Got Green Mangoes? Will Have Pickle And Salad

IMG_1785I could eat sweet, ripe mangoes anytime. What is there not to like about them?  But I know that some folks are not as keen on earning unripe green mangoes, especially if they don’t have a clue on what to do with them.

Green mangoes are quite popular in the Philippines. They’re available almost everywhere, including from sidewalk vendors who well them peeled, sliced and partnered with baboon (fermented fish sauce).

In homes and specialty restaurants, green mangoes are served as appetizers or salad, especially as a companion to fried or barbecued fish and meat.

I recently received  about half a dozen green mangoes as a gift so I decided to make two things out of them: a pickled appetizer and a fresh salad.  As for the rest of the mangoes, maybe, just maybe, I’ll leave alone to ripen.



Two green, unripe mangoes, peeled and julienned

4 tsps brown sugar

1 1/2 tsps salt

1 Thai chilly


In a medium bowl, combine mangoes, sugar and salt and toss.  Place them in a jar along with the Thai chilly.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours. (Liquid will form from sugar and mangoes.)



Two green, unripe mangoes, grated (with liquid squeezed out and discarded)

1 large onion, sliced

1 large tomato, cubed

1 Thai chilly, chopped

1 tbsp bagoong (fermented fish sauce)


In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients and toss well.  Cover and let chill in the refrigerator. When ready to serve, transfer to a small plate or saucer and top with the bagoong.

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.


Crispy Fried Chicken Neck

IMG_7460.JPGIf you handle chicken feet, you sure can handle chicken neck.  I’ve come to realize that the neck is among the most tasty parts of the chicken, especially if you like crispy skin.

This recipe is great as an appetizer but it can also be served as a main or side dish. Be prepared to eat with your bare hands!

It may be a challenge to find packaged chicken neck in supermarkets. Your best bet is to go to wet markets where they sell chicken parts by the volume.


1 lb. chicken neck, washed and cleaned thoroughly

1 cup coconut cream

1 1/2 tbsps fish sauce

5 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

2 pcs. Thai chillies, chopped

2 tbsps brown sugar

Salt and pepper to taste

Flour for dredging

Oil for deep frying

Pickled papaya (atchara)


In a bowl, combine coconut cream, fish sauce, garlic, chillies, brown sugar, salt and pepper to taste.  Mix thoroughly.  Add chicken neck, making sure each piece is evenly coated with the marinade.  Cover and refrigerate for a few hours (or overnight).

When ready cook, heat oil in a pan.  Dredge each piece of chicken neck in flour and drop into the pan.  Cook until chicken neck pieces are cooked, nicely browned and crispy.

Remove from heat and transfer to a platter lined with paper towel to drain excess oil

Serve warm with or without your favorite sauce and a side of picked papaya.

Beef Macaroni Soup

img_6455While I am not really a pasta person, I occasionally enjoy some macaroni in a salad or soup.     Having lived in Hawaii, I am used to, and enjoy, combination meals that always come with macaroni salad.  But I like pasta in a soup dish as well, especially this  tomato-based beef macaroni soup.

This is my version of this hearty dish.


200 grams, elbow macaroni

1/2 lb lean ground beef

3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed

1 small tomato, sliced

1 small white onion, sliced

1 1/2 cups water

1/2 cup tomato sauce

1 cube, beef bouillon

Salt and pepper to taste

1 tbsp Olive oil


Cook the macaroni according to package instructions, and set aside.

In a medium pot, heat Olive oil over medium heat.  Add garlic and sauté until golden brown.  Add onions and cook till tender and fragrant.  Add tomatoes.  Add ground beef and stir-fry until cooked and browned.  Add water and bring to a quick boil. Add beef bouillon.  Add the macaroni and tomato sauce.  Reduce to a simmer.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Cook for another two minutes.  Remove from heat and serve warm.






Pinapaitang Kambing (Bitter Goat Stew)

IMG_6371.JPGIt’s one of those dishes that many people unfamiliar with local Filipino (Ilocano) cuisine try to stay away from, especially because the bulk of its ingredients is from a goat’s innards: kidneys, lungs, tripe and intestines.

It so happens that it is also one of those dishes I have never attempted to prepare in my own kitchen.  I have always gone to food stalls in public markets or specialty restaurants to get it.

Well, as they say, there’s always a first time.  This is my version.


1 lb goat innards (kidney, lungs, tripe)

1/4 cup bile

6 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

1 medium thumb ginger, peeled and sliced into strips

1 small thumb ginger, peeled and minced

1 medium onion (preferrably red), chopped

2 Thai chillies, sliced

2 tbsps, fish sauce.

Salt and pepper to taste

Juice from 2-3 calamansi (or one small lime)

1 tbsp Olive oil



Thoroughly wash the goat’s innards and place them in a medium pot along with the garlic (leaving some for sautéeing) and minced ginger.  Pour in enough water to cover the meat pieces. Boil for for 15-20 minutes then drain. Let cool and set aside.

In a medium pan, sauté remaining garlic until fragrant. Add onions and ginger strips and cook until the onions are soft.

Add in the goat meat and cook for 10 minutes. Add water just enough to cover the meat. Add fish sauce. Let simmer for about an hour until the meat is tender. (If needed, add more water to prevent the stew from drying up). Add the bile slowly up to the desired bitterness. Add Thai chillies and juice from the calamansi. Continue to simmer for another 5 minutes, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.

Remove from heat and serve warm.

Potato And Honey-Baked Ham Croquettes

IMG_6214.JPGI remember those good old days in San Francisco when my friends and I would  venture into our favorite Japanese restaurant which had great “Happy Hour” specials –from sushi and sashimi to salads and croquettes.  Yes, potato croquettes!

I have been gifted with a few packages of honey-baked ham and I’ve almost run out of recipes other than just slapping them into a grilled sandwich.  Then I thought of my potato croquettes.  So I chopped some pieces of the ham and the rest is sweet croquette history!


6 medium potatoes

1 cup chopped honey-baked ham

2/3 cup flour

2/3 cup Panko bread crumbs

1 egg

Olive oil for frying

Salt and pepper to taste

Water for boiling


Peel and boil the potatoes until done.  Let cool and mash them. In a bowl, combine mashed potatoes, ham and one egg.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Mix well.

Take a handful of the potato-ham mixture and form into a oval ball.  Dredge with flour, then with bread crumbs.  Repeat process for the remaining mixture.

Healt Olive oil over medium-high heat.  Fry the croquettes until golden brown on all sides.  Remove from heat and set on a plate lined with paper towel to drain excell oil.

Serve warm.


Sautéed Squash With Pork

IMG_6107.JPGHalloween is approaching, costume stores are  bringing in new merchandise and orange is starting to dominate the color spectrum.  It’s time to cook something orange.  Like squash.

This recipe is quite popular in many areas in the Philippines.  Squash is available year-round and is inexpensive.  Cooking sautéed squash with pork belly slices is easy enough, you’ll be done with dinner prep before the trick-or-treaters ring your doorbell.



3 cups sliced squash

1/4 lb pork belly, sliced into tiny cubes

3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

1 small white onion, chopped

1 medium tomato, chopped

1 cup water

1 tbsp Olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Fish sauce to taste

1 cup spinach leaves



Heat Olive oil in pan over medium heat.  Add garlic and cook until browned.  Add onions and sauté until tender.  Add in tomotaoes and cook for another minute.  Add pork slices and stir-fry until they turn brown. Add water and bring to a quick boil.  Reduce heat and add sliced squash and cook until they become tender.  Add fish sauce and salt and pepper to taste.  Add spinach leaves. Remove from heat and serve warm with steamed rice.