Beef tapa (for tapsilog)

Tapsilog is my favorite breakfast. Tapsilog is every Filipinos’ favorite. The secret to Pinoys’ beef tapa is the freshness of the meat and lots of garlic. That’s it! The rest is found below:

1 kilo thinly sliced beef sirloin

1 1/2 Tablespoon + 1/2 teaspoon salt
7 Tablespoon white sugar
2 teaspoon minced garlic (you can add more)
1 tsp. ground black pepper
2 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
3 1/2 tablespoon vinegar

Mix well all marinade ingredients in a mixing bowl. Dip each slice of beef into the marinade and place in a plastic bag or any shallow plastic container. When all slices has been dipped and placed in the plastic bag/container, pour the remaining marinade over it. Seal the plastic bag/container removing as much air as you can from the container. Let stand for at least overnight in the refrigerator. You may allow it to “cure” for at 2 days. You may also sun dry the meat pieces if you want your tapa to have that rubbery texture. To cook, just fry in little cooking oil. I prefer mine cooked first in a little water. When the water has dried up, that is the time I add oil to fry. This way the tapa is tender and juicy.

Now serve with fried egg and kalo-kalo (sinangag or fried rice). Garnish with slices of tomatoes and atsarang kapayas (papaya pickles).

It is better if you make several servings of tapa. Let’s say one serving of about ½ kilo per meal. You can save a lot than buying tapa from the grocery stores that are probably made from unsold, thus, not fresh meat.

You may also use pork instead of beef. Pork is cheaper than beef.

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For a demo on how to prepare beef tapa, here's a video:

Tocino (w/ soda)

1 kilo thinly sliced pork with skin removed   
8 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon rock salt
1 cup clear soda (sprite or 7up)

Spread the thinly sliced pork on a chopping board and pound it using a meat tenderizer hammer or with the dull side of a kitchen knife. Mix all ingredients and allow to marinate for at least 3 hours. You may cook the tocino in its marinade. When almost dried up. Add some oil. Turn the tocino frequently to ensure even cooking. Top with fried garlic. Serve with sunny-side-up egg and fried or plain rice.

Children will love this tocino for its sweetish taste. This recipe is good as it does not require any preservative other than sugar and salt used here.  Because of this, it requires refrigeration.

Happy eating!

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Hamburger (Jollibee-style)

Yap! Filipino style hamburger. This western food has invaded the Filipino palate. It is unstoppable. It is irresistible. But.... of course, we give this western food a twist to fit our taste buds. That is why Jollibee is all over the world. Wherever there are Filipinos, Jollibee is there.

I got this Jollibee--style hamburger recipe from a friend who happened to work once in Jollibee that I want to share with you. You may prepare a lot of patties in your freezer for future use. You no longer have to go out for a hamburger or buy ulamburger for your kids' baon to school and your baon to work.

Hamburger (Juicy and Jollibee style)
1 -Pound ground angus beef
10 -Small hamburger buns
10 -teaspoons chopped onion
5 tsp chopped garlic (optional)
Hamburger Seasoning
The Hamburger Seasoning:
1 Tablespoons salt
1 Tablespoons Accent (msg)
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
Add on: Mustard, Ketchup, cheese, sliced tomatoes, sliced onions, lettuce ....and ..... sheets of waxed paper

First, mix all seasonings well and add to your ground beef. Add chopped onions. Mix well.
Divide 1 lb of beef into 10 equal sized balls. Form a patty about 4 inches in diameter and1/4 inch thick. You may press the beef balls between 2 sheets of waxed paper to form the patty. Now freeze the patties for at least an hour.  Freezing keeps them from falling apart when you cook them (grilled or fried).

Toast your burger buns lightly before serving. Of course you may add  onion rings, tomatoes (sliced thinly crosswise), lettuce, mustard, ketchup, cheese, hot sauce… just do it. Then pair your burger with a big glass of icy pineapple juice.

