Twist

sweet chili ice cream

strawberry ice cream? nope. it’s actually chili flavored ice cream, using small native chili peppers/ wild chili that packs a lot of heat. it’s stunning– sweet and spicy and hot and cold… it’ll make your tastebuds go crazy. 🙂 a surprisingly good twist 🙂

Tagged R ~ Raw Recipe : Lato Seaweed Salad

lato seaweed salad

I was planning on posting this next week for Frizztext’s ‘Tagged S- Simple Seaweed Salad’ but plans changed and I decided to pass it off as Tagged R- Raw Recipe. ^^ I simply couldn’t wait to share this recipe on my blog coz it’s been such a long time since I posted one. But this one’s bound to be interesting coz it’s Rare and Refreshing

Lato (Caulerpa lentillifera) is an edible seaweed farmed in the Philippines and in Japan where it is known as umi-budō (海ぶどう) or sea grapes because of its grape-like appearance. Compared to grapes though, they’re pretty tiny and has a mild, very slightly salty taste. The best thing about this seaweed also known as ‘sea caviar’ is probably the texture; it’s robust, watery, a li’l slimy and they pop in your mouth while you eat ‘em. Fun. ^^ They are known to be a rich source of essential minerals such as iron, iodine, and calcium as well as vitamins A and C.

Lato is usually sold fresh and eaten raw. Be warned that this seaweed with its delicate structure tends to wilt quickly. Hence, careful handling is required. Unlike most seaweeds, it’s impossible to dry and preserve the Lato. Also, cleaning it with bare hands requires effort and plenty of patience on the part of the market vendors. Nevertheless, they’re quite inexpensive. The great thing about preparing the salad is that it’s pretty easy and doesn’t take much of your time. ^^

First of course is that you have to wash the Lato well. Salted water may be used.

Then mix the seaweed with chopped onions or shallots, chopped tomatoes, and the vinaigrette of your choice. (vinegar with some salt and sugar usually works best). However, be sure to add the vinaigrette just before eating the salad unless of course you wanna end up with a dish of shriveled seaweed. lol ^^

I prefer my Lato salad with just some calamansi (a local citrus fruit) and plenty of sesame seeds. (shown above). Another dish to try if you ever find yourself in my part of the world 😉

xo

Halo Halo ^^

I have one obsession this summer… HALO- HALO!

halohalo1

halo-halo from max’s

halo

halohalo2

halo-halo from Biggs Diner

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halo4

halohalo from chowking

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‘Halo’ is a Tagalog word that means mix. And one can easily see why this favorite Filipino summer dessert was named as such ^^ Usually served in a bowl or in a tall glass, halo-halo consists of a mixture of shaved ice, evaporated milk, ube (purple yam) and leche flan. It contains a colorful blend of preserved fruits (nata de coco, sugar palm fruit, macapuno) and fresh fruits (bananas, jackfruit), and sweet beans (kidney beans, garbanzos, red beans). It also has gulaman, tapioca, and of course, a scoop or two (or three) of ice cream on top. It is sprinkled with fragrant pinipig (crushed young rice) and sugar, sometimes even shredded cheese.

Halo-halo is widely available in most restaurants here in the Philippines, even in fast food chains. Summers here are sweltering so they’re everywhere. Matter of fact, you can even get a cheaper version of Halo-halo from street vendors that use different ingredients such as thin slices of ripe mango and gulaman on shaved ice. It’s also pretty easy to make halo-halo at home. ^^ All you have to do is purchase some milk, ice cream and jars of dried fruits, sweet beans, etc from the grocery store. That way, you‘re able to control the portions.

When I was a kid, I’d make my own halo-halo filled with lotsa kaong, macapuno, and nata de coco – all my favorites – so I kinda end up having a snowy white halo-halo instead of the typically colorful one ^^

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Culture

Tagged Q ~ Quench the Thirst

SUNDAY POST : Christmas — Pinoy Style ;)

Last year our Christmas eve was pretty silent. Some relatives living abroad weren’t able to make it. There was too much food, too little to do 😦 So unlike Christmas Eve 2010 when the whole family’s there… We all dressed up in green, each one trying to outdo the other.lol And we wrote our names down in little pieces of paper for our little Monito Monita/ Exchange gifts. To me Christmas Eve with family means a lot of things and one of the words that I can’t help but associate with the season is FOOD —- like LOTS and LOTS and LOTS of it. We eat like the world’s about to end.lol In fact, I feel like I eat more on Christmas Eve than the rest of the year combined. Oh boy.. ^^ Below are photos from Christmas Eve 2010.

