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I’ve had a forced hiatus for Baon Ko Bento for these past few weeks because of fridge issues. I’ve written about it in detail in my new personal blog. I wasn’t able to cook because we had to keep the fridge empty to reduce possible spoilage while the repairs were going on. Anyway I’m back to normal operations and can start cooking again. The fridge is almost back to restocked status.
Regarding the Post-A-Week Challenge, I’ve decided to continue from where I left off (Week 33) even though there have been some rough weeks towards the end and even one hiatus already. I like the idea of having a weekly deadline and it inspires me to try out different recipes and to step out of my comfort zone. Stay tuned for the resumption of the weekly challenge!
As I have mentioned a lot here, I am a huge fan of pasta in general, and instant ramen in specific. I’ve been reading a lot about how to upgrade instant ramen past the poor-student-fare stage. I’ve decided to try going with my instincts this time, and see if I can come up with some Chinese style stir-fry noodles with instant ramen.
Chinese style stir-fry instant ramen
Serves 2 (or 1 very hungry person)
2 packets instant ramen, any flavor
2-3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 small or medium onion, chopped
1 cup grated carrots
4 stalks baby corn
(optional) 1/2 to 1 cup dried mushrooms, reconstituted in water (save soaking water), slice thinly into inch-long strips
1 tbs soy sauce
2 tbs oyster sauce
salt and pepper to taste
olive oil for frying
1. Boil the baby corn in enough water to just cover. Keep in boiling water for about 5 minutes. Drain, slice diagonally, and set aside.
2. Cook the ramen noodles (and any dried vegetable packets) and set aside. Do not use the flavorings.
3. In a wok or frying pan, saute the garlic and onions in the oil until limp.
4. Add the carrots, baby corn, and the optional mushrooms. Saute for about a minute.
5. Pour in about half a cup of the mushroom soaking liquid, or half a cup of water if mushrooms weren’t used. Simmer for about 5-10 minutes until the vegetables are cooked and liquid almost gone.
6. Add the cooked ramen noodles and the soy sauce and oyster sauce. Toss until everything is fully coated in sauce. Season with salt and pepper.
It came out tasting like many chinese style noodle dishes I’ve had before. I like the fact that there are so many variations I can do on this recipe, and that it’s chock-full of veggie goodness. The only disadvantage here is the increased time of preparation, but I think the increased nutrition might be worth it. What do you think?
I had been away on vacation last week, and was unable to try any dishes. Instead, I’ll share some pictures of food I was able to take while I was in Bohol.
Spicy crab at Crab House in Tagbilaran City – I wasn’t able to taste this because I’m deathly allergic to crab, but my companions say it was pretty good.
Kinilaw na Tangigue – This is pretty awesome!
The Philippine term sopas refers to a soupy dish that usually has chicken or pork components, as well as some sort of macaroni or short pasta. When I was a kid, I’m usually served sopas whenever I’m sick. It -is- some sort of chicken soup, and in general I am very fond of soup.
I’ve been meaning to share this recipe for sometime now, but it always seems to slip my mind. And it’s not because I’ve not been making this. Quite the opposite, in fact! This recipe is very versatile, easy to make, and relatively quick, and it makes a perfect baon too!
Just a bit of introduction: I got this recipe from my friend and coworker Seth, who has developed this over the years by trying out different variations and component brands. Now perfected, it became her trademark dish and is always in demand among her friends. I got permission to share it on my blog so you can try it out too.
- 1 cup ground chicken (or any ground meat), or chopped hotdogs, or corned beef, or any combination thereof
- 1-1.5 cups uncooked macaroni
- 1 470-ml can (large) evaporated milk, preferrably Angel’s brand
- 1 large white onion, diced finely
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped finely
- 2 pcs bouillon cubes, preferrably pork
- 1 medium carrot, diced (optional)
- 1/2 cup shredded cabbage (optional)
- 1-2 cups chicken broth (optional)
- salt and pepper, to taste
1. Saute garlic in a little oil until golden brown. Immediately add the onions. Saute until onions are a little limp.
2. Add the meat, uncooked macaroni, and any optional vegetables. Melt one bouillon cube in the oil, and toss to coat everything with the melted cube.
3. Add the chicken broth if using, otherwise just add enough water to cover everything. Bring to boil and simmer until the macaroni and meat are cooked and the liquid is mostly evaporated.
4. Slowly pour in the evaporated milk. Add salt and pepper to taste. Mix thoroughly and turn off heat.
– The original recipe actually called for boiling chicken parts until the flesh is soft enough to pull off the bones. The chicken flesh is shredded before being added to the pot, and the water used to boil becomes the broth to be used in the sopas. I almost never did this except the first time I tried the recipe because it uses up so much time. I find that pre-ground supermarket chicken is a good substitute, and I use any broth I have on hand.
– Leftover sopas keeps well in the fridge for around a week. I haven’t tried freezing this.
– I usually cook up a batch on my rest day, pack in 1 serving-sized containers, and throw them all in the fridge. I just grab a container for baon for the day (I usually have separate containers for rice or side dishes). It’s great as baon food, especially if there’s microwave at work.
– There is a lot of room for variety here. As you can see, I threw in some enoki mushrooms I had lurking in the fridge and it was a great addition! You can add almost any vegetables, a combination of diced/ground meat, fresh or reconstituted dried mushrooms, probably even tofu (I haven’t tried this). You can even go as minimal as you want! I once tried a pure-veggie sopas, and it was still as satisfying.
– Why Angel’s brand? I have been told to use that, and it does taste better than if I use other brands. Perhaps it’s sweeter? Try it and find out for yourself!
I’ve been doing a lot of baking recently, and aside from cookies I’ve also been trying out some pies. The first one I tried was Apple Mini Pies. It turned out looking rather good, although the crust was quite thick. I need to practice rolling out dough thinner.
I decided to try a full-sized pie. While doing groceries earlier I saw some cans of blueberries specifically made for pies. I got a couple of cans and thought I would try making blueberry pie. I borrowed a pie crust recipe from my sister-in-law. Once I perfect this recipe I’ll share it with you.
It turned out quite well! The crust was thin and flaky, and did not interfere with the taste of blueberry. It was plain and simple blueberry pie, and I think it can still be improved.