Saturday, December 24, 2005

Hawaiian Pork Laulau Recipe


1 roll heavy duty aluminum foil
4-6 lbs fresh taro (lu'au) leaves, leaves deveined and stems peeled (cut into 1"x 1" pieces0
6 lbs of fresh or frozen pork butt cubed 1"x 1"
4 lbs of fresh or frozen belly pork cubed 1"x 1"
Hawaiian coarse rock or kosher salt
MSG (optional)
Fresh cracked black pepper
2-3 tier steamer pot or pressure cooker


Mix pork butt and belly pork fat in a mixing bowl. Add salt, Msg, and pepper. Mix and let stand for spices to marinate meat for about 30 minutes. Amount of spices to add is by pinches. You will have to adjust to your preference. Less is better.
Rinse leaves and stems and set aside in a separate bowl.
Precut foil sheets to approximately 8"x 10". Make as much sheets as needed or until you run out of meat and taro leaves.
You will be making little foil packages. Here goes.
On one foil sheet, place 2 taro leaves in center. Add 2 pieces of meat and fat (equal amounts). Add a few pieces of taro stems.
Continue by folding in leaves and foil into the center tightly to contain the meat and leaves. The foil package should be like the picture.
Traditional laulau making is hard work using Ti leaves in place of the foil and sometimes tied with butcher's twine. I learned this recipe from my good neighbor George Keala Sr. while growing up in Kalihi. He had his own luau catering business and told me why work harder when you can make easy "juicy" laulaus instead of typical dry ones you buy at the market or restaurants.
Fill steamer pot with water and as much laulaus you can fit into each tier. steam for 6 hours and keep replenishing water levels.
With a pressure cooker you need to fill with water to appropriate level and add laulaus. Bring pressure to 40 psi and cook for 1 hour.
Laulaus will come out juicy. Eat with steamed whit rice or traditional poi (Hawaiian style mashed taro paste). Our family loves it with tabasco and soy sauce.

Yields about 40-50 mini laulaus!!

Freeze the rest for easy quick meals.


Friday, November 18, 2005

Crispy Deep Fried Chicken Legs with a Turkey Fryer


20 lbs fresh whole chicken legs (drumstick and thigh section)
coarse Hawaiian rock or kosher salt
MSG (optional)
garlic powder
fresh cracked medium ground black pepper
enough peanut oil for deep frying


  1. Rinse chicken pieces and drain in colander.
  2. Place chicken into a big stainless steel mixing bowl and add warm water to cover chicken and 2 tablespoons of rocksalt to create your salt brine that will marinate the chicken through.
  3. Soak chicken for 30-45 mintes and drain again in colander.
  4. Add pepper, MSG, and garlic power. Sprinkle liberal amounts all over and mix chicken parts with clean hands.
  5. Heat peanut oil in turkey deep fryer. Use deep fryer thermometer and preheat to 400 degrees for 10 minutes and lower heat to 375 for the initial frying.
  6. Place seasoned chicken pieces into the deep fryer basket(do not overcrowd) and carefully lower into hot oil. Be cautious as oil will splatter. Wear heatproof mitts and cooking aprons and long metal thongs.
  7. When chicken is completely immersed in oil, cook chicken for 15-20 minutes or until cripsy and golden brown. Watch your timer. Lift out basket slowly from turkey cooker and drain chicken in basket.
  8. Take out chicken and place in serving pan to cool for 10 minutes
    for additional stand time. Chicken will still be cooking in the inside and steam itself nice and juicy. Deep fried turkey is a little bit more touchy because of the sheer size of a whole bird going into hot oil.

I'll post that recipe and pictures from the next family get together or coming up holiday occasion. This chicken is plain and simple. No flour or breading was used. The skin will be crispy and the meat inside will be moist and juicy. All you need is your favorite condiments like soy sauce, catsup, tabasco, lemon (kalamansi) juice and or barbecue sauce.
Everybody was suprised because a family member would usually bring KFC Original Recipe Chicken to gatherings. So clean crispy fried chicken was a delight to all.

So there you go. Let's kaukau!! Enjoy! :)

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Homemade Teriyaki Barbecue Chicken

Since posting the Teri BBQ Shortribs recipe it wouldn't be right not to include another Hawaiian favorite in the fast food plate lunch business. This recipe is another bestseller plate lunch at L&L Hawaiian Barbecue. The simple recipe is the same for the shortribs only thing you use boneless skinless chicken thighs. You may use chicken thighs with the skin on if you prefer.


1 frozen bag of instant quick frozen boneless skinless chicken thighs
enough Teriyaki Sauce/Marinade to soak the chicken thighs
enough canola oil for pan frying


Thaw quick frozen chicken thighs in running water and drain in collander. Pat dry with paper towels and set aside in mixing bowl. Pour enough Teriyaki sauce to nicely cover the chicken thighs evenly. Marinade overnight 8-10 hours. The longer the meat soaks the more tender the chicken will be when cooked. I have cooked chicken soaked for 2 days in the sauce and the chicken didn't come out salty.

