Wokna What? It's Woknatoy!

29 May 2008 7 comments


This is a dish I learned from my mom and as you can see, it has a funny if not weird name. 'Woknatoy', what does it mean? Beats me, I don't know either. This dish was a concoction of a cousin who is in the catering business. It has a tomato-based sauce just like the Menudo or Afritada. The main difference is the addition of sweet pickles and it's juices.

1 whole chicken, cut up into pieces
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 small onion, quartered
1 small can Tomato sauce
1 cup water
1 medium carrot, cut into bite sized pieces
1/2 Red Bell Pepper
1/2 Green Bell Pepper
4 potatoes, quartered
6 pieces Sweet pickle, quartered
1/8 cup pickle juice
Fish Sauce or Salt

Saute garlic and onions in oil until limp. Add chicken and some salt, saute until juices comes out. Add the tomato sauce and water. Bring to boil and let simmer for 15 minutes. Add the potatoes and carrots, cook until fork tender. Add the rest of the ingredients. Let simmer for another 5 minutes. Season with fish sauce or salt and pepper.


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KeyIngredient.com - More Than a Place for Your Recipes

21 May 2008 5 comments

There are many recipe websites today, but there is one website that offers you more that just a place to store or share your recipes. KeyIngredient.com is a website for people who like to cook. Think of MySpace for cooks. You can build a group with other cooks that share the same interests or style of cooking. Like any other recipe websites, you also get to store your recipes online PLUS more. The main difference is that you have control over who can see your recipes. You can share it with everyone or just your friends or even have it private just for yourself. My favorite feature of this website is the blog widget where you can embed your recipe card in your blog just like the one I have on here. What's more is that you can publish your own recipe collection using Keyingredient.com's online publishing tool. Just choose your recipes, the front page cover photo and voila, you've got your own cookbook. Start sharing your Simple Recipes and be part of this wonderful community. www.keyingredient.com

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Bagoong - An Acquired Taste

18 May 2008 13 comments

Mango with Bagoong

What is the perfect pair for bagoong? Green mangoes of course! Too bad for me, I cannot find any here in my local grocery. The mango in the photo is the closest I can get to a green mango. I chose the mango that has a lot of green color left on the skin, hoping that it is still green inside. As you can see, it's already turned yellow but it is not entirely sweet. I can still taste the tanginess and sourness of an unriped mango, hurrah! :) But this post is about Bagoong. There are many kinds of Bagoong and the one I like is made with tiny shrimps. I never did take a liking to the one made with fermented fish which looks and tastes completely different, my mom by the way, prefer this kind. I think it is more commonly used in the Visayas and Mindanao region.

My husband who eats almost everything tried Bagoong but he didn't like it, he said it is too salty for him even with Kare-kare. My brother-in-law on the other hand, likes Bagoong, go figure. The Bagoong I like to use comes from Pampanga, I find it just right for my taste, not too salty. My perfect Bagoong has a lot of garlic, onions and tomatoes. My mom cooks it with tiny pieces of pork but I prefer it plain. There is a dish I like called Binagoongan, it is made with cubed pork (preferably with fat), garlic, onions, vinegar and Bagoong. People also use Bagoong with Kare-kare (Ox tail in peanut stew) as a condiment and in Pinakbet (a mixture of vegetables and Bagoong). If you do know of any other uses of Bagoong, do let me know.


1 bottle uncooked Bagoong
6 cloves minced garlic
1/2 medium onion, minced
2 tomatoes, chopped
3 tbsp vinegar (can be modified depending on your taste)

Saute garlic and onions in oil until onions are translucent. Add the tomatoes and cooked until soft. Add the Bagoong and mix, bring to boil. Add the vinegar but do not mix (very important!). Cook in medium heat for 10 minutes without mixing. After 10 minutes, mix and taste. Add a tablespoon of vinegar if you feel it needs more acidity (cook another 10 minutes if you added more vinegar).


