How to microwave non-microwave popcorn


If you’re one of those people who think that the microwave oven is evil, if you’re among those who are convinced that anything cooked in the microwave turns into an inedible zombie, skip this post. This is for the rest of us who aren’t scared of the microwave. If you’ve bought and cooked microwave popcorn […]

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Connie VeneracionHow to microwave non-microwave popcorn

Egg-topped soup


The most common way to include egg in a soup is to use the egg drop method — beaten egg is poured in a thin stream into the hot soup, allowed to set minimally then stirred to form wispy threads of yellow in the soup. In many Asian soup dishes, including congee although it is technically not a soup, an …

Connie VeneracionEgg-topped soup

Tips for making a great bowl of ramen at home


Ramen is a Japanese noodle dish. What exactly goes into a bowl of ramen is something that differs from region to region and from cook to cook so there are endless varieties of ramen. The broth can be brown and transparent (the soy-flavored shoyu ramen), clear and colorless (shio ramen which is seasoned with salt) or light brown and cloudy …

Connie VeneracionTips for making a great bowl of ramen at home

Tips for making good tempura


I like making tempura using the flour-egg-panko coating — dredge in flour, dip in egg, roll in panko then fry. Sam prefers the camaron rebosado way — dip in seasoned starch mixed with iced water then fry. It’s simpler and there are less bowls to wash. She’s like that. She doesn’t like complicating things. So, when we go to the …

Connie VeneracionTips for making good tempura

Pork, apple and mashed potato burgers


At The Vegetarian Kitchen, burgers are made with lentils. Very interesting. They made me think of something similar that I’ve done not too long ago. In how to cut down on meat and fat without sacrificing flavor and texture, I used chopped oyster mushrooms to replace part of the meat for eggplant omelet filling. Based on the principle that a …

Connie VeneracionPork, apple and mashed potato burgers

What to do with failed napoleones? Make sugar-glazed tea biscuits


That day we had lunch at The Vegetarian Kitchen, we were chatting with one of the owners, Tita, and she mentioned the food in this blog and how everything looks great. Speedy and I felt there was an implication that everything I cook is always a success. We told her that isn’t the case. I’ve had my share of failed …

Connie VeneracionWhat to do with failed napoleones? Make sugar-glazed tea biscuits

In cooking, what does “layering flavors” mean?


In today’s world where health fads dictate that everyone ought to be conscious of his sodium intake, many cooks have developed the habit of adding no seasoning to the food during cooking. Instead, salt and pepper shakers are placed on the table and each diner adds salt and pepper to his portion. I suppose the procedure is beneficial for finicky …

Connie VeneracionIn cooking, what does “layering flavors” mean?

Tips for perfectly-textured stir-fried eggplants


Eggplants. Inexpensive. Filling. Easy to prepare. Versatile. Cooks in a jiffy. Eggplants are moist and succulent and, if you’re lucky to have Asian eggplants, sweet. What’s not to like? The trouble with eggplants is that cooking them can be tricky. Undercook them by one minute and they would be too tough. Overcook them by a minute and they would be …

Connie VeneracionTips for perfectly-textured stir-fried eggplants

There is no strict formula for making a good taco


First, you have got to read about why the definition of good food and cooking is largely psychological and a by-product of our childhood. I believe it — there really is no good or bad food (only inedible ones like badly burnt food) because food appreciation is a personal thing. If one grew up with gourmet-like dishes at home, it …

Connie VeneracionThere is no strict formula for making a good taco

Tie-dye steamed cake a.k.a. rainbow-colored puto


“Tie-dye” is a process of dyeing fabric so that unique patterns are formed usually in bright colors. Sam was the one who brought the idea into our house. She tie-dyed some shirts and I even managed to photograph her at work. The idea of using the tie-dyeing technique on food is nothing new. If you Google “tie-dye cupcakes”, you’ll find …

Connie VeneracionTie-dye steamed cake a.k.a. rainbow-colored puto