Thursday, December 22, 2011

Massive Disaster Relief for Victims of Typhoon Sendong is Launched

Massive Disaster Relief for Victims of Typhoon Sendong is Launched 

Richel Umel/AP
 Redwood City, Calif. (PRWEB) December 20, 2011
ABS CBN Foundation International launches an international disaster relief effort for the victims of Typhoon Sendong in Mindanao island, the southern region of the Philippines, through Sagip Kapamilya. Tax deductible monetary donations are now being accepted to provide immediate aid. Cheques can be made to “ABS CBN Foundation International: Typhoon Sendong” and sent to the nonprofit’s offices at 150 Shoreline Drive, Redwood City, California 94065. Donors can also contribute online via
On Sunday, Typhoon Sendong brought more than a month of average rainfall within 12 hours to Northern Mindanao, the Visayas and Palawan. Hard hit are the southern coastal cities of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan. Unaccustomed to major storms, river systems and homes specifically in these two cities were massively destroyed. Raging waters have put the toll at 927 killed and hundreds more missing, as reported today by ABS CBN News. Most of the dead are women and children.
Typhoon Sendong is now considered the world’s deadliest storm for 2011.
While mass graves are being dug for its casualties, survivors continue to ask for help. Body bags, food, water, medicine, blankets, kerosene lamps, etc. are urgently needed in evacuation centers where the ABS CBN Foundation volunteers are stationed.
“Typhoon Sendong is especially devastating to all of us because it affected some of our poorest families just a few days before Christmas,” said J. Robbie Fabian, President of the ABS CBN Foundation International. “We will be on the ground until more missing persons are brought to safety and all our survivors are given immediate attention. As always, the commitment of Sagip Kapamilya is long-term community rehabilitation.”
The Sagip Kapamilya—Typhoon Sendong campaign appeals to the global community to assist the Filipino people in this time of dire need. To address the urgent needs on the ground in the quickest possible way, and because shipments of in-kind goods take 45 days to arrive in the Philippines, ABS CBN Foundation International will only accept monetary donations at this time. ABS CBN Foundation International is committed to remit 100% of donations to the Philippines within 24 hours of the donation.
ABS CBN Foundation International is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of disadvantaged Filipino children and their families in the Philippines and around the world. Its flagship program, Bantay Bata (Child Watch), is a child abuse rescue operation that responds to an average of 15,300 calls for assistance a year. The program assists more than 21,000 children and families in relocation communities and feeds at least 4,400 severely malnourished children a year. Its education program serves 4.2 million elementary school children and their teachers.
In the United States, the organization partners with Filipino-American organizations and associations in addressing community issues--youth truancy, housing, issues affecting the elderly, health, and emergency needs. For more programs and information, visit

Please help the victims of typhoon Sendong

Residents of two southern Philippine cities battered by a storm that left over 1,000 people dead and displaced hundreds of thousands started the hard work of reclaiming their lives as authorities buried dozens of bodies in concrete vaults on Wednesday.

The head of the national disaster agency, Benito Ramos, said 1,002 people were killed and dozens more remained unaccounted for on Mindanao island after landslides, flash floods, and falling logs triggered by typhoon Washi swept aside homes and roads as people slept in the early hours of Saturday.

Washi was one of the deadlist typhoons to hit the country since 2008 when Fengshen killed 938 in the central Philippines, according to the national disaster agency. The worst typhoon was Thelma which struck Ormoc City on central island of Leyte in 1991, causing flash floods that killed more than 5,000 people.

Most of Washi's casualties were in the cities of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan, with more than 275,000 people homeless, many now sheltering in dozens of evacuation areas.
Some of the displaced headed back to their villages to reclaim their lives and rebuild destroyed houses on Wednesday. Television footage showed residents shoveling mud, washing furniture and hanging clothes to dry under the sun.

Washi brought more than 180mm (7 inches) of rainfall over a 24-hour period over northern Mindanao, more than the average of 113 mm (4.5 inches) for an entire December month in the area, Rosalina de Guzman of the weather bureau's climate data office told Reuters.
It was the worst typhoon in northern Mindanao in more than 50 years, or since November 1958 when 227 mm (9 inches) of rain fell, de Guzman said.