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Pancit Palabok or Pancit Luglug - PART 2

14 May 2008 14 comments

Pancit Palabok

This is my shortcut version. I used to make my Palabok sauce from scratch but one time I bought a Palabok sauce mix and tried it but found it too salty for my taste. Thus my shortcut Palabok recipe was made.

Pancit Palabok Sauce recipe #2

*Saute garlic, onions and ground chicken (or minced chicken). When chicken is cooked, add chopped shrimps and saute until pink.

*Use one packet of Pancit Palabok mix (I use Mama Sita or White King brand).

*Follow the directions at the back of the packet. (It says to add water to the mix).

*Add the uncooked sauce to the sauteed chicken and shrimp. Bring to boil and simmer until thick.

*Add 1 can of Cream of Mushroom soup and enough chicken broth or water to
make a nice sauce. Make sure you don't add too much broth or your sauce will be too watery.

*Mix very well until the Cream of Mushroom is incorporated with the Palabok sauce.

*Bring back to boil. Simmer for another 10 minutes stirring frequently (important if you are not using a non-stick pot).

*Season to taste (I found that the Palabok mix tend to be salty so I don't have to add any more seasonings).

*Serve over cooked pancit bihon. Add ground chicharon, tinapa flakes, eggs, green onions and lemon.

Voila, an instant Pancit Palabok sauce that's fast and easy.

PANCIT PALABOK RECIPE #3 (from scratch)

2 cups Shrimp juice (crush shrimp heads in 2 cups water and strain)
1/4 cup atchuete water (2 tbsp atchuete seeds soaked in 1/4 cup water)
6 tbsp flour dissolved in 1/2 cup water
Fish sauce, to taste
Ground Pepper, a pinch

Add shrimp juice and atchuete water in a sauce pan and mix. Add the flour/water mixture and stir constantly. Bring to boil. Season with fish sauce and pepper. Set aside.

Red Sauce:
3 tbsp cooking oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup cooked pork, cubed
2 pcs tofu, cubed
1/4 cup atchuete water (22 tbsp atchuete seeds soaked in 1/4c water)
1 cup shrimp juice
1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley (Kinchay)
Fish sauce and ground pepper , to taste

Brown garlic in oil, set aside for garnish. Brown pork in hot oil, add tofu and fry for another minute. Add the atchuete water. Pour the shrimp juice and bring to boil. Add the parsley and season with fish sauce and pepper. Set aside.

1/2 cup Tinapa (smoked fish), flaked
1/2 cup Chicharon, ground
2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
1/2 cup boiled shrimps
1/4 cup green onions
1 lemon, sliced

Boiled Bihon noodles.

Put noodles in a large platter. Cover with Palabok sauce. Top with the pork and tofu mixture (Red sauce). Sprinkle with Tinapa, Chicharon, eggs, shrimp, green onions and fried garlic. Serve with lemon slices and fish sauce.

Source: Let's Cook With Nora by Nora Daza

Click here for another short version of Pancit Palabok recipe.

If you like my recipe, please leave a comment to let me know and subscribe by email for more delicious recipes. Thank you! :)


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Mangoes are Here!

08 May 2008 8 comments

Mangoes! This is what I've been having for breakfast. You should have seen my eyes light up when I walked in at KamMan Asian grocery and saw boxes of mangoes right by the entrance. This is the closest that I can get to mangoes that tastes like the ones back in the Philippines. It's close but it's not the real thing of course, nothing beats the taste of Philippine mangoes. These mangoes are grown in Mexico and they call it 'Champagne' mangoes. One box has 20 pieces and I paid $14.00 They probably got the seeds from our mangoes since it's very similar. I will post a mango dessert later. I tried it when we spent New Year's Eve at Dakak Beach Resort in the Philippines years ago.

Do you have a favorite dessert featuring mangoes?

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Beef Caldereta

05 May 2008 10 comments

Caldereta As with most Filipino food, Caldereta originated in Spain. They have the same dish and almost all the ingredients are similar with the exception of Cinnamon stick, which is called for in the Spanish recipe. This dish can be made with beef, goat meat or even chicken. I prefer using beef for my version of Caldereta. Some recipes call for the use of vinegar as a marinade, along with salt, garlic and pepper. This is advisable if you are using a tough part of the beef as vinegar acts as a meat tenderizer.

