Category: Geography

Deep-Fried Spare Ribs Recipe

Deep-Fried Spare Ribs Recipe

This is truly delicious, a real treat to those who like a bit of meat, just like me.  The ribs are crunchy and spicy, perfect as a buffet dish for a party this Christmas.

Ingredients

  • 700 g pork spare ribs
  • 1 tbsp mild curry powder
  • Salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp rice wine or substituted with the same amount of dry sherry
  • 2 egg, beaten
  • 3 tbsp plain flour
  • vegetable oil for deep frying

Method of Preparation:

  • Chop each spare rib into  3-4 small pieces
  • Using a large bowl mix together the curry powder, rice wine, salt and black and pepper.
  • Mix in all the spare rib and thoroughly cover all the pieces.
  • In a separate bowl, make a batter by mixing in the beaten eggs with the flour.
  • Heat a wok or a large frying.
  • Add the oil.
  • Take a  few ribs and coat with the egg batter and then carefully drop into the hot oil. Cook for 4-5 minutes or until golden all over.
  • Remove from oil with a slotted spoon and drain over kitchen paper towels.
  • Repeat with the rest of the spare ribs.
  • Serve immediately with some salad.

Crispy Seaweed Recipe

 

Crispy Seaweed

Peter and I love crispy seaweeds.  We always order it as one of our starters when we dine out in Chinese restaurants.

There is something about its crispy texture that is rather pleasing to the tastebuds.

Of course we are well aware that this seaweed is not really seaweed as we know it.  It did not come from the sea. 🙂  In fact it is made from finely shredded spring green cabbage.

Peter asked me why is it then called a seaweed?!!! To hazard guest, I think because it does look like a seaweed when it is being prepared and cooked. Its corrugated crispy texture is like seaweed.

Anyway, as I have said, it is quite delicious and here a recipe for it.

Crispy Seaweed Recipe

 

Ingredients

  • 250 g Spring green cabbage (Kale is a good substitute)
  • 1½ tsp caster sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp shrimp powder (optional)
  • Oil for deep frying

Method of Preparation:

  • Prepare the spring green by washing it completely and ridding it of grits and little insects, you never know!  🙂 .  Trim off the tough stalks that run through each leaf.  Drain the leaves thoroughly with kitchen paper towels.
  • Using a good chopping board and an equally good and sharp knife, sliced the leaves into thin ribbons.
  • Spread them in a flat surface for 10-15 minutes to allow them to completely dry.
  • Heat the oil in a wok or a deep-fat fryer.
  • To cook the finely shredded cabbage evenly, they must be done in batches.  Carefully lower a bit of the spring green shreds into the hot oil.  When they have been cook they would crinkle and float.  Remove them with a slotted ladle and put them over kitchen paper towels to soak up excess oil.  Do the same thing with the rest of the batch.
  • For the topping, mix the the sugar and salt with the shrimp powder and sprinkle over the cabbage.
  • Serve immediately as a starter.

Sungka – Filipino Mancala Game

Sungka Board, photo by JMorton

Sungka – Filipino Mancala Game

I used to be obsessed with this board game when I was a little girl.

For whatever reason my mother used to discourage us playing sungka.  She was really adamant that we should not play it.  I think I heard her say that it was a game of the dead or something.  She made it sound like there was something sinister about it.

But I’ve  always  had a mind of my own, and the more I was told ‘NO’ the more I had to do it; it was like a red rag to a bull to me, a fascination of the forbidden. 🙂  I was a tad naughty!  LOL

Probably that was the reason I loved playing sungka.   I used to ask a neighbour, Lagring, who was a year or two younger than me to play sungka.   We did not bother with the wooden board; at my instigation we would just dig little holes similar to those in the wooden board on the ground under our mango tree.  We would then gather little stones and away we play for what seems like hours.  🙂

My mother always knew what I was up to as I would come home with dirty hands and even dirtier finger nails.  And of course those little holes which suddenly appeared all over our backyard!  🙂

In the end, knowing that I would not really listen, she just gave up on her embargo against sungka.  Funnily enough as soon as the ban was lifted I moved on to another obsession, Jack’s Stone!  🙂

By the way the photo above was taken at late president Ferdinand Marcos childhood residence in Batac, Ilocos Norte.  It seemed President Marcos used to play sungka as well.  🙂

Click here to see a quick tutorial.

