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Welcome to the San Francisco Bay Area. Welcome to My Bay Kitchen!

Growing up in Baguio City, Philippines, I learned most of my cooking from my late mother,  just watching her in the kitchen.  She had no recipe books or cheat sheets, just the skills and knowledge  gained from my grandmother and great grandmother. I honestly believe that the best dishes are probably the ones that are passed on by word of mouth and practice, perfected not by measuring cups or kitchen timers, but by intuition and the pouring of one’s heart into the cooking. I have personally tried each of the recipes in this blog, injecting my own tweaks to make them more healthy and easy to prepare. More

I hope you will enjoy cooking the recipes as well as the story that goes with each of them. Select from the Category drop down menu  or visit this site’s pages by making a selection from the top menu bar. You can also use the search button to look for recipe key words.

Oh, and keep coming back for a second serving!

Ground Beef And Bean Sprout Lumpia (Eggroll)

img_9305It’s been awhile since I last had bean sprout, so when I came across a market vendor that had bags and bags of it, I grabbed the opportunity to pick me a bag, not knowing what to make of it.

When I got home, I scanned my refrigerator and noticed I still had an unopened bag of eggroll wrapper and about half a pound of ground beef from my last visit to the public market.

And so began yet another lumpia (eggroll) episode in my kitchen.

It was about lunch time, and my nephew next door saw my Facebook post of what I was about to cook.  He responded with a “wow.”

I got the hint.  So off went half of the cooked eggrolls to the dining table next door!


1/2 lb. lean ground beef

2 cups of bean sprouts

2 small carrots, peeled and shredded

1 package of eggroll wrappers

3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

1 medium onion, chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

Olive oil for frying

Your favorite sauce (tomato or banana ketchup, sweet and sour saucer or spicy vinegar)


Place ground beef in a pan over medium-high heat. Cook until beef is nicely browned. Remove from heat set aside.

In the same pan, heat about a tablespoon of Olive oil.  Add garlic and cook until browned. Add onions and cook until fragrant.  Add shredded carrots and bean sprouts. Put back the ground beef. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cook for about 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and allow the mixture to cool.

Place about a tablespoon of the mixture in the center of an eggroll wrapper. Fold and roll, moistening the ends of the wrapper to seal.  Repeat process for the rest of the eggrolls.

Heat Olive oil in a medium pan over medium heat.  Fry the eggrolls in batches until lightly browned and crisp. Remove from heat and place on a plate lined with paper towel to drain excess oil.

Serve warm with your favorite sauce.

Coca Salad


I call it ‘Coca Salad’ for short.  I’m sure you’ve heard of it in a different name.  But yes, it’s simply a salad of coconut, cantaloupe and nata de coco (coconut gel) in a creamy dressing. Nicely chilled, it’s quite refreshing especially in the hot summer months.

Preparation can either be tedious or quick, depending on how and where you source your ingredients.  You can buy your young coconut already grated by the vendor or you can do it yourself, along with the cantaloupe which you will also need to grate.  The dressing involves a quick simmer of condensed milk and cream.

If you can’t find nata de coco, you can easily substitute it with any flavor of gelatin.

You can also decide to be more fancy by adding pinipig crunch (pounded rice flakes) and even a scoop of your favorite ice cream!


¾ cup condensed milk
¾ cup all-purpose cream
1 tsp cornstarch
1 large ripe cantaloupe, grated
1 fresh coconut, grated, with coconut water reserved
1 cup nata de coco, drained


Combine grated coconut, cantaloupe and nata de coco in a bowl and set aside.

In a small pan, combine condensed milk and all-purpose cream. Heat over low temperature and simmer for a few minutes, constantly stirring. Dissolve cornstarch in the juice of the coconut and add to the cream mixture. Continue to simmer until the mixture thickens.  Remove from heat and let cool.

Pour cooled dressing over the coconut, cantaloupe and nata de coco. Toss well and place in the refrigerator to chill for a few hours and until ready to serve.


Potato Red Beet Salad


Actually, it’s not just potatoes and red beets that are in this salad.  There’s carrots and green beans, and some chicken. This recipe makes for a great dish for any season, but especially for the holidays and special occasions.

My mom used to make a similar salad with just the beets and chicken, but my sister opened my eyes  — and palate — to this new delicious combination.

Make it on a weekend, and enjoy it all weeklong!


1/2 cup chicken breast, boiled and shredded

1 medium red beet, boiled, peeled and cut into tiny squares

2 medium potatoes, boiled, peeled and cut into tiny squares

6 pcs (French) green beans, boiled (preferrably blanched) and thinly sliced

1 medium carrot, boiled, peeled and cut into tiny squares

1 tbsp pickle relish, drained

2 tbsps pineapple tidbits, halved

1 tbsp green onions, chopped

1 slice of cheddar cheese, cut into tidbits

3/4 cup mayonnaise (or more according to taste)

Salt and pepper to taste



In a large mixing bowl, add the chicken, vegetables, pickle relish, cheese and pineapple. Add mayonnaise and toss well. Add salt and pepper to taste.   Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.  Serve when nicely chilled.

Spaghetti Lumpia (Spaghetti Eggroll)

IMG_8106.JPGAdmit it. Whenever you make spaghetti, you always end up with lots of leftover. So rather than recycle your lunch or dinner, why not create a totally new dish. Like eggrolls. Spaghetti eggrolls.

