Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Mussels (Tahong)

I love mussels. When I went to New Zealand, I saw the biggest mussels ever. I was really awestruck with their sizes. I couldn't stopped talking about them. Not only were they really, really big, they were also meaty. Sometimes, the shells of ordinary mussels are so big, then the meat inside were very small. But New Zealand Mussels are really big and meatier. Here I am again, all agog about New Zealand mussels.
We're lucky living in Tasmania, because we're surrounded by water. Whenever we have the time, we go for a drive and collect mussels, oysters and if I'm lucky some crabs. But this time, these are bought mussels and they happened to be New Zealand mussels. And boy, did I enjoy eating them ....

1 kilo mussels
2 tbsp oil
2 cloves garlic, minced finely
1 onion, chopped finely
1 inch ginger, thinly sliced or 1 tsp minced ginger from a jar
4 – 5 tomatoes, chopped
fish sauce to taste
a bunch of spinach or pechay or silver beet


Clean the mussels thoroughly if they are not clean yet. Remove the moustache-like sticking out.
Sauté the garlic in the oil until brown.
Add the onion and ginger.
Stir for a minute then add the chopped tomatoes.
Add the mussels. Mix thoroughly then cover it. Let it simmer for few minutes.
Season with fish sauce. Be careful with your seasoning. Mussels have a natural taste of the sea, more often than not, they are salty already. So keep tasting the sauce. Put water if there is not enough sauce, or if you want your dish soupy. Let it boil.
Put the leaves in, mix and let it boil until the leaves are tender.
Serve with rice.
Rule of thumb with mussels. When they are open before you cook them, throw them away. If they don't open when you finished cooking them, throw them away.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Pancit Guisado

Pancit, the versatile food. One can eat it at breakfast, lunch, dinner even during merienda (morning tea or afternoon tea here in Oz). I think this is more popular during merienda. In our household, it is always a meal. This is what we had for lunch yesterday. I must have hit it right because there was no left-over. Poor dog didn't have any tucker afterwards. I was so busy taking a picture of it, by the time I sat down on the table it was almost gone. So this is the only serving I had ... but it was worth it. Calamansi were from the garden. I have heaps in the garden, I wonder if I can sell them ... hmmmmm.


1 500 grams packet of rice vermicelli noodles (bihon) Soak the noodles in hot water before preparing all the ingredients
1 cup of shredded cooked chicken or pork (left over bbq chicken is ideal)
a handful of shrimps
2 tbsp of cooking oil
2 cloves garlic, minced finely
1 onion, chopped finely
1 carrot, sliced thinly, julienne
50 - 100 grams of beans (Baguio beans) sliced thinly and diagonally
1 – 2 cups of shredded cabbage (I like cabbage, the more the merrier)
2- 3 tbsp of soy sauce
1 – 2 tbsp of sweet soy sauce (kecap manis), optional


Heat oil then sauté the garlic until brown.
Put the onion and stir for a minute.
Mix the carrots and beans.
Mix thoroughly, then add the cooked chicken and shrimps.
Season with soy sauce and sweet soy sauce.
Keep stirring then add the cabbage. Stir until the cabbage is well coated with the sauce then add the noodles and mix thoroughly.
Serve with calamansi, pepper and extra fish sauce on the side.

Left over Chicken BBQ omelette

Breakfast is always a family meal in our household. I always want my boys (I have twins) to have a proper breakfast during school days. They only take sandwiches to school, so I make sure they eat a hearty breakfast as often as possible. This morning, it was omellette with left over bbq chicken. One of them had rice, the other one had bread rolls like his daddy. Of course, I had some rice too. You can also have this at lunch time, have some salad on the side or still serve it with rice. Or even for a light dinner, again with salad and rolls or rice again ... lol.


1 cup of left over bbq chicken (bought from the supermarket is fine)
2-3 tbsp of cooking oil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
4 medium tomatoes, finely chopped
6 -8 eggs, beaten
salt and pepper to taste


Heat oil and sauté garlic until brown
Put onion and cook until onions are soft.
Add the tomatoes, cook until tomatoes are cooked.
Add the chicken, stir and season with salt and pepper.
Pour the beaten eggs and make sure the beaten eggs are spread out evenly.
Cook on the stove without stirring so that it will set on the bottom.
Finish cooking the omelette under the grill so that the top part is also cook.

If you haven’t got a grill, you can try flipping the whole omelette onto a big plate when the bottom is set. Then slide it back onto the pan. I wish you good luck when doing this. Or if you don’t want to be bothered flipping it and making the presentation nice, just turn the omelette portion by portion. The taste will still be there.

