Recipe #53: CRISPY KANGKONG

Crispy Kangkong

When your family eats Sinigang almost every week, chances are, there’s always an abundant supply of kangkong lying around in your fridge’s vegetable compartment. Kangkong (or water spinach) is uber cheap and it’s available all year round. A bundle of kangkong costs about P15 (US$.30) at the grocery and, perhaps, even cheaper at the public market.

Aside from Sinigang, kangkong can also be cooked as adobo, topped with some crispy garlic and savory dark sauce, which can be a fantastic side dish to your fried or grilled seafood, chicken, or pork. But today, we’re making Crispy Kangkong.

Crispy Kangkong is also a tasty appetizer, typically served in restaurants (which may sometimes cost a little more than it should be). But now, you can simply make them at home. The kangkong leaves are coated in spiced batter before frying them in hot oil. Drain the excess oil on a paper towel and that’s it, ready to be served. Easy-peasy!

Check out the complete recipe below:

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Recipe #50: MACAPUNO LECHE FLAN

It’s my 50th recipe! Wouldn’t it be awesome to celebrate it with my favorite Filipino dessert—Leche Flan! 🙂

Christmas is also a time of indulgence, and there’s probably no dessert more indulgent than the leche flan. Although it’s made from simple, everyday ingredients, I think leche flan is the most decadent local desserts, bar none. It’s simple and delicate, yet rich and addicting!

Macapuno Leche Flan

In case you’re not familiar, macapuno is a sweetened coconut preserve while leche flan (literally milk flan) is akin to crème caramel or caramel pudding which has so many versions all over the world. Interestingly, both macapuno and leche flan are key ingredients in making another popular Pinoy dessert—halo-halo. I’m topping our leche flan with sweet strings of macapuno because it adds a sweet bite to the otherwise plain flan.

In the Philippines, leche flan is typically made from egg yolks (lots of it!) and condensed milk. Either whole milk, evaporated milk, or cream is added to tone down the sweetness and boost the creaminess. It can be cooked with only three ingredients, but a few drops of vanilla extract and dayap (lime) zest can be added to enhance the flavor.

Beware, weight watchers! This dessert is practically made from sugar and milk, so just imagine its calorie content. But hey, an occasional bite or two would be fine, I suppose. 🙂

Macapuno Leche Flan

In this recipe, I replaced evaporated milk with coconut cream or kakang gata as it complements our macapuno sweets. Surprisingly, the flan itself once cooked does not have any distinct coconut taste, but its texture is so much creamier compared to using evaporated milk or regular milk.

I also cut down the number of egg yolks to six. Normally, a single batch needs about 10 to 12 egg yolks, but I think it’s a tad too much, not to mention, costly. Well, guess what, I tried it with six—no negative effect on the taste or quality!

Leche flan is normally steamed, but baking is also a popular option. I personally prefer baking as it gradually reduces the moisture content of the flan which results in a denser, firmer texture.

Of course, to make my life easier, I’m using my new Breville Smart Oven. It has user-friendly features and preset functions which any kitchen novice can follow. Plus, I don’t have to worry about overcooking because it has an auto shut-off timer.

Seriously, you must try this recipe! Watch and grab the recipe below:

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Recipe #46: THAI CHICKEN SATAY with PEANUT SAUCE & CUCUMBER RELISH

Perhaps, one of my biggest regrets while living in Thailand was not being able to blog about my life there. But then again, I also wanted to detach myself from the usual things that I did before I left Manila. I wanted to experience living in another country with a certain level of immersion into a culture that is similar yet so different from my own, away from the familiar crowd and scenes. Besides, that’s one of the many reasons I decided to take refuge in the the land of smiles anyway.

So, yeah, why regret.

Now that I’m back, and while I can still remember snippets of my life in Thailand, I’ll probably share one or two Thai recipes that I really enjoyed (and definitely going to miss) while I was there. Let’s start with one of my favorite street foods — Thai Chicken Satay.

Thai Satay 1

Here’s the thing — satay or sate (pronounced as sa-té) is not originally from Thailand. Its country of origin is in fact Indonesia, historically akin to the Indian kebabs. But because Thailand’s cuisine is more popular than its neighbors, satay became more associated with Thailand.

A photo posted by GJ Coleco (@gjcoleco) on

Thai Pork Satay sold as a street food in Thailand

Aside from Thailand and Indonesia, satay is also a well-known street food in Malaysia and many parts of Southeast Asia. Yes, it can also be found in the Philippines, in the south where it is known as satti.

Just like in any culinary adaptations, ingredients and preparations vary from one region to another. In Thailand, chicken and pork satay are common where it’s served with peanut sauce and cucumber relish. But in Islamic countries, chicken and beef are more preferred, although pork may also be found in non-halal food establishments. 

Try the recipe below and let me know what you think:

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