Posted in Home, Food & Lifestyle

Lechon Kawali and Fried Rice

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Lechon Kawali is childhood favorite of mine as it is juicy inside but crispy outside. It is a deep-fried pork belly usually dipped in sauces like Mang Tomas all-purpose sauce, UFC banana ketchup, or soy sauce mixed with vinegar, sugar, onions, and chili (optional). Commonly eaten with rice but since I’ve been cooking only plain rice, I thought I may as well go all the way as to cooking fried rice. Not forgetting to have veggies during meal time, I went for the steamed pak choi.

What’s in it:

  • Pak choi

Lechon:

  • Salt
  • Whole peppercorn
  • Dried bay leaves

Lechon sauce:

  • Soy sauce
  • Vinegar
  • Onion
  • Chili
  • Brown sugar

Fried Rice:

  • Rice
  • Bacon bits
  • Egg
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Sesame oil
  • Soy sauce

The lechon itself is probably the more difficult to cook as you will need to tenderize it first via boiling in a pot with salt, peppercorn and dried bay leaves. Once tender, pat dry to reduce the meat’s water content and you can leave it to chill in the fridge to get that contrast of hot oil and cold meat upon frying for a crispier outcome. I didn’t slice the meat yet until after deep-frying knowing it would turn out juicier that way and so I cooked it whole and sliced only right before serving onto a plate lined with paper towels to absorb excess oil and keep the meat crispy.

If you want to know how I cooked the fried rice, I’ve published in my previous posts that you can easily check by clicking here. I hope you enjoyed this post and try it yourself and savor the goodness of lechon kawali.

 

Posted in Food & Lifestyle, Home

Duck Noodle Soup

A request for noodle soup due to the cold and slightly weird weather we’re having here in Switzerland was called for. Although instead of having what I would normally make which is chicken noodle soup 🐔 I grabbed this opportunity to make a more special noodle soup with duck instead.

What’s in it:

  • Duck breast
  • Noodles
  • Water
  • Chicken broth
  • Scallions
  • Bellpeppers
  • Hot oil
  • Hot pepper flakes
  • Soy sauce
  • Vinegar
  • Mung bean sprouts
  • Onion

The duck meat was tender and didn’t take long to cook at all. It’s packed with “wake me up” flavors that you just can’t get enough. One serving is more than enough, trust me 😉

Posted in Food & Lifestyle, Home

Beef Stir Fry

Oftentimes I eat chicken stir fry but this time I wanted to try it the beef way. I made sure that in this dish it has three key flavors and these are sweet, sour and spicy. Another key I didn’t forget was to make sure there’s a pop of color and then served with rice.

What’s in it:

  • Beef
  • Beef broth
  • Soy sauce
  • Mirin
  • Rice vinegar
  • Dried pepper flakes
  • Ketchup
  • Hoisin sauce
  • Ginger
  • Onion
  • Carrot
  • Bellpeppers (small)
  • Mung bean sprouts
  • Rice

Use the soy sauce, ketchup, mirin, rice vinegar, hoisin sauce, ginger, onion, and dried pepper flakes mixed together to marinade the beef. Julienne the carrot and bellpeppers and set aside. Using a rice cooker start with cooking the rice while waiting for the wok to heat up. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the meat onto the wok to start frying. Add some marinade and beef broth as the wok starts to dry. once the beef is cooked, set aside and heat up the marinade to use as sauce. Transfer the sauce to a separate bowl and fry the veggies until soft enough to eat starting with the carrot then the bellpepper and finally the mung bean sprouts.

Posted in Food & Lifestyle, Home

Salmon Onigirazu

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I was worried it wouldn’t turn out right but to my surprise it was even better. Onigirazu is a rice sandwich which means to not mold with one’s hands. I came across this perfect easy to make and easy to transport lunch break snack while looking for ideas on what I can have for a 30 minute lunch break that wouldn’t be too heavy but filling enough to last the rest of the shift.

In this variation I decided to use fish with my own homemade sauce that upon having it on my break the next day, blended really well together and even got a thumbs up from a co-worker as I normally have my co-workers try and discover the flavors of the dishes I try to make myself. I encourage food discovery when I’m in a shift and learn more about each other’s culture and even finding out how many more foodies work in my store.