I actually want one for Christmas, thank goodness they are easily available here.

Spicy Spare Ribs in Banana Ketchup

Spare ribs, photo by Mae Mercado-Sanguer

Spicy Spare Ribs in Banana Ketchup

Banana ketchup has a very distinct taste.  It is sweet and spicy.

Apparently this condiment was created during the second world war by a Filipina food technologist, Maria Y. Oroza.

This came about because there was a shortage of tomatoes but there was an abundance of bananas.

What does Maria have to do to assuage hungry tummies wanting sauce for their less than appetising meagre repast.  Eureka!  Banana ketchup!

Not before long, Mafran was mass producing the product and the rest is history.

Banana ketchup is not just a condiment for the dinner table.  It has become a major ingredients in many a Filipino recipes such as in Filipinised Spaghetti Bolognese, omelette, etc.

Below is a spare rib recipe, which by the way can be made from beef or pork.  To maximise the taste, it is advisable to leave the ribs to marinate overnight.

 

Ingredients

  • 2½ lbs beef or pork spare ribs
  • 1 can Sprite or 7Up
  • salt
  • Oil for frying
  • 1 cup Banana Ketchup
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced to a paste
  • 3 tbsp butter or margarine
  • 2 bird’s eye chillies (labuyo), chopped finely
  • 2 onions, chopped finely
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar

Method of Preparation:

  • Wash the ribs and let it drain.  Rub them with salt and then set aside for 15 minutes.
  • Put the ribs in a large bowl and Pour the Sprite or 7Up over.  Leave to marinate for half and hour.
  • Using a mixing bowl, put together the banana ketchup, garlic, butter or margarine, chillies, onions, black pepper, bay leaf and caster sugar.  Give it a thorough mix.
  • Pour this to the marinating ribs in Sprite.  Give it a good stir to cover the meat completely.
  • Cover the bowl of ribs with cling film and leave in the fridge overnight.
  • Heat the oil in a large pan or deep-fryer.
  • Scrape off the juices and sauces from the ribs and carefully lower into the hot oil.  Fry them in batches.
  • Cook until golden all over.
  • Pour the marinade into a pan and heat until bubbling hot.
  • Serve this as a sauce for the ribs.
  • Enjoy with some salad and boiled rice a la Filipino style. 🙂

 

Beef in Oyster Sauce

Beef in Oyster Sauce, photo by JMorton

Beef in Oyster Sauce

Beef cooked in oyster sauce is a great family favourite.  We order it when dining in restaurants and also when we do not have time to cook and we just want a Chinese take-away 🙂

Below is an easy to follow recipe for your convenience 🙂

 

Ingredients

  • 300 g beef steak
  • 1 tsp Demerara sugar
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tsp rice wine (dry sherry is a good substitute)
  • 1 tsp cornflour paste
  • 1 small carrot
  • 60 g mange taut (sitsaro) topped and tailed
  • 60 g bamboo shoots (from the tin or can is suitable)
  • 60 g straw mushroom (canned ones are suitable)
  • 300 ml vegetable oil
  • 1 stalk spring onion cut into inch segments
  • 1 inch ginger, julliened
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 3 tbsp water

Method of Preparation:

  • Prepare the beef by cutting it into thin small slices.
  • Place the beef slices into a bowl.
  • Stir in the Demerara sugar.
  • Pour in the light soy sauce, rice wine and cornflour paste all over the beef.
  • Give it a good stir, then set aside to marinate for at least half and hour.
  • Slice the carrot and straw mushrooms thinly to be in uniform in size as the bamboo shoot and mange taut.
  • Heat the wok, and when smoking hot :), carefully pour in the oil.  Heat it up.
  • Add the beef and stir-fry for a minute or two.
  • Remove the beef from the oil using a slotted spoon/ladle.
  • Pour out the oil leaving about a tablespoon only in the wok.
  • Stir fry the carrot, straw mushrooms, bamboo shots, mange taut and spring onion for two minutes.
  • Add the beef, oyster sauce and water.
  • Season with salt.
  • Blend throughly and cook for a minute.
  • Serve immediately with freshly boiled rice.

