Category: Stews & Casseroles

Pork & Shrimp in Coconut Milk

Pork & Shrimp in Coconut Milk, photo by Mae Sanguer

Pork & Shrimp in Coconut Milk


  • 1¬Ĺ lbs. pork, cubed
  • 1 lb shrimps, shell removed
  • 2 cups vegetable broth (or 2 vegetable bouillon cubes dissolved in 2 cup of hot water; plain hot water will also do)
  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • ¬ľ cup shrimp paste (bagoong na alamang – can be bought at any oriental food store if living in the UK)
  • 1 small squash, peeled and cubed
  • 200g ¬†string beans, cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 1 medium ¬†onion, sliced
  • 4-6 cloves garlic, chopped finely
  • 3 tbsp vegetable ¬†oil
  • ¬ľ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • Salt to taste

Method of Preparation:

  1. Heat the oil using a casserole pan or a wok.
  2. Saute the garlic until fragrant and golden, do not burn as it would leave a bitter taste.
  3. Add the onion and cook until translucent.
  4. Stir in the pork. Cook the pork is ssizzling in its juice and oil.
  5. Sprinkle the ground black pepper.
  6. Carefully pour in the vegetable broth. Bring it to a boil.  Then lower down the heat and leave to simmer for 10 minutes.
  7. Add the coconut milk. Bring it to a boil and leave to simmer until the pork is tender.
  8. Stir in the squash and cook for 10 minutes.
  9. Season with the shrimp paste. Stir thoroughly.
  10. Add the string beans and shrimp. Cover and cook for 3 to 5 minutes. Add salt only if needed.
  11. Transfer to a serving plate.
  12. Serve with freshly boiled rice.

Courgette, Broccoli with Cannellini Beans Casserole

Courgette, Broccoli with Cannellini Beans Casserole, photo by JMorton

Courgette, Broccoli with Cannellini Beans Casserole

This is a sumptuous medley of vegetables cooked in lots of sweet plum tomatoes.  Delicious evening meal for any day of the week.


1/2 head of broccoli, separated into individual florets
2 courgette, cut in half lengthwise and sliced diagonally
1 can Cannellini beans, washed and drained
100g green beans, trimmed and sliced
1 onion, peeled and chopped finely
a can chopped plum tomatoes
3 cups vegetable broth (or 2 vegetable cubes dissolved in 3 cups of hot water)
1 tbsp tomato paste
3 cloves garlic, chopped finely
1¬Ĺ tbsp olive oil
2 tsp mixed herbs
salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste

Method of Preparation:

Heat a large casserole pan, heat the oil.

Sauté the chopped onion and garlic until golden and fragrant.

Pour in the chopped plum tomatoes and vegetable broth.  Bring to a boil then stir in the tomato paste and sprinkle the mixed herbs (or use dried basil).  Season with salt and pepper.

Add the cannellini beans and cook for 5 minutes.  Drop in the courgettes and green beans.  Cover the casserole and leave to simmer for 3-4 minutes.

Finally add the broccoli.  Do not cover the casserole so that the appetising dark green colouring of the broccoli will not fade.  Cook until soften.

Check and adjust the seasoning.  Add more salt and pepper, if required.

Serve hot with some crusty bread or even steamed rice.

Ginataang Kalabasa At Sitaw (Squash & String Beans in Coconut Milk)

Ginataang Kalabasa at Sitaw, photo by Rosie Reyes- Barrera

Ginataang Kalabasa At Sitaw (Squash & String Beans in Coconut Milk)

If there was a comfort food, this was it (for me anyway!)

I love this recipe with such a passion. ¬†This is real Filipino home-cooking at its best, again for me anyway! ūüôā

I think squash was made to be cooked in coconut milk.  A marriage made in a hot-wok-heaven!  Before I go on to more and more overblown pontification, here is a basic recipe for this delicious dish.


1 small or 1/2 a squash or pumpkin, peeled, deseeded and cubed

200g string beans (green beans), cut into about 1¬Ĺ to 2 inches lengths.