Misua with Zucchini

The humble misua. I remember when I was little, we only get to eat misua when we're sick. I guess because it's easy to eat. It slides down your throat so easily. You don't need to chew it. I never liked the patola (bottle gourd) that went with it, too. But now, I am missing that patola. I wished I have eaten all those patolas served to me when I was a little girl. Very seldom that I see patola being sold in the asian shops here. I have mentioned in a previous post that we only have 2 chinese shops in this part of the world, and that they don't sell everything I need and I want (it's all about what I want and what I need, LOL). What we have here is an abundance of zucchini. Especially when they are in season. They are easy to grow as well. So instead of using patola, I used zucchini in my version of misua.

2 thin rolls of misua noodles
2 tbsp cooking oil
2-3 cloves of garlic, chopped finely
1 onion chopped finely
50 – 100 grams of shrimps (or pork or chicken)
2-3 small zucchinis, sliced thinly (round)
2 cups of water
fish sauce to taste

Heat oil in a sauce pan. Add garlic, sauté until brown. Add onions.
Put the sliced zucchini and cook for 2 minutes.
Add the shrimps and season with fish sauce.
Add the water. Boil until the zucchinis are tender.
Put the misua noodles. Stir thorougly.
Serve immediately.

Saturday, April 26, 2008


It's getting cold in this part of the world and Lomi is one of my favourite foods in winter. I have to credit my sister for this recipe, she was the one who taught me how to do it. Of course, I put a different spin on it but fact remains, she told me how to do it. So thanks Lhie.

1 packet of fresh egg noodles (choose the fat noodles)
1 tbsp. of cooking oil
3 cloves of garlic, finely minced
1 onion, sliced thinly
1 c. of shredded cooked chicken meat
1 carrot, julienne
5 c. of chicken broth (unsalted) (or thereabouts)
2 eggs, beaten
salt and pepper to taste
spring onions sliced very small


In a sauce pan, sauté the garlic and onion until fragrant.
Add the julienne carrot and stir for 30 seconds.
Add the chicken meat and continue cooking over high heat for another 30 seconds.
Pour in the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Alternatively put water and 1 cube of chicken seasoning. Just watch your salt seasoning.
Add the egg noodles and simmer for 10 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper.
Pour in the beaten eggs in a thin stream, stirring continuously.
Turn off the heat and serve hot.

Laing using Silverbeet/Swiss Chard

I love Laing (Ginataang Dahon ng Gabi). Just a pity we can't grow Gabi in here. Too cold. We can't buy it that often in the chinese shop as well. FYI, we only have 2 chinese shops here, and they don't stock everything. So I make do with what is available and what I can grow in the garden. And that's Silverbeet. Silverbeet is like spinach, the bigger variety. I put it in soup, in ginisang Munggo and I also use it instead of spinach in spinach pie.

Here is my version of Laing using this versatile vegetable.


Bunch of Silverbeet (as much as you like)
500 grams of pork, sliced (parang pang gisa)
2 tbsp of oil
3 cloves of garlic, minced finely
1 medium onion, sliced finely
2 cm ginger, sliced thinly or 1 tsp. crushed ginger from a jar
1 can of coconut cream
fish sauce to taste
chilli, as much or as little as you like


Wash the Silver beet thoroughly. Separate stalks from leaves, then cut into 1 inch pieces. Set aside.
In a sauce pan, heat oil then sauté garlic, onion and ginger. Add pork and cook until tender. Add the desired amount of chilli or you can omit it altogether if you don’t like it spicy.
Season it with fish sauce. Add in the silver beet. Stir for a few minutes. Add the coconut cream. Simmer until oil comes out from the cream, stirring it once in a while.
Serve with rice and maybe fried fish.

Notice I did not use bagoong in cooking it because my family does not like bagoong. But of course you can use bagoong if you so desire. I was able to introduce many and varied Filipino dishes to my family; it just a pity that bagoong is one food/condiment that they don’t like.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

No Fuss Pancit Luglug/Palabok

I always liked Pancit Palabok. Whenever I go to a party and there's pancit palabok on the table, it's always the first thing I eat. I like all the many ingredients and I always thought it's a very difficult dish to cook. I am always impress with someone who can cook pancit palabok. Until one day I decided to cook it myself. I gathered all the filipino cookbooks I have, even searched for a recipe on the net. Ang guess what, it is a very difficult dish to put together. You need this, you need that ... etc, etc, etc. So I cooked a very simple version where the ingredients are readily available. And I came up with this ... And now this is a family favourite. My boys refer to it as ... the noodles with the yellow sauce. The colour of the anatto powder I get in here is yellow, that's why.


