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This week in food (photos)

I would like to share some photos of the food we ate this week. First up, I ate this (huge!) plate of beef omurice at Kim&chi food stall in Glorietta 4’s Food Choices last Wednesday. There’s a huge mound of rice inside the delicately cooked omelette, and it was accompanied with what is basically chap chae topped with beef. It was an awesome dish for only Php 120.

In the following weekend we ate at a restaurant at Little Tokyo called Yamazaki. It’s a pretty busy place, and it has a connected Japanese grocery. My husband ordered a katsudon, Php 195.

I had an order of beef curry (Php 215), and it was one of the best curry I tasted! I found myself wanting more rice because of it!

We also ordered a pair of onigiri on the side (Php 165), an ume onigiri for me and a salmon flakes onigiri for him. It came with a piece of rather dry fried chicken.

Lastly, we split an order of yasai itame (sauteed vegetables) with our friend Ruben.

Finally, after a late night at the office we decided to eat at one of my favorite Chinese restaurants, Causeway at Libis. Since it was late night, their dimsum are at a reduced price (Php 52, I think?). Our first order was off the dimsum cart, some asado siopao and sharksfin siomai, plus our drinks.

We waited quite a bit for the rest of the dimsum, since it was already on an order-basis instead of having it in the cart. Here we had some kutchay, chicken feet, and beancurd rolls (my favorite!).

And also some sesame shrimp rolls. Goes really well with mayonnaise!

And there you have it! I hope you liked the photos, they were taken by my phone’s camera only, so the resolution isn’t all that great.

 
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Posted by on March 2, 2012 in Blog

 

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Oodles and oodles of noodles

It appears to be Pasta Week at TheKitchn this week. As you may have read previously here, I am a huge pasta and noodles fan. I am absolutely enthralled that they are featuring my favorite type of food and I can’t wait to try out some of those recipes they posted. There are also some other sites that I visit that discuss noodles and the love for pasta.

Another list of noodle recipes and a list of pasta sauces from TheKitchn are even more resources for pasta ideas.

Sacha Chua discusses ramen love.

What is a list about pasta without the amazing Ramen Rater? I always look forward to his next review; it’s like eating each of those ramen packs myself!

If you know of other great pasta resources or would like to recommend your own recipes, I would be very happy if you could link to those in the comments!

 
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Posted by on October 12, 2011 in Blog

 

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Week 34 of 52: Spaghetti and Vegetables

Double feature this week!

First off, I started with this really nice vegetable dish I found from The Pioneer Woman. It’s basically a bunch of vegetables cut in similar size and roasted. Here, I used a small and a large potato, a medium carrot, and a large zucchini. I seem to have put too much pepper, but it turned out pretty delicious! Addicting, even. I think this is because the whole thing tastes like some sort of chips or fries.

The second dish is Filipino style spaghetti. I’ve been meaning to try this out for the longest time because my husband prefers that to the Italian style spaghetti (non-sweet). Good thing I’ve discovered Jun-blog, as he has a great recipe for this style of spaghetti. I mostly followed his recipe to the dot, except I substituted tomato ketchup for banana ketchup (turns out I didn’t have any?). It may have affected the overall taste and texture. My husband commented that it was a little bit too runny. Next time, I’ll use banana ketchup and see how it compares. I also used jumbo hotdogs so the slices were enormous! I’ll downgrade to regular hotdog next time. It was a very satisfying lunch!

We had the spaghetti and roasted veggies for lunch, with a side of potato chips for him and some Gardenia bread for me. Here’s how our spread looked like:

My plate of spaghetti:

 
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Posted by on September 29, 2011 in 52-Week Challenge 2011

 

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Week 29 of 52: Chorizo Carbonara

I was watching the Asian Food Channel, and the Japanese show Dosanko Cooking was on. I love this show because the host, Mrs. Hoshizawa, seems almost the Japanese equivalent of Julia Child. She’s very amiable and looks like she really loves what she’s doing. She teaches three simple recipes in her show, and that day one of them was carbonara. It seemed pretty simple when she was doing it, and it inspired me to try my own version. Her carbonara featured bacon as the flavoring agent, but as I didn’t have any I used chorizo instead.

