Posts tagged ‘Cook’


Radish salad (side dish)

Radish salad (side dish)

A salad /side dish recipe? Yeah, you read that right. This is a Filipino side dish, “ensaladang” is a borrowed Spanish word meaning salad and “labanos” is simply radish. Although the name of the dish means salad, it is a side dish, a perfect partner for fried seafood or pork.

My grandmother made this all the time when I was in grade school. It’s another one of the recipes that she never taught me or my mom to make. Usually, when she’s in the kitchen, i’d be watching her prepare the ingredients and would ask her if I can help, and grandma will always send me away. She doesn’t like anyone messing with her ‘kitchen’. That’s why, until she passed away, she never taught anyone the recipe(s) she knew!

Oh well, decades later, when I can safely say that I can handle myself inside the kitchen (now I know how my grandma feels when someone is ‘bothering’ her while cooking, haha!) I finally made my grandma’s ‘Ensaladang labanos’! And it’s just how it tasted exactly the first time she asked me to try it out, years and years and years ago. So here’s the recipe:


1 1/2 cups radish, sliced into strips

2 small tomatoes, cut into chunks

1 small onion, sliced thinly

1/3 cup vinegar (or less, depends on how much you want to use)

1/8 cup rock salt


1. Combine salt and radish strips and set aside for about 20 to 30 minutes. (The salting process removes the bitter taste of the radish).

2. After 30 minutes, the salted radish can now be squeezed to death (haha!) Wash the squeezed radish strips with water and drain water, or you can squeeze again, not too much this time.

3. In a glass jar or plastic container, combine the radish strips, tomatoes, onion and vinegar.

4. Serve with any kind of fried seafood or pork.

You might think that this will have a strong sour taste, but no. There is a hint of onion flavor as well as the tomato; and the crunch of the radish is just perfect if you’re looking for that certain texture in food.

This side dish can be stored in the fridge and can last for more than a week.



Crispy silken tofu

Crispy silken tofu, this might look like chicken nuggets, but this one is healthier

I did one of my experiments in the kitchen again! This time, I used the left over silken tofu from the budae jigae (Korean army base soup)I cooked for dinner last time. I guess this can be called crispy silken tofu. Pat dry the tofu with a paper towel and slice into bite size pieces, (think mini chicken nuggets), dredge  in flour, dip into beaten egg, drop it into a bowlful of panko bread crumbs and deep fry until golden brown.

It’s crispy outside but really soft inside. But since this is tofu, it will taste bland so I would suggest make a dipping sauce. The one I made was soy sauce and vinegar mixture, with a bit of chili oil for the kick. I recommend eating this with kimchi and steamed rice 🙂


kimbapPressed for time and ingredients, I rummaged through the fridge with whatever I can use so I can fix my husband lunch before he goes to work that day – and I came up with spinach, a carrot, mayonnaise. Going through the cupboard, I got a can of tuna, sesame seeds and nori sheets. Rice was just about ready in the rice cooker. Why not kimbap?

I simply mixed about 2 tbsp of mayonnaise to the tuna (drained) and added pepper  (and salt, if you prefer). Blanched the spinach, squeezed the leaves and added some soy sauce and sesame oil and stir fried the julienned carrots. For the steamed rice, I added sesame oil and sesame seeds. Yeah, I know…I forgot the eggs. But even without eggs the kimbap tasted great. I guess this is as healthy as it can get, kimbap with vegetables 🙂

Rummaging through the fridge for the last time, I found the left over pasta my husband cooked last night. I honestly don’t know what to call this pasta dish, this is pasta sautéed in garlic and onion, with oyster sauce and chili oil – I used Lee Kum Kee Chiu Chow chili oil (for that ‘kick’). This was actually another one of my ideas in the kitchen, I’ll try to post the recipe one of these days.


Leche is a Spanish word meaning milk, and when you say leche flan, this is a famous Filipino dessert made of milk and egg yolks, simply put – custard, which is usually served during fiestas, parties and any other happy occasion you can think of.  There are several versions of this from different countries and this recipe is from the Philippines and is a heavier version of the Spanish one.

My grandmother used to make this. Unfortunately, before I had a love affair with cooking, she passed away and most of the traditional recipes she knew, she never got to teach me. But luckily, I found this recipe in one of the cooking magazines published here monthly, and every Christmas, I make this yummy dessert.

And here is the recipe:

12 egg yolks, placed in a big bowl

2 300-ml cans sweetened condensed filled milk

1 370-ml can evaporated filled milk

1 teaspoon vanilla (optional)


1  To the bowl of yolks, add the condensed milk, evaporated milk, and vanilla, in that order. Pour in each ingredient slowly and mix gently until the mixture is smooth. Stick to one stroke as you mix and do it slowly, to avoid creating bubbles. Bubbles will make the surface of the flan uneven. Set aside. Prepare the sugar syrup. (See below)

My ever loyal egg yolk separator

A dozen egg yolks without the egg whites

2  Pour the egg mixture in the mold with sugar syrup. Cover each mold with aluminum foil. Cook in the steamer for 45 minutes. To know if the flan is cooked, dip a toothpick into it. If no flan particles stick to the toothpick, it’s cooked and ready.

This is what I usually use when making leche flan – aluminum oval molds

3  When cooked, refrigerate the flan. It’s best served cold.

To make the sugar syrup

Melt sugar in the molds over low fire. Using tongs, move the molds in a clockwise motion to avoid burning the sugar. Don’t wait for the crystals to turn brown, just let it melt. Then pour the egg mixture in to cook the flan. How much sugar? For each typical medium-sized oval mold, use 1/2 tablespoon sugar to make the syrup. For a small round mold, use 1 teaspoon sugar. Like it sweeter? Just add more sugar.

I used an 8 inch cake mold last year. Guess what? Even before I could take a picture someone already cut out a piece…

Steaming tip  If you’re using a conventional steamer, make sure that heat is on boiling point before you set the flans. Keep them on boiling point for 30 minutes then let cook on medium fire for another 15 minutes.

The traditional recipe does not include the egg whites to the mixture, because this lessens the creaminess of the flan and makes it ‘bubbly’; but some people do this, especially those sold in bakeries. Also, the usual recipe does not include vanilla, but if you feel like adding this ingredient, go ahead – vanilla will make the flan taste more heavenly. This is a sinful dessert – very sweet and not for diabetics, seriously.


Valentine's day dessert, anyone? Or would you prefer it with chocolate dip instead?

…well, maybe not exactly just cream, we added more ingredients into it.

Before the new year, my mother in law gave us fresh strawberries.  I would have eaten it just like that but my husband suggested something else. He wanted to make a dip – in our case it was a ‘sauce’ for the strawberries.

To prepare, we washed the strawberries and cut the big ones in half; or you can just leave it as it is. Take note that this is about 1 to 2 cups of strawberries. For the dip, we mixed about ¼ cup of condensed milk, ¼ cup of cream and some grated cheese. And voila! It’s the perfect dip for the fresh strawberries – just the perfect combination of sweetness and creaminess of the condensed milk and cream, add to that the hint of saltiness coming from the cheese and a bit of tartness from the strawberry. Now you have a quick, easy to do ‘dessert’. The measurements we used can be adjusted to your taste, if you have a sweet tooth then go ahead and add more condensed milk. Just don’t forget to chill in the fridge for a few minutes before eating.

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