How to cook: Gingered mussel soup

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The fastest and easiest way to ruin any seafood dish is by overcooking. Unlike meat, seafood turns chewy and rubbery with overcooking. And they shrink like anything.Most people make mussel soup by adding the mussels to the pan before pouring in the water. I don’t. I let the water boil first BEFORE adding the mussels. … [Read more...]

How do you like your fish roe?

Speedy grew up with five siblings. He's the third from the youngest, the age difference between him and the oldest is, I think, seven years. He still recalls how they'd all scramble over "choice cuts" during meals. The bangus belly, for instance. Agawan, as he put it.One of the perks of being one of only two siblings is … [Read more...]

Is batotoy a local name for Anadara granosa (blood cockles)?

The last time I heard the word batotoy, I was buying longganisa (native sausages) at Belcap on Xavierville Avenue in Quezon City many years ago. I was surprised to hear batotoy again -- this time, while buying shellfish at the Antipolo market. What I really wanted was mussels, the mussels were too small so I bought clams … [Read more...]

How to cook: 15-minute shrimp curry

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Summary: Vacuum-packed shelled and deveined shrimps, and curry paste in a jar, conveniently available in groceries and supermarkets, were used in this dish. Preparation time was reduced to a mere five minutes. Cooking time was ten minutes for a total of 15 minutes. … [Read more...]

The tawilis mystery

One of the mainstays in the menu of restaurants in the Tagaytay and Batangas aras is tawilis. Often, deep fried to a crisp so that every part, bones and head included, is edible.Tawilis is a sardine but it is a class all its own because it is the only member of the family Clupeidae that is known to exist entirely in … [Read more...]

How to cook: Japanese-style crab and corn soup

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A couple of weekends ago, we ate at a Cantonese cum Singaporean restaurant called Tao Yuan in Manila. It's on the corner of Malvar and Mabini Streets in Malate across Pan Pacific Plaza Hotel. We loved the food, most of the dishes we ordered anyway, and I was supposed to write a review but the photos are all yellow and no … [Read more...]

How to cook: Ebi (shrimp) tempura

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Panko is a wonderful thing for fried food. And although traditionally used for dishes like tonkatsu, I like to use panko for making tempura too. Instead of dipping the shrimps in batter, I cooked my ebi tempura by dredging the shrimps in flour, coating them with egg and rolling them in panko before frying.If you prefer … [Read more...]

How to cook: Miso soup with fresh clams

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A couple of weeks ago, I bought a kilo and a half of fresh clams not knowing exactly whether I would use them for a pasta dish or a soup. By the time they had been soaked and cleaned, I felt it would be boring to cook them in just any old familiar way. A kilo became the clam and onion tart and the remaining half kilo went … [Read more...]

How to cook: Fish and corn fritters

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According to one of the Thai cookbooks I own, a dish called prawn and corn fritters is a popular street food in Thailand. I didn't see anyone selling this dish in Phuket but that didn't stop me from doing my version once I got home. Instead of prawns, however, I used leftover grilled fish belly.Preparation time is 10 … [Read more...]

How to cook: Fish in chili and garlic sauce

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No, I'm not talking about bottled chili and garlic sauce. What went into this dish are chopped fresh garlic and finely sliced chilis. Also based on a Thai dish (which included coriander roots or stems which I didn't have), the really interesting thing about this very easy to cook fish dish is how bold and daring the flavors … [Read more...]