On Tuesday, Aquino declared a state of national calamity and ordered an investigation into the disaster. He said Manila would use more than 1 billion pesos ($22.79 million) in calamity funds and soft loans from multilateral lending agencies such as the World Bank for reconstruction.
The disaster agency said nearly 1 billion pesos worth of infrastructure, schools and hospitals were destroyed in floods. The Agriculture department said more than 15 million pesos worth of crops, mostly rice and corn, were damaged.
($1 = 43.8750 Philippine pesos)

Monday, December 19, 2011

Noche Buena: Pulled pork adobo sliders on homemade pandesal

Nochebuena, (literally "Good Night"), is a Spanish word referring to the night of Christmas Eve. In Spain, Cuba, Latin America, and the Philippines, the evening consists of a traditional dinner with family. In the traditional Filipino household, this dinner is enjoyed right after the late evening Christmas Eve mass. Growing up, I always looked forward to celebrating Christmas. It meant seeing all my cousins, opening gifts and watching all the adults do their gift exchange. You could call it a mini family reunion. Crackly Christmas music would be playing on the turntable, which I would always seem to scratch...DJ in the making right! But, what I looked forward to the most was all the food waiting to be devoured on the dining table. The ham, lumpia, pancit, empandas, hot chocolate, and every dessert imaginable. What I also remembered was my uncles and aunts drinking their hot chocolate and coffee with fresh from the oven pandesal (pan de sal). The toasted buttery smell was very intoxicating and somehow made for a scent that would always remind me of the holidays.

I recently joined the Kulinarya Cooking Club which was started by a group of Filipino foodies living in Sydney who are passionate about the Filipino culture and its colourful cuisine. Each month they showcase a new dish along with their family recipes.This months theme and challenge, was to share a Noche Beuna dish. This was going to be somewhat of a challenge for me. How could I make just one dish and not feel bad about leaving the other delicious recipes behind? So, I went back and forth with my wife and brother in-law trying to figure out what we were actually serving for Noche Buena on the 24th. We really haven't narrowed the menu down as of yet, so the challenge was getting more and more challenging. This was my first post, so I wanted to have a good time with this one.

So I decided to combine two dishes into one, making a perfect snack for both young and old. If pandesal and pork adobo decided to make a food truck, this is what they would serve...naturally. So my offering for the Noche Buena challenge is pulled pork adobo on homemade pandesal, or pandesal sliders for short. I haven't attempted to make pandesal before but Jun Belen of Jun-blog, Vanjo Merano of Panlasang Pinoy, and Malou  of Skip to Malou, provide enough inspiration to help guide any novice baker. Click on the links for their complete pandesal recipes. I decided to make my version with Splenda, to accommodate for the no-sugar dieters in my family. I was actually told by Amy Besa, co-author of Memories of Philippine Kitchens, that pandesal, from the Spanish pan de sal, means bread of salt and "should not be sweet. It is an aberration when people put a ton of sugar in it." Thanks Amy for the info. Now I feel better about making my version without sugar. But, I guess if you insist on the sweetness but can't have the recipe is ok.

Pandesal ingredients (adapted from Panlasang Pinoy)
  • 4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup white sugar (I used Splenda instead)
  • 5 tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/4 cup fresh milk, warm
  • 1 pouch rapid rise yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 piece raw egg
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil
Directions (adapted from Panlasang Pinoy and Jun-Blog)
Combine the yeast, 1 tbsp sugar from your half cup, and warm milk and stir until the yeast and sugar are fully dissolved. Let it stand for 10 minutes. You should notice that the yeast is active if it doubles in size. Combine the flour then the sugar, salt, and baking powder in a mixing bowl and mix until you achieve a consistent texture. Now add the egg, melted butter, cooking oil, and yeast-sugar-milk mixture in the mixing bowl with the dry ingredients then mix again until a dough is formed.

On a flat dusted surface,  knead the dough for 8 minutes to achieve a smooth elastic dough. Mold the dough into a round shape and place in a large bowl and cover with plastic wrap for 1 hour. This gives you a chance to prep and start your pulled pork abobo. (continue to recipe below)

Put the dough back to the flat surface and knead it once more. Next divide into 2 equal parts and roll into rectangular sheets and then roll the sheet into a log, about 20 inches long and 2 inches in diameter. Now slice the dough into 1 inch thick pieces, place onto a cookie sheet cut side up, and sprinkle your bread crumbs onto your pieces. Make sure to leave enough space for the your your pandesal to expand.

