Monday 30 July 2012


Bitter memories came flooding back when I read the e-mail from this month's Kulinarya Cooking Club hosts Isabel of My Expat Mommy and Kai of Bucaio. The theme for July and is the most unlikely source of such thoughts, yet it required me to dig deep into my memory bank and once again remember the sort of food that I dread.

Thursday 26 July 2012


Being in the tropics, the weather is usually hot in the Philippines. There are only two seasons: wet and dry and the divide between them is blurred. It is predominantly hot, sometimes very very hot, then wet when typhoons and monsoon rains come.

So how do we know when it's summer? It is summer when school finishes. It is summer when there is a town fiesta every week. It is summer when all our favourite fruits are in season. It is summer when there are a lot of insects wanting to feast on the fruits.

Monday 23 July 2012


Awareness of the art of cooking has been revived, thanks to cooking shows and food websites (such as food blogs). More people are interested in learning about food and different recipes. If they do not actually cook, they at least appreciate the looks, the story and the recipes that's behind every dish.

Thursday 19 July 2012


Chicken inasal is an indigenous barbecue chicken recipe that comes from Bacolod, the sugar capital of the Philippines. It is very simple in itself yet highly aromatic. Though it comes from  the sugarland, it is not sweet like your usual barbecue. 

Monday 16 July 2012


Many, many years ago, my husband and I used to go to an Indonesian restaurant in London's West End called Bali. It was one of those cozy restaurants decorated in the style of the place the food comes from. That probably added a lot to its charms and made the food taste so exotic and delicious. 

Monday 9 July 2012


All hail to halo halo, the stuff that Filipino dreams are made of. You might scream for ice cream but if you were Pinoy (Filipino), it is halo halo that you will always hanker for. Halo means to stir and halo halo means an assortment. It is a dessert with as many ingredients (all individually cooked in syrup) as you could name at the bottom, topped with shaved ice,  then crowned with a dollop of ube jam (purple yam jam), a slice of leche flan (creme caramel) and if you can still take it, a scoop of ice cream. All of that is drizzled with evaporated milk then served to you as is so you can grapple with stirring the ingredients. The ingredients can include canellini beans, azuki beans, chick peas, macapuno (coconut sport), kaong (palm seeds), nata de coco, sweet jackfruit, sweet bananas, sweet potato in syrup, sago, leche flan, haleya and puffed rice. 

Thursday 5 July 2012


Pad Thai is the perfect epitome of Thai cooking. It is sweet, sour, salty and spicy. It is so delicious and has become ever popular and readily available in most places, even in the ready meals section of the supermarket. Now this is when things go wrong. If food becomes so popular, it becomes commercial and starts to veer away from the essential flavours that it is supposed to have. This is the reason why I'd rather cook pad Thai myself even if I know that I'll never be able to do it as well as the Thais do. At least I know that the end result will be to my liking.

Monday 2 July 2012


Being Filipino, my love for pork is eternal. When it comes to the choice of meat, pork rules the roost, so to speak. Filipino parties are rarely un-porcine events. I think you get my point.

We have been warned about saturated animal fat, so we really should appreciate the meat rather than the fat. Although it is true that fat equals taste and that it makes meat tender and juicy, I still opt for leaner cuts. I trim the excess fats and skim off fats in the cooked product. We can still enjoy our food if we are more aware of what it contains.