How to cook: Gingered mussel soup


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...]

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...]

Meatless Ma Po Tofu


It didn't sound right at first -- cooking ma po tofu without meat. But, yesterday, not wanting to waste the silken tofu that was nearing expiration but without having thawed any meat to go with it, I decided to take the plunge -- ma po tofu with mushrooms and clams and with no meat at all.Guess what? It was surprisingly … [Read more...]

About Manila clams

The term “Manila clams” has had me intrigued for a long time. According to my reading, they are exported by Japan and the clams themselves are native to Japan. If that were so, why are they called Manila clams?I don't like getting political about food but I distinctly remember that sometime during the infamous 20-year … [Read more...]

Sotanghon (vermicelli) soup with clams and wakame


Most Filipinos know sotanghon soup as something with chicken or pork but, let me tell you, clams make a more flavorful broth. No need for enhancements, the natural flavors that can almost make you smell the sea are all you need and want.I used saltwater clams for this soup. If you're interested in a related article … [Read more...]

How to cook: Miso soup with fresh clams


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...]

Cold soba and scallops


A meal for one that takes no more than ten minutes to prepare. The ingredients are few, the cooking procedure is simple and no special cooking equipment is required. Despite the simplicity, this seafood and noodle dish is filling, and rich in flavor and texture.If scallops are not available, feel free to substitute any … [Read more...]

How to cook: Oyster omelet

Oyster omelet

At the Shih Lin night market in Taiwan, single serve oyster omelets were cooked side by side on large round skillets. This delectable egg and seafood dish that originated in China is also a popular street food in Singapore and Malaysia.The secret to this simple dish is proportion. Too many oysters and too little egg … [Read more...]

How to cook: Clams in ponzu sauce


I learned a new Japanese cooking term today -- ponzu, a sauce made with citrus juice, soy sauce and mirin. And I cooked a new dish today -- a clam appetizer dish. Very simple to to make and very tasty too.Of course, it all starts with cleaning and preparing the clams. Fresh clams often contain a lot of sand inside their … [Read more...]

Clams and malunggay soup with coconut milk


The traditional soup made with halaan (clams) and malunggay leaves (Moringa oleifera) cooked Thai style. I loved the Thai mussel soup with coconut milk so much that I decided to make a clam soup version. And that was after learning from the house helpers that back in their hometown in Zamboanga, malunggay leaves are often … [Read more...]