Tocino (pork or beef)

Here is a Nora Daza recipe I found in my mother's notebok which I want to share. One thing's sure this is delicious. Nora Daza is famous for her food recipes. I remember when I was little she had a regular cooking demo on TV that my mother watched with intensity (ha-ha!). Yeah, my mother was really hooked on Nora Daza's TV show. Going back to pork or beef tocino, here it is...

1 kilo sirloin (pork or beef)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugr
1 tsp salt peter (salitre)
2 tbsp coarse salt
2 tsp msg (optional)

Slice beef or pork (with some fat) thinly to desired size. In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients and allow meat to marinate for at least 2 hours before cooking or refrigerate for future use.

Tocino is a popular breakfast recipe along with fried egg. It is a sweetened cured pork or beef or chicken meat dish. A native delicacy that is similar to the cured hams, commonly reddish in color and tastes sweet. It's name came from the Spanish word, tocino, which is used to describe cured meat.

Chili paste

Filipininos love to dip their food. Hot dips are a favorite particularly for siomai, fishball, kekiam, etc... We probably got this habit of dipping finger food in sauces from the Chinese. Here's a recipe for chili paste great for siomai, fishball, kekiam, okoy.... etc....

To make chili paste:
1/8 kilo chilies (or siling labuyo)
3 tablespoons cooking oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

Combine chopped chilies and minced garlic then simmer for around 20 minutes or till most of the water has evaporated. Add oil, simmer and stir well.

Another version is to heat some oil in a pan. add some atchuete seeds to extract the color, remove atchuete seeds. then add the chilies, garlic and simmer. Add a pinch of salt.

For siomai, many said chili paste is great if mixed with finely chopped pork and shrimp.

Siomai wrapper

To make siomai wrapper:

1/4 cup water
1 egg
1 tablespoon vegetable or corn oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Beat egg and mix with flour till free of lumps. Bring water, cooking oil and salt to a boil, then pour in flour. Remove from heat and beat until mixture forms a ball. Divide the dough into 1 1/4 -inch balls. Roll each ball on a floured board until paper thin. Use this to wrap your siomai. Recipe for siomai is available in this site.

You may increase your water to 1 cup if you want a thinner and more manageable dough. You may not include the egg yolk if you want a white wrapper. The yolk makes the wrapper yellowish in color.

Siomai sa Tisa (Cebu)

1 kg ground pork (suggested proportion of fat to lean meat is 1:3) or 1 kg Prawn (shrimp) peeled
1/2 cup chopped sinkamas (water chestnuts or turnips), if not available, you may use sayote (a year-round vegetable)
1/2 cup chopped carrots
2 medium or 1 large minced onion
bunch of spring onions or leeks
1 egg
5 tablespoons sesame oil
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
about 50 pieces of wanton or siomai wrapper
for sauce: soy sauce, calamansi (lemon), sesame oil and chilli paste

Thoroughly mix all the ingredients for the filling in a large bowl. Refrigerate pork mixture for about 20 minutes. Spoon 1 tablespoon of mixture into each wrapper. Fold and seal. Meanwhile, boil water and brush steamer with oil. When the water gets to a rolling boil, arrange the siomai in the steamer and let stand for 15-20 minutes, longer for larger pieces. Serve with soy sauce, calamansi and sesame oil or chilli paste.

To make siomai wrapper:

1/4 cup water
1 egg
1 tablespoon vegetable or corn oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Beat egg and mix with flour till free of lumps. Bring water, cooking oil and salt to a boil, then pour in flour. Remove from heat and beat until mixture forms a ball. Divide the dough into 1 1/4 -inch balls. Roll each ball on a floured board until paper thin. Set aside.
To make chili paste:
1/8 kilo chilies (or siling labuyo)
3 tablespoons cooking oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

Combine chopped chilies and minced garlic then simmer for around 20 minutes or till most of the water has evaporated. Add oil, simmer and stir well.

Another version is to heat some oil in a pan. add some atchuete seeds to extract the color, remove atchuete seeds. then add the chilies, garlic and simmer. Add a pinch of salt.

Chili paste will also taste great if mixed with finely chopped pork and shrimp.
Pork Dumplings on FoodistaPork Dumplings


I remember going with my mother to buy okoy in a Chinese restaurant somewhere in Binondo. I can still remember the smoke, the smell and the clattering of cooking utensils and waiters going to and fro. Everytime we had okoy for lunch, my mother studied all the okoys she bought to determine its ingredients. She made her own recipe.