You may add some grated carrots, sayote or any favorite vegies (like chopped malonggay leaves) for added value. I sometimes add some ground pork (30% proportion) to make the burger patties juicier.


Batchoy – ah! An all-time favorite Ilonggo “pamahaw”. So mouth-watering! Almost all restos and eateries in Iloilo and Negros serve batchoy. Almost all of them claim to serve the original Lapaz batchoy. Anyone who comes to Iloilo cannot leave without savoring Ted’s Original Lapaz batchoy or Deco’s Original Lapaz batchoy. I have my own recipe for batchoy. Original or not, my family just love my version of batchoy – they crave for it.

To Boboy P., my husband's long-time-no-see friend who lost himself in the wilderness of Mindanao but later found himself with a pot of golden fruits in Davao, here’s how I cook batchoy….
You will need:

½ kilo pork (with some bones)
¼ kilo pork/beef liver
some quail’s eggs
1 head garlic (minced)
spring onions (minced)
cooking oil
2 pork cubes (I prefer knorr)
some fresh eggs (for special batchoy. But this is optional)
2 kilos fresh noodles (available in public markets. You may use miswa or sothanghon)
cooked ginamos (shrimp paste, this is optional if you have allergy),
ground black pepper.
ground pork chicharon

 Fry garlic in little oil under low fire until brown. Be sure to turn the garlic continuously to avoid scorching. Set aside.

In a big “caldero”, boil pork and liver for about 15 minutes. Remove from fire and separate the pork and liver, Cut pork and liver into thin strips. While doing this, boil again the pork stock with the bones. You may add more water. Season with pork cubes, salt, cooked shrimp paste and pepper.

In a bowl, put some fresh noodles. On it, place some strips of pork, liver and some quail’s eggs. Pour some boiling hot pork stock. Top with lots of fried garlic, spring onion and chicharon. You may add fresh egg (minus its shell, of course) to give the soup that creamy look and taste.

Serve with puto sg Manapla or pan de leche.

Happy eating!..:)

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Paksiw na prito (pak-prit)

I saw this recipe of Chef Gene Gonzalez from This is almost similar to fish sarciado I think. Perhaps we can try this out at home. The recipe seemed simple enough.

Maja blanca (ni Nang Fely)

Nang Fely was my office-mate known to many of us as the old little chancellor. A lovable lady who loves to entertain her visitors with her mouth-watering dessert - maja blanca. Nang Fely now retired, devotes her life as a church volunteer.

I never liked maja blanca until I got to taste Nang Fely's. Of course, Gen's maja blanca which I tasted only a few years back is also as delicious. Now, I do not eat maja blanca unless it uses Nang Fely's or Gen's recipes. For Gen's version, click here. Below, I am sharing Nang Fely's recipe just in case you wish to try it out and invite me in for a bite:


1 cup corn starch
1 3/4 cup refined sugar
5 cups liquid (consisting of coconut milk, coconut water, evaporated milk. You may add some water to complete the 5-cup liquid requirement)
1 can sweet corn (cream style)
1/2 cup of shriveled meat of young coconut

Combine the first 3 ingredients. Cook over low fire, stirring constantly until thick. Then add sweet corn and coconut meat. Mold and cool.

For the coconut topping, see Gen's maja blanca.


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 BaƱos 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. [read more...]

Chicken nuggets

Meaty chicken nuggets are children's favorite. You serve them chicken nuggets for breakfast, for lunch, for dinner, they eat them all. Children don't seem to get bored with chicken nuggets.


Oh, well so be it. Later on we can do some trick by adding some veggies. For now, here's the basic recipe for chicken nuggets...