What’s in it:

  • Nori
  • Steamed rice
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Salmon
  • Cling wrap
  • Sauce
    • Mayonnaise
    • Dijon Mustard
    • Honey/Agave

While the rice is cooking, you can start preparing your salmon by seasoning it with salt and pepper and slice into equal half-inch strips. Lay a sheet of cling wrap bigger than that of the nori and lay the smooth side of the nori on top of it. Scoop a thin portion of rice, roughly about a centimeter thick, and place it on the center of the nori. You don’t want to make it to thick that you can no longer cover or seal your onigiri. Add the sauce and try to spread it onto the rice then add a layer of salmon. Add the same amount of rice as you did earlier on top of the salmon and wrap the onigiri completely with the nori like a parcel and do the same with the cling wrap to seal the dry nori and keep the rectangular/box shape while the rice is still steaming hot. Slice in half with a moist knife to avoid the rice from sticking. Don’t eat the cling wrap!😛

What do you do if you have left over salmon? Don’t toss it because you can use the rest as sashimi and that’s exactly what I did with the rest of the sauce and nori as well that I no longer needed for making onigirazu (also I ran out of rice). No wasting of food, as my grandmother points out every meal time.

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Food brings everyone together, don’t you think? I guess it also depends on how open you are to trying new food but this is totally worth it. I stored my onigirazu whole in a tupperware and then I sliced it before eating to avoid it drying up like Coop’s rice sandwich and onigiri. What’s great about the onigiri is that you can also use left over stir fry, eggs, ham, bacon, add some veggies like julliened cucmber, carrots, bellpeppers. I hope you try making your own onigiri or find a place that makes them just to try.

Posted in Food & Lifestyle, Home

Cheesy Fire Chicken

This is my attempt to try Maangchi’s Chijeu-Buldak. Although I would’ve preferred to have more cheese it still turned out great. A blast of spices exploding in every bite.

What’s in it:

  • Chicken
  • Green onion
  • Mozzarella
  • Ginger
  • Garlic
  • Hot pepper flakes
  • Hot pepper paste
  • Soy sauce
  • Vegetable oil
  • Black pepper
  • Water

It didn’t take too long to make since you can immediately cook the chicken right after mixing it with all the ingredients except for the cheese and green onion. Top the chicken with mozzarella and leave in the oven to melt it then sprinkle with green onion and serve with rice.

Posted in Food & Lifestyle, Home

Asian Mix Bento

I prepared two delicious lunches both with savory and sweet flavors. Both contain korean beef, one with tokwa (fried tofu) and another with tamagoyaki (japanese rolled omelette). In this bento you’ll have a taste of Korea, Philippines and Japan.

What’s in it: Korean beef

  • Soy sauce
  • Ginger
  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Sesame oil
  • Gochujang
  • Pepper
  • Sugar
  • Beef cubes/strips

What’s in it: Tamagoyaki

  • Eggs (3)
  • Green onion
  • Pepper
  • Milk
  • Green onion

What’s in it: Tokwa sauce

  • Soy sauce
  • Vinegar
  • Onion
  • Vegetable broth
  • Sugar
  • Chili

For both the korean beef and the tamagoyaki you will need to use a frying pan. Fried tofu needs to be deep fried in a shallow pot or deep fryer with enough oil to submerge your tofu to cook the outside crispy leaving the inside soft.

You’ll need to leave the beef in a marinade for at least 15 minutes which is enough time to make your tamagoyaki. Use a serving ladel to cook a portion of the mixture in the pan like you would a normal omelette. Instead of folding it into two, roll it and move it to the side of the pan opposite where you folded and add more mixture onto wide area and repeat until you have no omelette mixture left. Put aside onto a plate and slice.

You can start cooking your beef while the oil is heating up in a separate pot for your tofu. You will want to brown the beef first and then let cook by itself allowing the sauce thicken. Remember to stir it every now and then to evenly coat the beef cubes/strips then kill the heat and put aside.

Once the oil in the pot is hot, you’re ready to add your tofu and let cook until you see the sides of the tofu brown. Use a slotted spoon to transfer them onto a plate lined with a paper towel to reduce the amount of excess oil.

In a small sauce pan, cook all the tokwa sauce ingredients until all the sugar crystals have disintegrated for about 3 minutes and set aside.

Set up your bento in any way you like or the way I did. Discover asia with food.

Posted in Food & Lifestyle, Home

Fried Cheesy Potato Gnocchi

Fluffy! Exactly what these lovely, soft and adorable, pillow-shaped potato dumplings are. They’re too cute but it can’t be helped when your mouth starts to water. If made right from step one then the rest will follow through smoothly.

It takes at least minute to cook via boiling and then pan fry until crispy outside but soft inside.

What’s in it:

  • Potatoes
  • Parmigiano grana padano
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Olive oil
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Butter
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Bellpeppers
  • Lemon
  • Parsely
  • Mixed dried herbs

I settled for a simple sauce using olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. I cooked the minced onion and garlic first so that the gnocchi will have their flavor included upon cooking together. For freshness, I used tomatoes and bellpeppers left uncooked but bursting with flavor. Top with ground parmesan cheese and fresh herbs.

If you decide to try it, you can use tomato sauce, pesto, creamy white sauce or the same as I did with olive oil and lemon juice. This dish is lovely and heartfilling.