Ingredients: ¼ kilo fresh alamang or shrimp; ½ cup powdered malagkit; 1 cup hot water; 2 tbsp achuete oil, ground pepper, salt, msg.

Thoroughly wash and drain the fresh alamang or shrimp. Meanwhile, dissolve powdered malagkit in hot water. Add achuete oil, salt, pepper, msg. Blend batter well until consistent. In a pan, heat oil enough for deep frying. Add to the batter well drained fresh alamang just before frying to avoid thinning of batter. Pour about ¼ cup and fry until crispy. Drain excess oil in paper towel. Serve with your favorite dip. The best dip for me is vinegar with chopped garlic.

Other version of okoy has mongo sprout and/or shredded unripe papaya in addition to alamang or shrimps. If you use shrimp, be sure to remove the "horn" and the "hair" from its head.

Dilis Crispies (fresh)

My mama used to cook this when  was a little kid. This is one of her recipes, hand-written on an old notebook, half-eaten by termites. All these years I have kept it, like a precious gem. Dilis (I guess this is anchovies in English) are small slender fish, about 2 to 3 inches long. Fresh dilis can be prepared as kilawin, a very appetizing dish. For now, I will share Mama's dilis crispies, one of my favorite food.

1/2 kilo fresh dilis; 4 tsp. calamansi (chinese lemon) juice; 4 tsp. table salt; 1 tsp black pepper (ground); cornstarch; and cooking oil for frying.

Remove head of dilis. Wash fish very well and allow to drain. Soak fish in a mixture of salt, juice and pepper for about 15 minutes. Drain and dry fish under the sun for about 20 minutes by scattering the fish on a tray. Cover with screen to keep away flies and other insects. Place cornstarch in a plastic bag, drop some dilis and shake untill all the dilis is well coated with cornstarch. Fry the dilis until golden brown and serve with your favorite dip or sauce. Happy eating!

Yacon-sweet, tasty and healthy

Yacon both sweet and healthy, study shows
Florante A. Cruz, UPLB and Philippine Agricultural Journalist, Inc. - CALABARZON

Yacon tubers on sale at the market. Photo from

Have you ever tasted yacon, a crunchy tuber with a sweet apple and watermelon-like taste? Despite its sweetness, yacon is known for its low-calorie content.

Yacon, however, is not just for weight-watchers. Research  by the group of Dr. Evelyn Rodriguez of UP Los Baños Institute of Chemistry shows that the tuber from yacon, a perennial crop closely related to the sunflower and grown in several areas in Northern Luzon and Mindanao, has more benefits than most people may know.

Through a grant given by the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD) of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), various phytochemicals in yacon were isolated, identified, characterized and quantified by Rodriguez’s research group.

Phytochemicals are compounds naturally occurring in plants and are considered as health promoters. According to the study’s results, yacon being grown in the Philippines is very rich in phytosterols, phenolics and fructo-oligosaccharides.

Fructo-oligosaccharides are a type of carbohydrates produced in plants. They are sweet but not metabolized by the human body. This makes yacon a good alternative snack or dessert even for diabetics.

Several bioassays were also conducted to determine the potential contribution of these phytochemicals to health and wellness.

According to the study, the phytosterols of yacon tuber and leaf oils reduced blood serum cholesterol levels, indicating a potential for helping reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

The study also shows that the phenolic compounds found in yacon leaves and tubers exhibit potent antioxidant, anti-angiogenic and anti-inflammatory activities.

These results suggest that, like quercetin, the phenolic compounds from yacon can help prevent carcinogenesis and other chronic diseases.

Rodriguez’s study solidifies yacon’s place in the map of “functional foods” which are highly considered for health and wellness not only because of their nutritive value but for their physiological benefits to the human body as well.

Yacon, according to the findings of Rodriguez’s research group, could form part of a person’s diet. In combination with other healthy and functional foods such as fruits and vegetables, it may also help reduce the risk, delay, or even prevent the occurrence of, chronic and degenerative diseases.   (from:

Squash Lumpia

During squash season in the Philippines, farmers find it difficult what to do with their extra squash. If they dump their extra squash in the market, it would terribly lower the price. Many farmers would just leave the squash to rot in the gardens. Well, here's one recipe idea to try in your kichen, squash lumpia:

2 cups squash, grated
2 tbsp kinchay, chopped
lumpia wrapper
salt to taste
msg (optional)
cornstarch paste

Lemon sauce:
3 tbsp calamansi juice
1/2 cup water
1 tbsp cornstarch
1/3 cup sugar
1 piece siling labuyo, crushed
1 drop yellow food color (or atchuete extract)

Mix together squash, kinchay in a bowl, season with salt, msg and mix well. Put a tablespoon of mixture in lumpia wrapper and roll. Seal edges with cornstarch paste. Fry until golden brown. Serve with lemon sauce or catsup.

