Steamed Mussels

There are so much ways to cook mussels. I usually have ‘em marinated in lemon, buttered, steamed with sweet chili sauce or baked with garlic and cheese. Friday night, I went back to basics but with a little difference. Mom’s way is to sprinkle salt all over the mussels, shelled and all, and steam until cooked. I basically did the same but with a dash of pepper and a bit of presentation.

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LP21: Bicol Express para sa A-Tapang A-Tao

I had been really busy and so lost and confused and excited (and whatever), all at the same time in another foreign land that I didn’t have time to blog. But it really is good to know that Lasang Pinoy once again is back and with a very interesting theme. When I had that precious time I even reminded my good friend Bursky about it and he told me that he’s already writing his entry that very moment. Impatiently I asked, “Sino ang sa ‘yo?” Then he answered, “si ano.” (Won’t tell you, just read his blog.) And so I said, pardon my humor or the lack of it but however hard I try to think and concentrate on a hero that I could associate myself with I just can’t help but think about…

Andres Bonifacio, a-tapang a-tao
A-putol a-kamay, hindi a-takot
A-putol a-paa, hindi atakot
A-putol a-ulo, hindi a-takot
A-putol a-***n, a-takbo atulin!

I even told him a dated joke about Andres’ monument and he eagerly waited for me to share it. Shoot!

Tanong: Ano ang sigaw ni Andres sa Monumento?
Sagot: (holding his tabak on one hand, he cursed with a significant emphasis on the 1st syllable) Pooot*****a mo Marcos! Hanggang d’yan lang ang LRT!

The poor twenty-something dude has never heard it before. Oh how he rolled all over the floor laughing out loud! (Obviously, we were on YM.) He then commented that at one point Andres almost turn around to face EDSA. This time to curse Gloria about MRT.

Oh well, I don’t mean disrespect but truthfully, The Great Plebian and Father of the Katipunan is known for being a-tapang na tao and if I were a binibini ng katipunan I would always be giving the supremo something that will even enhance his extra-ordinary valor (*evil grin* ano kaya yun?). Para hindi sya a-takbo a-tulin. A condiment full of siling labuyo will do the trick but he needs more protein to be stronger. Bicol Express maybe! Yeah yeah the dish wasn’t even invented during his time besides the fact that he’s not Bicolano (and so is Bicol Express). But who knows? Maybe I could have been the one who invented it. (I wish.) Anyhoo, having little time to cook given my present situation in New Zealand, Bicol Express is the only hot and spicy Filipino dish I’ve had here so far. Pretty explains why I chose it, huh? And here’s another bummer. I didn’t even cook the one shown in the photos! It’s lovingly and passionately concocted by my friend’s hubby E.

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Steamed Mussels with Thai Sweet Chili Sauce

To tell you the truth, since I arrived in New Zealand I have cooked only once – tinolang manok one dinner – with the exception of occasional bacon and eggs. My friend T and her loving husband E have the same passion for home-cooking (and dining out, too) and have made delicious meals ever since. I’ve thought of writing about dishes I’ve prepared back in Beijing – oh I have lots of food pictures in my HD – but for now, T & E‘s cooking has to make its debut in Yeah for now I am reduced to being just the wannabe food photographer. Lemme start with her very simple but oh so delectable steamed mussels with Thai Sweet Chili Sauce.

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Lasang Pinoy 20: Lumpiang Shanghai

I thought I couldn’t participate in the 20th event of Lasang Pinoy, being out of town, no cooking and all. But with my food photos in a handy external hard drive with me, I managed to find some decent photos I’ve taken months ago using my old digital camera. Voila! Lumpiang shanghai!

So lemme just list down few things about these little rolls of delight…

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Buttered Mussels & Herbs

I cooked mussels with lemon few weeks ago – reminiscent of quilo babi, enjoyed it very much, but still didn’t get over my sinful cravings for baked tahong. Then I accidentally googled this recipe on baked tahong without an oven and it reminded me of how my cousin did it 2 Christmases ago back in Manila. And so I came up with this tasty buttered tahong mixed with Parmesan Cheese and Italian herbs very much similar to Edwin‘s cooking suggestions.