Let the dough sit and rise for 15 minutes while you preheat the oven to 375 degrees
Pre heat the oven at 375 degrees fahrenheit for 10 minutes. After, bake your dough for 15 minutes. Pretty simple and definitely not a hard as I thought.

For the pulled pork adobo, I use a pressure cooker to make sure my meat is tender and separates nicely. My pressure cooker is electric and gets the job done very fast, so please adjust your times accordingly.

  • 4 lbs of pork shoulder cut into large cubes
  • 1 cup of low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup of cane vinegar
  • 1 tbsp ground  pepper
  • 1/3 cup of freshly cut garlic
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp of powdered cumin
  • 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil.

Directions (modify if you are using a traditional pressure cooker or pot)
Heat your oil for a few minutes then saute your garlic. Next, add your pork and brown for a few minutes. Now season your meat with the pepper and cumin and add your bay leaves. Last, add your liquids and cover your pressure cooker. After 40 minutes, your pork will be nice and tender.

Separate your pork from your liquids and pull your pork apart with your hands or by using two forks. Continue to separate until completely shredded. Keep your sauce on the side and add it to your pulled pork depending on how juicy you want your sliders.

Now if your timing is perfect, your pulled pork is finished, and your pandesal is ready. So slice into that freshly baked bread and generously add the adobo pulled pork to complete the ultimate Noche Buena Street food snack.

But Noche Buena would be complete without a few other dishes. Here are some of the other dishes that we will be having for Noche Buena:

Arroz caldo
Crispy adobo wings
bibingka cupcakes
Cassava cake
Whatever you decide to share with your family and friends for Noche Buena, make sure to have fun in the kitchen as well.  I think it's great to share the experience of cooking with the next generation of Filipino foodies and chefs.

I am so honored to be a part of the Kulinarya Cooking Club and can't wait to see what challenges 2012 will bring. Please make sure to visit the rest of the members blogs to see whats cooking in their kitchen. God Bless and have a happy New Year.

Resources and Credits
Kulinarya Cooking Club - Website
Panlasang Pinoy

Friday, December 2, 2011

Recipes from home: Bibingka cupcakes with salted egg and cream cheese

Sometimes, good things come to those who wait. In my case, I finally convinced my mom to pass down her famous bibingka recipe. In my culture, it's rare to share our recipes with each other, especially those special dishes that people rave about. But, I think that plays a big part of why Filipino food hasn't gone mainstream or better yet...recognized by the masses. If it was up to me, Filipino chefs, cooks and foodies around the world would collaborate to make one UNIVERSAL cookbook. One book to rule them all! OK maybe not rule, but instead be a base for all recipes. It's probably an impossible task but it's my goal to push for it. 

With that being said, I do believe my mom's bibingka recipe is my favorite. I'm sure there are great recipes out there but I would definitely lobby for parts of it to be included in "The Universal Guide to Philippine Cuisine" There, I named it...I said it first, and hopefully it goes viral someday.

I knew when my mom was cooking bibingka when I was younger. The aroma of the banana leaves filled the house and the I could just taste the buttery, cheesy and savory goodness that was in my near future. She only made bibingka during Christmas time and it made the experience even more special.

So why wait till Christmas to enjoy this ever so popular savor pastry? Bibingka is perfect anytime of the day. Great with your morning coffee, afternoon snack, and pairs well with vanilla ice cream.

Now everyone loves, cupcakes, so I thought it would be cool to make a bibingka version. Easy right? Cut up some banana leaves, place them in cupcake pans, pour in the batter and viola...bite sized heaven. Well it wasn't that easy especially since I am no baker. It's a science, and I really didn't do that well in chemistry. Even the cutting of banana leaves took a delicate hand. But after some trial and mostly error, I think my attempt at baking went well.

