Category: Food Dictionary

Malunggay, Leafy Superfood

Malunggay, photo by JMorton

Malunggay, Leafy Superfood

There have been a lot of studies and testimonials regarding the health benefit of Malunggay or its scientific name of Moringa Oleifera.

Studies have found that malunggay (Filipino/Tagalog name) has a very high nutritional value.  This may be true as a young child in Marag, our diet often included marunggay (Ilocano name for the malunngay).  The tree grow almost everywhere in Marag, thus providing us a microbiotic diet which complements most soupy viands in an almost vegetarian existence.  I supposed as children, we did not get sick, except for malaria, brought about by mosquitoes, which is another story. 🙂

Malunggay is a superfood as well as super-herbal-medicine.

Lactating women are advised to make malunggay soup as part of their diet to produce more milk.

Apparently 1 cup of mallunggay, in terms of nutrients, is equivalent to 10 cups of broccoli.

 

Boodle Fight – Dining Experience

Boodle Fight, photo by Carol Elep

Boodle Fight – Dining Experience

Some of you, non-Filipino, may not have heard and therefore, have no idea what a boodle fight is.

It is becoming more and more popular as a way of dining.  Well, I can tell you, it is an experience – a fun experience.

And as long as diners have sanitised their hands, 😉 boodle fight is the way forward.  It cuts carbon footprints and pollution.  No need to use plates and cutlery, saves on washing, and dumping used paper plates, which I like.  The banana leaves are green recyclable, as they are bio-degradable.

Apparently boodle fight originated from the Philippine Military, where the long dining table in the mess hall is covered with banana leaves, which were then piled up high with a variety of food.  The action men of the military then eat, cutlery-less, with their bare hands.  The idea was to eat as much as you can against the other diners.  It is some kind of survival of the fittest.  It is no place for lily-livered or passive folks.  It is a case of digging in or go hungry.

Of course, the non-military version has been honed a little differently, where being mindful of others is somehow observed, otherwise one would appear a glutton or much worse rather uncouth and may not be invited back during the next soiree. 🙂 The etiquette is you take food directly from what is in front of you.  Happy!

This boodle fight can be adapted as a way of having a garden party during the summer here in the UK or anywhere.  I would say this type of dining is better done outside as it might mess up the carpet flooring.

So cling film your garden table and then cover with baking paper.  A roll is reasonably priced and available in Tesco.  Tell file up with food.  I cannot stress it enough that soup is not an ideal food for a boodle fight. LOL

Let’s fight, the boodle fight way!

Boodle fight, photo by Arnold Gamboa

Prawns Vs Shrimp

Shrimps, photo by PH Morton

Prawns Vs Shrimp

Having grown up in the Philippines, we call these delicious crustaceans as shrimps rather than prawns.  Apparently prawns is the term used in the UK and Australia while in the USofA they tend to use the term shrimps.

I further found out that both the words: prawns and shrimps are English in origin.  The prawns are supposed to be larger than the shrimps. But to really tell a prawn from a shrimp is to look at their legs.  The first three pairs of legs in prawns have pincers while in shrimps, only the first two pairs are claw-like.

Well I don’t think I would be really bothered whether I was eating a prawn or a shrimp as they are both manna from heaven. They are both a cause for taste-buds jubilation. 😉

Mortar & Pestle

Mortar & Pestle, photo by JMorton

Mortar & Pestle, photo by JMorton

Mortar & Pestle, photo by JMorton

Mortar & Pestle, photo by JMorton

Mortar & Pestle, photo by JMorton

Mortar & Pestle, photo by JMorton

Mortar & Pestle

I love this mortar and pestle.  They are a useful kitchen gadgets perfect for grinding and crushing spices such as the above garlic into a paste.  Perfect also for grinding whole black pepper corns.

Savoy Cabbage

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Savoy Cabbage

Savoy cabbage is a great favourite of mine amongst varieties of cabbages. It is a very versatile green leafy vegetable. It can be cooked in many recipes. Ideal as a steamed or lightly boiled accompaniment with roast dinners.

Because of its robust and fleshly leaves, it is perfect to used to hold a roulade.

Colander – Kitchen Utensil

Colander, photo by JMorton

Colander, photo by JMorton

Colander, photo by JMorton

Colander, photo by JMorton

Colander – Kitchen Utensil

This folding colander by Joseph Joseph is a fun and colourful addition to modern kitchen.  I saw the colander in John Lewis and I was captivated by how it looks as well as the design.  Very funky looking, and updated version of the 70s Tupperware, much loved by housewives and homemakers. 🙂

A colander is every cook’s gadget in food preparation.  It is a perforated bowl that is useful in straining and draining food like pastas, beans, boiled vegetables prior to cooking and after cooking.  It is also used to drain washed vegetables and salad.

I would love the above colander for Christmas, it would be a lovely addition to my growing collection of Joseph Joseph kitchen utensils.

The above colander is made from plastic but they can also come in metal.  Some come with base and some don’t, which look like a sieve.

Pechay (Bok Choy) in Garlic & Ginger

Pechay in ginger & garlic, Photo by PH Morton

Pechay in ginger & garlic, Photo by PH Morton

Bok choy comes in many different names such as pak choy, pak choi, bak choi, etc.  It is called pechay in the Philippines.  It is as good as any of the other names and therefore I shall call the recipe, Pechay.

In this recipe, baby pechays are used.  Being still young, everything is tender and, therefore, only minimal trim is required. Just thinly trim the tail end and then cut in half, lengthwise (see above photo).

The more mature pechay can also be used but cut the tail end off, then separate the leafy stalks and cut in half chunks.  

Something to consider:
Before discarding the base or tail end of the pechay, into the darkness of the rubbish bin, did you know that you can grow new pechay from them?

Just leave the end bits in a little dish with a little water in your kitchen window sill; in no time at all it will sprout new growth and then just transplant into a pot.

Here is the recipe:

Pechay (Bok Choy) in Garlic & Ginger

Ingredients

  • 5 baby pechay (bok choy)
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced finely
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated finely
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 1½ tbsp water
Instructions
  1. Heat a large pan, but preferably a wok, over high heat.  Stir-frying is a quick way to cook but requires very high heat.
  2. Add the oil into the wok then stir in the garlic and ginger and cook for a minute.
  3. Stir in the pechay.  Continue cooking for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
  4. Carefully sprinkle the water onto the pechay; the water will steam the pechay.
  5. Season with salt and black pepper.
  6. Stir fry for another couple of minutes and then serve.

Bay tree, Laurel, Lurus Nobilis

sam's birthday 017 Bay Tree in our garden, Photo by JMorton

A bay tree is an evergreen tree, thank God for that as bay trees provide the bay leaves or laurel necessary for many a recipe.

Bay leaves may be used fresh or dried, which has a stronger flavour.

I love them in stews or when I am doing mechados.

In ancient times, the bay leaves were threaded together to make a laurel wreathes to crown outstanding poets and victorious soldiers.