Cooking procedure:

In a hot frying pan add 2 Tbsp canola oil. When oil starts to smoke add chicken thighs to sear and lower heat to medium. Fry thighs well done and brown on both sides. Let it char a little bit for that bbq flavor. Do not burn. Serve with hot steamed white rice and macaroni salad.


Saturday, October 01, 2005

Tortang Talong Kapampangan Style (Eggplant Omelette)

Today we spent the whole day at my brother in law Les's place. He and my sister in law Cathy cooked one of my favorite dishes which was "Tortang Talong" for lunch and for dinner I cooked Pork Kaldereta. This recipe is also one of Cathy's favorite Kapampangan comfort foods that she misses from the motherland. Ilocanos have a variation to this which is plain egg torta with eggplant but this one has hamburger, diced potatoes, minced onions and garlic. Also in prepping it filipinos either grill it over an open flame or electric burner or boiled in water then the charred or boiled skin is peeled and removed from the succulent green flesh of the eggplant. One tortang is enough to feed one person, but for me I can always go for two! :) So here is the recipe!

Tortang Talong Kapampangan Style


4 eggs
4 large long eggplants
2 lb ground beef
1 round yellow onion, chopped and minced fine
2 large fresh garlic cloves, chopped and minced fine
1 large russet potato, peeled and diced
dash fresh cracked black pepper
dash MSG to taste (optional)
1 Tbsp patis or fish sauce (nuoc mam)
canola oil for pan frying


Grill eggplant over an open flame or electric burner. My wife prefers it boiled because its a lot cleaner without the charred taste. Most filipinos love the charred flavor.
Peel skin and rinse under cold running water to remove charred skin. Set aside and drain in paper towels to remove moisture.

Crack 4 eggs in a mixing bowl and scramble. Do not over scramble because you will make it too thin. Add pepper, patis, and MSG. Set aside for later.

In a hot frying pan add 2 Tbsp canola oil. Add minced garlic and onions. Fry until translucent. Add ground beef and brown and cook well done. Mash hamburger up and add diced potatoes. Continue cooking until potatoes and hamburger cooks down. Drain excess oil and set aside to cool in another bowl.

Add 1 Tbsp canola oil to a frying pan and set on medium heat. Smash and flatten drained eggplant and dip in beaten egg mixture. Fry one eggplant at a time. Add hamburger mixture to eggplant and flatten with spatula. Add more egg to eggplant if needed to coat hamburger mixture. Flip over to brown both sides. Lower flame to cook well. Be careful not to burn Tortang Talong. Repeat method for 3 other eggplant. Serve with steamed hot rice.

Yields 4 servings.

Serve with ketchup/catsup or filipino style with kalamansi lime, soy sauce and patis as a dipping sauce. Other variations are patis, vinegar and or soy sauce etc.

Enjoy!!! :D

Monday, September 26, 2005

Homemade Teriyaki BBQ Shortribs just like L&L Drive Inn!

Ok it's been a while since my last posting. Here is a recipe for everybody on the Mainland USA and beyond that miss local Hawaiian style plate lunches and for those who never had a local Hawaiian plate lunch. Especially the ones made famous from L&L Hawaiian Barbecue which is Hawaii's #1 fast food takeout restaurant franchise with 100 locations from the west to east coast and growing.
This recipe is a clone of their Hawaiian Barbecue Shortribs. After careful trial and error and googling the net for similar recipes, my recipe could put you in the plate lunch business. lol :) Please note that this recipe is for 10-15 people for a potluck bbq cookout party. You may soak a little meat at a time and cook the amount of meat at your preference or whenever you crave Hawaiian plate lunch bbq. You may grill the shortribs over charcoal or propane but the way L&L does it is just on a flat metal griddle or grill with oil. Grilling the meat over a flame is ok if you prefer it that way but oil in a saute' pan keeps the meat moist and tender and a little bit greasy! mmmmmmmmm!! lol :D

Teriyaki BBQ Shortribs

Teriyaki Sauce/Marinade Ingredients:
1 5lb tray USDA Choice beef shortribs thinly sliced
6 cups hot water
3 cups brown sugar
6 cups Aloha Shoyu Lower Salt Soy Sauce
1/4 cup shaoxing wine or straight whiskey
8 large fresh garlic cloves, minced fine
2-3 inch knuckle of fresh ginger root, peeled and minced fine
1 can frozen orange juice concentrate
Canola oil for pan frying
Yields: 1 gallon of sauce