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Fried Aubergine Slices & Stir-fried Rice

We had been served simple yet tasty yellow rice in a private Chinese restaurant few weeks ago and since then I couldn’t stop experimenting how it was done. It has onion spring chops and small bits of egg shreds that looked like it has been stirred with it. It’s not salty at all. Not oily which is typical of northern Chinese fried-rice that made me think it was steamed and once cooked, mixed right away with egg and spring onion. And twice I did it exactly like that. Good but sticky unlike the one we had – firm, loose grains of perfectly cooked non-sticky rice… until I finally got it right!

I served the rice with fried tuna fish and fried aubergine slices. The latter, of course, is so easy and simple. Great as a side dish to anything fried. And oh I remember Brunei’s Pizza Hut has it at the salad bar! Haha icky? Maybe but I love ‘em!

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Mussels and Lemon

Dreaming about baked tahong for months I bought a packet of frozen mussels but decided on trying something new. I remember reading about fried mussels or clams drizzled with lemon and so I ended up with this simple but fabulous appetizer. Ingredients: Frozen mussels 1 onion, diced 4 tbsp of crushed garlic 1 small lemon salt and pepper olive oil Squeeze lemon juice on the mussels. Take out the seeds. Sprinkle salt and pepper and stir in the diced onions. Mix thoroughly and marinate for at least an hour. Heat olive oil in a pan. Stir-fry garlic until fragrant. Add … Continue reading Mussels and Lemon


Lasang Pinoy 14: Embutido

Only few Filipino dishes with Spanish influence made it to our dining table as everyday food when we were young. Aside from the obvious budgetary reasons, my parents were never huge fans especially those thick, rich stews with tomatoes that are usually fiesta material. If there is anything ‘Spanish’ in what we cook then it is what JMom calls the holy trilogy of Filipino cuisine – the technique of sauteing garlic, onions and tomatoes with oil that I never realized came from the Spaniards.

For this month’s LP event A La Espanyola, I decided to cook embutido instead of the obvious holy trilogy. Embutido or the Pinoy meatloaf is still considered a luxury dish to date and as common as lechon and leche flan in any feast gathering. Here is a recipe based on one that came from my HS Home Economics book. We had few cookery demos at school to reinforce practical cooking at home and it’s one of those that I tried. I read it once and then cooked it as I follow my heart. Now I prepare the occasional rolls whenever I have the precious time.

My embutido in Beijing has a little twist though. I used Chinese chorizo instead of chorizo de Bilbao (or sausages/hotdogs) and Chinese green raisins instead of the common brown raisins. Fear not… everything turned out quite well. The seemingly alien ingredients add extra sweetness to the meatloaf. Scrumptious and fab!

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Siomai and Fried Dumplings

Whenever we crave for siomai or dim sum, we go to our favorite Cantonese restaurant. Not so fond of Beijing jiaozi (Northern Chinese dumplings) so I was so ecstatic to find Karen’s famous basic siomai recipe. Go check it out. I followed what was written there (except I didn’t have singkamas) including making my own wrappers. Here’s my 1st attempt – not perfect (yet) but I’m posting it anyway. Those in the photos taste good! How come I find them not perfect? 1. I don’t think they look good. I need to know how to wrap them nicely. Did few … Continue reading Siomai and Fried Dumplings


I know I just had offal overload last month with LP9 but this maybe a reason for us to celebrate as it is the first time I cooked dinuguan (pork blood stew) in Beijing. Why, it’s the first time I saw it available in the supermarket! Oh well I found dugo ng baboy damo (black pig’s blood) last week but I don’t think I would like to use that. I am sure a lot of things are available here we just don’t have the time to actually go out to find where. I received a tip from a reader who also resides in Beijing (many thanks to you!), about a wet market here frequented by expats. We haven’t checked it out yet so my stock is still limited to what I find in our favorite supermarkets. Actually it’s not that bad to buy from these supermarkets. Maybe a little bit expensive but most of the time the meat and produce are always fresh and in good quality.