Mama Honey's Bibingka
Ingredients for 2 dozen cupcakes
1 cup of bisquick mix
1/2 cup of rice flour (not Mochiko Sweet rice flour. I used Bob's Red Mill unsweetened stone ground)
3 tsp baking powder
1 cup sugar
1 1/4 cup of milk
4 eggs
1/2 cup of grated cheese
1/2 bar of unsalted butter
tsp cream cheese per cupcake
2 salted eggs chopped

Mix bisquick, rice flour, baking powder and sugar in a mixing bowl until smooth and consistent texture. Now mix in eggs 1 at a time. Add your melted butter followed by your grated cheese. Continue to mix until smooth.

Next, scoop into individual banana leaf cups. Before baking put your salted egg, if desired and cream cheese on top. Bake in your preheated oven at 375 degrees and bake for 20 minutes.

These bake faster than normal due to their size and my mom's original recipe calls for mini pie pans for 30 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes then take the cupcakes and place on a cooling rack.

You can serve these guys as is or finish them with cream cheese frosting. If you do, cut back on the powdered sugar to reduce the sweetness.

You never get it right on your first try, and I'll have to refine my banana leaf cutting skills. Try it with Mochiko if you prefer. Remember, it's all about sharing, and making things better. I hope we can all get on board this notion of a The Universal Guide to Philippine Cuisine. I believe that it will only make our food better and more consistent, and also build a community of great Filipino food lovers. I just wanted to say thank you to my mom for sharing her recipe with me. Also, thanks to all of you who take your time to follow my Filipino food adventures. Salamat.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Calamansi basil chicken with garlic parmesan brussels sprouts

My daughter is the biggest foodie in our family and she is constantly hungry. I can't blame her because I take her to every food event and her palette has grown over the years. She really won't settle for just any snack, especially on her days off from school. McDonalds and fast food isn't really her thing and she'd rather go to a food truck. But today was a great day...according to her. "Daddy, can you make me something!" OK, so what can I make for this little foodie that wouldn't take forever. I had some chicken breast thawing in the refrigerator and some brussels sprouts that I just picked up from the market. Luckily for me, our family isn't big on rice so it was perfect. But, she's all about flavors so I had to add a bit of kick to the chicken and do something with the brussels sprouts. 

So the plan was simple...make a nice pre-workout lunch for the both of us, take some photos, and post! It wasn't really my intention to make a blog post out of our lunch together but why not. So off she went to play Wii and back to the kitchen for me.

The ingredients were simple, and  I was limited since I didn't do my grocery shopping yet.

2 skinless chicken breasts (serves 2)
1 lb of brussels sprouts...ok...a couple of handfuls to be exact!
dried basil leaves
garlic powder
fresh parmesan
extra virgin olive oil
fresh calamansi
2 tbsp of vegetable oil

First I tenderize the chicken. All chicken whether whole or pieces should be put into a large bowl or a clean sink with cold water and a 1/2 a cup of salt. Leave for 20 minutes to half an hour and then rinse the chicken or chicken pieces well. This not only kills any bacteria on the chicken, but also tenderizes it. Drain your liquids and coat your breasts with olive oil. Next season with salt, pepper and dried basil leaves. Lastly, squeeze your fresh calamansi over your chicken. Save some calamansi  for might want a bit more zing. Make sure you preheat your oven to 350. Now in a oven safe skillet, brown both sides of your breasts in a tbsp of olive oil at medium heat for about 5 min per side. After browning, finish your chicken in the oven for about 20-25 minutes. Make sure your internal temp is at 160 degrees.

Now for the brussels sprouts. Wash the brussels sprouts well. Trim the stem ends and remove any raggy outer leaves. Cut in half from stem to top and gently rub each half with olive oil, keeping it intact. Season with salt, pepper, garlic powder and a few pinches of grated parmesan. Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a large skillet on medium. Place the brussels sprouts flat side down for 5 minutes or until your edges have a slight browning. Next toss them in the skillet to get a little browning on the round side. I like them a bit bitter, and the more you cook them, the less bitter they become. Finally, take them off the heat and plate immediately. 

I'm sure there are more ways to cook the brussels sprouts but this was pretty simple and my dining partner definitely loved what she was eating. She took a few of breaks in between her Wii tennis match to sneak in a couple of bites. After taking a few bites myself, I started to offload pictures from my digital camera. I wasn't paying attention to my daughter but I knew that she wasn't playing her game. She couldn't be napping. I walked over to the table and she was munching away at our lunch. Was I mad, of course not. According to her, it was the best lunch she had ever had!