Water must be hot enough to dissolve sugar so heat water in a large saucepan or pot. Combine water, sugar, and soy sauce. Stir to blend with wire whisk until sugar is completely dissolved.
Add the ginger, garlic, wine, and orange juice. Stir to blend well.
Transfer to a container and store in fridge.
Add shortribs to clean container for marinating. Cover with teriyaki sauce/marinade and soak overnight for about 4-8 hours. The sauce isn't overly salty or sweet. The longer the marinade process the more tender, sweeter, and saltier the meat will become. About 6 hours or so is just right.
Cooking Procedure:
Add 1 Tbsp canola oil to a large frying or saute' pan over medium high heat.
When the pan begins to smoke, place marinated shortrib pieces into the pan. Let it cook until seared and lightly charred on both sides.
Serve with steamed hot white rice and macaroni salad just like L&L. :)
Enjoy!!! :D

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Homemade Zippy's Fried Chicken


1 3-4lb fresh whole fryer chicken
2 cups wheat flour
1 Tbsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp paprika
2 tsp white pepper
1 Tbsp MSG
2 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
2 big pinches of coarse Hawaiian rock or kosher salt
enough canola oil for deep frying
enough warm water to cover chicken


Rinse and cut up chicken into parts easy for frying. Drain and in colander and put in clean mixing bowl and cover with warm water. Add 2 big pinches of Hawaiian rock or kosher salt to bowl to create a salt brine for the chicken. Soak chicken parts for 10 minutes. Drain in collander and do not rinse.
In another mixing bowl add dry ingredients such as flour, garlic powder, paprika, white/black pepper, and MSG. Mix with wire wisk or blend in a blender to remove flour lumps.
Add drained chicken pieces to mixing bowl of dry ingredients. Dredge chicken parts well to make sure it covers the whole piece. Shake excess flour off of chicken and set aside on tray or cookie sheet while you're heating up oil.
Heat canola oil in wok, deep frying pan, or dedicated deep fryer with oil enough to cover chicken pieces. Heat oil to 350-375 degrees F. Add chicken in 2 batches. Chicken batches will cook for approximately 15mins or until golden brown all over. Drain on paper towels and keep in 150 degree oven to keep warm.

A secret to cooking the chicken thighs thoroughly without getting a bloody vein is to use the blunt side of a knife or cleaver to break the thigh bone.
The secret of Zippy's Crispy Fried Chicken is the paprika and flour. The paprika and flour will make the chicken crispy without it being overly battered. Adding a bit of cornstarch will make it even more crispier if you prefer it this way. The more paprika you add will also make the chicken darker.

My brother in law worked for Zippy's Restaurants in the mid 80's starting his career in the food service industry. He told me that back then they used pressure fryers to make broasted chicken which is a trademarked name by the Broaster Corporation for their pressure cooked/fried chicken cooking process. According to recent sources, Zippy's now use regular commercial deep fryers to create their signature cripsy fried chicken and use Tyson chicken thighs exclusively for their $18 12-piece buckets and $28 21-piece barrels.

Enjoy!! Use chicken thighs and it should definitely look and taste exactly like Zippy's either hot or cold!!

Get your rice, chili and macaroni salad ready people!! :)

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Buttermilk Fried Chicken

Over the past weeks I've been having an obsession with fried chicken. My wife sparked it again with her craving for Zippy's Fried Chicken and Zippy's Signature Chili combination plate. I've always had an obsession with making the closest recipe to KFC Original Recipe Fried Chicken and or Zippy's Fried Chicken which is a long time favorite among the local Hawaiian residents. There are many fried chicken recipes on the internet especially for KFC Chicken. I've tried my share in the past when I started to learn more about cooking while growing up. Tonight for dinner I made Buttermilk Fried Chicken with Krusteaz Buttermilk Pancake Mix. I was prompted to make this recipe because I didn't have any flour or cornstarch in the cupboard except for a big bag of instant buttermilk pancake mix. They had other variations of this recipe which used just the water and the pancake mix. I opted not to add water and instead used the mix as a flour dredge. I might add it came out pretty well with the addition of Mrs. Dash Original Spice Blend. Here is the recipe.

