Wednesday 30 March 2011


Kakanin is a collective term for rice based sweet Filipino snacks and cakes. The root word kanin simply means rice. These snacks lost their popularity when the Western fast food chains reached the Philippine shores and influenced the tastes of the mall going public. Their popularity has been revived in the recent years when they, too, were sold in malls and supermarkets.

Saturday 26 March 2011


The one thing missing from UK shopping malls that are always present in American ones are the Chinese fastfood joints. Yes, those that give away free samples speared on toothpicks are what I'm referring to. Though their menu can be pretty standard, they are very satisfying and good value for money.

This recipe is my take on the dish that's ever present in Chinese buffets and fastfood joints: Sesame Chicken. It is a very close cousin of General Tso's Chicken and were it not for the sprinkling of sesame seeds, I wouldn't be able to tell them apart. 

My version has cashews for extra crunch and honey for sweetness. I did not make it as sweet as the original because I wanted a balance of saltiness, sweetness and just a hint of tanginess. A few easy steps led to a more superior dish filled with home cooked goodness.


6 chicken thighs, deboned and cut into 2" cubes
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/2 c. cashews
2 tbsps. of chopped spring onions, green parts only
1 tbsp. sesame seeds, toasted
oil for deep frying


2 tbsps. light soy sauce
1/2 tsp. sesame oil
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. ground pepper
1 tbsp. corn flour (corn starch)
1 egg white


1/3 c. plain flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda


1/2 c. water
1/4 c. honey
1 tbsp. vinegar
1 tbsp. light soy sauce
1 tbsp. oyster sauce
2 tsp. corn flour
1 tsp. sesame oil
1/2 tsp. chilli oil (optional)


Mix all of ingredients (A) together and add in the chicken meat. Stir well and leave to marinate for half an hour. 

Heat up the cooking oil in a wok. 

Mix ingredients (B) and add to the marinated chicken. Blend well. 

Fry the chicken pieces, a few at a time, on medium high heat until golden brown and crisp. Drain and set aside. 

Fry the cashews briefly in the same oil and scoop on to a kitchen paper lined dish. 

Mix all of ingredients (C) in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Cook until thickened. 

Heat up a clean wok and put 1 tbsp. of cooking oil (from the oil used for frying) and add the garlic. Stir fry on high heat for 2 seconds, then add the fried chicken pieces. Stir fry for a minute then add the sauce while stirring. Most of the sauce will evaporate and glaze the chicken. 

Take off the heat and add the cashew, spring onions and sesame seeds. Mix well, then transfer to a serving dish. Serve with steamed white rice.

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General Tso's Chicken
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Wednesday 23 March 2011


Puffs of air rained with sweet sugar, a delight to make and a joy to eat_ this is what buñuelos is to me. We buy them in bakeshops and tea shops in Chinatown here in London where they make it extra large for maximum satisfaction. 

Sunday 20 March 2011


Lumpiang sariwa is a fresh spring roll with a mixed vegetable filling and soft flour wrapper. It is of Chinese origin and is in fact very similar to the fried spring roll (lumpiang prito) that is very much loved in Asian countries and adopted by the West. It is fresh yet with the exciting accents of crushed peanuts and if wished, spiked with fresh garlic.

Saturday 19 March 2011


Filipinos eat pork more than any other meat. Although there are so many ways to cook it, the most popular recipes are the fried and roast dishes. Fried pork is expressed in many ways and called by a lot of names but it still has the very same essence of crispy crackling skin and tasty succulent meat. 

Wednesday 16 March 2011


 It was one of those busy days when I just can't think of anything to cook and it was nearly dinner time. Rummaging through the fridge and the cupboards usually gives me some inspiration. 

Friday 11 March 2011


Squid is a firm favourite in Southeast Asian and Mediterranean countries. In the Western countries, it is classified with the exotica and is still not very popular in restaurant menus.

Monday 7 March 2011


Pan de sal simply means "bread of salt". It is the staple bread eaten at breakfast in the Philippines. Believe it or not, in the Philippines where rice is the staple food, there are panaderias (bakeries) in every corner selling freshly baked pan de sal from dawn until the late hours. 

Saturday 5 March 2011


By and large, Filipino food is fusion. Countries that have been a part of Philippine history have left an indelible mark on the local cuisine. A lot of Filipino dishes are of Spanish and Chinese origin but have been given a twist to adapt the recipe to Filipino taste.

Wednesday 2 March 2011


My husband's birthday is between the 28th of February and the 1st of March this year. He is one of those unfortunately born on the 29th day of February, so his birthday is not an annual thing. He is not big on celebrations and would probably just forget his birthday if not reminded. I make it a point to mark his day, in any simple way I can, just so we can add a notch to his counter. Also, I thought it would come as strange to our children that their Dad does not have a birthday. I do not want them to come up with their own conclusions on the origins of his being.