Sunday, September 20, 2009

Bistek Tokwa

2 cubes firm tofu (tokwa)
1 piece white onion, sliced into rings
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
8 pieces calamansi, juiced
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon cornstarch dissolved in 2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup canola oil

Slice tokwa into cubes. Dredge with cornstarch, salt and pepper. Preheat pan with canola oil. Pan-fry tokwa until golden but not crispy. Drain tokwa on paper towels. Pour off excess oil from pan and cook onion rings. Combine calamansi juice, soysauce and water. Pour into pan and cook with onion. Add in cornstarch dissolved in water and cook for one minute. Add back fried tokwa and cook for another 5 minutes until coated with sauce. Serve hot.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Spicy Pork Adobo

There are 7,107 islands (low tide) in the Philippines and I bet there are as many recipes for Adobo as well. Philippine adobo is usually any kind of meat (chicken, pork, beef or sometimes lamb) that has been braised in a mixture of garlic, peppercorn, bay leaf, vinegar and soy sauce--which is the basic recipe. This varies from every region and every household I think. My version for today's lunch follows the basic recipe but I chose to make it spicy with the addition of bird's eye chili (siling labuyo) and cornstarch to thicken the sauce a bit.
250 grams pork belly (liempo)
4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 piece bird's eye chili (siling labuyo), chopped
2 cups water
1 tablespoon cornstarch dissolved in 4 tablespoons cold water
Slice pork belly into even-sized cubes. Place meat, garlic, soy sauce, vinegar, peppercorn, chili and water in a pot. Boil for 10 minutes until vinegar is cooked, do not stir. Bring the heat to low and simmer until pork is tender--the mixture can be stirred at this point. When the meat is tender, remove to a plate. Dissolve cornstarch in water and add to pan, let the mixture boil until it is thickened. Pour over meat.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Stir-fried Tofu and Snap Peas

Im trying to go back to eating healthy these days--really trying. And now that I moved to a new place and living on my own, I think I may just make it. Back at my parent's place, the fridge was always full of tempting chocolates, cakes and other "sinful" delights which I can't resist no matter how I tried! So in my own fridge, I opted to keep these things to a minimum and stocked up on fruits, vegetables, yogurt and the like. For today's lunch I stir-fried tofu and snap peas.
2 blocks firm tofu, cubed
1/2 cup snap peas, cleaned
1 clove garlic, minced
1 piece bird's eye chili, sliced
1 tablespoon salted black beans, mashed
4 tablespoons cornstarch
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons canola oil
Sauce mixture
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon less-sodium soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon white sugar
1/4 cup water
Slice tofu into small cubes, dredge with 2 tablespoons flour, salt and pepper. Preheat pan with oil and pan-fry tofu until golden, drain off excess oil on paper towel-lined plate. In the same pan, saute garlic, chili and salted black beans until fragrant. Pour sauce mixture and let simmer for 2 minutes. Add back tofu, coat with sauce and pour in snap peas. Add 1/4 cup water and cook for an additional 3 minutes. Serve over hot rice.

Monday, September 14, 2009


It's that special time of the month for the Daring Cooks' Challenge! For this month Debyi from is the host for the September 2009 Daring Cooks challenge and has chosen Indian Dosas from the refresh cookbook by Ruth Tal.
This recipe was very new to me because it was a "no-animal product/gluten-free" cooking. It was the first time for me to try out a vegan recipe. But I love Indian food and I decided to go ahead and try it. Spelt flour is not widely available here in Manila so I looked up other alternative no-gluten flours and I came across rice four which is not only available but very cheap here. So I made my dosas with rice flour. For the filling, I opted to use potatoes instead because I really dont like chickpeas. I followed the recipe for the coconut curry. I served this to my mom and sisters and cousin and they liked it. I steamed jasmine rice and served it alongside the indian dosas and I slathered the yummy coconut curry over everything. They liked it so much that I wished I made more. Thank you Debyi for this challenge!

