Category Archives: Asian Cuisine

Cantonese Beef Ho fan

Cantonese Beef Ho Fan

Just as we celebrated the new year 2015 , we are off to another celebration of the Chinese New Year, The Year of the Sheep. If you are planning your menu , here is Cantonese Beef Ho Fan. Beef With Ho Fun, is a very typical Cantonese recipe. Ho Fun are broad rice noodles but in this recipe, we will use cooked flat rice noodles that can easily be bought at the grocery store.

Ho Fun is usually sauteed with beef. But based on my research ” it does not have to be made with one particular meat; it can be prepared with any kind of steak, or made with pork, chicken, or shrimp. Every one of these meats can make an interesting dish.” However, beef is the most commonly used protein in Ho Fun. So here it is.

Cantonese Beef Ho fan

300 grams lean sirloin steak, sukiyaki cut
¼ cup dark soy sauce
2 tablespoons MAYA Cornstarch
2 tablespoons Chinese rice wine
1 tablespoon sugar
oil for stir-frying, as needed
2 medium-sized onions, sliced
2 teaspoons grated ginger
100-150 grams bean sprouts, trimmed
600 grams cooked flat rice noodles

Liquid Seasoning:

¼ cup oyster sauce
2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons water or stock
spring onions, chopped, as needed for garnish

1. In a bowl, combine beef, soy sauce, cornstarch, rice wine and sugar. Mix until blended well. Set aside.

2. Heat oil and stir-fry beef. Remove from pan and set aside. In the same pan, add a little more oil and sauté onions until translucent.

3. Add in grated ginger and stir until fragrant.

4. Toss in bean sprouts and cooked noodles. Increase the heat and add the beef.

5. Slowly add the prepared liquid seasoning and gently toss everything together.

6. Lastly, add the spring onions before serving.

Yield: 4-5 servings

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Shoyu Ramen

Cooking Ramen: Miso Ramen, Shoyu Ramen, Hiyashi Chuka and Yakisoba

I know most of you love Ramen.  My family loves it so we often eat out just to have our Ramen fix. Now what if I get to cook it myself . Fortunately,      Japanese Master Chef Seiji Kamura chopped and sliced, simmered and boiled as he shared tips and secrets on how to cook various ramen at The Maya Kitchen recently.

Miso Ramen, Shoyu Ramen, Hiyashi Chuka and Yakisoba were all presented with that special touch that only a Japanese cuisine expert can lend. Try your hands in preparing these flavorful dishes in your own kitchen.

Here are the recipes:

Ramen Soup Base


1.5 kilo                         pork bone (leg part) cut up

1.5 kilo                          rib bones cut up

½ kilo                           chicken bones, cleaned

150 grams                   ginger, sliced

2 pieces                      onion

3 pieces                      onion leeks

1 piece                        carrot

50 grams                      kombu, simmered

5000ml                          water


Boil all bones and throw away the water. Replace with 5000 ml water. Add the rest of ingredients. Cook at a rolling boil and remove scum. Adjust fire to simmer and continue cooking for about 1 hour.


Hiyashi Chuka


                                    1 kilo               ham (slice lengthwise)

tied up and boil for 1 hour (strain)

transfer to shoyo base and boil for 30 mins.


Hiyashi Chuka Dressing

100ml.                         soy sauce

100ml.                         vinegar

35g                              sugar

50ml.                           sesame oil

4 pieces                     garlic heads, pressed


Press garlic and add all the ingredients and marinate for 1 hour. Strain and use as dressing. Serve with Hiyashi Ramen Noodle


Ramen Noodles


140g                            noodle

1 piece                       Japanese cucumber, sliced into strips

60 grams                    chasu

1 piece                       crab stick

egg (crepe egg)

10 grams                    wakome

Boil noodles for 3 minutes. Transfer to ice-cold water then drain. Plate noodle, garnish with cucumber, egg, chachu, crab stick and wakome. Just before serving, drizzle hiyashi chuka dressing.


