seafood carbonara, photo by Carol Elep
200g salmon steak cut into cubes
150g king prawns, shelled and deveined
1 tsp fresh thyme, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
4 egg yolks + 1 whole one
Salt and pepper
Tibok Tibok, photo by Arnold Gamboa
Tibok Tibok Recipe
Tibok Tibok is a pudding, that originated in Pampanga, a highly urbanised province located in Central Luzon region of the Philippines. Pampanga is known for its superb cuisine, that people from around the Philippines would visit the place to sample its many delicious food.
Tibok tibok is one of these delicious fare. It is traditionally made from carabao milk and tastes like maja blanca, another of Philippines delicious pudding. Tibok tibok is an onomatopoeia for heartbeat. Filipinos hear the sound tibok tibok tibok as the heart beats 🙂 Apparently you can tell the tibok tibok is cooked when the little bubbles on top start to pulsate slowly and making a little sounds like the beating of the heart.
This pudding is surely a heartwarming flan.
The recipe follows below:
- 6 cups carabao’s milk (or whole cow’s milk)
- 1/3 cup glutinous rice powder (ground pudding rice)
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 lime zest
- 1/3 cup latik
- oil for greasing
- Using a large non-stick sauce pan or a wok over a low heat, mix the carabao’s milk (or whole cow’s milk), glutinous rice powder, cornstarch and sugar. Stir continuously until the mixture starts to thicken.
- Add lime zest and stir some more until smooth and start to pulsate like a heart beating. tibok…tibok, tibok… 🙂 🙂 🙂
- Grease a baking tray lightly with oil.
- Pour mixture in and spread evenly across the pan.
- Leave the mixture to cool, then top with latik. Divide into squares.
Ready to serve and 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)
Dame Vera Lynn
Giant projection slide of Vera Lynn on the iconic white cliffs of Dover.
Dame Vera Lynn on her 100th Birthday
Dame Vera Lynn on her 100th Birthday.
During World War 2 (WWll) Vera Lynn was known as the ‘forces sweetheart’ and was massively popular.
Born in London 20th March 1917, she became an actress singer and songwriter. During the war years, her songs “We’ll Meet Again“, “The White Cliffs of Dover“, “A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square” and “There’ll Always Be an England“. became iconic and a tonic for troops and forces fighting in the war. The white cliffs of Dover were the last part of Britain troops saw as they departed on ships across the Channel to fight. Also the cliff were a welcoming sight on their return home.
My late father was a WW2 soldier in the British army(known as Desert Rats) fighting in Egypt.
Vera Lynn undertook concert tours in Burma, Egypt and India for the troops. She remained popular after the war, appearing in movies and on radio & TV. At the age of 92, Vera became the oldest artist ever to top UK music charts with a melody of her famous songs. She outsold outselling both the Arctic Monkeys and the Beatles.
My favourite rock group Pink Floyd even had a track about her in their superb album ‘The Wall’.
Whenever my wife hears anything about Vera Lynn she would burst into song of We’ll meet again
Curing Cramps a la Korean
I have been watching quite a few Korean dramas lately and I often see something rather strange practised time and again by some of the drama characters.
I am talking about touching their tongue with their index finger and then their nose, they do this a few times.
Currently I am watching Reply 1997, a very good coming of age drama which I can highly recommend.
One of the boys had a girl sleeping soundly with her head on his legs. Instead of waking her up,he started licking his index finger and then touching the tip of his nose several times.
I google about this strange thing and came up with how to cure a cramp a la Korean. It figures then that the boy had a cramp from the weight of the girl’s head across his legs.
I will try it if it works the next time I get a leg cramp! 😉
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. 🙂
Masks, photo by PH Morton
#1 Noh Mask
#2 Zo-Onna Mask
#3 Hannya Mask, represents a female demon
#4 Hanakobu Akujo
These masks can be currently and readily admired at the V&A Museum, East Asian gallery.
Masks are used for protection, disguise, performance and entertainment.
The above masks were Japanese and were sculpted from wood. They were based from the 14th century classical Japanese theatre called Noh which was much loved and patronised by the Shogun, supreme military leader.
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.