lechon / roasted pig -- a must in every huge Filipino festivity ^^

lechon / roasted pig — a must in every huge Filipino festivity ^^

chef wang -- kind enough to work overtime and spend Christmas eve with our family

chef wang — kind enough to work overtime and spend Christmas eve with our family

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palabok or rice noodles with shrimp gravy, seafood, pork cracklings and deep fried pork and eggs

palabok or rice noodles with shrimp gravy, seafood, pork cracklings and deep fried pork and eggs

cordon bleu

cordon bleu

shrimp tempura

shrimp tempura

steamed fish by mommy (my grandma)

steamed fish by mommy (my grandma)

rellenong bangus -- milkfish stuffed and deep fried

rellenong bangus — milkfish stuffed and deep fried

chicken stuffed and baked

chicken stuffed and baked

embutido -- ground meat stuffed

embutido — ground meat stuffed

crema de fruta

crema de fruta

mixed buttered veggies -- an attempt to have "something healthy"-- as if! lol

mixed buttered veggies — an attempt to have “something healthy”– as if! lol

lumpia 2 variations fresh and fried aka spring rolls

lumpia 2 variations fresh and fried aka spring rolls

caldereta -- beef stew with tomatoes, carrots and potatoes. i know it looks gross but it's yummy!!! my specialty

caldereta — beef stew with tomatoes, carrots and potatoes. i know it looks gross but it’s yummy!!! my specialty

buko salad - young coconut strips with condensed milk, cream, preserved fruits

buko salad – young coconut strips with condensed milk, cream, preserved fruits

gulaman/ gelatine

gulaman/ gelatine

By the time you reach the end of this post, you’re prolly already suffering from a stroke. ^^

Here’s my happy news… This year, the family’s complete again– well almost.. we’re doing exchange gifts again and dress up in green and it’ gonna be awesome! ^^

see and share how Christmas is celebrated all over the world at Sunday Post by Jake

Merry Christmas from my fam’ly to yours 🙂

Filipino Food 2.0 : What to Eat in the Philippines ^^

Now you didn’t think I can possibly cram all of the must-try Filipino foods in one page did you? Fellow food-lovers, I present you with the continuation of my previous blog . Not to worry though, this list consists of more “safe foods to eat” than the previous batch. ^^ (unless you can’t have sweets ^^ sucks 4u, kidding lol no im not)

Warning: poor-quality unedited snapshots coming your way ^^

native chicken stuffed and baked

chicken inasal

Jollibee chickenjoy

1) Chicken – First up, the Native Chicken or “Natural na Manok” as we call it. I’m not referring to those mass produced two-legged freaks of nature crammed with synthetic feeds, vitamins and steroids; these native chicken are allowed to roam free and find their own food. Unlike ordinary chicken, Native Chicken aren’t cooped up in fences and are actually able to get some exercise, hence, their meat is a lot firmer than ordinary chix; this means longer time is required for cooking. The taste, however, totally makes up for it; I personally wouldn’t eat Tinolang Manok ( a Filipino dish with chicken broth) unless Natural na Manok was used.  Next up, Inasal na Manok or Grilled Chicken .. but nope, this ain’t no ordinary chicken barbecue, folks, it’s carefully marinated in lemongrass, calamansi, salt and pepper, garlic and annatto seed oil. Eat it with plain rice or garlic rice, your choice; you may even pour the oily orange marinade over the rice if you prefer. Now if you don’t have any qualms about eating in fast food chains then why not try the Jollibee Chicken Joy –this “crispylicious”, “juicylicious” fried chicken seems to be very popular not only with Pinoys here and abroad but foreigners as well. Jollibee is an original Filipino fast food chain that differs from other fast foods since they tend to taste how shall I put it… more… Pinoy. ^^

palabok

2) Palabok – is a rice noodle dish covered with thick orange sauce. Its main ingredients include shrimp broth so a warning to those who have seafood allergies. The yummy palabok is topped with layers of crunchy pork (lechon kawali), chicharon (pork rinds), shrimps, tinapa (dried fish), hard boiled eggs and sometimes squid. However, refrain from eating cheap ass palabok! Coz that’ll just ruin your experience. Opt for places which offer Palabok as their specialty; ones that actually take time cooking it and not just heating it in the microwave.