My dining partner

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving from the Bay Area

Happy Thanksgiving from the Bay Area! For me, the best part of the holidays is when we get to share a meal with family and friends. From traditional dishes to original recipes, the table is always filled with delicious bites to be enjoyed the entire day. I usually have the responsibility of deep frying the turkey. Some believe that it's dangerous but only if you don't watch your fryer and let your dog loose in the back yard! If you do decide that deep frying is your route, be safe and keep a fire extinguisher handy. 

Enjoy the holidays and make sure to share some food with someone. If you have time, go out and volunteer at a local food bank or soup kitchen. There are a ton of people that aren't as fortunate as most and could really use your support. Happy holidays.

The buffet

Twice cooked crispy abobo wings

Lumpia Shanghi

The beautiful crabs

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Next Food Network Star audition and my tofu sisig recipe

I love sisig? 
Ok, so the name of my blog probably throws visitors off a bit. So I guess it's time to explain the name and logo behind all the magic. Sisig to me, represents the ultimate pulutan food...or finger foods eaten with alcohol and more specifically beer. It's crunchy, fatty, salty, sour, spicy, sweet and even a bit bitter. Almost representing every single thing I like about Filipino cuisine. And I love everything about Filipino food and what it that's where the heart in my logo comes from. Now the spoon in the fork symbolizes the big ass spoon and forks that are on every, ok maybe not every, Filipino households wall. Mine does at least! So there you have it. The story behind the name.

For an authentic sisig recipe and great write up on the origins and variations of sisig, read @CzarinaCleo article "How to Cook Sisig - Authentic Filipino Recipe Perfect with Beer"

The Challenge
I do live in Bay Area and we all know that we do things a bit different out here. So different and unique that the first ever vegan Filipino restaurant, No Worries,  was opened in Oakland to much success. It was the first time, I have ever experience Filipino food without having to eat real meat or seafood. This entire year, Twitter has really introduced me to great groups of people, especially food bloggers and foodies. Actually, because of social media, the first annual AstigVegan Challenge was born. The challenge for the competitors was to create a dish that was Filipino inspired but totally vegan. Ok, no problem right? Right? I'll just get some soy protein, simmer it in soy sauce vinegar with some garlic, bay leaves and pepper corn and presto...adobo! But that's the obvious type of $#!% you would expect. I wanted to come out and represent the foodie in me and also my brand! Yup....according to one of my Foodbuzz Festival blogger sessions, my blog is my brand. So vegan sisig it was. (OK, i wanted to get fancy, so I also came up with vegan binagoognan with vegan bagaoong conjured up by my good friend, Chef Dom Ainza of Mercury Lounge - recipe to follow later...I promise!)

Next Food Network Star meets Dinner impossible meets possible disaster
In order to have the texture and crunch that was needed for my recipe, I knew that the sisig had to be finished and plated at the event. Did, I mention that the potluck was outdoor at a park, with no outlets? No problem, they do it all the time on TV. So off we go, well after having deep fryer issues and packing up tables, catering trays and a whole bunch of necessary items. Did I mention that I forgot to pack some important utensils! Luckily RG had some to lend.

Didn't realize it was going to be a demo! yikes

So after an hour and a half  of traffic, we arrived a few hours late and just in time to do a cooking demo. Wasn't planned but since I was the last person there and all of the other dishes already eaten, my first official cooking demo was scheduled! Luckily my bro-in law John was on hand to lend his culinary expertise and food prep skills during the demo.

added pressure from tweeter @R1Chsy
Coming up with the recipe was easier than I thought. The night before, we tried a couple of different techniques like batter and panko, but we decided to keep it simple.

2 packages of Extra Firm tofu - use more if you have a large party
1 onion diced
1 bundle of cilantro (chopped)
2 medium sized jalapenos (julienned)
1/2 cup of Sukang Maasim (cane vinegar)
1/4 cup of low sodium soy sauce
Philippine sea salt (I had some so I used it)
1 tbsp of vegetable oil
Fresh Calamansi - the more the better.