Miso Base

150 grams                  garlic

200 grams                  onion

90 grams                    ginger

150 grams                  carrots

150 ml.                        sake

50 ml.                          soy sauce

75 ml.                          mirin

20 grams                    tobandyan spice

30 grams                    ichiban powder

30 grams                    sugar

90 ml.                          sesame oil

800 grams                  akardashi miso (black)

1000 grams                miso (white)

20 grams                    hondashi


Blend together 7 ingredients. Transfer into sauce pan. Add the rest of the remaining ingredients. Boil once. Use as base for miso ramen soup.

Miso Ramen

Miso Ramen


1 tablespoon                        oil

40 grams                    ground pork

120 grams                  ramen noodle

40 grams                    ground pork

50 grams                    baguio pechay

20 grams                    carrots, shredded

30 grams                    onion, sliced

20 grams                    leeks, sliced

80 grams                   togue

½ tablespoon           sesame oil

Put oil in pan and stir fry ground pork. Add the rest of ingredients and sesame oil just before serving. Pour 200ml soup stock in a bowl and 2 tablespoons miso base. Mix and serve.

Shoyu Base

360 ml.                        sake

30 grams                    kombu

40 grams                    dry shitake

100ml.                         mirin

300ml.                         water

50 grams                    ginger, sliced

50 grams                    garlic, minced

50 grams                    ichiban powder

800ml              soy sauce


Boil together above ingredients for 15 minutes. Strain and use as base for shoyu ramen.

Shoyu Ramen

Shoyu Ramen

120 grams                  noodles

50 ml.              shoyu paste

200 ml.                        ramen soup stock

1 piece                       nori sheet

1 piece                       naruto (fish cake) sliced into ring

1                                  egg boiled

2 slices                        chasho

20 grams                    onion leeks, thinly sliced

20 grams                    menma (bamboo shoot)


Boil noodles for 3 minutes. Add shoyu paste and soup stock. Put the soup first in ramen bowl. Add drained noodles, top with chasho, naruto (fish cake), menma (bamboo shoot), nori and  ½ boiled egg.



2 tablespoons           oil

80 grams                    pork, thinly sliced

20 grams                    onion sliced

30 grams                    carrots, strips

60 grams                    cabbage, sliced into 2”

20 grams                    shimeji mushroom

1 piece                       dry shitake, pre cooked, slice thinly

60 grams                    mongo sprout, washed and cleaned

3 tablespoons                       soy sauce

dash of michi for spice powder

2 tablespoons           salt/pepper to taste

2 tablespoons                       sesame oil

30 grams                    naruto

120 grams                  ramen noodles


Heat oil in pan. Add pork, onion, carrots, cabbage, shitake, shimeji, togue, and half cook then put noodle season with sauce, salt and pepper to taste, sesame oil and sake. Half cook then serve.
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Hainanese Chicken Rice (Singapore variation)

A Singaporean describes it this way: Part of the whole ritual in eating this dish is smothering your cream-coloured chicken fat laced rice with ribbons of sweet dark soy sauce, chilli sauce and pounded ginger and to mix it all together, matching flavour for flavour.


Hainanese Chicken Rice is one of the primary specialties of Singapore and is often considered the country’s national dish. Filipinos love it for its flavorful, uncomplicated taste. Every time I am in Singapore, I always order Hainanese Chicken Rice. Mixing the chicken meat with the dip with the rice was just so heavenly. It must be the ginger and garlic flavors that brings out the flavors.


Let me share this simple recipe which I am sure you will enjoy cooking. It is simple.


For chicken:

12 cups water

4 fresh ginger, peeled and sliced

1 teaspoon salt

3 cloves garlic, peeled

1 whole chicken

2 tablespoons sesame oil

2 teaspoons soy sauce

For rice:

2-3 cups Jasmine rice

Vegetable oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 fresh ginger, peeled and sliced

6 cups reserved stock from boiling chicken

2 tablespoons sesame oil

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tomatoes, sliced

2 cucumbers, sliced


For chicken:
1. Bring 12 cups of water with ginger, salt and garlic to a boil in a large pot.
2. Put chicken in the boiling water and let it simmer for 5 minutes.
3. Turn off the heat, cover the pot and let the chicken cool for 20 minutes.
4. Repeat the boiling and cooling process one more time.
5. Set chicken aside when cooked and tender.
6. Remember to reserve the chicken stock for the rice.
7. Plunge the chicken into ice-cold water for 5 minutes to prevent over cooking and to tighten its skin.
8. Brush on a mixture of sesame oil and soy sauce on the chicken, then let it cool at room temperature.

