Lechon kawali and kai-lan (Chinese broccoli) in coconut milk

lechon-kawali-kailan2

Think laing but not as mushy. Instead of taro leaves, there's kai-lan and, instead of pork pieces so soft that they melt in the mouth, there are chunks of lechon kawali with the crackling-like rinds still crisp, contrasting vividly with the creaminess of the sauce. There's heat from the chilis that blend perfectly with the … [Read more...]

Bibingkang malagkit (sticky rice cake)

bibingkang-malagkit7

It's like biko but better. Cook the glutinous rice in coconut milk. Spread in a greased baking dish, top with salted caramel, sprinkle with desiccated coconut and bake. It's so good. But to really do this sweet dish right, it's best to soak the rice for several hours prior to cooking. And you have to make the caramel using … [Read more...]

How to cook: Thai chicken curry

chicken-curry6

Chicken curry is a dish that I grew up with. But the chicken curry of my childhood was just a coconut milk based stew made yellow with curry powder. Homey and really comforting but, well... it lacked fire somehow. Later on, when I learned to cook, I would add combine a teaspoonful of cayenne powder with the curry powder. … [Read more...]

How to make buko (coconut) and pandan jelly drink

buko-pandan2

The term "buko pandan" can mean either of two things. The first is buko pandan dessert with coconut meat and cubes of pandan-flavored pudding (made with gelatin or agar-agar) mixed with cream and sweetened condensed milk. The second is an iced drink made with coconut juice, shredded coconut meat and cubes of pandan-flavored … [Read more...]

How to cook: Bicol Express

Bicol Express

I've always wondered how Bicol Express could be cooked with lots of chilies but without making the dish too spicy that it practically scorches the mouth and throat. The answer was so simple I wondered why I never made the connection before -- scrape off the seeds and membranes of some of the chilies. Gee, I wrote about that … [Read more...]

Spinach, mushrooms and squash in coconut cream

mushrooms-spinach-squash

Dear Kulinarya Cooking Club,My vegetable dish post is late, I know. I don't have an excuse but I do have an explanation. I was so very busy tweaking templates and editing old entries to make my blog compliant with Google's new specialized recipe search service. If you're not a food blogger, or you're a food blogger but … [Read more...]

How to cook: Grilled pork in lemongrass stalks

grilled-pork-lemongrass-stalks

A popular Southeast Asian hawker food, this dish consists of minced meat flavored with chili, cumin, crushed galangal, ground coriander, coconut milk and fish sauce, wrapped around lemongrass stalks and grilled. There are Thai, Malay, Indonesian and Vietnamese versions but, for the life of me, I can't recall any of their … [Read more...]