January 13, 2009

Lasang Pinoy, Sundays: Left-over

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leftover shredded chicken adobo sandwich

It's left-over this week at Lasang Pinoy, Sundays hosted by SPICES. There's plenty of tiny containers in my refrigerator to choose from but nothing beats "aged" adobo which tastes better after a few weeks in the refrigerator. I toasted the chicken flakes on a hot skillet until crispy and crusty and layered them with cream cheese, sliced tomatoes, and an egg omelet on dark rye bread. Weird combination, I know, but the sandwich is yummy. I washed it down with iced banaba tea.

January 9, 2009

Bangkok Dangerous And Tom Yam Gung

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tom yam gung

Bangkok Dangerous B

I love watching cheesy Nicholas Cage movies on DVD. In Bangkok Dangerous Nicholas has a really weird dyed black hair that looks greasy and stringy (almost mangy), and at the beginning of the movie I thought his receding hairline has been painted on with black make-up or tar which makes the movie all the more cheesy. He plays an assassin named Joe who, in his supposed to be last assignment before retiring, grows a heart when he falls for a pretty deaf-mute Thai girl. He does not want to finish the fourth assassination job which results in an all out war with his employer. I know, lame premise but whatever...the movie is entertaining. It has enough action and a little gore (such as a severed arm) although pretty tame IMO. The directors, the Pang brothers, contrived to show what every tourist (including myself) must experience when in Bangkok: heavy traffic, floating market, giant golden Buddha, tuk-tuk, jewelry shops, and most importantly, spicy food. When Joe went on a date with the deaf-mute girl he starts sweating profusely while eating spicy Thai food, and was encouraged by the girl to take some Tom Yam Gung which is extremely spicy. She offered some basil or mint leaves to cool him off but then she kept giggling (silently) at his expense. The movie is full of cliches and unnecessary subplots but I really enjoyed it. Highly Recommended (to those who have low expectations and just want to be entertained).

After watching the movie I got hungry for Thai food. Tom Yam Gung is one of the easiest dishes to make and since I had the ingredients except for straw mushrooms which I substituted with fresh oyster mushrooms, I prepared it and in less than 20 minutes I was slurping spicy and sour prawn soup.

Tom Yam Gung
a little more than ½ pound medium prawns, shelled with tails on
2 stalks lemon grass, cut into 2 inch pieces and bruised
3 birds eye chili, sliced
6 cups water
1 small piece fresh galangal, sliced
2 tablespoons fish extract
½ cup lemon juice
1 cup straw mushrooms
coriander leaves, for garnish
  • Boil the water in a saucepan, add lemongrass and galangal, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the prawns, chili, mushrooms, and the fish extract and simmer for 3 minutes. Add the lemon juice, taste, and add more fish sauce if needed. Transfer into a serving bowl and garnish with coriander. Note: the lemongrass and galangal are not meant to be eaten but to flavor the soup.
This simple sweetish spicy savory Thai chicken dish is one of our favorites, we never get tired of it. It is strange that we have never seen this dish in any Thai restaurants in my area or maybe I don't now its name in Thai.

Minced Chicken With Basil

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 pound minced chicken
1½ tablespoons dark soy sauce
3 tablespoons fish extract
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
80 Thai basil leaves
6 birds eye chili, sliced
  • Heat the oil in a wok or saucepan and fry the garlic for 1 minute. Add the chicken and stir fry for 4 minutes. Add the soy sauce, fish extract, and sugar and mix thoroughly. Add the basil leaves and the chili. Stir fry for 5 minutes. Transfer into a serving dish.

January 7, 2009


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sour and spicy fish sisig, specially good with an ice cold bottle of beer

Sisig, a spicy and sour appetizer made with parts of or a whole pig's head, also made with a variety of meats, fish, and even tofu, is one Filipino dish I have never heard of nor eaten before reading so much about it in several Filipino food blogs. A friend from Los Angeles and I were chatting on the phone yesterday making plans to meet up in the Philippines in the next few months (I haven't decided yet if I'm going). She is a part-time caterer and she mentioned that she cooked for a party of 45 last Christmas and one of the dishes she made was bangus (milkfish) sisig. She gave me a very simple recipe which she says is a bit different from the ones served in Manila restaurants. Her bangus sisig is not crispy because she poaches the fish before mixing with the seasonings. Another friend told me today that her sister who owns a restaurant in Quezon City that serves bangus sisig deep fries the fish before chopping to have a crispy texture. They had me itching to taste this dish and today I made not just the fish sisig but also pork belly sisig. Both are really tasty and I can now understand the popularity of sisig.

The following recipe for the fish sisig is just a guide. You can add more or less soy sauce, calamansi juice, and hot chili peppers to suit your taste. I like mine really spicy and sour.

Milkfish Sisig
2 pounds whole milkfish (or tilapia)
1 T vegetable oil
2 C sweet onions, chopped
birds eye chili peppers, chopped, to taste
2 T soy sauce
¼ C calamansi juice
1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • Poach or deep fry fish. Debone and flake, or chop if deep fried. Set aside.
  • In a skillet, heat the oil and saute onions until very soft and light brown. Add chopped hot chili peppers and saute for a minute.
  • Transfer into a medium bowl. Add soy sauce, calamansi juice, and chopped red onions. Gently mix in the fish. Taste and adjust seasonings.
  • Transfer into a serving dish with chopped hot peppers, soy sauce, and calamansi on the side.
The recipe for pork belly sisig is here.

January 6, 2009

Green Eggs

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One of the vendors at the farmer's market sells different colored egg. The shells have shades of green from deep, light, and olive, some are pink-ish, light peach, mottled brown, and of course brown. These eggs have smaller whites than regular eggs and therefore have less protein and their yolks are dark yellow to almost orange. I was told that these eggs are from Ameraucana chickens.

Last week I boiled a few and forgot to time them. I usually cook eggs by letting the water come to a boil, turn the heat off, cover the pan, and leave the eggs for 10 minutes, then I rinse them immediately in very cold water. One of the things I can't stand is boiled eggs with green rings around the yolks. There is no difference in taste but it just looks unappetizing. When I removed the shells I could see the green through the whites. I noticed that the green ring is thicker than normal and I was not repulsed by it because it looks interesting with the contrast of colors, green against yellow and almost orange in the middle making the sliced eggs look like kabocha squash. After a day in the refrigerator the thick green rings disappeared on the remaining few slices of eggs. I wonder if this is true for all eggs, that is, the green ring disappearing after a few days, hmm.

they look like kabocha squash

kabocha squash

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