For rice:
1. Wash rice thoroughly and drain.
2. Heat vegetable oil in a pot and fry garlic and ginger until golden brown.
3.Add the drained rice and fry for 3 to 4 minutes before pouring in 6 cups of chicken stock and adding sesame oil and salt.
4. Cook the rice uncovered until the broth is absorbed.
5. Finally, cover the pot tightly and reduce the temperature until the rice is cooked.
6. Cut the chicken into pieces, then serve over the rice and garnish with tomatoes and cucumbers.
7. Add chili sauce or other spices to taste.

The Satay and Hainanese Chicken Rice recipes are just simple tastebud teasers to give food lovers an idea of what the annual food festival has to offer. After savoring a preview of what Chinese cuisine-infused Singaporean food is all about, expect a bigger culinary feast in next year’s Singapore Food Festival.

Log on to for more information.

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Phad Thai Noodles

Phad Thai (or Pad Thai or Phat Thai) has got to be the favorite Thai dish in our family. When we went to Bangkok a few years back, Phad Thai was always in our buffet. I also found out this dish is listed at number 5 on World’s 50 most delicious foods readers’ poll compiled by CNN Go in 2011. The distinct flavor of Phad Thai is due to the tart Tamarind and lime flavor. I once bought a pack of “Pad Thai” flavor mix because I thought it was more convenient to cook it that way. But there is nothing like cooking from scratch.

Fortunately, Chef Tum Supawade Lungtip of Jatujak Thai Restaurant showed the secrets of this popular dish. Most of the ingredients can be found at your supermarket shelves.

1 1/3 tablespoons light Thai soy sauce
2 teaspoons Thai black soy sauce
1/4 cup tamarind paste
1-2 tablespoons tamarind powder (sinigang powder)
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons black pepper
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1 1/3 tablespoons garlic powder
5 tablespoons Thai fish sauce
1/2 cup peanut oil
1/4 cup minced shallot
500 grams chicken breast (cut into bite-sized pieces)
4 pieces eggs
1/2 kilo dried rice stick noodles (small size, approximately 1/8- inch wide; soaked in cold water at least 3-4 hours, do not drain before using)
8 stalks spring onion (cut into 1 1/2 inch lengths)
4 cups bean sprouts
1 tablespoon ground dried shrimp
1 tablespoon ground Thai chili (optional)
1/4 cup ground roasted peanut
1-2 limes (cut into wedges)

Preparation (Phad Thai):

1. Combine light soy sauce, black soy sauce, tamarind paste and powder, sugar, black pepper, vinegar, garlic powder, and fish sauce in a bowl. Mix thoroughly and set aside.

2. Heat a non-stick wok (or frying pan) over high heat and add peanut oil.

3. Heat oil for 1 minute and add shallots, stir-frying for 1 minute or until golden brown. Add the chicken and stir-fry for 8 minutes, or until fully cooked.

4. Make a space in the middle of the wok (by pushing the chicken to the sides) and add the eggs until scrambled.

5. Add the rice noodles and the sauce mixture. Use chopsticks to stir the noodles and ingredients together. Get the spatula under the noodles, lift them up and flip them over (this will keep the noodles from breaking).

6. Continue using the chopsticks and spatula, flipping and stirring the noodles for 6-8 minutes, or until they’re soft.

7. Add the spring onions and stir for 2 minutes. Add the bean sprouts and stir constantly for 30 seconds.

8. Turn off the heat and add the ground dried shrimp. Sprinkle Thai chili on top (if desired), and serve hot with ground peanuts, fresh lime wedges, fresh bean sprouts, chives, or green onions.