For the nuggets:
1 whole chicken breast, sliced bite-size
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp kalamansi juice
1/4 tsp ground pepper
2 eggs slightly beaten
some all purpose flour
some bread crumbs
cooking oil for frying

Marinate chicken in soy sauce, kalamansi juice and pepper for about 30 minutes. It is better to mix first all marinade ingredients before putting in the chicken. After marinating, coat each chicken piece with flour. Dip each piece in eggs then in bread crumbs. Make sure the coating is even but not too thick. Heat cooking oil in a frying pan. Deep fry chicken until golden brown. Serve with any favorite dipping sauce.

Now for that valued-added chicken nuggets...

Choose ground chicken meat. Add grated vegetables such as carrots or brocolli. Add a dash of salt, pepper and mix well. Form into small balls the size of pingpong balls. Roll in flour. Mix 1 slightly beaten egg, 1/4 cup milk and 1/2 cup pureed vegetables. Dip each flour-covered chicken balls in the egg mixture. Roll the nuggets in a mixture of bread crumbs, grated parmesan cheese. Flatten the balls a little bit to form nuggets and arrange on a cookie rack. Bake at 400 degrees F for about 10 minutes or golden brown. Now you have crispier and healthier chicken nuggets. Serve with your kids' favorite dip.

Happy eating

Ampaw or ampao (Puffed Rice)

With the price of flour and bread going up and away, we still have alternatives to fill that hungry stomach between meals. Rice is one answer.

Ampaw or ampao is a favorite Cebuano snack. That crunchy, sticky and deliciously sweet Ampao with peanuts made in Liloan, Cebu is so popular that it is even available in various Filipino stores in US, Hongkong and Singapore.

Ampaw or ampao is made from dried cooked rice, usually left-over rice. It is known as rice crispies to others.

The cooked rice grains are sun-dried and fried in hot oil to make them puffy and crunchy. This is a fun snack and can be made for small business venture. This is also a yummy dessert. Here's the recipe:

2 cups cooked rice, dried under the sun for about 4 hours
2-3 cups cooking oil
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup corn syrup (preferably dark brown)
1 tsp vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup butter

Heat cooking oil in a deep frying pan or wok. Carefully drop the sun-dried rice and cook until they are puffy. Drain on absorbent paper or paper towels. Set aside.

In a saucepan combine sugar, salt, corn syrup, and vinegar. Boil until it reaches the hard stage, that is about 300 deg F in the candy thermometer. Remove from heat and add butter and vanilla extract. Let the butter melt without stirring.

Pour the syrup over puffed rice. Mix well using a wooden spoon until all puffed rice is well coated with syrup.

Pour puffed rice mixture to a greased pan. Allow to cool slightly enough to allow you to hold it with your bare hands. With greased hands, divide the mixture into desired sizes and shape into balls or bars. Wrap in wax paper. Dry the shaped rice puffs under the sun for 1-3 days.

Happy eating and happy selling!

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Squash Pastillas

Squash is loaded with vitamins, minerals and nutrients. It contains protein, carbohydrates, potassium, sodium, calcium, phosphorus, and vitamins A, B, and C. Squash contains high potassium, which reduces urinary calcium excretion; people who eat high amounts of dietary potassium appear to be at low risk of forming kidney stones.

The nutrients found in squash are useful for the prevention of other conditions as well. High intakes of fiber-rich foods help to keep cancer-causing toxins away from cells in the colon, while the folate, vitamin C, and beta-carotene help to protect these cells from the chemicals that can lead to colon cancer.

The squash’s antioxidants vitamin C and beta-carotene also have anti-inflammatory properties that make them helpful for conditions like asthma, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis, where inflammation plays a big role.

In addition to the fruit, other parts of the plant are edible. Squash seeds can be eaten directly, ground into paste, meal, “nut” butter, or even a fine flour. The flowers, leaves, and tendrils can be eaten as vegetables. Unknown to many Filipinos, squash flowers are found to contain lutein, a plant phytochemical that prevents cataracts.