Buttermilk Fried Chicken


1 3-4 lb whole fresh fryer chicken, cut up in pieces for frying
2 cups Krusteaz Buttermilk Pancake Mix
2 Tbsp Hawaiian rock sea salt or kosher rock salt
1 tsp MSG (optional)
Dash fresh cracked black pepper to taste
2 Tbsp Mrs. Dash Original Spice Blend
canola oil for frying


Cut up whole chicken in pieces and rinse in cold water and drain in strainer. Put pieces in mixing bowl add sea salt and cover with warm tap water. Mix and soak for 10 minutes. Drain from brine and set aside. In another mixing bowl add pancake mix, pepper, Mrs. Dash spices, MSG, and pepper. Mix by hand dry ingredients until blended well. Add pieces of chicken meat to dredge in pancake mix. Coat pieces evenly all over and shake off excess flour mixture. The warm brine will make dry ingredients adhere to chicken. Set dredged pieces on a cookie sheet to rest while you heat a frying pan or wok with canola oil. Add enough oil to about 3 inches deep. Oil should be about 375 degrees F. Fry chicken in 2 batches and do not overcrowd wok or the temperature will drop and the chicken will soak up the oil. Each batch takes approximately 15 minutes to cook. Turn pieces with thongs or chopsticks to cook chicken evenly on both sides. Chicken pieces will brown and crisp nicely. Drain chicken on paper towels and cool before serving.

Serves 4

Easy fried chicken with instant pancake mix!

My wife ate her chicken with brown rice and buttered corn niblets. The Colonel would've been proud! lol :)

Enjoy!! :)

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Meatball and Egg Sarciado

Well another weekend request from my wife. This time her cravings for meaty meatballs came into play for Meatball and Egg Sarciado. Sarciado is a tomato base sauce with simple ingredients like garlic, onions, a splash of patis (fish sauce) and vinegar with a slight subtle sweetness. This time the main ingredient is meatballs and hard boiled eggs. I made a plain Egg Sarciado for my wife before that came out pretty good for my protein diet. The tomato sauce gives it a rich flavor to it. Here is the recipe.

Meatball and Egg Sarciado


12 eggs hard boiled and shelled
3-4 lbs of fresh ground beef, rolled into 1/2 inch diameter meatballs (pre-season with salt and pepper)
1 egg
1 large whole tomato, sliced
2 cloves of fresh garlic, crushed and minced fine
Dash fresh cracked black pepper
patis (fish sauce/nuoc mam) to taste
vinegar to taste
MSG to taste (optional)
1 bay laurel leaf, ripped in half
1 small onion, sliced
1 Tbsp canola oil
1-2 cups water, more or less
1 8oz can tomato sauce or 1/4 cup tomato paste
1-2 tsp Splenda or sugar


In a pot place 12 eggs and cover with water. Bring to a boil then lower to a medium heat and cook eggs hardboiled for about 15 minutes. Rinse in running cold water and peel shells off of eggs. Drain from water and set aside for later.
Prepare meatballs by mixing ground beef in a mixing bowl with salt and pepper and egg. Mix well and roll into meatballs.
Heat oil in frying pan and brown meatballs until well done. Do not burn. Drain on paper towels.
In same frying pan saute garlic, onions, tomatoes and bay leaf until onions are translucent. Do not burn garlic.
Add tomato paste and water and let boil for 2 minutes. Season with black pepper and MSG.
Add meatballs and hardboiled eggs. Splash patis and vinegar to taste. Adjust flavor to your preference. Add Splenda to desired sweetness. Simmer for 10 minutes to let sauce cook down and thicken.

Serves 6

Serve with hot steamed white or brown rice.


Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Lasang Pinoy and what it meant to me...

I know its kinda late but I would like to share my thoughts of Lasang Pinoy to make the roundup. I don't recall much of what I did on August 21, 1983. It was summer vacation for me in the 11th grade as a junior in high school transitioning to become a senior. I was 16 years old and remember seeing footage on local Hawaii TV news about the slaying of Senator Benigno Ninoy Aquino Jr. I thought to myself how evil a person or persons were to do such a dreadful thing to a good man. I remember thinking about President Ferdinand Marcos and the news stating his implication in the event soon after. It was confusing times for me. I really didn't see the ramifications it had on Hawaii's filipino population and the rest of the world. Although most of the filipinos of Hawaii were of Ilocano descent and strong Marcos supporters, there was a definite rift in the communities. I remember watching Cory Aquino and her EDSA Revolution on TV as it unfolded and also when President Marcos and his family fled to the US and stayed in Hawaii until his death in 1993 from cardiac arrest. His body was in a air-conditioned mausoleum not too far from where we lived in Valley of the Temples Memorial Park in Kahalu'u, Hawaii. Such a turbulent time. Who would ever thought I would go to the Philippines 20 years later to meet my beautiful loving wife and see my homeland. All in all I knew it was a good thing that resulted by the death of a great man for the people of the Philippines and to the end of martial law and the Marcos dictatorship.

Born and raised as a chubby filipino-american boy, I was always proud of my culture and heritage. It has always been a deep longing in my heart to learn more of my roots about my family on both my parents sides. My dad's family from the north of the Philippines in Ilocos Norte and to the south my mother's side in the Visayas. Filipino Cuisine has always been a part of me while growing up and watching my grandfather prep and cook for big weddings with a few of his friends toiling at huge carbon steel woks over 50 gallon barrel halves over open charcoal wood fires. There were no such thing as propane burners, everything was cooked over an open fire to which was controlled by feeding or starving the flame for the perfect temperature. Litson Baboy or lechon, dinadaraan or dinuguan, pinakbet or diningdeng and various kakanin such as bibingka and suman were highlight favorites of my youth as well as my siblings. Filipino food brings back so much memories of growing up. Such comfort food where it felt so safe and secure like a warm cuddly blanket.

