Category Archives: Filipino Recipes

adobo rice1

Adobo rice, anyone?

There are a 100 ways to cook adobo . Each one of us has our own version. I shared some tips in cooking adobo as well. There is the recipe on adobo flakes, adobong puti and the classic adobo recipe.  Then there is the Adobo rice, the classic fried rice with crispy adobo flakes and sauce shared by XO46 Heritage Bistro, at the Maya Kitchen demo. This is so simple:

adobo rice1

You will need the following:

¼ kg cooked adobo with sauce
1 kg cooked rice
1 piece salted egg
onion leeks, as needed for garnishing

How to do it:

1. Chop or shred cooked adobo.
2. Mix with rice and sauce.
3. Top with salted egg and onion leeks.

It reminds me of those Chinese meals with the viand on top of the rice.

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cheezy beef patatas

Cheezy Beef Patatas & recipe ideas using Frozen Potatoes from the United States Potato Board #USPBPh

My kids love to snack on French fries, whether it be from their favorite fast food chain or lovingly prepared at home.  The latter takes time to prepare as I cut potatoes into slices. Well, did you know that the best quality frozen potatoes are from the United States Potato Board (USPB)? They come in straight-cut, wedges, natural crisp (chips), slices, twister fries, hash brown and basket weaves and crinkles. How convenient for busy moms . I am convincing family member that French fries don’t need to  be eaten alone or during snacks. There are hundreds of innovative and healthy ways and reasons to make potatoes part of your dinner aside from rice and pasta.

USPB Partner Restaurants

I thought of getting recipe  inspiration from USPB Partner Restaurants like Sunrise Buckets and Peri-Peri Charcoal Chicken both located in Greenhills. First stop was Sunrise Buckets located at Madison Square, Ortigas Ave. North Greenhills, San Juan.

sunrise bucket fries

Sunrise Buckets is a cozy restaurant giving you that feeling you are by the beach.  They offer a wide array of dishes but I wanted to see how they incorporated French Fries into their menu.  Though they offered  French fries dipped with flavors,  two  preparations caught my attention:

1. Cheezy Bacon Jalapeño Poutine Fries- Thick cut fries coated with Jalapeño cheese,  Jalapeño slices, showered with bacon bits, dripping brown gravy, and topped with homemade Cheese curds.

2. Cheezy Beef Poutine Fries – Poutine fries loaded with ground beef, melted cheese, homemade cheese curds and brown gravy.

sunrise buckets cheesy beef poutine fries

I chose the latter because it reminded me of my comfort food– Mexican taco mix without the Jalapeño.  I loved the cheesy flavors mixed with the fries, just like how  melted cheese pairs with nacho chips.  This is an innovative idea. Instead of nacho chips, use french fries. Too much of the brown gravy though , caused the French Fries to get soggy.  They could have minimized the brown gravy or offered it separately. It tasted so good. Would you believe I finished the whole dish by myself?

My next stop was the  Peri-Peri Charcoal Chicken located at the 2/F Cinema Level Promenade, Greenhills San Juan Metro Manila.  They offered a similar dish that I ordered at Sunrise Buckets. The Patatas Bravas are crisp fries served with homemade sauce and melted cheese. This recipe must have been inspired from the Italian’s Bolognese pasta.

peri peri patatas bravas

Bolognese sauce was poured over a bed of French Fries and basket weave potatoes.  Instead of pasta, potatoes served as a substitute. I would have loved the Cilantro which was missing with my order.  What I like about their potato dish creation is that the fries did not end up soggy .  The flavors were a bit disappointing, as the  Bolognese sauce tasted bland . It would have tasted better if they added ground beef with a dash of thyme and oregano.

patatas bravas

Recreation of the Potato Dish

The visit to these two restaurants inspired me to recreate the best of their Potato creations. Let me call my version, the Cheezy Beef Patatas.  I will combine the flavors of Sunrise Buckets’ Cheezy Beef Poutine Fries and the presentation of the chips and fries from Peri Peri’s Patatas Bravas. I want to avoid the sogginess of the French Fries by mixing part of the brown gravy into the ground beef. The brown gravy will be served separately and added as needed. This will prevent the sogginess. French fries or chips should still be firm when mixed with any sauce.