I have few childhood memories of dinuguan. It is also a famous carinderia dish that I learned from my dad. It is exotic and may be unacceptable to some westerners. I still don’t know how the locals cook it but I am sure they have their own special way of doing so. How was I able to find it here if they don’t eat it, right? So I accidentally saw this small slab of pork blood, looked at it and saw it is clean and nice and bought it right away. Back home, we usually buy blood from newly-slaughtered pig that all you need is mash it with your own hands in prep before cooking. Here I mashed half of it with a fork and the other half I cut into cubes. Also, I wasn’t quite sure if I could do this the right way as it’s been a long while since the last time I cooked dinuguan. Luckily, it turned out quite well.

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LP9: Pinoy-Style Chicken Liver Steak

Awful offal, I assume, includes heart, liver, lungs, animal’s entrails, plus tails, feet, and heads. This practice or custom of preparing offal dishes may (or may not) be a reflection of a culture’s economy and resourcefulness.

When we were young, Dad maintained a poultry farm in our backyard and distributed dressed chickens to wholesalers and neighbors. So just imagine offal overload. Our meals were full of chicken parts – not only the prime and choice parts. Think of adobong paa ng manok, chicharong isaw ng manok, chicharong balat at taba ng manok, dinuguan using chicken blood. (Chicken feet cooked in vinegar, salt, garlic, pepper and soy sauce, chicken chitlin/skin/fat cracklings, chicken blood stew.) The best would be adobong atay at balunbalunan – the most widely eaten lamang loob. A lot of people say that in chicken nothing is wasted. But of course, not everybody likes what it offers. I for one wouldn’t dare touch a chicken head. I’ve tried it and I don’t wanna ever look back though I would lovingly go to the nearest dim sum restaurant for chicken feet.

So it was like our meals were full of chicken feet than we ever wanted – adobong manok with adidas (dish cooked in vinegar, salt, garlic, pepper and soy sauce), tinolang manok with adidas (ginger stew), fried whole chicken complete with adidas. You name it we had it that for years I couldn’t bring myself to eat chicken until I was about 16. The chicken feet? Till the time I discovered dim sum in my early 20s.

Source: My Childhood Food Memories

I’m not one of those who stay away from offal dishes though I seldom cook such as I tend to be the only one who enjoys ‘em. Lasang Pinoy 9, hosted by Cia over at Pabulum, is all about lamang loob or innards and again I was tempted to buy the intimidating chitlins (check out my adobong isaw for LP6) but decided to cook the less controversial chicken liver instead. Chicken liver steak – mala bistek. (Read: Too busy with work I have no time to go to a decent supermarket to buy ingredients.)

Bistek is a Filipino-style beef steak typically made with strips of sirloin beef cooked in soy sauce, calamansi juice and onion rings. Sometimes we substitute beef with pork while using liver makes a good appetizer. Here’s how I did mine as I remember it the way my sister cooked it the last time she visited me here in Beijing.

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Quilo Babi

Before my son’s babysitter left I used to travel a lot to a project site in Shi Jia Zhuang, the capital of Hebei province, southwest of Beijing. 2 hours and 45 minutes by fast train, one way. A trip that long you need something to maintain sanity so we either watch a movie or read a book. Of course, before all that, read the morning news and mobile versions of our favorite websites on PDA. Here is where I found this Kapampangan recipe called quil?? (pronounced ki-loh).


Eventually this traditional meat recipe from Pampanga became one of my favorites as it is easy and fast to cook. (I didn’t time it but everything should be ready in about 20 minutes.) A working mom with a deadline and quil?? saves the day, be it minced pork or shredded chicken. You may find the original recipe here sizzling hot so good for LP6. Mine has no chili as Cean wouldn’t like it hot and spicy. An overview of quil?? is here.


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