Ginataang kalabasa Soup by Arnold Gamboa
Ginataang Kalabasa Soup (Squash in Coconut Cream Soup)
1 tsp mushroom powder or 1 packet cup-a-soup mushroom soup powder is also a suitable. You can also use 1 cup of fresh finely sliced mushroom if you have a food processor at hand
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp salt
1/2 squash or pumpkin
2 cups water
4 cups coconut milk
Method of Preparation
Peel and chop the squash or pumpkin.
Bring the water into a boil using a big casserole pan.
Add the squash and leave to boil for at least 20 minutes or until softened.
Take the squash out and put into a big bowl (do not discard the water, just leave it in the casserole pan). Mash the squash by hand until smooth. Or put the softened squash as well as the finely sliced mushroom into a food processor and blitz until they are finely smooth.
Pour the squash back into the casserole pan, mix with the water and bring back into a boil.
Stir in the coconut milk.
Add the mushroom powder (if fresh sliced mushroom was not used)
Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cover the casserole pan and simmer for 5 minutes.
It is ready to serve. Enjoy
Stuffed Bangus, Photo by PH Morton
Stuffed Bangus, Photo by Arnold Gamboa
This recipe is suitable for special occassion or celebration. It is extra delicious bursting with goodness.
- 1 large sized bangus ( milkfish )
- 1 onion, chopped finely
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 small sized carrot, small cubes
- 1 box raisins ( optional )
- 2 tomatoes, chopped
- 1 raw egg, large
- 1 tsp. Salt
- ½ tsp. Worcestershire sauce (or light soy sauce)
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped finely
- 2 tbsp. Flour
- cooking oil for frying
- Ask the fish-monger to clean and remove the scales of the fish or using a knife, scrape fish by going against the scales. This is fairly easy to do. Gently pound the fish using flat side of a heavy spoon or Chinese knife. Pounding will loosen meat from the skin. Ensure that the skin is not damaged or broken.
- Carefully cut the big bone that run through the fish, from the tail end up to the head. Then pull this out.
- Insert a long spoon or spatula through the bangus neck. Gently prise out meat away from the skin. Scrape as much of the flesh throughout the whole fish but always be aware not to break the skin.
- Make the marinade for the skin by mixing the soy sauce and calamansi (lime) juice. In a large dish arrange the fish skin flatly and pour and marinate by pour the soy sauce mix all over. Leave for 10 minutes or so.
- Simmer the fish meat in a little water, once opaque, drain and remove any visible bones as you flake the meat.
- Using a wok or frying pan, sauté the garlic until golden brown. Add onion and tomatoes. Stir in carrot, and pepper as well as the fish meat. Season well with salt, freshly ground black pepper, and Worcestershire sauce or light soy sauce.
- Add raisins.
- Remove from the heat and let it cool slightly.
- Now open up the marinating fish skin and fill it up with the cooked fish meat/tomato/onion mix. Stuff until the skin has ballooned into a fish-like shape once again.
- Beat the egg and then pour it into the stuffed fish and then roll the fish into the flour.
- Finally wrap the fish with banana life or aluminium foil and roast for 30-40 minutes at 180ºC. If using aluminium foil, remove at the last 10 minutes. This recipe can also be cooked by deep-frying using a large wok. There is no need to wrap the fish with anything!
- Serve immediately.
Enjoy with tomato ketchup. Sarap (delicious)
Spaghetti in Shrimp Pesto, Photo by Arnold Gamboa
Spaghetti with Shrimp Pesto
The above photo was taken by Arnold Gamboa, a former child matinee idol of the late 70s in the Philippines.
- 500g Spaghetti (dried or fresh)
- ½ lb shrimp/prawn, peeled, deveined and tailed off
- ¾ – 1 CUP PESTO SAUCE
- ½ lemon, juiced
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced or chopped finely
- 2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
Fresh Pesto Recipe
- 50g pine nuts
- 80g basil
- 50g Parmesan
- 150ml olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves
- Heat a small frying pan over a low heat. Dry fry the pine nuts until golden.