I bought the frozen French Fries and basketweave at Shopwise. You can also find frozen potatoes at the SM Supermarkets and Pure Gold. Make sure you are buying frozen potatoes  from USPB or with partner brands like LambWeston or those stamped as grown in the USA.

Waffle cut fries
Waffle cut fries
Frozen French Fries from USPB
Frozen French Fries from USPB


200 grams USPB Frozen French Fries
100 grams Basket Weave  (or criss cut or waffle cut fries)
1/4 kilo ground beef
1 chopped onions
1 head garlic
Cottage cheese (for topping)
Cilantro (for topping)

For the melted Cheese sauce:

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk (1/2 cup evaporated plus 1/2 cup water)
1 box cheddar cheese (165 grams)
1/4 teaspoons salt

For the brown gravy

¼ cup unsalted butter
¼ cup flour
1 teaspoon onion powder
2 cups water
2 beef cube bouillons


A. Prepare melted cheese and the brown gravy.

Melted cheese sauce preparation:

cheesy sauce

I used this nacho cheese recipe but modified it a bit.

1. Melt the butter over medium-low heat in a saucepan.
2. Whisk in the flour one tablespoon at a time to avoid clumping.
3. Add the milk after the flour has settled. Mix until the sauce has an even consistency.
4. Add the cheese and salt. After the cheese has melted, turn the burner to low, and allow the sauce to simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.

Brown gravy preparation

brown gravy

This simple 5 ingredient recipe for brown gravy was taken from here but you can also buy those gravy mix at the grocery shelves if you want to simplify your cooking.

1. Combine water and bouillon in a glass measuring cup.
2. Heat the beef broth in microwave for 1 minute at a time, until it is steaming hot.
3. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat, add flour and onion powder and whisk together.
4. Allow to cook for 1 minute, whisking occasionally .
5. Add beef broth to flour mixture and whisk.
6.bBring to boil, reduce to simmer for 1 minute.

B. After the cheese sauce and brown gravy have been cooked, just set it aside .

C. Saute the ground beef with onions and garlic till it is brown. Season with black pepper and salt.

D. Pour a little brown gravy onto the ground beef.

Make sure to leave brown gravy for additional dipping sauce.

E. Bake the French fries and Basket Weave cut fries  till desired crispiness.

Make sure they are arranged well on a baking dish for even baking. (Since I have a convection oven, I prefer to bake the French Fries and Basketweave Fries. It is healthier that way. Baking time for the 200 grams potatoes reached 16 minutes. )

G. Arrange baked French Fries and Basket Weave cut fries  on a serving dish.

Top with ground beef mixture, melted cheese sauce, cottage cheese , enough brown gravy and spice up the color with the Cilantro leaves.

cheezy beef patatas

It’s a dish in itself. You have the protein, carbohydrates and some veggies.  Try it.

Other recipe ideas for Pinoy Cooking

Now you wonder, what else can  you do with your frozen potatoes other than as a snack.  Let me present two dish ideas that uses frozen potatoes.

1. Adobo with Potatoes

adobo with potatoes

There are many ways to cook adobo and it varies with the region.  When styling adobo, I usually have a problem making it look attractive.  It’s just dull brown unless I arrange the adobo on an attractive platter. Adding garlic to the brown colored dish, gives it a bit of zest.  I’ve seen an Adobo variation with the addition of  Potato wedges. I think adding Basket Weave cut fries to the Adobo is not only attractive; it brings a well balanced flavor.  The potatoes absorb excess salt , and vinegar making it as delicious as the adobo meat.