Chorizo Carbonara

Serves 1-2

  • ~200 g spaghetti noodles
  • 1 tbs butter
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 chorizo sausage, chopped into 1cm cubes
  • ~1/4 cup grated cheese (I used monterey jack)
  • 2 tsp all purpose flour
  • 1 cup fresh whole milk
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1-2 egg yolks

1. Cook the spaghetti noodles in some water with a bit of salt, about 5-8 minutes. Set the whole pan aside (the spaghetti and the soaking water).

2. Add the flour to the grated cheese, and mix thoroughly. Set aside.

3. Melt the butter in a wide pan. Saute the garlic until limp and translucent. Add the chopped chorizo and cook for about 5 minutes.

4. Add the milk. Mix thoroughly and simmer for about 2 minutes.

5. Add the cheese-flour mixture. The cheese should melt shortly and the flour should help thicken the sauce.

6. Fish out the spaghetti noodles from the other pot and add it to the sauce. Mix thoroughly to coat the noodles evenly. If the sauce turns out a bit dry, add a tablespoon or two of the spaghetti soaking liquid.

7. Season with salt and pepper, then turn off the heat.

8. While the noodles are still hot, quickly add the yolk/s and vigorously mix to cook it in the residual heat. Serve immediately.

The whole process turned out faster than I expected. You can of course use bacon as Mrs. Hoshizawa originally intended, in which case you might need to use less salt at the end. You can probably use different pasta shapes as well. Mrs. Hoshizawa also had some toppings (parsley if I remember correctly), so you might want to try doing that as well. It performed very well as a baon (although don’t try to use it past 4 days or something).

 
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Posted by on July 28, 2011 in 52-Week Challenge 2011

 

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Instant ramen level up: Chinese style noodles

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?

 
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Posted by on July 3, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Week 21 of 52: Baked Spaghetti

Ever since I received the small glass casserole from my mother-in-law (which I used for the lemon cakes), I had been fantasizing about making baked pasta. I’m crazy about pasta, and I would gladly try anything to be able to cook my favorite kind of food.

One of the Filipino food bloggers I follow, Trissalicious, has an amazing recipe for baked spaghetti. I decided that this is what I was going to try. I had to make a few adjustments right from the start, since my casserole is really tiny. I figured halving the recipe might be a good start.

I ran into a bump right away. I had a bit of problem concerning the local term for coriander. I had thought that it was kinchay, but my father-in-law told me it looked like parsley. A search around the internet confirmed this, and also provided me the term wansuy to mean cilantro, which is another term for coriander. I had to go back to the supermarket to buy a bunch of wansuy instead.

The next bump I ran into was the fact that I seemed to have too much spaghetti, and too little meat sauce. And that my casserole was still too small for half the recipe. And maybe too little of the bechamel sauce. Still, I plowed on ahead, and came up with a casserole and a smallish bowl of baked spaghetti.

Unfortunately, I ran out of time and totally forgot to take pictures. I had sent the spaghetti to my in-laws, and it didn’t really last long enough for me to take pictures. It tasted great though, and the bechamel was awesome. I can imagine just making a batch of bechamel sauce, and pouring it over any baked dishes I make. I also appreciate the part where I learned about local terms of herbs.

 
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Posted by on June 3, 2011 in 52-Week Challenge 2011

 

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Week 17 of 52: Basic Mac and Cheese

Last week I had a craving for mac and cheese. From my forays into the vaults of the internet, I discovered that it was actually pretty simple to make mac and cheese. It’s basically just cheese melted into heated cream, seasoned with salt and pepper. I decided to give it a try, using a brick of all-purpose cream and about a cup of shredded cheddar cheese. It came out pretty good, and there was a lot of the cheese sauce to make a lot of mac and cheese servings.

Here’s one that my daughter ate for lunch that day. It’s mixed with twirly macaroni, sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.

Here’s what I had. It’s some vegetable pasta in bowtie shape, topped again with Parmesan cheese.

It also performs well as a baon, as long as the cheese sauce is packed separate from the noodles. It makes a great meal!