Thanks to Maya Kitchen for the recipe.

For more information, log on to or [email protected] or visit The Maya Kitchen Culinary Center every Tuesday to Saturday at 8F Liberty Building, 835 A. Arnaiz Avenue (Pasay Road), Makati City or call 8921185 / 892-5011 local 108.

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Kilawin na Isda or Kinilaw

Just looking at the photos makes me want to eat more kilawin or kinilaw na isda. One can use either tuna or lapu-lapu fillets to make this dish. I always associate the Kinilaw with a beach outing. Preparing dishes with vinegar ensures there is little chance of food spoilage. The fish is “cooked” using vinegar as the meat turnes opaque in color. Though kinilaw may not be as popular as adobo, it certainly has a one-of-a-kind taste that many Pinoys abroad crave for.

In Philippine Food and Life (released by Anvil Publishing in 1992), Gilda Cordero-Fernando narrates of an Ilokano group who, during the Spanish period, were part of the crew English navigator Thomas Cavendish’s ship. Right after the sailors threw all the intestines of a goat into the sea, the Ilokano assistants dived into the sea for their kilawin — dipped or cooked in bile sauce or broth. The chronicler, who was ignorant of what the Pinoys were preparing, described the dish as “a disgusting mess.”

Not only goats, which is believed to be a good source of protein and calcium, however, may be made into kilawin. Beef, carabeef, fish, shelfish, including octopus are also popular options.

(Sources: Alegre, Edilberto N. and Fernandez, Doreen G. “Kinilaw: A Philippine Cuisine of Freshness.” Bookmark Inc.,1991;Cordero, Gilda Fernando. “Philippine Food and Life.” Pasig City: Anvil Publishing, 1992)

Kilawin na isda is so easy to prepare too.

Here are the ingredients:

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I am sure you want to learn recipes from other countries. One of my favorite Singapore dish in the 2010 Singapore Food Festival is Satay. It is skewered barbecued meat, usually chicken (Satay Ayam), beef (Satay Lembu) and mutton (Satay Kambing), dipped and eaten with a delectable peanut sauce. Satay originated from Indonesia but also popular in many other Southeast Asian countries, such as: Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Thailand, the southern Philippines and in the Netherlands, as Indonesia is a former Dutch colony.


For satay:
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 large onion, chopped
1 stalk lemongrass, minced
1 tablespoon peanut oil
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 kilo chicken or beef, sliced into 2-inch portions
Bamboo skewers

For peanut sauce:
1/2 cup salted roasted peanuts
1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 stalk lemongrass
Vegetable oil
1 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 teaspoon brown sugar
2 teaspoon dried tamarind, soaked
1 teaspoon salt
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Traditional Braised Duck


During the Singapore food festival 2010, I had the pleasure of meeting the Heavenly chefs (Mr Sin Leong and Mr Hooi Kok Wai of Dragon Phoenix and Red Star Restaurant) to showcase three very authentic and old school Cantonese dishes not popularly found today in menu menus like the Shunde Wild Pheasant , the Deep Fried Golden Pearls and a good old traditional braised duck. These recipes are not for beginners but of course you can try them.

Origin of the traditional braised duck

In Canton province of China, during festivals such as Cheng Ming, harvesting, etc., people used to gather in the ancestral hall to celebrate and thanks their ancestors for blessings given.

On such occasions, foods such as roast duck, roast meat, chicken etc., were brought as offerings. After some prayers, all these foods were placed into a big pot and stewed into a pot-luck delicacy where people gather around sharing the joy of the occasion.

Such practices initiated the creation of the famous Cantonese Dish “Peng Cai”. The “Traditional Braised Duck” is one of these “Peng Cai” dishes which uses duck as the main ingredient.
Besides offering a harmonic combination of textures and flavors, this dish has a symbolic cultural significance as it symbolized unity and the sharing of joy. In the 40s, this dish was “migrated” together with a group of Cantonese immigrant into Singapore and became a popular dish in Chinese banquets.
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Sambal Goreng Udang (Chilli Prawn)

Sambal Goreng Udang (Chilli Prawn)I promised that I’d share Singapore Food recipes from the chefs in Singapore. Now this Chilli Prawn recipe called Sambal Goreng Udang is so simple.

