A Soupy, Spicy Spinach Laing

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When one thinks of laing, what immediately comes to mind is that spicy, coconutty delicacy from the Philippines’ Bicol region. It’s basically a stew of gabi (taro) leaves cooked in coconut milk, shrimp paste and other spices.  It usually includes pork slices.

But when taro is not available, one can always use similar leaves like kangkong (water spinach) or alugbati (Malabar spinach) which is what I did for this recipe.

Because I love coconut milk, I made my spinach laing soupy which is a departure from the usually drier recipe.

INGREDIENTS

3 cups kangkong leaves, washed

3 cups alugbati, washed

1 can, coconut milk

1/2 cup, cubed pork belly

3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed

1 small red onion, peeled and sliced

1 thumb, ginger, peeled and chopped

3 pcs. Thai chillies, thinly sliced

1 tbsp shrimp paste

Salt and pepper to taste

1 tbsp Olive oil

DIRECTIONS

In a large pan, heat Olive oil. Add garlic, ginger and onion and cook for two minutes. Add pork belly and stir-fry until nicely browned. Add coconut milk and bring to a quick boil. Reduce heat and add shrimp paste and Thai chillies. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add kangkong and alugbati leaves and cook until wilted.  Remove from heat and serve warm with steamed rice.

 

 

 

Sisig Potatoes

 

IMG_1442Sisig is a very popular appetizer in the Philippines, usually consisting of chopped pig ears, snout and tongue, pork belly and liver, grilled then cooked in vinegar, soy sauce and spices and enhanced with either pig’s brain or mayonnaise. It is best served sizzling.

This dish is a two-step process, unless you already have some leftover sisig.  First you have to cook the sisig, then complete the process by cooking the potatoes before mixing them together. It is similar to sisig (French) fries sold at many fastfood restaurants, or the Canadian poutine.

I chose to use halved baby potatoes instead of the usual French fries.

SISIG

INGREDIENTS

1/2 lb. pig ears

1/2 lb. pig snout

1/2 lb. pork belly

1 large onion, minced

1 thumb fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced

3 pcs. Thai chillies, chopped

3 pcs. dried basil

3 tbps soy sauce

2 tbsps vinegar

Salt and pepper to taste

6 cups water

3 tablespoons mayonnaise

1/2 cup butter or margarine

DIRECTIONS

Boil the water in a large pan, adding salt, pepper and dried basil.  Add pig’s ears, snout and pork belly and simmer for an hour or until the meat is tender. Remove the boiled ingredients from the pan and drain. Grill the boiled pig ears, snout and pork belly until done.

Chop the meat into tiny squares.

In a wide pan, melt the butter . Add onions and cook until soft. the onions. Add ginger and cook for about a minute. Add the chopped meat and cook for 15 minutes. Add soy sauce, vinegar and chillies.  Mix well. Add salt and pepper to taste.  Add mayonnaise and mix well.

Remove from heat and set aside.

POTATOES

INGREDIENTS

10-15 baby potatoes (skin on) scrubbed and washed thoroughly, cut into halves

1 cup fresh basil, sliced into thin ribbons

1 tsp. , dried rosemary

Olive oil for frying

Salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS

Heat oil and add potatoes.  Add half the basil. Add rosemary. Add salt and pepper to taste.  Continue to cook until the potatoes are tender.  When potatoes are done, add the remaining basil.  Turn off heat.

FINAL PREP

In a serving bowl or platter, place the cooked potatoes.  Top the potatoes with sisig and garnish with green onions.

The Perfect Grilled Pork Belly

IMG_1269Of course, “perfect” is relative, but we all have our own ideas of what constitutes a perfect meal, a perfect menu, or a perfectly-grilled pork belly.

My idea of a perfectly-grilled pork belly is the right combination of meat and fat, the right mixture of marinade, and a cross between medium cooked and a little burnt.

INGREDIENTS

1 lb pork belly, sliced pork chop style

1/3 cup soy sauce

4-5 pcs. calamansi (or one medium lime), juiced

1/2 tsp garlic powder

Salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS

In a medium bowl, marinate the pork belly in the soy sauce, calamansi juice, garlic powder and salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Fire the grill. Cook the marinated pork belly in batches, constantly turning them over to make sure they’re evenly grilled.  Allow grill fire to direcly touch parts of the pork, especially the skin and fat. Cook until desired tenderness of the meat with edges a little burnt.

Remove from heat and cut two or three slits on one side of the grilled pork belly.

If desired, sprinkle some extra calamansi juice of the the cooked meat.

 

Pork Adobo Sisig

IMG_0811.JPGWe’ve tried various versions of sisig on MyBayKitchen. This popular appetizer/dish in the Philippines is usually grilled but we’ve prepared pan-cooked sisig using boneless bangus, salmon and pork belly, avoiding use of pig’s snout and liver as in the original dish.

This recipe is yet another of my sisig versions, this time using leftover pork adobo which has been cooked with liver sauce (basically adding liver spread to your usual adobo recipe.)

INGREDIENTS

2 cups leftover pork adobo in liver sauce, sliced  into tiny cubes

1 cup chopped carrots (tiny squares)

1/2 cup green onions, chopped

1 cup ground chicharron (pork rinds)

1/2 cup chopped white onions

2 tbsps vinegar

Salt and pepper to taste

1/2 cup mayonnaise

Green or red pepper for garnish

DIRECTIONS

Heat a medium-sized frying pan.  Add pork adobo and stir-fry until it starts to burn.  Add carrots, green onions, white onions and pork rinds.   Mix well. Add vinegar and salt and pepper to taste.  Cook for another three to five minutes. Add mayonnaise and mix well.