 
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Posted by on May 3, 2011 in 52-Week Challenge 2011

 

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Bento # 6/7/8 Soba Trio

It was a week of soba goodness!

Soba Bento 1 – Sausage flowers, mushipan hearts, a bed of lettuce, and soba; soba sauce in separate container not pictured

Soba Bento 2 – Boiled carrot sticks, lettuce, two kinds of hotdogs, soba condiments in individual containers (shichimi togarashi, some furikake), and soba; again, soba sauce in separate container not pictured

Soba Bento 3 (somen, actually) – The last of the soy chicken, lettuce and tomato salad, hardboiled egg with nori bunnies, somen, and soba sauce in separate container

 
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Posted by on September 7, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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Soba and Somen: Cooking Japanese cold noodles

I love Japanese cold noodles. The first time I’ve tasted cold soba is from Komoro Soba at Megamall. They serve a cold soba set with an optional small bowl of katsudon for around Php 150 (~$3.33). In succeeding Japanese restaurants I go to, I always have an impulse to try their cold noodle offering but I end up getting something else like sushi or a donburi. I’ve also tried some assorted ramen-type dishes in various other restaurants. Recently, I’ve gotten the guts to try cooking cold noodles myself.

Here are the things I’ve learned (aka how to prepare cold noodles):

1. Japanese noodles aren’t really hard to cook. They are very similar to cooking regular spaghetti, just omit the salt and/or oil. Make sure that your water is already boiling before you put in the noodles. The length of time for boiling depends on the type of noodle you are cooking.

Soba – 10 minutes
Somen – 3-5 minutes

2. Washing the noodles is very important. They get rid of excess starch in the noodles. I find that the easiest way to do this is to dump all of the boiled noodles in a large colander, then run tap water through them. After a bit, you can gently stir the noodles around in the colander with your hands.

3. The ice bath is also important. After you have rinsed your noodles, transfer them from the colander into a prepared ice bath (a bowl of water with ice cubes). Keep them there for around a minute or two, then transfer into a serving plate like this.

4. I got the dipping sauce recipe (and the instructions on how to cook soba) from JustHungry. To save you from tracing back the steps, here’s a short version:

Bring to boil 1.5 tbs of mirin (should only take a few seconds) in a small saucepan. Add 1.5 tbs of white sugar and stir until all the sugar have been melted. Add 0.5 cups of soy sauce (light soy would work best), and stir a little. Take the pan off the heat. Add anywhere between 1.5 to 3 cups of dashi stock depending on how you want your dipping sauce to taste. Personally, I like to add all 3 cups of stock especially if you have rather strong soy sauce. Dashi stock? Dissolve 4 grams of dashi granules in 3 cups of water. You might need to heat the water a little to make sure all the granules are dissolved.

Make sure to chill the dipping sauce well before serving the noodles. Warm dipping sauce is not really delicious.

Notes: a) If you can’t be bothered with preparing your own dipping sauce, you can buy bottled mentsuyu in the Japanese section of your local grocery or supermarket. I’ve seen some at Landmark and Robinson’s supermarkets. Incidentally, you can also find dashi granules and the actual soba and somen there. b) The packets say that the serving size is 100 grams per person. Conveniently, soba and somen come in pre-bundled um… bundles, so just cook 1 bundle per person that you are serving. This amount will fill your entire carb requirement for a meal. If you’re planning to eat other carbs with your meal, adjust the amount appropriately. c) Usually you put condiments on either your noodles or the dipping sauce or both. The article above lists some condiments you can try. Most of the time I forget to put condiments, but the noodles taste good regardless.

Soba – thin buckwheat noodles that are usually brown, although I’ve seen some packs that say they are cha soba (green-tea flavored) and are thereby greenish. I mentioned that you should boil these for 10 minutes, but you could cook for a shorter period if you want to have firmer noodles. Here’s a meal for one I did a week ago.

Somen – very thin white noodles made of wheat flour, very reminiscent of vermicelli or angel hair pasta. Again here is a meal for one I made earlier this week. I find that I like somen better than soba because of its light airy texture. It also holds the taste of the dipping sauce better.

Next stop: noodle salads, noodles in bento, noodles in soup, and udon

 
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Posted by on August 21, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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