- Put the pine nuts into a food processor together with the remaining ingredients and process until smooth.
- Pour the pesto into a jar and cover with a little extra oil, then seal and store in the fridge. It will keep in a fridge for a good couple of weeks.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add a pinch of salt and a teaspoon of olive oil and cook spaghetti according to the packet’s instruction.
No 1 way: Drain and arrange over a large serving plate as above photo. (then top with the pesto and shrimp)
No 2 way is to return the pasta back into the pan, adding the pesto and 25g of parmesan. Toss well, then transfer to a serving plate and sprinkle with the rest of the Parmesan. Then arrange cooked shrimps on top.
Concurrently, heat a saucepan, add the olive oil, minced garlic, shrimp and sprinkle with the lemon juice. Stir until shrimps are opaquely reddish. This might take about 5 minutes.
Once shrimp are fully cooked, add the pesto and stir well. Use as topping for no 1 way.
PS No1 or No2 only differs on how you want to present the dish, both taste the same. 🙂
Wilted Spinach, Photo by JMorton
Wilted Spinach a la Korean
I have seen Korean dramas where the obedient daughter in law making the mother in law tastes her wilted spinach called sigeumchi-namul. I must admit the stringy wilted spinach looked so appetising! And not only that, spinach is a superfood as it contains a multitude of vitamins and minerals.
Below is an easy recipe to follow and enjoy.
- 500g spinach, cleaned and washed
- 1-2 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 1 stalk green onion, chopped
- 1½ teaspoon soy sauce
- 1½ teaspoon sesame oil
- 2 teaspoon sesame seeds, lightly toasted
- Boil 10 cups of water in a large casserole or sauce pan.
- Drop in the spinach into the boiling water and blanch quickly for a minute, stirring continuously using a wooden ladle.
- Remove from heat and drain the spinach using a colander, then rinse in cold water.
- Squeeze into a ball to remove excess water
- Mix the spinach with garlic, green onion, soy sauce, sesame oil, and sesame seeds by hand. Korean dramas show the lady/ladies of the house covering their hands with transparent plastic gloves. (gloves are available in most supermarkets in the West)
- Transfer into a serving bowl and sprinkle with the roasted spinach.
- Serve as a side to rice and meats.
Green Beans , photo by Rosie Reyes- Barrera
Sautéed Green Beans With Shrimps
This recipe is as easy as ABC. It is a quick stir-fry for maximum taste and goodness.
- 150g shrimp, shelled and deveined
- 300g string beans, cut into 2 inches length
- 1 medium onion, sliced
- 2 ripe tomatoes, chopped finely
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp dark soy sauce
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Heat the vegetable oil with the olive oil in a wok or large frying pan over fairly high heat.
- Saute the onion, tomatoes, and garlic. (onion, tomato and garlic are the trinity ingredients of Filipino saute. 🙂 )
- Once the onion turns soft and the tomatoes mushy, add the shrimp and stir fry for 2 – 3 minutes.
- Add the string beans and soy sauce. Continue to stir fry for 5 minutes.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Enjoy with a freshly boiled or fried rice.
Soft Shell Crab Tempura, by Arnold Gamboa
Soft Shell Crab Tempura
Soft shell crabs are just the normal typical everyday edible crab. In a life of a crab, it undergoes some sort of moulting where it sheds its old tough tight casing and develop a new one to grow into. The new casing is soft and this is when the is crab taken into the kitchen to delight the tastebuds of the gourmets for a soft shell crab
- 2 soft-shell crabs
- 85 g plain flour
- 1/2 salt
- 1/2 sugar
- 200 ml carbonated/sparkling water, chilled
- Panko bread crumbs
- oil for deep-frying
Method of Preparation:
Make up the tempura batter by mixing the flour with the salt and sugar. Gradually add the chilled sparkling water. Stir until there are no lumps. Don’t go on stirring and daydream. 🙂 Note: over stirring will create gluten, which will make the batter stodgy.