– Cook this classic adobo recipe .

– Fry eight pieces of Basket Weave fries so it is not fragile when added to the adobo.

– Add  fried basket Weave cut fries when the liquid has been reduced. Toss lightly with the Adobo sauce.


2. Pinoy Style Frittata


The Frittata is an Italian dish made with fried beaten eggs, resembling a Spanish omelet. This is the perfect dish to whip up when there are unexpected guests because it can be done in 30 minutes . What I love about Frittata is that it makes use of leftovers like ground beef , sausage or bacon.  Adding potatoes will complete the meal that includes carbohydrates, protein and vegetables. The Frittata is a meal in itself with the diced potato (from Frozen French Fries )  as the Carbohydrates.

The recipe will be shared in the next post. Watch out for it

Enjoy experimenting with USPB frozen potatoes in your kitchen. You can buy frozen US Potatoes at the supermarkets of SM Malls, Rustans, Shopwise, Pioneer Center, Duty Free, Puregold Subic, Puregold Clark.





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Paella a la Valenciana

paella a ala valenciana

I very rarely prepare Paella because it entails so much preparation. Twenty five years ago, my sister shared me this Paella, Filipino Style recipe and it seemed simple to prepare. Until a year ago, that’s the only Paella recipe I ever cook. Apparently, the recipe is just similar to Paella a la Valenciana, the difference is in some ingredients. Paella is tasty because of the flavors that seep through the rice grains from all the ingredients mixed into the rice. Paella a la Valenciana is just as similar in taste as my Paella, Filipino Style. The Paella a La Valenciana recipe I am sharing is not exactly the same as the original recipe from the typical, rich rice dish from Valencia, Valencia happens to be located on the east Mediterranean coast of Spain. Even though one can taste this rice-dish all over Spain and even world-wide, its true origin is the area of Valencia and Alicante.


1/2 kilo pork tenderloin
500 grams chicken breast
1/2 kilo large shrimps
salt and pepper
1/2 cup Olive Oil
3 large sized crabs
2 cups clams (halaan)
1 cup mussels (tahong)

1/2 teaspoon of sweet red paprika
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 green or red bell pepper, sliced into 1 inch pieces
1 cup string beans (sitaw), sliced into 1 inch pieces and blanched
3 chorizo de bilbao, sliced thinly
3 cups rice, American Variety or long grain rice (I also use Japanese rice)
1 can tomato paste ( around 70 grams)
6 cups clam broth (used for boiling the clams)
1 small laurel leaf
salt and pepper for seasoning
1/4 teaspoon saffron , mixed with 1 tablespoon water
1 cup green peas
1 pieces pimiento (cut into 1 inch squares)
2 hard boiled eggs, sliced for topping

(Tip: You can also add chopped lechon as toppings)


Preparation of the chicken, pork and seafood

1. Cut chicken and pork into 1 and 1/2 inch pieces. Brown in olive oil. Set Aside.

2. Shell shrimps leaving tail. Slit the shrimps at the back and remove black veins. Wash shrimps and dredge with salt and pepper. Brown in olive oil. Set aside.

3. Boil crabs and cut into quarters. Crack shells of the crab claws. Set aside.

4. Boil the clams in around 6 and half cups water and remove the top shells. Set aside the clam broth.

5. Boil the mussels. Set aside.

Time to cook

1. Heat olive oil in the pan.

2. Add the chicken, pork, paprika, garlic, onion, pepper and chorizo de bilbao.

3. Toss for a few minutes and add unwashed rice and stir until the rice is just a bit brown.

4. Add tomato paste, 6 cups clam broth, laurel leaf and salt and pepper to taste.

5. Add shrimps then bring to a boil.

6. Add the saffron and water.

7. Transfer to a big casserole (usually a pyrex dish) and bake for 350 F for around 30 minutes.

8. Uncover the casserole and decorate the top with clams, crabs, mussels, sitaw, green peas, pimiento on top.

9. Cover and cook for 5 more minutes.

10. Decorate with slices of hard boiled eggs.

Serves 12

You may also prefer to cook my special Paella, Filipino Style

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Pateros Express small

Pateros Express: mixed sautéed seafood in salted egg sauce.