1 packet bihon (rice sticks) or alternatively use a packet of thin spaghetti (I usually use spaghetti, my family prefers it. And there's not much fuss in preparing it, once it's cooked as per the direction, you need not soak and boil it like the bihon)
2 tbsp oil
1 head garlic, minced (we love garlic, the more the merrier)
1 medium onion, minced finely
500 grams cooked pork, diced (minced chicken or pork works as well)
300 grams small shrimps, shelled ( or thinly sliced squid tubes)
½ cup pork broth or water
salt and pepper to taste
2 hard-boiled eggs, coarsely chopped
½ cup pork rind cracklings (chicharon), crushed
2 tbsp fish sauce (patis)
2 tbsp chopped spring onions
calamansi or lemon wedges

Ingredients for the Palabok (Red Sauce)

2 tbsp achuete/anatto oil
½ cup corn flour (corn starch) or plain flour
2-½ cup pork broth or water
Juices from sautéed pork-shrimp mixture


  1. Soak noodles in water for 30 minutes. Drain. If using spaghetti noodles, cook as per the direction in the packet.

  2. Over medium heat, sauté garlic in skillet in 2 tbsp oil for 1 minute or until brown. Set aside and use for garnishing.

  3. Sauté onion and pork in remaining oil for about 5-7 minutes. Add shrimps and ½ cup broth and let simmer for 5 minutes. If using water instead of broth, season with salt and pepper to taste. Strain pork-shrimp mixture when done. Set aside. Save juices.

  4. In a big sauce pan, bring water to a boil. Place a handful of drained noodles in a strainer and dip in boiling water. Boil for 2-4 minutes or until tender. Lift strainer out of water; drain noodles thoroughly and transfer to a serving dish. Cook rest of noodles in the same manner.

  5. Pour red sauce over noodles. Top with the pork-shrimp mixture and the rest of the ingredients (brown garlic, spring onions, boiled eggs, chicharon). Serve with calamansi and a small bowl of patis for further seasoning if desired.

For the Red Sauce (Palabok):

For achuete oil ... Heat 2 tbsp oil, sauté achuete/anatto powder, keep stirring until oil turns red

  • Add a little broth (1/4 cup) to the flour to make a thin paste. Stir rest of broth in.

  • Add the mixture to the achuete oil and enough water to make 3 cups of sauce including the reserved pork-shrimp broth. Bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Keep stirring the mixture to get a smooth sauce.

  • Correct the seasonings.

The typical pancit palabok in the Philippines has tinapa (smoked fish). I did not include it because my family is not very keen on smoked fish. More often than not, we also do not put chicharon, again, they are not very keen on it. But, if I have some in the cupboard, I put some on mine. The crunchy texture of it adds another flavour in the pancit.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Pinangat na Ulo ng Isda sa Kamatis (WARNING: Others might find these pictures gross)

I have an abundance of tomatoes from the garden and I still have one fish head left in the freezer. I was wondering what to do with the tomatoes, and it just so happened I was chatting with a friend and I asked her how to cook Pinangat using tomatoes. I am so used in cooking/eating the one with tamarind and she gave me an idea how to cook it. And this is how I did it.


1 fish head (it's better if the belly is still attached to the head)
5 - 6 pieces of ripe tomatoes, roughly sliced
1 medium to large onion, sliced
ginger, sliced thinly ( I used 2 tsps. crushed ginger from a jar, works perfectly as well)
salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp of olive oil
some bok choi or pechay (optional)

  • Place the rougly chop tomatoes, onions and ginger on the bottom of a sauce pan.
  • Lay the fish head on top of the mixture.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Cover and simmer the fish for roughly 5-7 minutes.
  • Check the fish and turn it over so that it will cook on the other side. Be careful.
  • Cook for another 5 minutes.
  • If it doesn't have enough sauce, add water then add the pechay.
  • Put a dash (1 tsbs) of olive oil before switching off the stove.

Serve it with steam rice and fish sauce on the side. If you like chili like me, spice it with chili or just mix the chili with your sauce. Enjoy.

About this Blog

My name is Lory. I currently live in Australia. I have been living here since 1989.

This Blog is about FOOD. The food I like to eat, the food I like to cook and the food I like to share around.

I am from the Philippines. I came from Pampanga. A place known for its food or rather the ability of the locals to be able to cook food. Once I introduce myself as coming from this place, the first thing someone asks is, "so, you must be a good cook then?" Well, I try to be.

I know there are so many blogs already about pinoy cooking, I hope I will be able to offer different way of cooking pinoy food. Especially, all the ingredients are not readily available where I live, I hope I will be able to justify the recipes using the alternative ingredients.

Happy Cooking and Happy Eating Everyone.