Browning the beef as the first step of the cooking is very important. Do not use a non-stick pot or pan for this since you want the brown bits that stick to the bottom of the pan. These will add a lot of flavor to your Caldereta (or any kind of beef stew). Instead of tomato sauce, I prefer to use tomato paste (about 2-3 tbsp depending on how much water you add and how much sauce you want at the end) since I find that the resulting sauce has more depth and flavor. It is also important to let it simmer for a long time since this will allow all the flavors to meld and make the sauce thicker (you don't want a sauce that is watery).

The nice thing about Caldereta is you can omit some or most of the ingredients. As long as you have beef and tomato sauce, you'll still end up with a good dish. It's okay if you don't have liver sauce or olives or green peas. I for one do not add green peas, just because dh does not like it. If you like a Caldereta with a kick, add some chili pepper flakes or chili peppers.

This recipe is a combination of recipes from my mom, aunts and cook books. You can tweak this recipe to accomodate your taste

Coooking Caldereta
2 lbs beef cubes
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tbsp garlic, crushed
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1/4 cup cooking oil
1 medium sized onion, chopped
1 can tomato sauce
1 3/4 cups water
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
additional 2 1/2 cups water Caldereta
3 medium-sized potatoes, quartered

1 large carrot, chopped
1 red Bell pepper, chopped
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup canned liver spread
1/2 cup green peas
1/2 cup whole olives (optional)
Chili pepper flakes (optional)

- Marinate the beef in soy sauce, garlic and pepper for at least 1 hour. Drain and reserve the marinade.
- Heat the oil in a large pot.
- Fry the beef cubes until brown in all sides. Set aside.
- Add the onion and saute until limp. Caldereta
- Pour in the tomato sauce, water, Worcestershire sauce and reserved marinade.
- Bring to boil and then lower the heat to simmer until the beef cubes are tender (approximately 1 1/2 hours). Add more water if needed. You should end up with an oily and thick sauce just like what is shown in the photo at the right. Skim the fat off the sauce.
- Add potatoes and carrot, cook for 10 minutes.
- Add Bell pepper and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Add the rest of the ingredients. Add salt if needed.
-Serve over rice.

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Pepper Steak

01 May 2008 7 comments

Pepper Steak over Egg Noodles

There are days where I don't know what to cook for dinner. Have you ever had one of those days? You have a lot of choices that you don't know for the life of you what to make. Those are the times when I get 'bold' and try new things. This recipe was on the bag of the egg noodles and it turned out very tasty. It is so easy to make and does not take a lot of preparation time.

I used beef tri-tips for this recipe and sliced it thinly so the cooking time is shortened. I also reduced the amount of water, beef bouillon and cornstarch since I only need to cook for 2 adults and 2 kids. Any kind of pasta will work for this dish, use whatever you have.
1 lb. boneless beef round or shoulder steak, sliced thinly
1 tbsp cooking oil
1/2 tsp salt
1 medium sized onion, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 beef bouillon cubes
2 cups boiling water
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 green or red Bell pepper, cut into strips
2 tbsp cornstarch
1/4 cup water
3 fresh tomatoes, sliced
4 1/2 cups wide egg noodles, (6 oz) uncooked
-Cook egg noodles according to package directions; drain well. Set aside.
-Brown meat in oil in large skillet; season with salt.
-Add onion and garlic; cook until onion is tender.
-Add meat and cook 1 minute.
-Dissolve bouillon cube in 2 cups boiling water; add with Worcestershire sauce to the meat. Cook until meat is tender.
-Add Bell peppers and simmer 5 minutes longer.
-Combine cornstarch and 1/4 cup water; gradually stir into meat mixture.
-Cook, stirring constantly, until sauce thickens and begins to boil.
-Add tomatoes; heat through.
-Serve pepper steak over noodles.
4-6 servings.


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