Recipe #32: MISUA BOLA-BOLA

Filipinos love soups. We enjoy them as they are, or we eat them with rice to add moist and texture. When I was a kid, I remember eating a bowl of rice overflowing in warm soup of Nilaga or Sinigang — types of pork, beef, or seafood stews. One of my favorite soup dishes is called Misua Bola-bola or Meat ball soup with Misua Noodles, and you can easily prepare this dish at home using today’s recipe.

Misua noodles originated from China which we inherited through its culinary influence in the country. Unlike rice vermicelli (bihon), which is made from rice, misua is made from wheat flour. These are very thin, white noodles that are very delicate, easily break when raw, and quickly absorbs liquid. You can buy them from your nearest sari-sari store (variety store), public market, or supermarket.

Misua Bola-bola

Misua Bola-bola is also known in some parts of the country as Almondigas. Because some recipes of Almondigas use rice vermicelli instead of misua, we will call it Misua Bola-bola to make a distinction. Besides, that how we call it back home in Malabon.

Perfect for rainy days, enjoy a warm bowl of Misua Bola-bola as a main dish, an appetizer, or as an afternoon snack. I still prefer the childish way by mixing it with my rice. It reminds me of the good old days.

I divided the recipe into two parts: the first one is how to prepare the meatballs; the last one is for the soup. Check the recipe below:

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Recipe #29: FILIPINO STYLE SPAGHETTI

I once mentioned in my introduction that I won’t be using canned sauces in my recipes. Everything would be traditionally prepared as much as possible, which means no shortcuts. But, no, I cannot apply that rule in this recipe.

The reason is Filipino Style Spaghetti is always prepared with canned and bottled sauces. If I use fresh tomatoes alone (which I do sometimes with olive oil –> yum!), it won’t be Filipino style anymore. Tomatoes are not naturally sweet, at least that’s not how we acquired the taste; it may be too sour for the Filipino palate. Hence, we add sugar and banana catsup to balance the flavors. Why? Because that’s how we like it! Filipino Style Spaghetti is like Spaghetti Bolognese, but sweeter.

Filipino Style Spaghetti

So my brother cooked Filipino Style Spaghetti yesterday, Sunday. I took some pictures, but it’s pretty much my own recipe inspired by my Tita‘s. My Lola was not a huge fan of spaghetti. She would rather eat Chinese noodles. Some credits also go to Joe, a college friend, who told me to add milk to the sauce to make it creamier. And, yes, it’s just so much better!

If you have kids, I’m sure they will love this dish. It will give Jollibee a run for its money any day. 🙂

Filipino Style Spaghetti

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Recipe #27: PORK GINILING

I was home alone most of the day today. I decided to prepare Pork Giniling because the only food I found in the fridge were a kilo of ground pork and a bag of potatoes. I thawed the meat, chopped the potatoes, onions, and tomatoes. I turned the stove on and placed my favorite skillet on top. I then added some oil and started frying the potatoes. I went back to my laptop to check my e-mail and the rest of the Internet.

Then it started to rain.

I love rain. It’s an oasis in the Manila heat. It bathes the entire city while cooling down the air it breathes. I looked outside the window and noticed that there were clothes hanging on the clothesline. I hurriedly ran outside to bring them inside the house. After saving the last piece of clothing from the rain, I smelled a pungent odor coming from the kitchen. My potatoes were burning!

To make the story short, I was able to salvage at least half of the potatoes. The rest were pure charcoal. Good thing I did not chop all the potatoes. But this time, I decided not to leave the kitchen anymore while frying them.

So that’s the most exciting part of my day so far. Anyway, going back to the recipe, Pork Giniling is very important to learn. This is because it is part of the procedure of some other recipes, such as Tortang Talong (Eggplant Omelette), Empanada (stuffed bread), and as a palaman (filling) for your sandwiches. Giniling in English translates to “ground,” as in ground pork.

The directions to prepare Pork Giniling is similar to our Pork Menudo recipe. But this one is much simpler and easier to make. Check out the recipe below.

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