How to cook: Grilled pork in 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...]

Scrap ham spring rolls


A curious thing happened when I made puchero a few days ago. The ham bone I used to make the broth had a substantial amount of meat that, after picking and shredding, equaled to about two cups. I thought about making an omelet but decided it was too predictable. Why not spring rolls? I had a small pack of julienned ubod … [Read more...]

How to cook: Thai pandan-wrapped chicken (gai ob bai toey)

Thai pandan-wrapped chicken (gai ob bai toey)

Boneless chicken cutlets are marinated in sauces and spices, wrapped in aromatic pandan leaves and fried until crisp and browned. These nuggets are so flavorful they don't need a dipping sauce and they are great as finger food or served with rice as a main dish.There is a pandan chicken recipe in the archive of my other … [Read more...]

How to make: Green onion (scallion) pancakes


Say bread and most Filipinos conjure an image of something soft, fluffy and mildly sweet. We like our pan se sal that way and, until recently, we associated not-too-white loaf bread with inferior quality. We like our bread perfectly shaped too and with a soft and light-colored exterior. In short, we've come to associate … [Read more...]

Smoked milkfish, mushrooms and tofu spring rolls


You are looking at the ingredients for the fried spring rolls that we had for dinner tonight. I can only hope that my husband who is in Boracay for four days with his officemates can read this entry so he'll know what he's missing. Because I've never had better spring rolls in my entire life. Not that this recipe cannot … [Read more...]

How to make: Vietnamese spring rolls


We never go to a Vietnamese restaurant without ordering spring rolls. Between Pho Hoa and Pho Bac, I prefer the latter's spring rolls. Apart from that though, my vote goes to Pho Hoa all the way. It's always been my dream to make Vietnamese spring rolls at home but it wasn't easy getting hold of rice spring roll wrappers. … [Read more...]

How to cook: Vietnamese chicken satay with nuoc cham


Chicken satay without peanuts. I couldn't believe it myself having associated satay with peanut butter. But this recipe from Vietnamese Cooking Made Easy (recipes by Nongkran Daks, Alexandra Greeley and Wendy Hutton; published by Periplus) is peanut-free. It is light and succulent, delicate with just the right hints of … [Read more...]

Easy hors d’œuvre: fish and fresh dill spring rolls


The third in the four-part series on easy hors d'œuvre featuring tilapia fillets is fried lumpia (spring rolls) with whole strips of fish fillets and chopped fresh dill as filling. Now, I'm not saying that you absolutely have to use fresh dill. It just so happened that among the herbs growing in my garden, the dill is the … [Read more...]

Easy hors d’œuvre: fish, ham and cheese spring rolls


This is the first of a four-part series featuring fish hors d'œuvre using one main ingredient -- tilapia fillets. These dishes -- two rather eclectic spring rolls (lumpia) and fish sticks -- can be served as hors d'œuvre (appetizers) or as main entrees. It all depends on the occasion. If you're serving them for cocktails, … [Read more...]