Remove from heat and transfer to a serving platter.  Garnish with pepper.

 

 

 

 

Adobo Pineapple Fried Rice

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Here’s a way to enjoy your pork adobo and pineapple fried rice all in one.  Add in some Chinese sausage and season with turmeric powder to give it that awesome flavor and nice yellow color.

You can mostly use leftover rice and pork adobo to create this entire new dish.  And did I already say complete meal?

INGREDIENTS

4 cups, cooked (or leftover) rice

2 cups, cooked pork adobo, chopped

2 pcs Chinese sausage, thinly sliced

1 cup celery, chopped

1/2 cup raisins

1 cup pineapple chunks

1/2 cup green onions, chopped

3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed

1 small onion, chopped

1 small tomato, chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

1 tsp turmeric powder

2 tbps Olive oil

 

DIRECTIONS

Heat Olive oil in a large pan.  Add garlic and cook until browned.  Add onions and cook until tender.  Add tomatoes. Add pork adobo, Chinese sausage, celery and raisins.  Cook for about three minutes, stirring constantly.  Add in cooked rice. Add turmeric and salt and pepper to taste. Mix well. Cook until rice begins to turn crisp and yellow. Turn off heat and add pineapple slices.  Transfer to a serving plate and garnish with green onions

 

Pancit Miki (Egg Noodles)

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When preparing Filipino-style pancit, you have a range of choices for noodles to use: rice, egg, vermicelli.  They can come thin, thick or flat. Some noodles even come flavored, like spinach or beet noodles.

Miki  egg noodles are a favorite when making pancit.  They’re more filling that canton, bihon or sotanghon.  Preparation is easy and is quite similar to that of the other pancit recipes.

Yesterday while out in the market for some fresh vegetables, I came upon a vegetable vendor selling fresh Miki, so I grabbed a pack and the opportunity to prepare pancit Miki for the first time ever!

INGREDIENTS

5 -6 cups, fresh egg noodles

2/3 cup pork belly, cut into bite-sized pieces

1/3 cup pork liver, cut into bite-sized pieces

1 Chinese sausage, thinly sliced

1 small bunch, bokchoy, cleaned and separated

1/2 cup carriots, julienned

1 medium onion, sliced

3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed

5 tbsps soy sauce

2 tsps white vinegar

Salt and pepper to taste

1 cup water

2 tbsps Olive oil

1 tsp sesame oil

1/4 cup green onions, chopped

DIRECTIONS

Heat oil in large pan. Sauté garlic until golden brown.  Add onions and cook till fragrant.  Add pork and cook until nicely browned. Add carrots.  Add water and bring to a quick boil.  Reduce heat.  Add soy sauce and vinegar. Let simmer for a few minutes. Add liver and continue cooking for one minute. Add salt and pepper to taste.  Add noodles and stir fry until cooked and tender (if needed, add more water).  Add bokchoy and cook for one more minute. Remove from heat and transfer to a serving platter. Sprinkle sesame oil, then garnish with green onions and Chinese sausage.

Hardinera

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Lucban in the Philippines’ Quezon Province is best known for its ‘Pahiyas’ Festival.
Held every 15th of May in honor of San Isidro Labrador, it is the farmers’ thanksgiving for a bountiful harvest with a grand display of colorful rice wafers, fruits, vegetables, and handicrafts adorning every house in the town.

But Lucban is also known for its local cuisine, including its longganisa, Pancit Hab-hab and the Hardinera.

The Hardinera (translated as female gardener)  is a unique take on the meatloaf or the embutido. The one big difference with Hardinera is that it uses pork cubes instead of ground pork. Other ingredients may vary depending on how fancy one would like to be. The “full version” includes hot dog, chorizo, bell peppers, raisins, boiled egg, cheese, liver spread, even pineapple.img_9468

The Hardinera is usually cooked in a steamer, but we’ve chosen to prepare it in a regular oven. You will need a round, oval or square tin mould.

This recipe approximates the full version, but you can always skip an ingredient or two.

INGREDIENTS

1 lb pork shoulder, sliced into tiny cubes

4 pcs. hot dog, sliced into tiny cubes

1 pc Chinese sausage, sliced into tiny cubes

1/2 cup pineapple tidbits

3 pcs sliced pineapple (whole)

1/2 cup raisins

1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese

1 small can, liver spread

1 hardboiled egg, shelled, and quartered

2 eggs, beaten

1 small red bell pepper, diced

1 small green bell pepper, diced

2 tbsps tomato paste

1 cup, Panko breadcrumbs

4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

1 small white onion, chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

1 tbsp, Olive oil

1/4 cup water

DIRECTIONS

Heat Olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Sauté garlic and onions. Add pork slices and cook for 3-4 minutes.  Add in tomato paste. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour water and reduce heat to low. Continue to cook until meat is tender. Add bell peppers, Chinese sausage, hot dog, and raisins and cook for another 2 minutes. Remove from heat and place mixture in a medium bowl. Mix in pineapple tidbits, cheese, liver spread and breadcrumbs.

In a slightly greased mould, place the pineapple whole slices at the bottom, then place the hardboiled eggs on top of the pineapple.  Add half of the meat mixture along with half of the beaten eggs. Apply pressure to the mixture so that it sets to the bottom of the mould.  Add the remaining meat mixture and beaten eggs, applying pressure towards the bottom of the mould.  Cover the mould with aluminum foil.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Place about 2 cups hot water in a deep baking pan and place at the bottom rack of the oven.

Place the mould on the top rack of the oven.

Cook for about 90 minutes

Remove from the oven and let cool in the refrigerator for about an hour before transferring the cooked meat mixture (upside down) to a serving plate.