To prepare the lemon sauce: Mix all ingredients in a saucepan and cook until thick

Banana Flan

It has been a long weekend. So many chores to do until I stumbled upon a plastic bag containing bits and pieces of papers with recipes scribbled on it. I cannot remember where I copied this. Well, this is just one of them... one of my favorite dessert recipe. I did this last Christmas and my kiddos love it. This is the banana version of mango float. Mango is a seasonal fruit while bananas are always available in the market (in tropical countries like the Philippines) and much cheaper than mangoes. Well here it is........The Banana Flan! Tsong! (photo coming up)

1 tbsp butter
32 pcs butter cookies or Graham crackers (you can actually use slice bread, other types of crackers or cookies)
2 tbsp unflavored gelatin, softened in
1/2 cup water
1-1/4 cups condensed milk
2 cups water
2 eggs, well beaten
1 tsp. vanilla extract
6 banana lacatan, sliced thinly diagonnaly

Grease 9"x9" ovenproof dish with butter. Lay half of the butter cookies or graham crackers at the bottom of the pan. Set aside. In a saucepan, dissolve gelatin with milk, water and eggs. Put over medium heat,stirring constantly until mixture thickens. Add vanilla extract. Pour half flan mixture over cookies. Let cool till half set. Layer up the bananas on top of the cookies of graham crackers. Press them lightly onto the flan. Chill and serve. Mmmmmwah!

Peanut butter

2 kilos roasted peanuts
1/2 kilo refined sugar
1 kilo cooking oil

combined and pass through a grinder (or blender) a number of times depending on the smoothness you desire. For crunchy peanut butter, set aside some roasted peanuts, crush and mix well with peanut butter.

This is the basic ingredients and instruction. From my own experience, peanut butter taste better if you add a pinch of salt before grinding.

Meal planning

Pointers to ensure meal-planning success

1. Avoid preparing foods of the same food group in one meal, such as starches - pancit, spaghetti and rice; or proteins - beans, pork, beef, chicken.

2. Have a good balance between soft and solid foods. A meal of arroz caldo, ginataang camote, and macaroni soup is far too soft. Likewise a meal of fried fish, pancit bihon and cuchinta is intolerably dry.

3. Avoid preparing highly seasoned foods at one meal. Seasonings should be used sparingly.

4. Serve only a few varieties of food at one meal. Two or three kinds is enough.

5. Consider the cost of the food. Food not in season is always more expensive. There is enough variety among the inexpensive ones.

6. Observe food color harmony as much as possible.

7. Plan for a substantial breakfast. A good diet for the day begins with a good breakfast. The body is in greater need of food then than at any other time. If one is not hungry at breakfast, the cause should be sought out and corrected.

8. Supper should consist of the simplest meal of the day. If a hearty meal is planned, it should be served as early as possible.

Pancit canton
1/4 kilo chicken (or pork)cubes
1/2 cup chicken (or pork) liver, cut in strips
1/2 cup shrimp, shelled.
1/2 cup shrimp extract
2 Tbsp cooking oil
1 small piece carrot, sliced
10 pcs. Baguio beans, sliced diagonally
3/4 cup sayote, cut into strips
1 cup cabbage, strips
2 cups water
200 grams canton noodles
2 Tbsp kinchay, coarsely chopped
1-2 Tbsp cornstarch, dissolve in 1 Tbsp water (optional)
salt and pepper to taste

For the shrimp extract: remove shrimp heads and mash using mortar and pestle until well shredded. add some water and strain. save the water for broth.

In a hot oil stir-fry carrots, baguio beans, sayote and cabbage. remove from hear and set aside.

On the same pan, sautee chicken, liver and shrimp. Add shrimp broth and water. Let it boil. Add a pinch of salt to taste (be careful canton noodles are already salty) and pepper. Add stir-fried vegetables and kinchay. Mix well. Thicken with cornstarch if desired. Serve hot with sliced calamansi.

Egg sarciado

Egg sarciado (Saucy egg?). Whatever its English name, that’s it. It taste good if paired with prito nga uga (fried dried fish) especially uga nga sapsap or pinakas. Sapsap is a flat roundish fish about 3” diameter, silvery in color, I dunno it’s English name. Pinakas is some kind of tuna fish cut half across from the backbone to its belly. [read more...]