Everytime I cook I think of my late grandfathers and how they taught me to cook. And the way I think they would have taught me for the dishes I learned on my own. My Kapampangan wife Aurora is a great inspiration and motivator for me. It's her that broadened my horizons to what excellent filipino cuisine is all about. Even though she doesn't really cook at all. Well she just eats like all spoiled rich filipina girls in the Phils. Here in America we didn't have the luxury of a maid, cook, and or yaya (nursemaid). Going to the Philippines was a culture shock and eye opener for me. It has made me a better person and husband in understanding my wife and the filipino way of thinking.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Deep Fried Crispy Pork Filets with Katsu Sauce

Today for lunch we had Deep Fried Crispy Skin Pork Filets with katsu sauce from scratch. Nothing special but just good eating!! :) Here is the recipe.

Deep Fried Crispy Pork Filets


2-3 lbs boneless pork shoulder butt, sliced into thin filets and tenderized (pounded)
2 eggs scrambled
2 cups tapioca starch or cornstarch
fresh cracked black pepper to taste
Hawaiian or kosher rock salt to taste
MSG to taste (optional)
enough canola oil for deep frying

Katsu sauce:

1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup ketchup
2 Tbsp Tabasco chili pepper sauce for spicyness
1/4 cup brown sugar
fresh cracked black pepper to taste
2-4 Tbsp vinegar to taste for extra tangyness
2 Tbsp tapioca starch or cornstarch with 1 cup of water, mix well (thickener)
Add all ingredeients in saucepan and bring to a boil then simmer. Add tapioca starch slurry to thicken sauce. Remove from heat and serve as dipping sauce for crispy pork.


Season pork filets with salt, pepper, and MSG. Mix well and let stand for 5 minutes. Heat oil in wok to approximately 375 degrees F. Dip pork filets in egg wash and dredge in tapioca starch. Drop in hot oil and deep fry until brown and filets float to the top. Drain on paper towels. Let cool and chop into pieces. Serve along side with katsu sauce.

Serves 4

The meat on the left is just plain deep fried pork without the breading...

Enjoy!! Onolicious!! :D

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Paksiw Na Lechon (Roast Pork Stew)

Today I got a call from my sister-in-law Aileen at work. She asked me for a favor which was to make Paksiw Na Lechon for her since she bought a lechon roasted pig head from Mang Gorio's Lechon shop at 99 Ranch food court. I told her ok and that I would cook it and drop it off at their place before picking up my wife from her classes tonight. It was a easy dish to make since I had all of the ingredients at hand.

Here is picture of the Lechon Pig Head.

This dish is always made after a filipino celebration such as a birthday party or a holiday like Christmas. Paksiw Na Lechon is the leftover roasted pig stewed in a sweet sour vinegary sauce. It can stretch leftovers of the pork a few days or frozen to be microwaved as a convenience meal. Here is the recipe.

Paksiw Na Lechon (Roast Pork Stew)


Roasted Pig Head or chinese crispy skin roast pork
1 cup of soy sauce
3 cloves of garlic, coarsely chopped
1 Tbsp black peppercorns
4 bay laurel leaves ripped into equal pieces
1 cup of vinegar
1 cup of brown sugar
1 bottle of Mang Tomas All Purpose Lechon Sauce
2-4 cups of water to cover meat
Dash MSG to taste (optional)
Dash fresh cracked black pepper to taste
Salt to taste


Chop pig head or crispy skin pork and place in large pot, put all ingredients in and cover. Bring to a boil. Simmer for about 30-40 minutes or until pork is tender. For this dish I used my trusty pressure cooker and cooked it for 15 minutes. It got done real fast. When it's done you may adjust the taste by adjusting the sweet and sour of the sauce by either adding sugar and or vinegar. The meat will roll off of the skull and bones. Separate meat from bones and discard before serving. Eat with hot steamed rice.