1 kilo squash
3 cups sugar
2 tbsp butter
1 tsp lemon rind

Cut squash into cubes and cook in boiling water until tender enough to mash into puree. Drain off water and cool. Scrape pulp from peel and press through sieve. Measure the squash pulp and add 1/2 cup sugar per cup of puree. Mix thoroughly. Cook over medium heat. Add butter. Stir constantly until thickened. Add lemon rind and continue stirring. Cooking is done if it forms a firm ball in cold water. Turn into a smooth board greased with butter. Level to 1/2 cm. thick. Allow to cool and into desired size. Roll in sugar and wrap with cellophane paper.

Meat loaf

Meat loaf is synonymous to embutido and hardinera in terms of ingredients and process. But there's a twist in this recipe. Try it and find out.

1/2 kilo ground pork
1 can sliced pineapple
1 onion, chopped
1 small carrot, chopped
1 small singkamas (sweet yam), chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
2 Tbsp powdered milk
4 slices loaf bread
1 egg, slightly beaten
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

Combine all ingredients except sliced pineapple. At the bottom of a 9"x5" pan, arrange pineapple slices. Pour meat mixture. Cover with wax paper or aluminum foil. Steam for 1 hour, then cool before serving with your favorite ketchup.

Mango jam

Wash ripe mangoes. Cut and scoop out pulp. To every cup of the pulp, add 1/4 cup sugar. Cook until thick enough to spread. Pack in dry sterile glass jar. Remove air bubbles and half seal container.

Sterilize for 25 minutes in boiling water. Seal completely.

Corn Fritters

Naku, season na naman ng mga mais.  Sugba and tinanok nga mais is found almost everywhere. Why not try this recipe for a change.

1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk (evaporated)
2 cups fresh corn, cooked and scraped off from the cob
Vegetable oil for frying

Sift flour, measure and re-sift with baking powder and salt. Combine beaten eggs and milk. Mix well until smooth. Fold in corm. Drop from a teaspoon into heated oil. Fry until golden brown.

(photo from

Pancake or hotcake

Another recipe from my dear mother's notebook. She used this recipe during those year when ready-to-mix hotcake mix was not available yet in the market. But if you want to try your hand in making real home-made hotcake, here's the recipe for you. It is a lot cheaper if you do this instead of buying the ready-to-mix hotcake.

1 1/4 cup sifted all purpose flour
3 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp sugar
1 egg
1 cup milk
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp cooking oil
1/2 cup mince meat (optional)

Sift together flour, baking powder and salt. combine eggs, milk, oil, sugar. mix well. add to dry ingredients with mince meat. stir just until flour is moistened. bake on hot griddle pan.

If you use a frying pan, allow the pan to heat up over low to medium heat. Then brush some melted butter or cooking oil. Pour in about 1/2 cup of dough. Cover and allow to cook. If the sides are dry, turn the pancake for the other side to cook.

Instead of meat, you may use mashed banana (green variety), or grated carrot, or chopped malonggay leaves for vitamin-rich pancakes. Happy eating!

Oops! The syrup? Wait lang...

Ah. tantsahan lang sa proportion. Just mix some water (about 1/4 cup), add some white and brown sugar, add butter or oil, heat over low heat until thick. Or you may use condensed milk as topping and sprinkle some chocolate milk drink in granualted form (Milo).

Siomai sa Tisa, Cebu (my version)

I have tried the recipe for siomai sa Tisa as provided by Lina V., a friend from Cebu. Those who wish to try her recipe, click here. Taste good and mouth-watering. I have tried several siomai recipes, but here's the best so far that I want you to try too:

1/2 kilos ground pork with 1/3 fat (fat will make the siomai soft and juicy)
1/2 cup grated carrot-Chinese turnips mix (singkamas in Filipino. In English it's yam bean or jicama. Or you may use sayote - a perennial vegetable)
1 tbsp chopped spring onions (sibuyas dahon)
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 egg, slightly beaten
2 tbsp cornstarch
sesami oil

prepare and cook as directed here......

For Dodoy who wish to learn how to wrap siomai, here's a video-demo: