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family lunch: pork asado

Originally I was gonna call this post ‘HUNGER GAMES’. It’s an inside joke my sister and I came up with when we know we PIGGED OUT BIG TIME or when we’re planning on it.  While I was taking pictures, my little sister devoured 3 servings of this. She cautiously filled her plate with more food without us noticing. When we realized she ate almost a third of the food, we all started laughing. Had we been busier, we wouldn’t have had anything for lunch.

Our family’s secret recipe for Pork Asado

Pork Asado is a very common dish among Philippine households but like many of our national dishes, its recipe always varies from family to family. Basically, it’s tenderized pork marinated overnight in soy sauce, lemon or lime, tons of onion and pepper. Fry the pork then add the sauce made of pineapple juice, soy sauce and sugar. Simmer and wait for it to thicken and then serve with rice.

asado

Because my sister and I are not big fans of sweet dishes, (I know, I know. It’s weird that we hate sweet food and are not big dessert people.) our recipe is low on sugar and pineapple and high on lemon and onion. And to add that extra kick, we throw in some lightly charred chili. YUM! Makes me hungry just writing about it.

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A while back, hypersensationalism asked me to post a family recipe for a Filipino cuisine. I was originally planning to make a video of me cooking Adobo or Sinigang but the lighting in our kitchen is just not conducive for it. For now, I’ll be posting this one but I promise to really try and work on that lighting so I can show you how we make Filipino home-cooked meals. *excited*

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my take on spicy pork

For those new to my blog, I’d have to confess how big a foodie I am. I enjoy food, from all parts of the world, and I’m willing to try even the strangest, spiciest and most unorthodox food there is. It comes from a long fascination for the art of cooking which I developed from years of living with my grandparent’s rustic, very homey dishes. Waking up to the smell of fried rice, one of my grandfather’s specialty, is always a welcome start to my day.

To my older subscribers, this doesn’t come as a surprise anymore. I’ve been posting tidbits of my humble attempts in the kitchen hoping other lost souls out there would take inspiration from my chutzpah. I’m nowhere near amazing but I thought chronicling my small victories would help me see how much I’ve improved and would either push you to the kitchen to try or have something good to laugh about.

Okay, so a few days ago I cooked SPICY PORK.

spicy pork

It’s a family favorite, something we usually order in Chinese restaurants- abundant in our side of the city. There’s not much to it. I used pork loin, no fat. The upside is it’s a healthier option but it also dries out quickly so I’m always extra careful not to overcook it . Then I added dried herbs and powdered spices to the flour I was gonna use to coat the chunks of pork. On a small wok, I sauteed  garlic, shallots, ginger and spring onion in sesame oil, dropped the pre-fried meat then added around 2 teaspoons of oyster sauce, same amount of hoisin sauce and about 3 to 4 chopped chili picante. Just added salt and pepper to taste.

It’s always fulfilling putting something you’re proud of on a plate but it’s 10 times better that after a long prep, I can finally eat. YUM!

This is the finished dish, my take on Spicy Pork.

spicy pork- finished


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inspired to cook

The past few days have been hectic- an understatement if you ask me. This morning I decided I needed to relax and forget about all the unchecked items on my list, the one I’ve been carrying around like a newborn the past days, so decided I’m cooking pasta. Don’t give me that look. I know what you’re thinking. Why not go to a spa and get a massage instead? Well I’ll still be hungry afterwards besides I’m too lazy to drive all the way to the nearest spa.

I’ve always associated cooking with happy thoughts. It might be because I never saw anyone in my family cook with a frown. It’s always a happy, boisterous family occasion that everyone enjoys. I guess I carried that attitude even when I cook alone. I can still feel everyone dancing around, telling jokes, tasting each other’s dishes. Just thinking about makes me smile.

Mushroom Carbonara- I used chicken stalk as base and smothered it with Parmesan and Mozarella. YUM.

Mushroom Carbonara- I used chicken stalk as base and smothered it with Parmesan and Mozarella. YUM.

I still have a ton of things to do but at least I now feel re-energized and ready to face another long day of doing what I’m supposed to do. Take some time off your busy days to pamper yourself. It will do wonders not only to how you feel but also how well you perform at work.

a little chef inside

I LOVE FOOD.

That much I made clear in my previous entries. What I haven’t written about as much is how much I love preparing them. There are days when I dream of a bigger kitchen, more ovens, more recipes, more chances to cook and discover food. It has always been a passion, since I was very young and watching my grandfather cook rustic, Filipino dishes on the weekend for our whole family of 30 something to enjoy. That aroma that fills the kitchen then seeps into the living room where we wait patiently for lunch, it enlivens and draws me in so much that start fiddling around asking to help.

Now 15 years later, I still love it as much if not more. I see myself gravitate towards watching cooking shows, rooting for chefs at same time envying them. I spend more time in the kitchen that I’ve ever had. When I start cooking, I feel at home, like I am where I should be.      

my childhood resto: Naga Garden

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yummy food and a cozy little nook for 40 years- Naga Garden Restaurant.

A  couple of days ago we had dinner at this old restaurant, Naga Garden, in my hometown. I remember my parents scrambling to buy toasted siopao (bread stuffed with pork and a quarter of an egg) to take to my grandparents when I was younger. Buying pasalubong or a little trinket when visiting someone is a common practice here in the Philippines and in my family especially so I still distinctly remember walking into the restaurant almost every weekend.

Aside from a paint job and some new chairs, everything is pretty much the same. It’s the same lady who greets you with a smile by the counter, the same waiters (with the exception of a few of course), the same menu, the same recipe, the same homey feel you get when you walk in the door until you finish your meal.

yummy toasted siopao

yummy toasted siopao

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You should have seen me gorge on all of them. 🙂

Although there are a lot of newer restaurants offering similar food at probably a more intimidating ambiance (and price, ehem!), nothing beats the hearty feeling I get when I sit down on one of those chairs just like I used to when I was 6 or 7, with pig tails and in a princess dress.