Lapú or Laswa

Lapú (with stress at the last syllable), or linapwahan or laswa is vegetable stew.  There are numerous versions of linapwahan, depending on your preference. Here’s the basic recipe:

Boil 1 cup of water with sliced onions (bombay) and some dilis (dried anchovies). Add sliced squash, cover and simmer for a minute. Then add string beans (cut to 2 inches long) and crushed garlic, cover and simmer for another minute. Then add tagabang  [read more...]

Hardinera (embutido)

In Quezon Province, they call this hardinera. In the Visayas, it is embutido. I got this recipe when I watched one of the episodes of Kapuso mo, Jessica Sojo, my favorite Saturday night show. I have cooked this recipe and my kids find it appetizing. I think by adding more pineapple chunks and its syrup will make it more flavorful. Just like embutido that is usually served during fiesta, you can prepare several hardineras for give aways. So try this out...

from: panlasangpinoy
1/2 kilo ground pork
1 cup carrots, cubed
1 cup pickles, cubed
1 cup luncheon meat. cubed
1 cup hotdog, cubed
1 cup pineapple chunks
1/2 cup liver spread
1 cup all purpose cream
1 cup cream of mushroom (powder)
1 tablespoon flour
3 large eggs
1 medium onion
3 cloves garlic
cooking oil for sauteeing
You will also need some llaneras (molders), aluminum foil and steamer

  • Sautee the ground pork in onion and garlic.  Then add the liver spread. Set aside.
  • In a mixing bowl, combine carrots, pickles, luncheon meat, hotdog, pineapple, all-purpose cream, cream of mushroom and pork mixture.
  • Beat the eggs and add it to the mixture. Then add the flour and mix thoroughly.
  • Put the mixture in a llanera, cover with aluminum foil then steam for 2 hours. Serve with hard boiled eggs. (Another variation is place uncooked egg and some pineapple chunks at the bottom of the llanera before putting the pork mixture.)

    Bandi (Peanut Brittle, San Joaquin style)
    Here is the recipe on how to make homemade bandi or Peanut Brittle (San Joaquin style)

    San Joaquin is a town south of Iloilo Province. It is known for its bandi that they celebrate annually the Bandi festival to promote their product. Everytime visitors pass by this sleepy town, they would always buy bags and bags of bandi for pasalubong. Just in case you are unable to visit San Joaquin, I am sharing with you this recipe shared to me by Wowa, a bandi maker from this town. Try it out...

    1 cup native peanuts
    ¼ cup water
    1 cup sugar
    ¼ cup sesame seeds

    Plastic cover (the one used for wrapping books) or banana layers (saha sang saging)
    Frying pan or wok

    1.Mix 1 cup of peanuts, 1 cup of sugar and water in the frying pan.
    2.Heat and stir for about 15 minutes for the sugar to caramelize and for the peanuts to be cooked.
    3.While waiting, wipe some oil on a plastic cover.
    4.Remove the frying pan from the heat and pour the caramelized peanuts onto the plastic cover. While wet form into flat round shapes.
    5.Leave to harden and dry.

    It is preferred that you use banana layers or  the saha sang saging to serve as tray for the bandi to dry because these contain moisture that makes the bandi dry faster. These days, however, they’ve opted for the plastic wrapper for convenience.

    Peanut Brittle (family style)

    Mmm.. another peanutty story, I mean recipe. This is a very very  simple recipe from my friend. What makes it so delicious is how  light, sort of foamy looking and airy it is and not at all yukky sticky. The secret ingredient is by adding the soda after you remove it from heat.
    1 cup light corn syrup
    1 cup granulated sugar
    1 tablespoon butter
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    raw peanuts (however many you like)
    1 heaping teaspoon baking soda
    put all the ingredients, except  the peanuts and baking soda in a wok. Put on medium heat. stirring constantly until all the  sugar dissolves. Then  add the peanuts. Stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in one heaping teaspoon baking soda (make sure baking soda is freshly opened). Now pour out on a greased cookie sheet. Pour the peanut brittle on the cookie sheet, spread out. it will dry quickly. when dry, break to bite sizes. Ayos!
    Happy eating!!

    Maja ni Gen
    I have always loved dessert particularly mga Pinoy dessert. Maja blanca tastes sooo good - the blend of cornstarch, sweet corn, creamy coconut milk with toasted coconut as topping - wow! But this recipe shared by a friend, Generose Quilantang is particularly mucho delicioso. I want to share this with everyone to get a taste of Generose's generosity.