An XO46 original dish of mixed sautéed seafood in salted egg sauce.

Bicol Express is not alone. There is an original dish called “Pateros Express” from XO46 XO 46 Bistro Filipino. The dish is made of mixed sautéed seafood like shrimps, squid and fish in salted duck egg sauce. The dish was recently featured in The Maya Kitchen’s Culinary Elite Series 2015 cooking class held last May 30, 2015.

Try this unique and flavorful Pinoy dish.

Pateros Express small

200 grams medium-sized shrimps, peeled and deveined leaving the tail
200 grams squid, cleaned and cut into squares and scored
200 grams fried fish fillet
¼ cup olive oil
50 grams garlic, crushed
½ cup white wine
juice of 1 lemon
3 salted eggs, separate yolks from the whites
5 grams Spanish paprika
salt and pepper, to taste
parsley, for garnish

1. Sauté shrimp, squid, fish fillet with a little bit of olive oil, garlic and white wine. Once seafood is cooked, set aside.
2. Get the yolk part of the salted egg and mash it with olive oil, lemon juice, Spanish paprika and salt and pepper. Mix the seafood with the salted egg sauce.
3. Garnish with white part of the salted egg and parsley.

Yield: 5 servings

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halang halang visayan dish

Chicken Halang-halang: A Visayan staple of chicken with coconut milk and turmeric.

Growing up in Cebu, Halang-halang is a Visayan dish my mother prepared as part of our regular menu. For Tagalogs, the halang halang tastes similar to a Chicken Tinola but the difference is coconut milk is added and the broth is reduced to a sauce consistency. Halang means spicy so expect this recipe to be spicy since red siling labuyo will be used in this dish I don’t have my mom’s recipe but XO46 Heritage Bistro, the brainchild of husband and wife restaurateurs Andrew Masigan and Sandee Siytangco-Masigan featured this recipe at The Maya Kitchen’s Culinary Elite Series 2015.

halang halang visayan dish

50 grams white onions
25 grams garlic, crushed
50 grams fresh luyang dilaw
200 grams bamboo shoots or labong
½ kg chicken thigh fillet
75 grams red/green bell pepper
2 pieces red siling labuyo, chopped
20 grams basil
250 ml coconut milk
salt and pepper, to taste

1. Sauté onion, garlic and luyang dilaw.
2. Add labong, chicken thigh fillet, bell pepper and siling labuyo.
3. Add basil and coconut milk. Simmer for 15 minutes.
4. Add salt and pepper to taste.


For more information, log on to or e-mail [email protected]

Yield: 4 servings

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Humba 2

Humba, a Visayan staple dish of stewed pork in soy sauce, vinegar & sugar.

Remember my Humba recipe? Humba is a Visayan staple dish of stewed pork in soy sauce, vinegar and sugar. My sister has her own Humba version in the US which is basically Americanized. This time, let me share to a Humba recipe from XO46 Heritage Bistro, the brainchild of husband and wife restaurateurs Andrew Masigan and Sandee Siytangco-Masigan, as part of Maya Kitchen’s Culinary Elite Series 2015 .

Humba 1

Here is the recipe.

½ kg pork liempo, sliced in big square chunks
¼ cup water
100 m soy sauce
¼ cup dark soy sauce
¼ cup cane vinegar
¼ cup pineapple juice
50 grams garlic
50 grams onions
¼ cup muscovado sugar
100 grams banana blossom
salt and pepper, to taste
blanched pechay, as needed for garnishing
5 pieces fried smashed banana, for garnishing

1. Cook liempo, water, soy sauce, dark soy sauce, vinegar, pineapple juice, garlic, onion, and muscovado sugar for 1 hour until liempo is soft.
2. Add the banana blossom.
3. Allow sauce of humba to thicken. Serve with blanched pechay and smashed fried banana.