Enjoy!

 

Fried Chicken (Filipino Recipe)

Fried Chicken, photo by Mae Mercado-Sanguer

Fried Chicken (Filipino Recipe)

 

Ingredients

  • 1 whole chicken, cut into segment pieces
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, peeled and pounded into paste
  • 2 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper (according to taste
  • oil for deep-frying

Method of Preparation:

  • Wash the chicken pieces and drain thoroughly, then place in a large bowl.
  • Put it the garlic in a separate container.
  • Pour in the soy sauce and vinegar over the garlic.
  • Season with a bit of salt and a good amount of freshly ground black pepper for spice.
  • Give it a thorough mix.
  • Pour this mixture over the chicken pieces.  Ensure that all the pieces get a soak in.
  • Cover the bowl with cling film and leave to marinate for a couple of hours.
  • Drain the chicken pieces and fry in deep hot oil over medium heat.  Cook until golden brown all over.
  • Serve hot with some salad and of course unli rice. 🙂  (unlimited rice)

 

Delicious Home Made Pickled Beetroot

Delicious Home Made Pickled Beetroot

Our good friend and close neighbour Mick regularly supplies us with fresh vegetables grown on his allotment located across the road from us.

Mick has had his allotment for over fifty years, planting vegetables and even fruit trees.

One of my favourite vegetables he grows for harvesting each autumn time are beetroots. Mick grows a popular type called ‘Boltardty AGM’. Boltardy seeds can be sown at various times during the growing year and in most types of soil. It does not have excessive ‘bolting, a gardening term, which means premature sprouting of stalks flowering stem(s). Bolting can divert resources & nutriment from the beetroot and reduce it’s quality.

All Photos By PH Morton

After harvesting, Mick then produces jars of delicious slightly sweet pickled beetroot for his family and us. We save a jar for Christmas time. Beetroot is perfect to accompany Christmas meals.  This year, Mick invited me to harvest some of his beetroot. He then showed us how to make his ‘signature’ pickled beetroot. I took various photos from harvesting to our jars filled with delicious picked beetroot. Under Mick’s tutelage and help, Jean & I enjoyed producing our own jars of this delicious vegetable. Making pickled beetroot is quite simple & straightforward. 🙂

If using home grown beetroots from garden or allotment etc., a good time to harvest is from 50 to 70 days after planting. Avoid letting the beetroot get too big. A hand or tennis ball size is ideal. Do not let the stalks/stems bolt or grow above 6 inches (15cms). Dig around the beetroot and pick up avoiding breaking the stalk/greens from the beetroot.

Thoroughly clean & wash the dirt off and trim the stalks/stems short. Again do not pull out the stems, as water can get into the beetroot and damage it when boiling prior to pickling.

Harvested fresh beetroot can be stored in a refrigerator for about seven days.

Depending how many beetroots you are pickling, you will require:-

  1. Pickling /preserve jars with airtight lids. The normal size is around 500ml, or as large as you want. Most hardware stores will supply.
  2. Pickling vinegar, which comes in 1.4 litre size. Most larger supermarkets etc supply.
  3. Brown or white sugar granules to sweeten the vinegar taste to your choice.

Place the beetroots in a suitable sized saucepan(s) and cover with water.

Boil for two hours.

Carefully strain off the water and either allow air cooling or running cold water over the beetroots then dry.

Completely remove remaining stalks/roots etc.

The boiled soft skin of the beetroot does not need to be peeled with a knife as can be easily removed by hand.

Cut or slice the beetroot to whatever size you prefer.