    4 COCONUTS                                                                                                                                                                   
    2 CUPS CORN STARCH (400 G)
    1 CAN EVAP
    2 CUPS CORN STARCH (400 G)
    1 CUP EVAP
    1 CUP GATA

    Holiday peanut brittle
    Traditional Peanut Brittle
    A traditional holiday classic
    2 cups raw  peanuts
    3 cups sugar
    1 cup light corn syrup
    1 cup water
    1/2 tsp. salt
    2 Tbsp. butter
    2 tsp. baking soda
    Heat and stir sugar, syrup and water in a heavy  saucepan until the sugar dissolves. Add salt. Cook over medium heat to soft ball stage (234 degress). Add peanuts. Cook to hard crack stage, stirring often. Remove from heat.
    Quickly, stir in butter and soda. Beat to a froth for a few seconds. Pour at once onto 2 well-buttered pans, spreading with spatula. If desired, cool slightly and pull with forks to stretch thin. Break up when cold.
    Makes about 1-1/2 pounds of peanut brittle.

    Pancit Malabon

    1 kilo fresh rice noodles (soaked for 10 minutes in water and drained)
    For sauce
    6 tbsp atchuete oil
    6 cups shrimp juice
    2 tbsp garlic, minced
    1 cup all-purpose flour
    1 cup of water
    salt and pepper to taste

    For toppings
    1 cup kintsay, sliced
    1 cup pechay Baguio, sliced
    1 cup chicharon, crushed
    1 cup smoked tinapa, flaked
    1 cup oysters, cooked
    1 1/2 cup shrimps, cooked and peeled
    1/2 kilo squid, sauteed in oil and garlic
    1 cup pork, cooked and cubed
    4 hard-boiled eggs, sliced
    1/2 cup spring onions, chopped finely
    4 tbsp fried garlic
    4-6 pcs calamansi, sliced
    1. Dissolve 1 cup of flour in 1 cup of water. Set aside.
    2. To make sauce: Heat atchuete oil in a pan. Sautèe garlic, then add shrimp juice. Allow to boil. Pour in water with dissolved flour. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
    3. Boil water in a wok or large saucepan. Fill a luglugan or bamboo strainer with noodles, pechay Baguio and kintsay.
    4. Dip into the boiling water and drain. Put in a large bowl.
    5. Add sauce, crushed chicharon, and tinapa flakes. Toss, then transfer to a plate.
    6. Top with oysters, shrimps, squid, pork, egg slices, spring onions, and fried garlic. Serve with sliced calamansi.

    Pork sinigang (Mama's style)

    Pork Sinigang
    1 kilo pork, preferably spare ribs, cut into chunks
    1 regular red onion, diced
    5 tomatoes, sliced half
    1 roll lemon grass (tanglad)
    100 gm. river spinach (Kangkong)
    100 grams string beans
    3 pieces horse radishes, sliced
    3 pieces gabi (taro), pealed and sliced
    4 pieces sili (green finger pepper)
    200 grams sampalok (tamarind)
    4 tablespoons of patis (fish sauce)
    1 liter of rice wash, pork broth or water
    1.        Boil sampalok in water until the shell cracks.Cool and  peal off the shells, mash and with the use of strainer, separate the meat from the seeds. Set aside the sampalok juice.
    2.        In a pot, sauté garlic and onion then add the tomatoes. Let simmer for 5 minutes.
    3.        Add pork, tanglad and fish sauce then add the rice wash. Bring to boil then simmer for 10 minutes then add the gabi. Continue to simmer for another 20 minutes or until the pork is tender.
    4.        Add the horse radish and simmer for 5 minutes then add the string beans, kangkong and sili . Let boil for 2 minutes.
    5.        Serve hot.
    (cooking tip: you may use commercially available tamarind cube or sampalok seasoning instead of tamarind fruit)

    Kadyos, baboy, langka - authentic Ilonggo dish!

    Enjoy KBL, or pork knuckles stew with kadios, baboy & langka - an authentic Ilonggo dish.

    3 cups of fresh kadios
    1 kilo langka cubes
    1 kilo pork
    Pieces batuan
    2 liters water
    1 medium sized onion
    1 roll tanglad or lemon grass

    How to cook:
    Broil over charcoal pork belly/legs to give it its smoky flavor in the stew later.when done cut into desired sizes. set aside

    In a separate pot, boil fresh kadios for  5 minutes. Add langka and lemongrass. When the langka is soft, add the cut-up broiled pork and continue boiling for about 10 minutes. add batwan and katumbal. Mmmm! Namit gid ya...