Saturday, 28 April 2012


Filipino food is one of the lesser known cuisines from the Far East. It is not that it doesn't cater to popular tastes. It actually does. So people ask why, if Filipino food was actually good, are there not a lot of Filipino restaurants around? I can only surmise that it is because Filipino food takes time to cook. It is not as quick and easy to prepare as other Asian food. 

Sunday, 22 April 2012


I know that people get excited at the mere mention of chicken wings. There is one person here at home who does and always avers that "this chicken wing recipe is the best so far". That has been said so many times before. I don't know if each recipe really surpasses the previous one. I know I already have a lot of chicken wing recipe posts but just in case this really is the best one, I best share it with you.

Thursday, 19 April 2012


I love sweet and savoury twists on recipes, even on meat. This cookie like concoction is actually sweet pastries filled with char siu pork. They are just exceedingly delicious. The pastry is a crumbly and crisp sweet shortcrust and that goes so well with the pork filling. 

Monday, 16 April 2012


The vegetable spring roll, although more known as a Chinese restaurant and take-away staple, is also a Filipino food. We call it lumpiang prito, which simply means fried spring roll. The word lumpia is the generic word for spring roll and prito (which stems from the Spanish word frito) is the Tagalog word for fried. Lumpiang prito is eaten as a snack or a side dish rather than an appetizer. It is usually paired with noodles or rice porridge such as goto (rice porridge with beef or tripe) or arroz caldo (rice porridge with chicken).

I have added chicken to my filling but you can omit that if you want a purely vegetarian version. The ingredients can be changed but choose vegetables that are not too watery so that the wrapper stays crisp. The usual method of pre-cooking is stir frying the ingredients separately. I microwaved them instead to cut down on fat. The vegetables are stir fried together but just until half cooked. They will cook further when the spring roll is fried. 

If you like the look of that parsley leaf inside the wrapper, just insert one flat leaf near the corner where you seal the end. 

Spring rolls can be frozen unfried or just briefly fried (for just 1 minute, then drained).  Lay in a single layer on a baking tray and open freeze. Store in plastic boxes when frozen. You can fry them from frozen or just pop the previously fried ones in the oven. You'll get your spring roll fix in no time.

This recipe will make about 30 spring rolls.


2 cloves garlic, chopped or crushed
1 c. shredded cooked chicken meat
2 carrots, julienned
1 turnip shredded, julienned
1 sweet potato, julienned
1 piece of bamboo shoot, julienned
1 cup of soaked and julienned wood ears, black fungus, Chinese mushrooms or taingang daga
1 bunch of spring onions, cut into rings (about 1/2 c.)
6 pieces of fried tofu, julienned
2 tbsps. of oyster sauce
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
19 cm x  19 cm. spring roll wrappers
1 tbsp. of flour plus 1 tbsp. of water 
oil for deep frying


Microwave the carrots and turnip separately for 1 1/2 minutes each. Microwave the sweet potato for 1 minute. 

Heat up a wok and add 2 tbsps. of cooking oil. Add the garlic and stir fry for 1 minute. Add the chicken, if using and stir fry for 2 minutes. Add the vegetables, wood ear and tofu. Season with 2 tbsps. oyster sauce and 1/4 tsp. black pepper. Stir fry until hot and fragrant (about 4 minutes). The vegetables should still be crisp. 

You may need to adjust your seasonings because the sizes of the vegetables vary. 

Transfer to a colander and leave to cool.

Separate the spring roll wrappers. Cover with a tea towel to keep them from drying. Spoon 2 tbsps. of filling near one corner and fold the corner over it. Fold the right and left corner towards the middle, putting the creases where the filling ends. Put a flat leaf parsley near the corner before you roll, if you wish. Make a paste with flour and water to stick the end corner. 

Heat up some oil for deep frying. Fry the rolls a few at a time until golden and crisp (2-3 minutes). Fry for just 1 minute if freezing. 

They are traditionally served with a vinegar and garlic dip but I prefer them with a soy and ginger dip:

1"x1" ginger, cut in fine strips
1 tbsp. of brown sugar
2 tbsps. light soy sauce
1/2 c. vinegar
1/2 tsp. sesame oil
1/2 red finger chilli in diagonal slices 

Mix together and serve as dip for the spring rolls.

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You might also like

Bamboo Shoot Lumpia in Chive Wrapper
Fresh Rice Paper Spring Rolls
Lumpiang Shanghai

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Thursday, 12 April 2012


Thai green curry has become quite a phenomenon in the West. That creamy, aromatic and deceptively mild looking curry dish in restaurants packs a punch and gets your mouth in a fierce burning grip in seconds. Although I love the flavour, I can't bear the heat.

Monday, 9 April 2012


I like having fun with food. I am certainly not a purist when it comes to cooking styles. I read a lot of recipes and watch a lot of cooking shows and what I learn shows on my food but not in the exact manner that I saw it. My recipes take on a few twists and turns as a result of inspiration, necessity or forgetfulness. I sometimes get a spark of inspiration from something or nothing and end up creating a recipe. Sometimes a new recipe is born from substituting an unavailable ingredient. Sometimes, I must confess, I cook something from memory but end up with a dish that's different because I simply forgot how to cook it.

Thursday, 5 April 2012


Growing up in a predominantly Catholic country, the Philippines, I have always been aware of the practice of abstaining from meat during the Fridays of Lent. Back home, there are a lot of meat free dishes that are customarily lined up for Lent. Sometimes there is so much food made "in lieu" of meat that we end up feasting instead of fasting.

Monday, 2 April 2012


Roast isn't exactly fast food but it can be if the meat is pork tenderloin. Pork tenderloin is one of those cuts of meat that is delicious and tender and cooks in no time. It is beautiful to serve and graces any plate with style.