I’ve said this before: you can use almost any kind of filling for your egg roll — from meats, to vegetables to fruits.  So why not your leftover sweet Filipino spaghetti?

And if you happen to have our TINAPA SPAGHETTI as leftover, go for it and make them into crunchy eggrolls!

And who’s to say how and when to serve them? As appetizer, side dish, snack or dessert!


Leftover sweet Filipino spaghetti (Recipe HERE)

Eggroll wrappers

Olive oil for frying

Parmesan cheese for garnish


Place a spoonful of leftover spaghetti on an eggroll wrapper and roll and seal as you would with regular eggrolls.

Heat Olive oil in a pan over medium heat.

Fry eggrolls until crispy and golden brown.

Remove from heat and set on a plate lined with paper towel to drain excess oil.

Serve with a sprinkle of parmesan chees

Tinapa (Smoked Fish) Spaghetti In White Sauce

IMG_8053.JPGTinapa is the Filipino term that usually refers to fish cooked or preserved through the process of smoking. It is a native delicacy in the Philippines and is often made from blackfin scad (galunggong) or from milkfish, which is locally known as bangus.

I first encountered tinapa spaghetti at a potluck in Manila.  A friend brought tinapa spaghetti.  At first I hesitated to even try it because it was a type of spaghetti I’ve never seen or tried before.

But as soon as I had my first spoonful, I fell in love with it. It is in direct contrast to the popular sweet Filipino spaghetti usually made with ground beef, sausage and tomato sauce.


2 pcs, dried and salted fish (tinapa), deboned and flaked

4 cups, cooked spaghetti pasta

6 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed

1 small onion, minced

1 cup evaporated milk

1/3 cup cream

2 tbsps butter

2 tbsps flour

1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated

2 tbsps Olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

1/4 cup chopped green onions


Prepare the white sauce: In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Add flour and stir until the butter and flour are well combined. Pour in milk and cream, stirring constantly as it thickens. Remove from heat and set aside.

Heat Olive oil in a pan over medium heat.  Add garlic and cook until golden brown.  Add onions and cook until tender and fragrant.  Add tinapa and sauté for three minutes. Sprinkle half of the parmesan cheese.

In a mixing bowl, add cooked pasta. Add the tinapa mixture and mix well. Pour in the white sauce and toss. Add salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle remaining cheese and garnish with green onions.

Spicy Bangus Spaghetti

IMG_7899.JPGI recently received as a gift a bottle of spicy boneless bangus (milkfish) in corn oil and had been contemplating on ways to cook or consume this wonderful product of Dagupan City in the Philippines.  Dagupan is well known for its bangus.

Then came Christmas time where I also received a gift basket containing pasta (spaghetti), a can of pineapple chunks, a bottle of mayonnaise  and several packages of pork rind (chicharon).

And so it happened, using all these gifted items, I prepared this dish so appropriate for the  holiday season.  Let’s just call it spicy bangus spaghetti.


Two slices of spicy bangus in corn oil, drained and mashed

Half a package of spaghetti pasta, cooked according to package instructions

Half a can of pineapple chunks, drained

1 cup, mayonnaise

1 cup pork rinds, ground

1 small white onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed

1 small tomato, chopped

1 tbsp Olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste


Heat Olive oil in a pan over medium heat.  Add in garlic and sauté until golden brown. Add in onions and tomatoes and cook for about a minute.  Add bangus and stir-fry for two minutes.  Add pork rinds and cook for another minute.  Remove from heat and set aside.

In a salad bowl, place cooked spaghetti.  Add the bangus mixture and toss well.  Add pineapple and cheese and mix thoroughly.  Add mayonnaise and toss well. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Optional: add a little of the juice from the pineapple if you want a sweeter taste to your spaghetti.

Serve warm or chilled in the refrigerator.


Beef Kinigtot

img_7662Booo! I’m sure you have been taken by surprise many times before, perhaps even scared.  There’s a Filipino (Ilocano) word for that.  It’s “Kinigtot.”

It’s also the name of a dish, but I have no idea how the surprise element fits it.  Perhaps it is when you get surprised by the bitterness of this dish.

Kinigtot usually refers to a Pangasinan (province in Northern Philippines) version of the Ilocano dish called ‘Pinapaitan’ which is a stew of goat meat and innards simmered in spices and bile juice.  ‘Pait’ means bitter.

But a different version of ‘Pinapaitan’ is quite popular in Benguet province. Instead of goat meat, it uses thin slices of  beef simmered in spices and the same bitter bile.


1 lb  thinly-sliced beef

2 small onions, peeled and sliced

6 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed

1 thumb ginger, peeled and thinly sliced

1 tsp bile juice (from goat or cow)

Salt and pepper to taste

1 tsp white vinegar

1 tsp fish sauce

3 pcs green chili pepper

Juice from 2 pcs calamansi (or 1/2 lime)

2 cups water

1 tbsp Olive oil


Heat Olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat.  Add garlic and cook until golden brown.  Add onions and ginger and saute until fragrant.  Add water and bile juice.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Add vinegar and fish sauce. Bring to a quick boil.  Reduce heat to low. Add beef and green peppers. Add in calamansi juice.  Continue to cook until beef slices are tender (do not overcook). Remove from heat and serve warm.