Serves 4-6

Enjoy!! :9

btw this isn't for the faint of heart... ;)

Pritong Baboy (Fried Pork Filipino Style)

Have you ever wanted to eat longanisa or filipino cured pork sausage but didn't have any in the fridge on hand? Or how about wanting to eat Pork Adobo but don't like to wait for it to cook? Well here is a recipe that my dad taught me when I was growing up that addressed those questions. It's called Pritong Baboy or fried pork. My dad affectionately calls it"opra suka" for the process of marinating the meat in vinegar and spices to tenderize it. It's the same way you make pork adobo or longanisa sausages only thing it's not put into hog casings to fry or slow cooked simmered in a pot. It's the next best thing quick and fast if you made a big batch to fry the next day. The first time my wife tasted it she loved it. You see it's not one of those dishes my Kapampangan wife is accustomed to or knows about. It's a Ilocano thing I guess since Ilocanos up in the north of Philippines really love strong vinegary adobo tastes. My dad said it's best made with freshly killed pig meat marinated a few days then fried in oil till crisp. Similar to frying bacon till it's a bit crispy. You can pan fry it in oil or grill it over charcoal in a bbq grill. I prefer the frying pan since the flavors don't get a char taste to it. My dad recommends the meat to have a nice marbling of fat and meat like bacon or like a pork chop cut with a rind of fat and meat per slice. You don't want the meat too lean or it's going to come out real dry after cooking.
Here is the recipe.

Pritong Baboy (Fried Pork Filipino Style)

4-5 lbs boneless pork shoulder or pork chops, sliced into 1/4 inch steaks
2-3 cups apple cider or white vinegar, your preference
6 cloves of fresh garlic, crushed and minced fine
4-6 laurel bay leaves, ripped into 1/4 pieces each
2 Tbsp black peppercorns
2 Tbsp MSG (optional)
Dash freshly cracked black pepper to taste
3 pinches or so of Hawaiian or kosher rock salt
1-2 Tbsp of soy sauce (optional)
canola oil for frying


Cut pork into nice thin steak cuts that are easy to fry and cook thoroughly. Cutting it into thicker slices won't get the marinade through the meat and will take longer to cook. You want to cook it like bacon, fast and crisp.
Place pork in clean mixing bowl for the marinade. Add all ingredients to pork and mix and massage "adobo sauce" into meat. Soak overnight approximately 6-8 hours. Longer if your prefer it more vinegary and saltier. One time I forgot I had a batch in the fridge for 4 days and it turned out super vinegary in taste and a way bit too salty. If you have a big batch cut down on the salt and vinegar and it will turn out well. You have to experiment with it a bit to suit your taste.
Heat frying pan and add oil. Add pork slices and fry until nice crisp and brown. Cook well done. Drain on paper towels. Cool and slice into bite size pieces. Serve with hot or cold steamed white rice.
Serves 6-8

My wife Au had this for morning breakfast with rice. Usually she likes it with chopped tomatoes and shrimp sauce as a side dish.

Enjoy!! :)

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Thit Bo Vien (Vietnamese Beef Balls)

Tonight my wife had a craving for beef balls or thit bo vien otherwise seen floating in Vietnamese Beef Noodle soup or Pho. For the past 3 days I've been ordering take out pho from Hong Cafe in chinatown and Diem 99 at 99 Ranch Market foodcourt in Moanalua. Aurora and I love the pho dac biet which is the combination pho with the works that includes, beef shank, beef tendon, raw beef steak, beef tripe and beef balls. It's been a few years since making a big pot of pho broth since it takes so much time, patience and kitchen space for prepping. The apartment we're living in now has such a little kitchen compared to the last two places we stayed at. It all started when Au wanted something to eat that involved patis (fish sauce/nuoc mam) and vinegar as a dipping sauce. So she asked what we had that I could make that she could dip. The other day she did mention steamed pork hash (pork siu mai) but it was too late to get some fresh from Island Manapua Factory in Kalihi. I had ground beef in the freezer along with the needed ingredients to make thit bo vien. So she smiled and took a nap before dinner. I went ahead and defrosted the hamburger in the microwave. It took about 20 minutes for my 2lb slab to thaw. Here is the recipe I used after googling it. :)

Thit Bo Vien (Vietnamese Beef Balls)

1/4 cup nuoc mam or patis
1 Tbsp tapioca starch
1 tsp baking powder
1 Tbsp Splenda or Sugar
1/4 tsp freshly cracked ground black pepper
2 lb ground beef
4 fresh garlic cloves, crushed and minced
1 tsp sesame oil
canola oil, for shaping meatballs


In a shallow dish, mix the fish sauce, potato starch, baking powder, sugar and white pepper.
Mash the ground beef up and thoroughly mix it.
Add to the marinade and mix well.
Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or overnight.
Before proceeding, transfer the meat to the freezer for 30 minutes.
Work with half of the beef at a time; do not overload the work bowl.
In a food processor, combine half of the beef with half of the garlic and sesame oil.
Process to a completely smooth but stiff paste, about 3 minutes.
Stop occasionally to scrape down the sides of the work bowl.
The completed paste should spring back to the touch.
Transfer the paste to a bowl.
Process the remaining ground beef, garlic and sesame oil the same way.
Rub some canola oil on one hand, and grab a handful of the meat paste and close your hand into a fist, squeezing out a small portion of the mixture, about 1 teaspoon, between your thumb and index finger.
Keep rolling and squeezing the same portion between your thumb and index finger until you obtain a smooth rounded ball.
Scoop out the meatball with an oiled spoon, and repeat until all of the paste is used.
Pour 1 inch of water into a wok or wide pot, place a steamer rack or bamboo steamer over the water.
Arrange the meatballs without crowding in a single layer on the rack.
Cover and steam for 5 minutes.