Drain the liquid out of the tofu packages and slice into 1/2 inch patties. Using a deep fryer set to 375 without the basket, place your tofu patties into your oil until crispy and golden. (We deep fried our tofu before we left of course) Feel free to pan fry your tofu if a deep fryer isn't an option. Now set aside to dry and make sure to salt to taste. Now mix all your ingredients together, minus the onions, in a large bowl and marinate for a few minutes. In a large pan, saute your onions for approximately 5 minutes.(You can saute for less if you want a bitter taste) Finally, mix in the rest of the ingredients and heat for about 2 minutes. Presto you are ready to serve! Depending on your taste, you can add calamansi to your marinade as well. You can never go wrong with calamansi and sisig.

30 seconds remaining!
Finishing with the calamansi
So in less than a hour, we set up, cooked, plated and served. I must admit, there was a ton of pressure especially with people over your shoulder and in your face. We were too late for the judging but definitely in time to share and satisfy peoples bellies. And that's what I love about sisig. It's meant to be shared and enjoy with family, friends and even a few strangers.

First time vegan and filipino food diners
Time to eat
The event was awesome and it was great to meet  RG of AstigVegan and share food with all the attendees. I can't wait till our next event, who knows...maybe I'll try to do a vegan lechon kawali. Check back soon for my vegan binagoongan recipe. BTW, I will definitely not be trying out for The Next Food Network Star. It wouldn't be fair :)

Vegan binagoognan photo courtesy of AstigVegan
Astig Vegan
twitter: @astigvegan

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Low carb, sugar free steel cut oat champorado

For a year, my weekday breakfasts have consisted of non-fat cottage cheese and blue berries. Not very exciting at all especially considering I look at myself as a foodie. I have definitely grown to accept my healthy breakfast and sometimes I even imagine it being a bowl full of sisig. But who cares, just as long as it gets me closer to my high school body. Do I crave anything else for breakfast? Of course I do, but I won't risk increased blood sugar and pre-diabetes to satisfy my appetite. Filipino food is my passion, and yes, sometimes the dishes call for ingredients that are not that great for diabetics or people trying to go for a low carb high protein diet. But that shouldn't stop you from adapting the recipes to suit your needs or stay within your dietary guidelines.

Steel Cut Oat Champorado
One of my favorite breakfasts growing up was champorado. Champorado is a sweet chocolate rice porridge in Philippine cuisine. It is traditionally made by boiling sticky rice with cocoa powder, giving it a distinctly brown color and usually with milk and sugar to make it taste sweeter. In our household, we don't really eat white rice. I know, send in the Pinoy police! Restaurants give me crazy looks every time we skip the rice. Anyway, I still wanted to enjoy champorado, but come up with a simple alternative that was sugar free, low carb and had some protein value. The solution was actually an accident. My wife was baking gluten free, sugar-free, vegan chocolate chip cookies. So I stole some of the chips and threw them into my pot of steel cut oats! Bam...I'm a friggen genius. Ok maybe not but pretty close right?

Steel-cut oats are inherently full of nutritional value and are high in B-vitamins, calcium, protein and fiber while low in salt and unsaturated fat. Don't use regular instant or rolled oats because they have been processed and aren't as nutty and chewy than steel cut.


1 cup of steel cut oats
1/2 cup of sugar free dark chocolate chips - use whatever chocolate you like...sugar conscious foodies should stick with the sugar free chocolate.
tsp of salt
3 cups of water


Bring 3 cups of water to a boil then add 1 tsp of salt. Mix in your oats and reduce to a simmer. Continually stir your oats for about 20-25 minutes. Turn your heat off and mix in your chocolate until you get a uniform consistency. Now your ready to serve. You can add condensed milk or non-fat milk to your champorado and even garnish with some dried fish depending on your sodium restrictions.
I know, I know, this isn't traditional champorado, but who cares! You'll be able to enjoy my healthier version and your body and your diet will thank me later.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Kare Kare: My favorite Filipino food memory...and recipe of course