Pour in small amount sugar, then add a small measure of the pickling vinegar, enough to cover the first layer of the slices of beetroot into the bottom of the jar.  Sprinkle with a teaspoon of sugar (to taste) then add another layer, pour pickling vinegar, then another layer, sugar, pickling vinegar until it reaches the top of the jar.

Close the jar, gently shake it then turn it upside down and leave for about 30 minutes. This will allow the vinegar and sugar to seep through the beetroot. Top up with the pickling vinegar if needed to completely cover the sliced beetroot in the jar.

If you want you can label the jar with day & month of pickling.

Home made pickled beetroot can be kept for 6 weeks to 3 months, refrigerated.
In practice, it can be longer.

But if you store them beyond 3 months and you’re worried, check for signs of spoilage (rising bubbles, cloudy liquid, unnatural colour) and don’t eat or taste.

Szechuan Shredded Pork

Shredded Pork, by Arnold Gamboa

Szechuan Shredded Pork

This recipe is a real winner.  Delicious and filling.  Szechuan way of cooking this dish can be used to cook fish as well, which is a healthier option.

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp dried wood ears mushroom
  • 300 g pork fillet
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cornflour paste
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp ginger, finely chopped
  • 2 stalks spring onions, chopped finely (separate the green from the white part)
  • 2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
  • 2 tsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp rice wine
  • 1 tsp sesame oil

 

Method of Preparation:

  • Prepare the dried  wood ear mushrooms by soaking them in warm water for half an hour.  Rinse well in cold water and leave to drain for a few minutes.  Cut them into find shreds.
  • Cut the fillet of pork into thin shreds.  Mix the salt with the cornflour paste and use to cover the pork shreds with this mixture.
  • Heat a wok until smoking hot :).  Pour in the vegetable oil.  Add the pork shreds and stir-fry until golden brown.  Then remove from the pieces of pork with a slotted spoon and set aside for the minute.
  • Add the garlic, ginger, white of the spring onions, celery and the wood ear mushrooms into the wok and stir fry for a minute.
  • Return the pork into the wok and also adding the sugar, soy sauce, chilli sauce. rice vinegar and rice wine.  Give it a good stir until everything is incorporated.
  • Add the sesame oil as well as the green part of the spring onion.  Stir for a minute and then transfer into a serving plate.
  • Serve hot with a dish of freshly boiled rice.

 

 

Chow Mein with Seasonal Vegetables

Chow mein, photo by JMorton

Chow Mein with Seasonal Vegetables

Today is my son, James’s birthday.

There is Asian tradition to serve noodles on birthdays for long life.  Added to this, I saw in a Korean drama that one must eat the first spoonful or chopstick-ful of noodles without chewing or biting on to the strands so that one life span is not cut short.  🙂

James said that he might choke on the noodles if he swallowed them whole.  🙂  He’s got a point but I told him I have got my mobile phone ready to call an ambulance and while waiting for them to arrive, I will give him the Heimlich manoeuvre.

🙂

To report, he was fine and had a good time at his birthday dinner.

Ingredients

  • 500g egg noodle (miki)
  • 4 tbsp sunflower or vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, peeled and sliced thinly
  • 1 carrot, peeled, julliened
  • 125 g bean sprouts
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, julliened
  • 1/2 Chinese cabbage, finely shredded
  • 125 g baby corn, cut into thin strips
  • 2 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sherry
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp cornflour
  • 1 tsp sesame oil

Method of Preparation:

  • Prepare the noodles.  Cook it according to the packet’s instruction.  Drain and run it under cool water to prevent it from cooking further.  Drain and set aside.
  • Heat the oil using a large pan or better yet a wok over high heat.
  • Stir in the onions and then the carrots and baby corn. Fry for a couple of minutes.
  • Add the bell pepper, cabbage, bean-sprouts and the noodles.
  • Tip in the soy sauce, sherry, salt, sugar, cornflour and sesame oil.
  • Stir-fry until the seasoning has been mixed in thoroughly.

Serve hot!  Enjoy!

 

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