Serve as an appetizer with chili sauce.

These beef balls can also be added to a well-seasoned beef broth, sprinkled with chopped scallions and white pepper and served as a soup (pho noodles may be added).
Note: These meatballs may be frozen. Thaw them thoroughly, then steam or simmer in boiling water until just heated through.

I woke up Au for dinner and brought her the bamboo steamers to her and she was all smiles. She ate it the filipino style which was with crushed minced fresh garlic, vinegar, patis/nuoc mam, blackpepper, and bay leaves as a dipping sauce. The recipe yielded about 60 or so meatballs. I froze the rest for Au for her snack cravings.

Beef balls are a little expensive on the pocketbook, so creating it from scratch and trying to imitate the commercial frozen ones is always fun for me especially when my wife can eat a ton of these!! LOL :D

Enjoy!! :)

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Spicy Pork Kaldereta

Tonight's dinner was supposed to be Pork Guisantes which is a local Hawaii favorite made famous by the Filipino Ilocano immigrants that settled here to work here during the sugar and pineapple plantation years. You can't go to a local filipino party without seeing at least this typical dish. But because my pimentos turned bad in the fridge I decided on the next best thing which was Kaldereta. Kaldereta is originally a goat stew made with tomato sauce, potatoes, spices, liver spread, olives, bell peppers and hot peppers. Originally adapted from the Spanish during their 200 year occupation of the Philippines.
Variations of this dish is with beef, chicken and or pork. Beef Kaldereta is a common dish in the Philippines made with stewing cuts of beef simmered until tender. Another is with chicken or pork because of the price and availability. I opted for pork since I had a 3lb slab in the freezer. In the original goat stew version, the meat was marinated in vinegar to tone down the gamey smell and taste of the goat. My dad would also use baking soda before the marinade to take away as much of the odor as possible. My version of the dish uses cooked chicken livers pureed in my food processer. You can buy canned liver spread available in some grocery stores as a substitute. I usually make a big batch and freeze away portions for future use.
In all my life in Hawaii I've never experienced any local Ilocano cook this dish. I've tasted this dish in the Philippines when I was courting my wife and in southern California at a filipino restaurant which wasn't run by Ilocanos but by Tagalog filipinos. Aurora's dad makes the best kaldereta I've ever tasted. When Au got here she wanted me to cook her this dish and I first made it with beef brisket. It came out so wonderfully rich. Enough to clog arteries and raise your cholesterol level. But heck it was worth it!! :D It was onolicious or masarap!! I now gauge every kaldereta dish by Tatang's (my father-in-law) Kapampangan style for the just right amount of heat and flavor. Pampangan Cuisine is the best of all filipino food. Most upper scale filipino restaurants in the mainland and in the Philippines are owned and cooked by Kapampangan chefs.

Here is my version with pork.

Spicy Pork Kaldereta


3-4 lbs boneless pork butt shoulder, cut in 2x2 inch chunks or smaller if you prefer
2-3 Tbsp tomato paste
2-3 Tbsp canola oil
6-8 cloves of fresh garlic, crushed and minced fine
1 whole round onion, peeled and cut into wedges
8 oz of boiled chicken livers, food processed to a paste
3-4 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2x2 chunks--set aside in water to prevent turning brown
1-2 serrano, jalapeno, or thai chili pepper cut into thin slices with seeds or subsitute with tabasco sauce to taste.
1 Tbsp white vinegar
3 bay laurel leaves, ripped in half
1 Tbsp sugar or Splenda
2 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp dark soy sauce
enough fresh water to cover pork
Dash Hawaiian or kosher rock salt to taste
Dash fresh cracked black pepper to taste
Dash MSG to taste (optional)


Cut pieces of pork and wipe with paper towels to remove excess water. Set aside.

Crush garlic and minced fine. Cut onion into wedges. Heat oil in pot and saute garlic and onions with bay leaves. As garlic browns and onions turn translucent add pork and continue to brown until the pork gets slightly crispy. Add tomato paste and incorporate well. Add liver paste and continue to cook. Add vinegar. Add enough water to cover pork. Bring to a boil then simmer low until pork becomes tender.

In a separate frying pan heat oil and fry potatoes until a little bit crispy on the edges. Drain on paper towels and set aside.

