Curry Chicken

IMG_1856.PNGNothing beats the aroma and after taste of curry, but it’s also the flavor penetrating the meat and other ingredients that makes this dish so delightful and mouth-watering. Combined with potatoes, carrots and coconut milk, curried chicken is to die for.  What a difference this spice makes!


1 lb chicken drumsticks and breasts

1 large carrot, peeled and sliced into bite-sized pieces

8-10 baby potatoes, peeled

1 large white onion, sliced

2 medium tomatoes, quartered

1 1/2 cups coconut milk

Salt and pepper to taste

2 tsps curry powder

1/2 cup chopped green onions (optional)

2 tbsps Olive oil


In a large pan, heat Olive oil.  Add onions and tomatoes and Coke for about two minutes. Add curry powder and mix well.  Add chicken pieces, making sure they’re well coated in the curry mix. Add carrots and potatoes.  Stir for about two minutes.  Add in coconut milk and let boil.  Reduce to a simmer and continue cooking until the chicken pieces are cooked. Add salt and pepper to taste.  Remove from heat and transfer to a serving platter. Garnish with green onions.



Callos a la Madrileña

IMG_1748.JPGCallos is a stew common across Spain, and is considered traditional to Madrid where it is referred to as Callos a la Madrileña. It contains ox tripe and chickpeas, blood sausage and bell peppers. Chorizo sausage may also be used.

It is one of the Spanish dishes that have been adopted widely in the Philippines.

For my version of this recipe, I skipped the chickpeas because it is on the list of prohibited food for someone in our household.  Instead, I used unsalted peanuts.  Works as well for me!  I also added raisins to add a little sweetness to the dish.


1 lb ox tripe, cleaned

1 cup unsalted peanuts

1 1/2 cups tomato sauce

1 pc chorizo de Bilbao, sliced

1 large bell pepper, sliced into bite-sized squares

1 medium onion, sliced

1 small carrot, cubed

1/2 tsp whole peppercorn

2 cups water

Salt and pepper to taste

3 pcs dried basil leaves

1/2 cup raisins

2 tbsps Olive oil


In a casserole, bring water to a boil.  Add onion, whole peppercorn, basil leaves and tripe.  Simmer until the tripe is tender.

Remove tripe from casserole and let it cool for a few minutes before slicing it into bite-sized strips.  Reserve stock.

In a large wok, heat Olive oil.  Add chorizos and cook for about 6-8 minutes.  Add tomato sauce and bring to a boil.  Add the tripe and 1 1/2 cups of the reserved stock.  Add salt and pepper to taste.Let simmer for 15 minutes.

Add carrots and bell pepper.  Simmer for 10 minutes. Add raisins and peanuts.

Remove from heat and serve warm.


A Soupy, Spicy Spinach Laing


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.


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


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.




Pinangat Na Pompano (Boiled Pompano)

IMG_1204.JPGPompano is a marine fish with a compressed body and short snout,typically silver and toothless with a forked tail and narrow base. It is found around the Philippines often close to shore near reefs, lagoons, and along sandy beaches. In the U.S., the most popular variety is the Florida pompano. A city near the Florida coast is named after this premium fish.

“Pinangat” is a Filipino term that means “boiled in water and salt.” And that describes the process in preparing this dish.


2 pompano fish (whole)
3 medium tomatoes sliced into thin rounds
1 small onion cut into rings
1/4 cup calamansi or lime juice
3/4 cup water
1 tbsp Olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
2 green onions, sliced


Clean the fish and cut two diagonal slices on either side. Place half of the onions and tomatoes on the bottom of a deep pan. Add fish, the remaining onion and tomatoes, calamansi or lime juice, water, olive oil, green onions. Add salt and pepper to taste. Let boil on medium-high heat, then cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until the fish is done.

Dinengdeng With Fried Bangus


You can’t claim to be an Ilocano (someone from the Ilocos Region in Northern Philippines) if you haven’t had dinengdeng.  It’s basically a vegetable stew akin to pinakbet or the French ratatouille.

But dinengdeng is unique in many ways because the dish can be as simple or as “elaborate” as you want it to be.  But you have to have some basic vegetables which many Ilocanos grow in their backyard.  Of course, it can’t be called dinengdeng without the fermented fish sauce (bagoong) for flavoring.

The dish can totally be cooked with vegetables or mixed with grilled or fried fish, usually, bangus (milk fish).

For this recipe, I used bitter melon, eggplant, long beans, alukon (birch flower), malunggay leaves, moringa fruit, sigarilyas (winged beans) and monamon (salt fermented anchovies). I couldn’t find squash flower at that time so I skipped it.


1 bangus (milkfish), cleaned and sliced into four pieces

1 eggplant, sliced into bite-sized pieces

1 bitter melon, seeded and sliced into rounds or crescents

1/2 cup, cut long beans (2-inches)

1/2 cup, sliced moringa fruit

1/2 cup, malunggay (moringa leaves)

1/2 cup, alukon ( birch flower)

3 pcs, sigarilyas (winged beans), cut into thirds (diagonally)

1 small onion, sliced

1 small tomato, sliced

1 thumb ginger, peeled and cut into ribbons

4 tbsps, monamon or bagoong (fish sauce)

4 cups water

Salt and pepper to taste


Season fish with salt and pepper to taste and either grill or pan-fry them.  Let aside.

Boil water in  a large pan before adding onion, tomatoe and ginger. Add the fish sauce and continue cooking for about 2 minutes. Add the vegetables, starting with the long beans, bitter melon, alukon, moringa fruit and winged beans. Cook for about two minutes before adding the malunggay.  Add salt and pepper as needed. During the last 2 minutes of cooking add the fried or grilled fish to add flavor to the stew.  Remove from heat and serve warm with steamed rice.



Fish Steak Sarciado

IMG_1071There are several ways to cook fish with sauce.  One way to cook it is the escabeche way, with sweet and sour sauce.  Another is the sarciado way.

‘Sarciado’ is a Tagalog term which means “cooked in thick sauce.”

The sauce for this recipe is a combination of tomatoes, onions and eggs, flavored with some spices. Bell pepper may be added to the mixture.

Tilapia is always a good fish to cook in sarciado, and here we use Tilapia fish steaks instead of whole fish.


2 pcs. Tilapia steaks, cleaned

2 medium tomatoes, diced

2 small onions, diced

1cup water

1/2cup green onions, chopped

2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed

2 eggs, beaten

1 tbsp fish sauce

1 small green or red bell pepper, sliced (optional)

Salt and pepper to taste

Olive oil for frying


Season fish steaks with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a frying pan then fry the fish steaks.
Remove from heat and place in a plate lined with paper towels to drain excess oil. Set aside. (Option: you can also use breaded fish steaks, dipping the Tilapia in flour, beaten egg and bread crumbs before frying.)

In a clean frying pan,  heat about 2 teaspoons of Olive oil and sauté the garlic, onions, and tomatoes. Add fish sauce, along with green onions and bell pepper.  Add water. Bring to a quick boil.

Reduce heat and add in the fried fish. Let simmer for about 5 minutes.
Pour the beaten eggs over the fish and sauce and stir until the eggs start to set.

Add salt and pepper as needed.

Turn off heat and let stand for a few minutes before serving.

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.