Phat Kaphrao (Thai stir fried meat with basil and chilis)

Phat Kaphrao (Thai stir fried meat with basil and chilis)

On Facebook, Speedy re-shared that Saveur page with the 55 Great Global Food Blogs and it made me re-visit some of the blogs on the list including Leela’s She Simmers where I found a recipe for a stir fried dish that, according to Thai Airways Magazine is “fourth among the ten Thai dishes ordered most frequently by foreigners“. Called phat khaprao (or pad ka-prao), it is a very simple stir fry that consists of minced meat (or seafood) seasoned with fish sauce, soy sauce and a bit of sugar. But what really gives the dish its unique flavor is the addition of Holy basil. Amazing how the basil adds so much flavor and aroma. Fortunately for me, my Holy basil is still growing in the garden and on that basis I decided what lunch today was going to be. »

Rice, biryani style


If I had saffron water to drizzle over the rice after cooking, and if I had used cashew nuts instead of peanuts, this would be a more authentic biryani. Well, whatever "authentic" means considering that biryani is found in the cuisines of more than a dozen countries, including the Philippines, and none is exactly the same … »

Lemongrass and chili stuffed tofu


And so we take a break from the sweets and the meats and all those rich dishes that seem to be the benchmark of the holiday season. The girls are back in the condo, and Speedy and I thought we'd live on scraps and leftovers for the next couple of days. Well, we tried for about half a day. By nightfall, Speedy was in the … »

Grilled skewered pork marinated in lemongrass, honey and fish sauce


In the Philippines, this dish of grilled skewered pork marinated in lemongrass, honey and fish sauce would simply be called pork barbecue. Elsewhere in Southeast Asia, it would be a satay. Unlike the Filipino pork barbecue, however, these skewered pork slices aren't brushed with any sauce during grilling. And, unlike the … »

Southeast Asian food at Banana Leaf


My mother had been wanting to treat us to lunch-merienda-dinner for the longest time but finding a day when the girls would be free turned out to be a challenge. Weekends are already tight, it's almost the end of the term and the pig out date had to be rescheduled several times. Last weekend was a long one, we picked a day … »

Vietnamese chicken and pineapple stir fry


Four years ago, I found a chicken and pineapple recipe from an American-published Vietnamese cookbook and I cooked my version. A couple of weeks ago, in an episode of Luke Nguyen's Vietnam, I watched chef Luke Nguyen cook a very similar dish using thinly sliced pork neck. The difference: Luke Nguyen's recipe uses more herbs … »

Beef satay a la Indonesian sate babi


The Indonesian word "babi" literally translates to "pig" in English. "Sate" (or satay for the rest of Southeast Asia) means marinated pieces of meat that are skewered and grilled. The Indonesian sate babi, in other words, is none other than pork barbecue in the Philippines.Of course, there are ingredients in the … »

Stir fried beef and chayote


Inspired by a dish that chef Luke Nguyen cooked in his TV show, this stir fried beef and chayote combo is another example of the yin-yang concept that is found across various Asian cuisines. The ingredients are simple, few and inexpensive, the seasonings are minimal, and yet, the aroma and flavors are so complex, one would … »

Mango-lemon lassi


Lassi is essentially a yogurt-based drink that contains spices. Question: if a drink contains yogurt, plus milk, and has no spices whatsoever, is it still a lassi? Giada de Laurentiis thinks and says so. I'm not so sure how correct she is in the strict sense (I don't add spices to my mango lassi either) but her mango-lime … »

Pulled pork curry with paratha


I've never had curry this good. Seriously. And just as Speedy was saying how bored he was with curried stews, I served this for lunch today and all he could say was how delicious it was.What is it?It is a curried dish, obviously. But, instead of a wet stew, you have a dry stew. The pork is pre-cooked, shredded … »