Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Recipe: Pancit luglug

I posted a couple of photos of the pancit luglug my mom made last week and I got numerous requests for the recipe. It really is one of the easiest noodle dishes to make. But it's a lot of work.

Sauteed shrimp (sininkutsa, is the Kapampangan word)
Chicharon, crushed (pork rind)
Garlic, minced and fried
Scallion, chopped
Tofu, cubed and fried

5 cups chicken stock
Fish sauce, to taste
5 tbsp rice flour dissolved in about a cup of water (for thickening)
Achuete soaked in water and then strained for the juice
Oil for sauteeing
Garlic, minced
Onion, diced

Sautee the garlic in medium heat until golden brown, add the onion. When onion is tender, add the achuete juice. Now, there's no measurement for this. It's really up to the cook on how red they want the sauce to be. I think we added about 5 tablespoons of the juice. Let that heat up to a simmer, then add the stock. When the stock is boiling, add SOME of the rice flour and stir vigorously. Add a little bit more until the sauce is thick enough for you. Let it boil for a couple more minutes, then turn heat off.

You don't want the sauce to be so thick it's virtually paste, but you don't want it too thin that it doesn't cling to the noodles. Also, the rice flour is a better thickening agent than corn starch because it thickens without really making the sauce coagulate.

As for the noodles, my mom prefers the Super Q pancit palabok brand. There's no danger of under- or overcooking these noodles if you follow the instructions carefully.


Thursday, August 7, 2014

vietnamese-style vegetable rolls

my mom loves the crab roll in pizza hut (yup, the local pizza hut serves spring rolls, go figure). so when i saw some cilantro in the grocery earlier, i thought of making some vegetable rolls for dinner. she said we had some rice wrappers at home so it was all set for a vietnamese lumpia. :)

jicama, carrots, cucumber

lettuce, cilantro

rice noodles

mined pork cooked in vietnamese fish sauce


 stack and roll! 

by the way, i was only one who put cilantro in the roll. the rest didn't like it. :P
my dipping sauce was vinegar, sugar, fish sauce and some sesame oil.

Monday, May 12, 2014

bed of bamboo (papag)

have i told you how hot it is this summer here? and sometimes (oftentimes in the southern islands) we lose electric power for hours -- one time even overnight. argh! that night, i literally slept in a pool of sweat.

i thought we should have a place to retreat to when those nights come again. or to just have somewhere to take an afternoon nap when the rooms are uncomfortably hot (and running the aircon in the daytime is too expensive). the solution? a traditional bamboo bed -- but of courfse, a papag!

i know you personally love sleeping on them. and i don't blame you: cool ventilation via the slits in the bamboo slats. cozy comfort of the feel of the wood on your back, and literally, the fresh air outside. if you're lucky you even have a tree above you with birds chirping the day away, as we do have here in the province.

this is a mega papag: 7x7 foot dimension. we're big in the family so it has to be mega-sized. ha.ha. this cost me around a hundred dollars to make (for materials and labor). i think it's money well spent :)

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Flores Deli: Pupusas, sopas, tamales from Salvadoran eatery

There's a pretty robust Hispanic population where I live on Long Island. I've posted about the Peruvian place here. This time, I'll make your mouth water over the delicious lunches I've enjoyed from a Salvadoran eatery called Flores Deli.

A friend had discovered the place last year and I've been there a few times. One of my favorites from their extensive menu is the shrimp ceviche, with tomatoes, cilantro and onion with a hint of chili. This is served with crispy tortilla chips. I love that they do not skimp on the shrimp, which are tender and not overcooked. I like that it's not super expensive. A small container is about $4, and that's enough for 2 appetizer servings.

Another item I often order is the tamales de gallina, or chicken tamales. It's the closest version I've ever had to our Capampangan tamales. They do not have the brown peanut portion, nor do they have the chorizo or the hard-boiled egg. But they do have peanuts (sometimes, chickpea). Would you believe one tamales (tamale?) is only $1.50. One is enough to satisfy my hunger, but I get greedy so I often order two :P

Of course, I don't leave that place without ordering pupusas, which are handmade tortillas filled with either cheese, ground meat or fried beans. They're quite big, bigger than the circle you'd make with your hands. The ground meat version is called pupusa de chicharron, and that's my favorite. The cheese version is pretty good, too. They serve it with some type of slaw and watery salsa that I don't usually use. Guess how much is one pupusa? Yep, $1.50.

Last year, during one rainy day, I actually got a sopa de res, or a beef soup. It's almost a cross between our nilaga and sinigang. It just has a hint of sour, and almost always has corn and yucca. This bowl? Cost me less than $4. See now why this is one of my favorite eateries?

Thursday, April 17, 2014

banana cake with sweetened jackfruit topping

for my mom's birthday somebody gifted her with a box of banana cake and then somebody else gave a jar of preserved langka (jackfruit) to my brother in law. so i was hungry yesterday (as always) and i thought maybe they'd go well together.

verdict: they do work well together. the banana cake is a bit bland for my taste so the langka provided the much needed sweetness.

when you think about it, this is just like "turon" (sweet spring roll) in pastry form :) banana - check! langka - check! ha.ha.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Tang Asian Fusion: From sushi to pad thai

Wow! February was a bit of a sad month for the blog, eh? OK, let's make March rock. I just came back from dinner with my colleague and friend J. She found a review of Tang Asian Fusion online and thought we should check it out. It's in Copiague, about 20 minutes away from me (in normal traffic). It's in a small strip mall (we've got tons of those here on Long Island) and very easy to get to.

The menu was a mix of Japanese (sushi and sashimi), Chinese (sesame chicken and egg foo young) and Thai (pad thai and tom yum gong). We started with the spicy crunchy tuna roll (it was OK) and chicken lettuce wrap. I loved the wrap, with its sauteed chicken, cashew nuts, scallion and garlic. The crispy iceberg lettuce provided a nice balance. It also helped cool down the food as it was served piping hot.

For the main course, I went with pad thai. I've been searching for a really good one since my favorite restaurant in Hoboken closed. Tang's version was good — sweet with a hint of tart. But it still seemed to be missing something that I can't quite place my finger on.

J went with the roast pork and shrimp dumplings noodle soup. She really liked the soup but found the egg noodles bland.

There weren't a lot of people when we were there, around 5-ish. But the restaurant's take-out and delivery business seemed pretty busy. The service was pretty quick and the servers were solicitous. Will I ever go back? Maybe. The only thing I'm really disappointed with — no dessert. It would have completed the nice meal.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

embutido: philippine-style meatloaf

Holidays are just not the same without embutido on the table. Thank God, my mom found time to make some for Christmas. An embutido is essentially a meatloaf. But this meatloaf is unlike any you've probably had. The ingredients are insane. My family's version includes pork, luncheon meat, sweet ham, chorizo de bilbao, sweet relish pickles, eggs, raisins and cheddar cheese. My mom shapes the mixture into small logs, which she then wraps in tela panyo. That's a part of the stomach that kind of resembles cobwebs. She has special cheesecloths cut and measured for her embutido. Then she ties them up with kitchen string.

Some folks bake their embutido, others steam them. My mom makes a sort of soup made from garlic, onions, tomato sauce and lots and lots of chicken broth. Then she boils the embutido logs in the soup. After a little more than an hour, she fishes out the embutido logs and sets them aside to cool. She continues to simmer the "soup" until it's vastly reduced. That's the sauce. I love that sauce! Sometimes I just pour it over hot rice and consider that a meal :) I'll put up my embutido against yours any day!