1 cup shrimps, shelled and deveined (boil the shells & heads to flavour a cup of water to make a shrimp juice)

1 cup shrimp juice (or just plain water)

2 cups coconut milk

5 cloves garlic, chopped or minced finely

1/4 cup shrimp paste (bagoong na alamang) or 1¬ľ tbsp fish sauce

1 onion, peeled and sliced thinly

1 cup malunggay leaves of spinach (optional)

1¬Ĺtbsp vegetable oil

salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.


  • Heat the oil in a wok or large frying pan.
  • Saut√© the garlic ¬†and onion.
  • Add the the shrimps.
  • Stir in the shrimp paste, if using.
  • Pour in the shrimp juice or cup of water
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and allow to simmer.
  • Drop in the squash and string beans.
  • Pour in the coconut milk and continue to stir well until it begins to boil.
  • Adjust the seasoning by adding salt and black pepper.
  • Finally add the malunggay or spinach and continue cooking for a couple of minutes more.

Serve hot with lots of freshly boiled rice.


TIP:  Instead of shrimps, you can add sauteed pork instead.

Traditional Welsh Cawl Recipe

The Leek vegetbale an other emblem of Wales

Traditional Welsh Cawl Recipe

Happy St David’s Day!!!

Let us celebrate this day with a traditional Welsh cawl, which is very warming and filling,  appropriate for this still cold and damp weather.

Below is Jamie Oliver’s recipe:



  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 onion
  • 1 kg lamb neck fillet , bone in, cut into 5cm chunks (ask your butcher to do this for you)
  • 1 kg swede
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 Maris piper potatoes
  • 2 parsnips
  • 3 large leaks


  1. This traditional Welsh recipe was given to me by the five-time cawl-making world champion, Sue Jones ‚Äď I can‚Äôt argue with that! This one is left to chill overnight before serving, but if you want to let the flavours develop and mature, leave it in the fridge for up to three days. Now, over to Sue‚Ķ
  2. Place 2 litres of water and 2 teaspoons of salt into a large pan. Place over a high heat and bring to the boil.
  3. Peel and add the whole onion and the lamb. Bring to the boil, then use a spoon to skim away the scum from the surface. Simmer for a further 10 to 15 minutes, or until cooked through. Using a slotted spoon, remove the meat from the pan and leave to cool. Strip the meat from the bone, then return the meat to the pan.
  4. Peel and cut the swede into 1cm chunks. Add to the pan and bring to the boil, then simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the swede is tender.
  5. Peel the carrots and slice at a slight angle into 1cm chunks, then add to the pan. Bring to the boil, then simmer for a further 15 to 20 minutes with the lid on, or until tender. Meanwhile, peel the potatoes and cut into quarters so they’re all roughly the same size. Once the carrot has softened, add the potatoes to the pan and repeat the process until tender.
  6. Peel the parsnips, strip and discard the outer leaves from the leeks, then cut into 1cm slices. Add the parsnips and most of the leeks to the pan. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 10 minutes with the lid on, or until tender. Taste and season, then add the raw leeks. Place the lid on top, then pop in the fridge to chill overnight (or for up to 3 days for even tastier results).
  7. When you’re ready to serve, gently simmer the cawl until warm. Ladle into serving bowls, then serve with lots of black pepper, a wedge of mature Caerphilly cheese and a slice of bread and butter.

Mung Beans Stew with Spinach (Ginisang Mungo)

Ginisang Mungo, by Mae Mercado Sanguer

Mung Beans Stew with Spinach (Ginisang Mungo)

This is a classic Filipino dish.  A great favourite of many.  Almost a mainstay on a meat-free Friday, where the pork belly is substituted with prawns or dried anchovies instead. (In the UK, perhaps some slivers of smoked haddock!)