Humba 2

For more information, log on to or e-mail [email protected]

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Korean Beef Stew

korean beef stew
I first ate Korean Beef Stew at the old Kimchi Korean Fastfood in the mid-seventies. My love for Korean beef stew inspired me to make my own version similar to the Kimchi Korean beef Stew. Here is my version that is a hit with my guests.

Korean Beef Stew

1k beef ribs (half kilo is lean and half kilo are beef shanks or short ribs)
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp rice wine
3/4 cup soy sauce
1 head crushed garlic
1 onion head
1 Tbsp Ginger, crushed

1 cup green onions, sliced
2 pieces red sili finely chopped (use more if you want it spicy)

A. Preparation
Combine the first 8 ingredients
Marinate beef overnight

B. Cooking

4tbsp oil

1. Heat oil and sear marinated beef
2. pour marinade
3. add enough water just to submerge beef
4. simmer over low heat (2 hours) until tender or pressure cook for 35-45 minutes. (Tip: test at 35 minuts if beef is tender)
5. season to taste with sugar, salt, pepper and red sili
6. garnish with green onions, 1 tsp sesame oil, sesame seed.

View more photos of Kimchi Korean Beef Stew

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Tamales or bobotu to Kapampangans

Tamales is a comfort food. My mother served Tamales during special occasion and loved the flavor bursting goodness .  It is a complete meal in itself without the veggies. Surprisingly, Tamale, is a favorite comfort food in Mexico, eaten as both breakfast and dinner, and often accompanied by hot atole or champurrado and arroz con leche (rice pudding) or maize-based beverages of indigenous origin. I have not cooked Tamales in a long time and I was so happy that Chef Sau del Rosario showed a cooking demo at the Expo Mom 2015.

chef sau del rosario

According to Chef Sau, Tamales or bobotu to Kapampangans is a dish we learned from the Mexicans. The dish was inspired by the Filipino women who gathered themselves during elections and cooked Tamales while their men went out to vote, thus the word “bobotu” (means to vote). What a trivia! Let me share the recipe culled from Chef Sau del Rosario’s book “20 years of Love + Cooking”. “The recipe shared by the Mexicans in Pampanga only indigenized using rice instead of corn and wrapped with banana leaf instead of corn husk, since rice and banana were abundant in the Philippines. In fact the place in Pampanga was named Mexico!”, added Chef Sau in my facebook wall post.

tamales recipe by Chef Sau del Rosario


Tamales mixture:

250 grams rice (milling can be done in the market or buy rice powder)
2 clove garlic , crushed
2 tablespoons cooking oil
1/4 cup annatto oil (How to prepare annatto oil)
4 tablespoons fish sauce
3 cups coconut milk
salt and pepper to taste
100 grams cooked ham , sliced into square pieces
250 grams cooked chicken breast, cut into strips
1/4 cup peanuts fried with garlic, ground
4 salted eggs, quartered
banana leaves to wrap the tamales mixture


To make the tamales mixture

1. Soak rice in water for at least 2 hours then grind a bit coarsely (You can also use rice powder)

2. In a wok, saute garlic in oil until golden brown. Set aside.

3. In the same wok, place the annatto oil (How to prepare annatto oil) and blend in fish sauce, rice and coconut milk.

4. Stir constantly over medium heat for about 15 minutes or until the rice is cooked.

5. Mix well to avoid scorching on the side of the wok.

6. Season with Salt and pepper.

To Assemble

1. Place half a cup of tamales mixture on the center of the banana leaves.

2. Top with slices of ham, chicken, a teaspoon of ground peanuts and a quarter of salted egg

3. Wrap tamales in banana leaves and tie with a string.

4. Cook tamales in a bamboo steamer.

5. Cook for 30 minutes.

6. Serve either chilled or hot.

Sometimes, it is hard to look for banana leaves so Chef Sau said you can also prepare it on a wide glass and assemble as you would on top of the banana leaves. The difference I can see here is that you won’t be able to taste the distinct flavor from the banana leaves. Anyway, I got to taste the Tamales and it was so good even served cold.


