Saturday, 26 February 2011


The word asado means "cooked in an open grill". In the Philippines though, it is a style of cooking which is very similar to adobo. It has the trinity of garlic, vinegar and soy sauce but has other things added to it, which varies from region to region and sometimes even from person to person. The most common additive is bay leaf and whole peppercorns. Some add tomatoes and some add potatoes. There is also a variant with Chinese spices such as cinnamon bark and five spice. 

Wednesday, 23 February 2011


We do not eat light in the Far East. Even snacks are heavy and sometimes full meal sized. Carbohydrate rich noodles and rice cakes are very popular choices. Bibingka is a type of sticky and sweet snack (usually made of rice) that is sold everywhere in the Philippines. It is the Eastern counterpart of cakes and a lot of Asian Countries have their delicious array of these type of cakes . 

Saturday, 19 February 2011


Pandan or screwpine leaves are widely used in Southeast Asian cooking. It is used in both savoury and sweet dishes to add a very unique fragrance and taste to dishes. It has been likened to vanilla but I think it has a more fresh, leafy scent.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011


One of the perks of roasting a joint of meat is having some leftovers to rehash the day after. I never let any go to waste. Aside from the usual sandwiches and salads, I incorporate them in other dishes.

I like using leftover roast belly of pork in fried rice, stir fried with vegetables or like it better still, stir fried with noodles. 

I used a mixture of egg noodles and rice vermicelli for this dish. An assortment of other ingredients such as vegetables, fish balls and black fungus creates a balance of flavour that is essential in a noodle dish. 

A comforting yet at the same time exciting dish that can be served at any meal (yes, even breakfast).


100 gms. of dry egg noodles
100 gms. of dry rice vermicelli
1 carrot, sliced in thin diagonal slices
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup of sliced leftover crispy roast pork meat (recipe here)
4 fried fish balls, sliced
1/2 c. of soaked black fungus/cloud ear slices
1/2 cup of spring onions cut into 1" lengths, white and green part separated

1 tbsp. oyster sauce
2 tbsps. light soy sauce
1 tsp. sugar

1 tsp. sesame oil
4 chinese leaves, halved lengthwise and sliced into 1" wide slices
1/2 c. good chicken or pork stock
cooking oil
crackling (crispy pork skin) from the roast for topping


Cook the egg noodles until al dente. Rinse with cold water and drain. 

Soak the rice vermicelli until nearly soft. Both noodles should be under done because they are still going to be fried twice. Mix the noodles together. 

Heat a wok on high heat. Add 1/4 c. of cooking oil. When it is very hot, add the noodles and the light soy sauce. Stir fry for 3 minutes on high heat. Transfer to a dish. 

Heat up a clean wok. When it is very hot, add 2 tbsps of oil, then the carrots and stir fry. 

When the edges start to change color, add the garlic, roast pork meat, fish ball slices, black fungus, the whites of the spring onions, the oyster sauce, soy sauce and the sugar. Stir fry for 1 minute. 

Add the noodles, chinese leaf, the green part of the spring onions, stock and the sesame oil. Stir this just until the chinese leaves start to soften. 

Transfer to a serving dish and top with the pork crackling.

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You might also like

Fried Ho Fan with Pork and Prawns
Beef in Black Bean Sauce on Rice Vermicelli
Fried Egg Noodles with Pork And Choi Sum

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Saturday, 12 February 2011


Although the word fritada means fried or fry up in Spanish, the word afritada in the Philippine vernacular usually refers to a dish with a tomato based sauce. The meat or fish is fried before being added to the sauce. I made this dish for the Kulinarya Cooking Club's theme for the month which is Filipino aphrodisiac food. Salmon and all oily fish (as well as shellfish), chilli peppers and saffron all stimulate the appetite for food and sexual desires. I can't vouch for its effectivity but I can certainly assure you that it is a really flavourful, tasty and moreish dish that you would want to cook again and again.

Thursday, 10 February 2011


There are days when I feel like having cake, or days when I just want to bake one but not necessarily eat it. On ordinary spur of the moment baking fits, I just make something simple, usually with ingredients that are on hand. I have yoghurt and lemons today, so I though of making a lemon yoghurt loaf.

Tuesday, 8 February 2011


Beef tapa is a classic Filipino dish which simply means fried beef slices. It became more popular when it was included in the trio of perfect sinangag (fried rice) and fried egg partners alongside longganiza (Filipino sausage) and tocino (cured pork). 

Saturday, 5 February 2011


There is a recent revival of forgotten meat cuts, those that take more time to cook, such as beef brisket, stewing steak, and hand of pork. A lot have probably set it aside because people have busier lifestyles nowadays. 