Hello all. I've been pretty busy lately, working on a few projects with my foodie friends, and I have been meaning to finish around 10 blog post drafts dating back to June. Anyway, I decided to share a recipe with you, but more of a memory from my childhood. Growing up, both my parents worked full-time jobs and my grandparents took care of me during the day. Food wise, grandma always gave me pandesal with a little ham and cheese or champorado and tuyo for breakfast. Sometimes, I even had garlic fried rice, spam fried egg...I was down with spamsilog 30 years ago! Grandma always cooked delicious Filipino food and I could tell that she loved what she was doing. The smells and aromas coming from the kitchen around 3:30 everyday made me float like I was in heaven. I couldn't help but peak at what was going on in her lair. My grandpa, lovingly,  would be helping open and shave coconuts or peeling slicing mangoes, while grandma was chopping vegetables and getting all her ingredients together. What had to be my favorite sound,  would be the hissing coming from the pressure cooker. I knew what was going down for dinner that night when I heard that whistling. "Grandma, are we having kuree kuree? YAY!". I couldn't wait for dinner to come. The tender fall off the bone oxtail meat, peanut sauce, veggies brought together by fermented shrimp paste (bagaoong), would have me back for seconds and definitely straight to bed afterwards. Ever since I was a kid, grandmas kare - kare was the best anywhere. I really never tried the dish at a restaurant until recently.
So my goal was to try to recreate that magic that came from my grandmas kitchen so I could share it with my family.
OX Tail
The supporting cast
 Ingredients for Kare Kare ni Fred

1 lb beef sirloin cut into cubes (add the sirloin for more servings...oxtail is expensive)
2 lbs oxtail, cut 2 inch long (1 package pre-cut is fine)
3 cups of peanut butter
1 large onion, diced
2 heads of garlic, minced
1 tsp achiote  powder
1/2 lb eggplant, sliced 1 inch thick
1 bundle (Bok choy)
1 bundle of sitaw (string beans) cut these to your liking
1/4 cup oil
8 cups of water
Salt to taste
1/2 cup cooked bagoong

  1. I will be using my electric pressure cooker that I picked up from HSN. This nifty appliance is great for great home cooked meals that usually take hours to prepare. 
  2. Place your meats in your pressure cooker and add 2 cups of water with 1 beef bullion cube, dissolved of course. Put the cover on and seal. My WGP (Wolfgang Puck) pressure cooker takes about 30 minutes for the oxtail. If you don't have a pressure cooker, use a large enough pot, bring to a boil and simmer for about 2 hours.
  3. Next remove your beef from your broth and set aside. If you are using a traditional stove top pressure cooker, you can continue to cook your kare-kare in the same pot.If you are using an electric one, transfer the broth to a large pot. 
  4. Now in a pan, saute your garlic and onions in the peanut oil. I actually brown my oxtails a bit at this point. 
  5. Transfer your oxtail, onions and garlic to you large pot. Add your peanut butter and achiote powder and simmer for 5 minutes. Throw in your veggies and simmer for an additional 7 minutes while you continue to mix your pot of gold while you wait. 
Not quite ready
Ready to enjoy. 

You'll know when its done. I wait for the sauce to gain a thicker consistency before I take it off the heat.

So that's my Kare Kare! Not exactly my grandmas recipe and probably not like your recipe either. All I know is that when my little 5 year old hears the pressure cooker going and smells the food simmering together on the stove she screams...."Dad, are we having kuree kuree?YAY!" just like her daddy used to say. Enjoy

For a Low Carb option, try using brown rice or Quinoa.

Kare Kare ni Fred
Me and Grandma

Friday, October 7, 2011

Filipino Family Style Dinner at Alidos Island Flavor

Join KapaMealya for another evening of delicious Filipino food on Monday, October 17th at 7pm. This time we focus on traditional family style cuisine, spotlighting the delicious creations from Alidos Island Grill. This 6 course dinner will feature a variety of signature dishes from the kitchen of chef Virgina Alido. There will be fun trivia, prizes and giveaways as well as live music. If you want to experience traditional Filipino food a don't know where to start...this event is just for you.

Register and get your tickets through Eventbrite

Visit our Facebook event page

Watch KapaMealya's last event featured on Adobo Nation.

About kapaMEALya:

"kapaMEALya" is a combination of two words: kapamilya = family and meal = food.

Food brings people closer and turns friends into family. kapaMEALya is here to promote, highlight, and exhibit the Filipino cuisine. By way of organized meals, chef demos, music events, and beer & wine pairings, we hope to open people's minds, introduce new flavors and concepts, and build a network of Filipino food lovers while enriching and helping the community.

See you there!

- Team kapaMEALya