bulalo from restaurant

home-cooked bulalo

3) Bulalo – ahhh comfort food on rainy days.. This is a beef soup with a richly flavored broth from boiling the beef for hours and hours; expect big bones with yummy bone marrow.. and uh, don’t be embarrassed about scooping the bone marrow with the other end of your spoon ^^

aroz caldo

4) Aroz Caldo – Aroz Caldo to Filipinos is what chicken soup is to some people. This rich rice porridge is one of the Pinoy’s ultimate comfort and snack foods (merienda). Ingredients include ginger, fish sauce and toppings of toasted garlic and green onions. Hard boiled eggs are favorite add-ons to this dish.

fresh lumpia

5) Fresh Lumpiang Ubod – the Filipino version of the spring roll which makes use of Ubod (pith of coconut tree) as its filling. The Ubod is encased in a soft, usually white, egg wrapper; the wrapper and the sweet, thick sauce with a garlicky kick are the main reasons why this dish is one of my favorites. The filling may also include pork, shrimp, carrots and other veggies as wel as peanuts! Mmmnn When you get them though, be sure that they’re really fresh coz Ubod tends to spoil easily.

pan de sal

6) Pan de Sal – these buns with thick crusts and soft insides are normally present in a typical Filipino breakfast table. They are best eaten with cheese especially Kesong Puti; eat them while they’re still hot. I personally prefer dipping Pan de Sal to a hot cup of choco. ^^

champorado

7) Champorado – to all the chocoholics out there, you have got to try this Filipino chocolate rice porridge. It’s made from rich cocoa, brown sugar and coconut milk and is best when served hot. Some prefer to use evaporated milk instead of coconut milk coz of the convenience but the one with coconut milk tastes much better. It’s pretty easy; I might post a recipe one of these days.

halo halo

halo halo ^^

8) Halo-halo – (Halo = mix) Look at the photos and you’ll know why. If you have a sweet tooth like me and you’re looking for a way to beat the summer heat, why not cool off with a bowl or a tall glass of this favorite Filipino dessert. Halo-halo consists of shaved ice and any or all of the following: nata de coco (coco jelly), kaong (sugar palm), sweetened coconut strips, kidney beans, munggo (red beans), garbanzos, saba (banana), ube (yam), leche flan, sago ( tapioca pearls), milk and an ice cream on top! Looking for a warm dessert? Have some Taho instead.

taho

9) Taho – a warm custard made from soybeans, mixed with sweet brown-ish syrup and topped with tiny tapioca pearls. Taho used to be sold mainly by peddlers but now it’s also available in sidewalks, restaurants, malls, etc

leche flan

10) Leche Flan- the Pinoy version of Crème Brulee is a custard which is composed mainly of eggs and milk with a glistening blanket of caramelized sugar. My aunt makes one hell of a wicked leche flan! ^^ Crave, crave, crave

bikol express

11) Bikol Express – If you happen to wander off to the Bicol region, then you mustn’t leave without sampling its specialty, the Bikol express. Bikolanos are known for their love of hot and spicy dishes which makes me wonder whether I’m really a Bikolana or not. ^^ Coconut milk, shrimp paste, pork and “Sili” (long chilies) are the main components of this dish. Hot hot hot!

bananas at the grocery

12) Bananas and Banana Products –the Philippines is rich in bananas and there are like a million things you can do with them. Fry them, boil them, make them into a smoothie, or a bread or use them as ingredients for cooking Filipino dishes like Nilagang Baka (beef broth dish) or Adobong Manok (chicken cooked in sweet soy sauce). Or you can just eat them as is ^^ Sweet Turon or Fried bananas encased in Lumpia wrappers are a favorite Filipino dessert or snack (the ones with langka or jackfruit is a-mazing) The type of bananas used for cooking Turon is usually Saba. If you’re bananas for bananas, don’t think for one minute that you’ll get sick of eating bananas cos there is plenty of varieties of bananas to be found here: saba, lakatan, tordan, pakil, bongolan, and saksik…. Cavendish bananas are awesome for making banana ice cream ^^

the taho vendor

That’s 12. So if you’re a visiting foreigner in the Philippines, you got more than 24 Pinoy dishes to try out ^^ Damn, this is starting to become a food blog.

xo- kz