Indian Dosas
Serves 4
Equipment needed:
large bowl
griddle or skilletladle (or large spoon)
vegetable peeler &/or knife
large saucepan
food processor or bean masher

Dosa Pancakes
1 cup (120gm/8oz) spelt flour (or all-purpose, gluten free flour)
½ tsp (2½ gm) salt
½ tsp (2½ gm) baking powder
½ tsp (2½ gm) curry powder
½ cup (125ml/4oz) almond milk (or soy, or rice, etc.)
¾ cup (175ml/6oz) watercooking spray, if needed

Dosa Filling
1 batch Curried Garbanzo Filling (see below), heated

Dosa Toppings
1 batch Coconut Curry Sauce (see below), heated
¼ cup (125gm) grated coconut
¼ cucumber, sliced

Dosa Pancakes
1.Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl, slowly adding the almond milk and water, whisking until smooth.
2.Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Spray your pan with a thin layer of cooking spray, if needed.
3.Ladle 2 tablespoons of batter into the center of your pan in a circular motion until it is a thin, round pancake. When bubbles appear on the surface and it no longer looks wet, flip it over and cook for a few seconds. Remove from heat and repeat with remaining batter. Makes 8 pancakes.

Curried Garbanzo Filling
This filling works great as a rice bowl topping or as a wrap too, so don't be afraid to make a full batch.
5 cloves garlic
1 onion, peeled and finely diced
1 carrot, peeled and finely diced
1 green pepper, finely diced (red, yellow or orange are fine too)
2 medium hot banana chilies, minced
2 TBSP (16gm) cumin, ground
1 TBSP (8gm) oregano
1 TBSP (8gm) sea salt (coarse)
1 TBSP (8gm) turmeric
4 cups (850gm/30oz) cooked or canned chick peas (about 2 cans)
½ cup (125gm/4oz) tomato paste

1.Heat a large saucepan over medium to low heat. Add the garlic, veggies, and spices, cooking until soft, stirring occasionally.
2.Mash the chickpeas by hand, or in a food processor. Add the chickpeas and tomato paste to the saucepan, stirring until heated through.

Coconut Curry Sauce
This makes a great sauce to just pour over rice as well. This does freeze well, but the texture will be a little different. The flavor is still the same though.
1 onion, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic
½ (2½ gm) tsp cumin, ground
¾ (3¾ gm) tsp sea salt (coarse)
3 TBSP (30gm) curry powder
3 TBSP (30gm) spelt flour (or all-purpose GF flour)
3 cups (750ml/24oz) vegetable broth
2 cups (500ml/24oz) coconut milk
3 large tomatoes, diced

1.Heat a saucepan over medium heat, add the onion and garlic, cooking for 5 minutes, or until soft.
2.Add the spices, cooking for 1 minutes more. Add the flour and cook for 1 additional minute.
3.Gradually stir in the vegetable broth to prevent lumps. Once the flour has been incorporated, add the coconut milk and tomatoes, stirring occasionally.
4.Let it simmer for half an hour.Happy eating!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Chicken Curry

It's been raining non-stop here in Manila for more than a week now. Gray skies, cooler weather and the urge to just stay home and curl up in bed with a good book is on my mind all the time. But alas for mortals like me, it's not possible. But thank God for off days, when there is nothing to do but rest and recharge at home! And I can take my time and cook to my heart's content :) Today is my off day and I stayed home and cooked lunch.
There was chicken in the fridge this morning which I've been wanting to cook since the middle of the week but couldn't decide what I wanted to do with it. And today I finally decided to make Chicken Curry.
4 pieces chicken thighs, cut into 2
3 pieces tomatoes, diced
1 piece onion, peeled, minced
2 cloves garlic, peeled, minced
1 small piece ginger, peeled, minced
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon cumin
6 tablespoons yogurt, plain
4 tablespoons canola oil
salt to taste
Preheat pan over medium heat. Pan-fry chicken pieces until golden but not cooked through. Remove to plate and set aside. Drain excess oil from pan and saute onion, garlic and ginger until soft and fragrant. Add spices and cook for another minute. Pour yogurt, tomatoes and 1/2 cup of water, simmer. Add back chicken pieces and season with salt. Cook for another 20 minutes until sauce has thickened and chicked is cooked through. Serve with steamed rice.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Chocolate Dream Cake

Chocolate Chiffon Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting and Shaved Chocolate