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

phat-kaphrao0

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 … [Read more...]

Rice, biryani style

rice-biryani

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 as another. But I didn't have saffron and cashew … [Read more...]

Lemongrass and chili stuffed tofu

lemongrass-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 kitchen fixing us a light dinner. It's a dish he had … [Read more...]

Grilled skewered pork marinated in lemongrass, honey and fish sauce

vietnamese-pork-satay

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 ubiquitous satay, there is no dipping … [Read more...]

Southeast Asian food at Banana Leaf

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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 and made a date. Despite that, the venue was … [Read more...]

Vietnamese chicken and pineapple stir fry

chicken-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 and spices traditionally associated with … [Read more...]

Beef satay a la Indonesian sate babi

beef-satay

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 marinade that associate the sate babi taste with … [Read more...]

Stir fried beef and chayote

beef-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 think that a dozen herbs and spices went into the … [Read more...]

Mango-lemon lassi

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 lassi recipe, as executed by Speedy, is simply … [Read more...]

Pulled pork curry with paratha

pulled-pork-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 then cooked in coconut milk, herbs and spices … [Read more...]