When pork is almost tender add potatoes and continue to simmer more. Add chili peppers or tabasco sauce. Add salt, black pepper and MSG to taste. Add sugar, butter and soy sauce to taste. The longer the slow simmer the richer the sauce will become. The next day of eating this dish will always be more tastier since the flavors infuse the meat and potatoes.
Serve with hot steamed white rice. Fragrant Jasmine rice is perfect for this!
Serves 4

I served it with our brown rice as usual.


Let's kaukau!!

Monday, August 08, 2005

Shrimp Scampi

Tonight's dinner for my wife was Shrimp Scampi. I had a half bag of frozen jumbo shrimp in the fridge and the rest of the ingredients. It was easy and fast. Less than 10 minutes to prepare and it was ready to "kaukau"!!

Shrimp Scampi


1 1/2 pounds large shrimp (about 16 to 24 size)
1/3 cup clarified butter
1 large clove garlic, either minced fine or sliced thinly
4 green leaf onions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup Shao Xing wine or straight whiskey
juice from 1 fresh lemon, rolled and squeezed
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chinese parsley
Dash Hawaiian or kosher rock salt to taste
Dash fresh cracked black pepper to taste
Dash MSG (optional) to taste


Rinse shrimp and set aside. Heat butter in large skillet over medium heat. Cook garlic 1 or 2 minutes or until softened but not browned. Add shrimp, green onions, wine and lemon juice; cook until shrimp are pink and firm, about 1 to 2 minutes on each side. Do not overcook. Add chopped parsley and salt and pepper before serving.

Serves 2 or one hungry wife named Aurora! :)


Au ate her shrimp scampi with our usual staple of nutty brown rice. She said it was excellent since this was the first time I made it this way just like the Italian restaurant. Usually for shrimp or crab our family (my mother's side) would just throw butter, garlic, pepper, salt, bay leaves, and tons of shrimp/crab into a big pot and cook until its just right and serve with hot steaming white rice.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Oyster Sauce Chicken Cake Noodle

After making the Whole Crispy Skin Chicken, I made Oyster Sauce Chicken Cake Noodle for my wife. The recipe is below and now I have tonight's pictures of the dish to post.


This is another recipe that I posted on that belongs on my blog. It was posted on June 2nd. My wife and I had cake noodle dreams for about 2 weeks and during that time she was hooked on Fairwood Drive Inn's Oyster Sauce Chicken Cake Noodle plate everyday for lunch. I told her I could make it at home and she was all game for it. At the time she was working for HMSA which was directly across the street from Fairwood. It was so good she wanted me to go there to try out their other plates. After one trip there my verdict was in. It was a real winner! I recommmend this place. Quality Chinese food made hot out of the wok right into styrofoam plate lunches!

Here is the recipe I initially used.


Boneless minute chicken cake noodle


1/2 lb or 2 packs of saimin
1/2 lb boneless (fresh island) chicken
1/2 lb choi sum1 can chicken or pork broth
1 tsp garlic, chopped1 tsp.onion, chopped
tsp sugar
tsp cornstarch
tsp shoyu
sesame oil
Dash white pepper to taste
oyster sauce
cooking wine
vegetable oil


1. Boil the saimin for about 10-15 seconds. Take it out of the water and lay it flat in a frying pan. Add 2-3 Tbs. vegetable oil and fry for 5-10 minutes or until golden brown on each side. When done, cut into square pieces and lay flat on a plate.

2. In a frying pan, boil 1/2 can of chicken or pork broth. Add the choy sum, salt, oyster sauce and shoyu. To thicken, mix cornstarch with water and add to sauce. When done, pour over the cake noodle.

3. Place the chicken pieces in a bowl. Add 1/8 tsp. cornstarch, 1/8 tsp. sesame oil, dash of white pepper, 1/4 tsp. shoyu and dash of cooking wine. Marinade all together. In a frying pan, add 2 Tbs. vegetable oil. Fry the marinated chicken on low heat for about 5 minutes or until golden brown, then remove from pan. Start again with 2 tsp. vegetable oil in pan, saute 1 tsp. garlic, add the chicken, 1/8 tsp. sugar, dash of cooking wine, 1/8 tsp. shoyu and dash of soup stock. Garnish with green onion. When done, place chicken on top of the choy sum with gravy.

I just tried it out last night with a whole fryer chicken from Costco. It was about 4-5 lbs. Tyson brand I think it was. I chopped up the chicken chinese style and marinated the pieces. Fried till crispy skinned and followed up with the rest of the recipe and came out excellent!! Now you can callem Oyster Sauce Chicken Cake Noodle!!


Like in my instant pancit recipe I used the Maruchan Instant Ramen packages. The ramen noodles can also be used and pan fried into cake noodles! So there is no need to buy fresh saimin noodles unless you want to spend the extra cost.

enjoy! :)