  • 200g pork belly, sliced
  • 4-5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 2 large tomatoes, sliced¬†
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil ¬†¬†
  • 200g Baby spinach or kale leaves, chopped
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce or salt to taste
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup mung beans

Method of Preparation:

  • Rinse the mung beans thorough in running water. ¬†Discard the floaters.
  • Using a large casserole pan, ¬†boil the mung beans in the water. ¬†Lower down the heat and leave to simmer until the mung beans green casings have separated and floated on top. ¬†Get a serrated spoon or ladle to remove the casing and then discard. ¬†This is optional, the casing is safe to eat, I just don’t really like them. ūüôā – a personal choice.
  • In a frying pan, heat the vegetable oil and stir-fry the pork. Cook until golden all over. Remove the pork from pan and set aside.¬†
  • Using the same pan, saute garlic, onion and tomatoes until completely softened into a gooey mess of total goodness. ūüôā
  • Add the pork and fish sauce. ¬†Cook for 5 minutes.
  • Tip the saut√©ed¬†pork into the casserole of simmering mung beans.¬†
  • Add ¬†the kale leaves and cook for 5-8 minutes or spinach and cook for 4 minutes.
  • Quickly adjust the seasoning and it is all done!

Best served with freshly boiled rice and a side of freshly grilled of fried fish.


Spinach Laing Recipe

Spinach Laing, by Mae Mercado-Sanguer

Spinach Laing Recipe

Laing is a particular favourite of mine. ¬†I remember when still a child leaving in Marag, Philippines, we had a lot of gabi (taro plants) growing in our backyard next to our bubon (water well). ¬†As coconut was also always aplenty, I would gathered the gabi leaves, stems and shoots, making sure I did not get the saps in my skin as they can leave you uncomfortably itchy, to make laing. ¬† At 10-11 years of age, I can cook basic footstuff. ¬†My sister and I would usually cook lunch and dinner. ¬†If left to me solely, I would cook laing everyday!!! LOL ¬†I actually did once, much to my mother’s displeasure. ¬†(I think she said once that if we ate anymore laing, we will become another specie of ¬†gabi, LOL). ¬†But I just love the creamy, spicy taste of laing. ¬†It was somehow very warming to the heart.

Unfortunately I had not seen any gabi (taro leaves) here in London, except for taro corms, called yams.  My good friend from Germany, Mae, shared this spinach laing recipe as a good enough substitute for gabi laing if you are craving it.  Thanks, Mae.


  • 500g baby (young) spinach
  • 250g pork belly, sliced thinly
  • 1¬Ĺ ¬†cups of coconut milk
  • 1 medium onion, chopped finely
  • ¬Ĺ head of garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 inch ginger, peeled and sliced thinly
  • 2-3 tablespoons of Bagoong (Shrimp Paste)
  • 2 pieces of red chili peppers, chopped
  • 1¬Ĺ tablespoon vegetable oil


  1. Using a large frying pan or better yet a wok, heat the oil over high heat.
  2. Saute the garlic until brown, not burnt.  Immediately add the onions and cook until translucent.
  3. Add the ginger and stir-fry until warm and fragrant. (Just for a couple of seconds  inhale the glorious aroma of garlic, onion and ginger polygamously intertwining in the hot oil)
  4. Carefully drop the pork belly slices to the wok and cook over medium heat for about 5-10 minutes or until they are sizzlingly golden.
  5. Start seasoning with the shrimp paste and chillies.  Stir these thoroughly into the pork. (Tip: as you cook the shrimp paste, ensure that the cooker hood is at work or windows are open for ventilation, to prevent the slight pungent aroma -but delicious tasting- to invade your living quarters.)
  6. Stir in the coconut milk, increase the heat to bring the coconut milk to a boil.  Then decrease to simmer for 10 minutes.
  7. Add the spinach then stir to mix it all together.  Young spinach cooks and wilts quickly so, stir it through for 3-5 minutes.

To serve decorate with little slices of red bell pepper.  Delicious with freshly boiled rice.  Of course leftover is a good breakfast with fried rice.