Using a large platter, spread the panko bread crumbs.
Power up the deep fryer and heat the oil to 180ºC
Dip the crab into the tempura batter, ensuring all parts are covered.
Roll in the crab into the platter of panko bread crumbs. Cover every nook and cranny. 🙂
Shake gently and drop the crab into a deep fryer and let it sizzle until crispy all over. This should take about 3-4 minutes.
Carefully fish out the crab and let it cool over some kitchen paper towels, which will absorb excess oil.
Repeat procedure with the next crab.
Enjoy with some green salad.
Chicken Sinigang, Photo by Mae Mercado-Sanguer
Sinigang Na Manok (Chicken Sinigang)
This is a comfort food and ‘getting-over-a-flu’ kind’ of dish. It has that lovely sour taste that would seduce your uninterested palate! LOL
2lbs chicken thighs and chicken legs (or one whole chicken cut into serving pieces)
1-2 packets of Knorr or Mama Sita Sinigang Mix (or use 2 cups of tamarind tops/young leaves and flowers)
1/2 lb strings beans (green beans), cut into 1½ inches pieces
2 medium size aubergines (eggplants)
1 cup radish (daikon) sliced
5 long green chilli
1½ tbsp fish sauce (patis)
1 cup tomatoes, quartered
1 large onion, sliced roughly
10-12 cups water
Method of Preparation:
- Using a large casserole pan, heat the water up. If using tamarind leaves and flowers tie and wrap them using banana leaves muslin cloth/gauze and boil.
- Add the chicken pieces, onions and tomatoes.
- If using the more convenient sinigang mix, which is readily available in most Oriental supermarket, pour it in the casserole. Mix it in. If it is not sour enough according to your taste, add half or another packet of the sinigang mix. Simmer for 10-12 minutes.
- Season with the fish sauce.
- Add the string beans, aubergines, radish and green chilli.
- Cook for 10 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
- Finally check and adjust the seasoning.
Enjoy with freshly boiled rice.
Salt & Pepper Squid by Rosie Reyes- Barrera
Salt & Pepper Squid Recipe
The texture of cooked squid can sometimes be rubbery but when it is battered and deep-fried they are crunchy and delicious.
- 350g squid
- 1/2 tsp Sichuan peppercorns
- 1/2 tsp black peppercorns
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- vegetable oil for deep frying
- 1 cup potato flour
- 1 heaped teaspoon rock salt
- 1 egg, beaten
- ½ teaspoon white pepper, powdered
- 1 long hot green peppers (chilli),cut diagonally
- 1 long hot red chilli cut diagonally
- 5 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
- 2 teaspoons ginger, minced
- 1 stalk spring onion, chopped
- Prepare your squid by rinsing them thoroughly in cold water.
- Separate the bodies from the tentacles and cut into bite size pieces. Score the bodies with a sharp knife but don’t go all the way through that you cut them separately. Scoring can make them fry crisply. Leave them in a colander or over kitchen towels to drain off.
- In a frying pan, toss in the black and Sichuan peppercorns and dry-fry until just heated. Tip them in a mortar and pestle with the rock salt and pound until they are coarsely powdered.
- Mix the powdered salty peppercorn with the potato flour. Incorporate them thoroughly.
- In a large deep pot or a deep-fat fryer, add enough oil so that the level of oil reaches 4 inches up the side of the pot. Heat the oil until the temperature reaches 180ºC.
- Dip the squid into the beaten egg and then cover them with the seasoned flour.
- Drop the squid carefully into the hot oil and cook until golden and crispy. You have to cook them in batches for safety reasons and to achieve that amazing crunch 🙂
- When every piece of the squid had been fried, set them aside.
- Meanwhile, heat up a wok over medium heat. Add the sesame oil. To it, fry the ginger, garlic and chilli.
- Add the squid to the wok and stir fry quickly in the aromatic mixture for about a minute or so.
- Finally transfer into a serving dish and garnish with the chopped spring onions and sprinkle with the white peppercorn.
Serve immediately with your favourite sauces and dips.