Although I like old fashioned recipes, I am still a fan of modern conveniences. My trusty kitchen gadgets are my best friends and they enable me to still cook a lot of good home cooked meals even when I'm pressed for time. I bought a whole hand of pork at the market today and I decided to stew it in the pressure cooker. It took a mere forty minutes to tenderize the meat which would otherwise probably take over two hours in a conventional pot. The best way to have it is really falling-apart tender : the meat falls off the bone on its own accord. By then the skin and tendons has become all wobbly and gelatinous and have developed a very intense flavour. The tender, tasty meat and its syrupy sweet sauce goes so well with steamed rice or steamed plain buns.


1 whole hand of pork (cut at the joint) or two pork shanks
1/2 c. light soy sauce
2 tbsps. dark soy sauce
1/4 c. shaosing wine or dry sherry
1/4 c. + 2 tbsps. of brown sugar
2 cloves of garlic, cracked
3 segments of star anise
1 cinnamon stick
1 small bay leaf
1 tsp. whole Szechuan peppercorns
rind of 1 tangerine
juice of two tangerines


Clean the pork very well. Make sure the skin is hair free. Trim off excess fat. Cut deep horizontal gashes on the skin and right through the meat so that the seasonings will penetrate inside the joint. 

Put it in a pressure cooker or deep pot. Add all the rest of the ingredients (except for the 1/4 c. of brown sugar) and leave to marinate for at least 10 minutes. Put the lid on the cooker or pot, bring to a boil and simmer for 40 minutes in the pressure cooker (about two hours in an ordinary pot) or until very, very tender. When done , take the meat out of the sauce. 

Strain the sauce. Caramelize the 1/4 c. of brown sugar in a pan. Add the pork meat to the caramelized sugar, turn occasionally and let it take on a uniform deep brown color. Add the sauce, turn the heat up and let the sauce reduce until syrupy. Check the seasonings. This is now ready to serve with steamed rice or steamed bread buns.

All rights reserved ©Adora's Box Copyright 2011. 

Please support Adora's Box by making your and (use the code STMMMS55174) purchases from this site. Click on their respective banners to proceed to their websites. It will not cost you a single cent more but will help sustain this blog. Thank you.

You might also like
Home Cured Pork Hock (Pata Jamon)

Roast Belly Pork with Garlic Chilli and Fennel Seeds
Crispy Pata (Crispy Fried Pork Shank)
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Thursday, 3 February 2011


Rice is a symbol of wealth and plenty. Anything sweet and sticky brings family unity. Mochi, a popular Chinese new year dessert ticks all the boxes. The  Japanese, Korean , Cambodians, Thai, Chinese and other Orientals always feature this sweet in their traditional ceremonies and celebrations. They may vary in cooking technique and ingredients but basically it is a sweet filling encased in a glutinous rice powder pastry. The pastry of this mochi has cooked sweet potato in the pastry and the filling is made with red beans or aduki beans. Lotus seed paste can also be used. This mochi is cylindrical instead of round and is coated with sesame seeds before frying.

Ingredients for the pastry:

1 cup steamed and mashed sweet potato
1 1/2 c. glutinous rice powder
1 tbsp. oil
1/2 tsp. salt

For homemade red bean paste:

1/2 c. red beans
2 c. water
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 t. vanilla
1 tbsp. butter


Red bean paste can be bought in tins in Oriental supermarkets. To make home made red bean paste, you have to soak the beans for a few hours. Drain the beans. Mix the beans and with 2 c. of water in a pot, bring to a boil and simmer until the beans are very soft. Stir occasionally to ensure that the beans do not stick to the bottom of the pan. I used a pressure cooker to cook the beans for half an hour. When the beans are soft, add the sugar, butter and vanilla and keep stirring on medium heat until the mixture is very thick. This will take about 20 minutes. Cool the mixture, then refrigerate.

Mix all the ingredients for the pastry and knead until smooth. Divide into 24 equal portions. Flatten one portion gently between your two palms, then coax with your thumb to form a flat rectangle (or circle if you want to make a round mochi). Dip your fingers in water, then seal the edges. Dip in the sesame seeds, then fry until golden. This doesn't take long. When the mochi is golden in colour and starts to puff up, it is cooked. Do not cook further or the pastry will burst and the filling will start to ooze out. Drain on kitchen paper. It is then ready to serve.

All rights reserved ©Adora's Box Copyright 2011 

You might also like

Peanut Butter Mochi
Sweet Potato Dumplings
Chinese New Year Cake Pudding (Tikoy)
Sweet Sushi
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Tuesday, 1 February 2011


The beginning of the Chinese new year falls on the 3rd of February this year. It is the year of the metal rabbit in the Chinese zodiac and is, as usual, welcomed with festive decorations, gift giving, firecrackers, family reunions and, of course, the all important food fest. It is believed that food has symbolism and eating them on events such as this will bring whatever good tidings they represent.