I wasted no time in buying his recipe book which happened to be discounted for Expo Mom 2015.

chef sau del rosario

I told Chef Sau that I will be showing his recipe book to my readers :

Dear Momblogger,

A glimplse of my simple life that led me to a beautiful one. Thanks for promoting good food especially the Pinoy cuisine.


Chef Sau

dedication from chef sau del rosario

The book does not only contain his recipes and photos of his cooking. He talks of his pain and challenges as a Chef and how he was able to transform this for good. It also features 20 of his good friends who became a part of his successful career. It will also feature recipes from friends and of course, from him. You can buy his book at National book store or Fully booked at 1,295 pesos.

chef sau del rosario book

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filipino-spaghetti (1)

Filipino Style Spaghetti

filipino-spaghetti (1)

Before Jollibee or even Tropical Hut came out with the Filipino version of the Italian Spaghetti, there was Makati Supermarket’s spaghetti sold in their coffee shop in the early sixties. This is probably how the sweetish Filipino spaghetti evolved. A popular American blogger once commented that our Jollibee spaghetti tasted horrible. It must have seemed different from Italian spaghetti since the latter is sour. Filipino spaghetti has sweet sauce.

Filled with vienna sausage, ham strips, ground beef and grated cheese, the sauce of Makati Supermarket’ spaghetti is sweet with a tinge of spiciness. When I was in college during the mid-seventies, my dorm-mates and I would travel all the way from the UP campus to Makati Supermarket in Ayala. The supermarket does not exist anymore. These days you can eat their spaghetti at Cash and Carry Supermarket along , President Osmena Highway (South Superhighway) near Buendia Makati City and Makati Supermarket in Alabang.

A reader pointed out to me that some evidence of an even earlier birth of the “pinoy spaghetti” exists in the memoirs of Gen Douglas McArthur (yes the “I shall return guy”). I am not able to pull the line verbatim but it went mostly like this:

this sauce, so sweet on spaghetti, hardly seems like spaghetti sauce but it is good.

Through the years, I developed my own Filipino-Style Spaghetti Sauce. If you are in a hurry, you can always buy those ready-to-use Filipino Style Spaghetti sauce sold at the supermarket. But let me tell you, there is nothing more srcumptious than cooking spaghetti sauce in your own special touch. Here is my recipe which you can always innovate.

500 grams spaghetti noodles
1/2 cup olive oil
1 head garlic, minced
1/4 kilo ground beef
1/4 kilo ground pork
5 pieces hot dog sliced diagonally
1/4 cup vienna sausage, sliced
1/4 cup sweet ham, sliced in small squares (1/2 inch by 1/2 inch)
1 bottle banana catsup (don’t substitute!)
1 cup chopped onions
1 cup tomato sauce
1 cup water
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup chopped green and red bell pepper (some don’t really like pepper so this may be optional)
1/8 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon oregano
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup grated cheese


1. Cook spaghetti noodles according to package instructions.

2. In a kawali or wok, sauté garlic and onions in olive oil.

3. Combine ground beef, ground pork, bay leaf, green and red bell pepper and a cup of water in the wok. Allow to simmer for 10 minutes.

4. Add tomato sauce, banana catsup and allow to simmer for 10 more minutes

5. Add brown sugar, vienna sausage, sweet ham and hotdogs. Simmer for 5 minutes.

6. Add a little more water (maybe 1/2 cup more) till you get your desired consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste.

7. Serve separately with cooked spaghetti noodles and grated cheese on top.

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