Sunday 28 April 2013


In the pre-Starbucks days, the local bakery in any town in the Philippines is the hub of activity at dawn, mid-morning and mid-afternoon. Although rice is the staple food, a bakery is never more than a few yards away from one's home. The daily supply of bread is bought freshly baked in the wood-fired oven of the local panaderia (bakery). 

Wednesday 24 April 2013


Mongolian beef, despite what the name suggests did not originate from Mongolia. It is a product of Western commercial cuisine geared towards creating a taste experience that is suited to their palate but recreates the flavour of a foreign cuisine. Although the traditionalists and the purists will shake their heads, I find nothing wrong with that. I who tweaks and twists my recipes actually like that sort of thing. 

Sunday 21 April 2013


This dessert was named after Mercedes's arm, which is the literal meaning of its name. I don't know the real origin of this dessert but the name and the use of a lot of egg yolks suggests that it probably is of Hispanic roots. It is a Filipino favourite but is not dissimilar to the Spanish brazo de gitano (gypsy's arm) which is a Swiss roll type dessert. It has the components of the Spanish canonigo and French Ile Flottante which are meringue islands floating in custard but in a jelly roll form.

Thursday 18 April 2013


Filipino sausage is generally called longganisa and the style varies from region to region. When I was growing up, the only longganisa I knew was the bright red, short and fat ones from our local market. They were sold in links and had to be boiled before frying. The main flavouring is garlic and there were no herbs nor spice save for a generous amount of black pepper. The seasoning is a perfect balance of saltiness and sweetness. 

There was one thing that I didn't like about it. There were big globules of fat interspersed in the minced meat. I know that what I have just said would send some people running off to find THAT sausage but I am not some people. I hated fat then and still do now. I have horrid memories of what fat tastes like so I will end the subject here.

Sunday 14 April 2013


Wanting to eat noodles is a basic and natural yearning for Asian people. The first mouthful makes the first and lasting impression. The soup, the noodles and the toppings all have to taste good. It is quite a tall order but is not that difficult to fill. Having said that, the best noodle soup in town still eludes me and I have to make mine at home. 

Thursday 11 April 2013


The smell of seafood is the aroma of umami. It is a bit off putting for some but an allure for others. Growing up in Asia, the smell is very familiar, interesting and appetizing.

It is the smell of home that I miss as I can't cook fried seafood as often as I like. Yet, on special days I allow myself to enjoy a fry up.

Monday 8 April 2013


Of all the Filipino vegetable dishes, lumpia is probably the most popular one. The word lumpia simply means spring rolls. This particular one is called lumpiang sariwa which literally means fresh spring roll but refers to unfried spring rolls. The fried variety is called lumpiang prito, prito meaning fried. Lumpiang hubad (meaning naked spring roll) is the filling eaten without the wrapper.

Thursday 4 April 2013


Sriracha has become a condiment embraced by everyone and sits at the table top  aside ketchup and mustard. Do you remember your first encounter with sriracha? 

Monday 1 April 2013


Tiramisu is an Italian dessert which simply means "pick me up" or metaphorically "make me happy". This name cannot be more very apt because the creamy trifle is perked up with strong espresso and Marsala wine.