about 6 cups of chopped meat. You don’t need to fry the pork  in oil, just let the coconut cream simmer for a few minutes then add in all the ingredients except the santol. Let it boil until the pork is cooked then add in the santol last. Let it simmer until it’s cooked and dried.  When you cook with gata, always add chili since it enhances the flavor.

It’s another dish that is easy to make and it taste “oh so yummy”. Try it!

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My son and I were watching  a culinary show on TV while lingering at the table after breakfast. Then he said, “I miss lumpiang Shanghai, you no longer prepare that”. I told him we have the ingredients but we don’t have lumpia wrappers. “Let’s experiment“, I said. Sometimes, our kitchen ventures are just that….little experiments that turn out good and yummy in the end.  I remember one time watching a feature on the Coconut House in Quezon City where they use coconut and coconut products  in their restaurant. “Why not Pancit Buko?” So off he went to buy two buko (young coconut), have them shredded and the juice saved for drinks.  This is how it turned out.

Instead of using the traditional noodles like bihon, canton, sotanghon  or fresh miki, buko did the trick. I tell you, it was a yummy dish and the nutty flavor added to the  tasty dish.

It’s cooked like your traditional pancit and it taste great with the veggies. You would need:

  • shredded buko meat  (about four cups)
  • 1/4 kilo pork kasim  (I used 3 pcs. of pork chops)
  • 1/4 kilo Baguio beans
  • 1 large carrot
  • half of a medium-sized cabbage
  • Kinchay (Chinese parsley)
  • green onions for topping
  •  a head of onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • salt and pepper to taste or you can add in 2 tbsp. soy sauce

You can try this maybe even without the pork,  put some quail eggs instead.

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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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We had this for dinner tonight paired with crispy fried Samaral fish. It was so yummy but the dish required more rice. I occasionally cook Laing  when we have gathered enough taro leaves to dry in the sun. Hubby prefers to have them harvested from our garden and since it does take a while for the leaves to reach the size ideal for drying, it always takes a while before we’re able to serve it on the table.

Laing is a typical Filipino dish mixed with coconut cream (gata) and lots of jalapeno peppers (the hotter, the better). Here are the ingredients of a basic Laing dish.

  • 20 to 25 pcs. gabi or taro leaves, dried and shredded
  • 1/4 kilo pork, diced or ground
  • minced garlic
  • one big red onion, chopped
  • one heaping spoon of diced ginger
  • 5 or 6 pcs. Jalapeno peppers, sliced
  • 3 cups coconut cream, reserve one cup until the last-minute of cooking
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups of water

Some still saute it on a frying pan, what I usually do is have the ingredients (except the taro leaves)  boiled in the coconut cream and let it simmer for around fifteen minutes. Then add the taro leaves until cooked. Add the last cup of coconut cream last and bring to a boil.  I substituted shrimps which tasted better than ground pork.

Try it, it’s really yummy!

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I love Buko Pie!  I always look forward to buying a box or two every time we go on road trips down south. They sell this at the nearby towns of Cavite and Laguna. A trip to Tagaytay wouldn’t be complete without bringing home a box, its perfect with a hot cup of coffee or hot green tea. Buko pie is a traditional Filipino baked young coconut custard pie.  I love the Colette’s brand, with thin and crispy pie crust and the slivers of  buko inside are  not too sweet, perfect for an afternoon snack.

My son brought home two boxes  today. They went on a trip to Laguna for their office team building activities. Just can’t resist a bite.

Buko pie, anyone?

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