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 egg is cracked directly into the bowl of hot soup just before serving … [Read more...]

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 (when miso is added). The meat and … [Read more...]

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 grocery, she keeps her eyes open for … [Read more...]

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 portion of the meat can also be … [Read more...]

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 dishes too and some were outright disasters.For … [Read more...]

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 eaters including those who … [Read more...]

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 mushy and falling apart. … [Read more...]

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 would be hard to appreciate bland and … [Read more...]

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 links upon links to recipes with … [Read more...]

How to survive kitchen disasters


Don't think that just because you can cook, you're immune from kitchen disasters. I've been cooking since the fourth grade and I still make mistakes. Sometimes, the mistake isn't even exactly my fault. For instance? We use a liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) powered Elba oven. On the average, a tank of LPG lasts five weeks in our house. But there were times when we did more … [Read more...]