Here is a recipe shared by Singaporean Chef Veni Knight


500gm large prawns, remove heads and veins but leave shells intact
2 tbsp of chilli powder (You can easily buy these at the supermarket)
2 large onions, sliced
Salt to taste
3 tbsp cooking oil

1. Mix prawns with chilli powder
2. Heat oil in the wok
3. Add the prawns and stir on high heat
4. When the prawns have all turned red, stir in the onions
5. Let the onions soften slightly before putting the fire out
6. Serve hot

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Nonya Bak Chang: Singapore-Style Dragon Boat Festival Dumplings & Babi Asam: Spicy Pork in Tamarind Sauce

It was honor to observe a cooking demo from Violet Oon, dubbed as Singapore Food Ambassador. She is one of Singapore’s leading food gurus and is known as much for her cooking as for her opinions on food. She is considered one of the leading authorities on Asian cuisine with a particular emphasis on Peranakan Food. Violet is also a respected cookbook author and food researcher. Her appointment as consultant to the Singapore Food Festival 2009 is particularly meaningful to her as the theme is Peranakan, the culture she belongs to.

Click here to go directly to the Video link

Watch the 35 minute video as she demonstrates two recipes: Nonya Bak Chang and Babi Asam. She interspersed her cooking tips as she demonstrated the recipe. The recipe is a bit complicated to cook but you will learn some asian cooking tips just by watching the video. Now if you want to experiment, go ahead. The sweet potato dumplings taste so good.

Cooking Tips

1. Saute with a nice gentle sizzle not too loud sizzle . Chinese stir fry cooking involves high sizzle but not Peranakan.

2. Cook by smell.

3. Most peranakan dishes boil pork, slice it for that even look, then stir fry it

4. When boiling sweet potato, keep water for soup stock

5. Metal masher is better to use for mashing sweet potatoes

6. Don’t put less in a traditional dish. If rich foods are cooked in its right richness, you tend not to eat a lot.

7. This food should not be eaten every day. In the old days, it was eaten once a year.

8, Enjoy food three times a month. Rest of the month, eat plain like steamed fish or plain rice. When you cook for guests, the point is how to impress them. Cook really yummy for guests.

9. Coriander powder is important in Peranakan cooking. Never buy powder form. Toast the coriander in the over oon14for 10 to 15 minutes but stir every 5 minutes. It has to smell cooked but not burned.

10. To prevent spillage on the floor, use a mixing bowl three times the size that that you would need.

11. the smaller the pot the better. Deep fry is about how high the oil is.

12. When eating in a restaurant, feast with your eyes, your smell and lastly, the taste

13. Drain/dry the meat before cooking so that there is no water layer that prevents spices from reaching the meat.

Here are the recipes demonstrated by Violet Oon.

Held to commemorate a hero of ancient China, the Dragon Boat Festival is celebrated in Singapore with thousands of pyramid-shaped glutinous rice dumplings and a Dragon Boat Race. The poet Ch’u Yuan drowned himself in protest against injustice and corruption. It is said that rice dumplings were cast into the water to lure fishes away from the body of the martyr. This act is remembered by the eating of “chung”, glutinous rice dumplings.  Dried lotus and pandan leaves flood the markets a few days before the festival on the fifth month of the lunar calendar as the dumplings are wrapped up tightly in these leaves. The steamed glutinous rice encloses a variety of fillings from pork to mushrooms, red beans, chicken, and mung beans.  The Peranakan version isa delicious variation.  In the past, lotus leaves were not as a vailable so Peranakans used the gigantic fragrant pandan leaves to wrap their bak chang. In addition to the traditional ingredients of diced pork, Chinese mushrooms and preserved melon was added to the local recipe by the Baba Chinese.  The new recipe also includes pounded coriander seeds and lots of sugar.

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