Thursday, June 30, 2005

Pork with Ong choy Chinoy Style

Yesterday my wife asked me what I was going to cook for dinner so I told her to check the fridge and to thaw out some pork and check what kind of veggies we had. She told me we had "ong choy" aka swamp spinach. So I decided when I got home from work to cook a quick stir-fry of pork and ong choy.

Here is some pics of ong choy and it's definition:

water spinach = swamp spinach = ung choy = long green = kangkong = tangkong Notes: This cooking green is very common in the Philippines. Some varieties have purple stems. Substitutes: spinach OR watercress

So I decided to cook with this versatile long green but what kind of sauce to cook it with was my next question. My wife loves it with harm ha sauce or fine shrimp paste as I do to but this time I wasn't in the mood to stink up my house with that wonderful aromatic aroma of shrimp paste. lol :D The neighbors must be complaining behind the walls! :P

So the next best sauce in the fridge was oyster sauce. But I wanted to create a variation of the dish. A subtle mix of chinese and filipino styles.

In filipino cooking we use a lot of patis or nuoc mam which is fish sauce. I have learned that the vietnamese fish sauces are more refined and stronger in flavor than its filipino counterpart. With the vietnamese variety you can put a little less but still retains its full bodied flavor. My wife agrees too although in the beginning we had a big debate over filipino versus vietnamese until she found out her dad used the "squid" brand of fish sauce in New Jersey.

I usually buy both the "squid" or "tiparos" brand at my local asian grocery store. So back to my dish. Here is my recipe below:

Pork with Ong choy (chinese filipino style or chinoy)


  • 1 Tbsp Oil
  • 1 whole yellow onion, halved and sliced in thin strips.
  • 2 Tbsp oyster sauce
  • 2 cloves Garlic, minced fine.
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp patis
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 pinch monosodium glutamate (msg) optional
  • 1 bay leaf or laurel leaf ripped in half.
  • 16 oz sliced Pork butt or porkchop sliced into strips
  • 1 whole bunch Ong choy (a.k.a. water spinach, swamp cabbage), cut in 1" pieces. Separate hard stems and leaves.
  • 1 Tbsp tapioca or corn starch
  • 8 oz of cold water
  • ground black pepper to taste.

Cooking Instructions:

Heat oil in wok or pan. Add onion & garlic, cook til aroma is released. Add pork & stir-fry til half cooked. Add bay leaf. Add tomato paste and continue frying till oil and pork are fully reddish in color. Add oyster sauce, soy sauce, and patis. It'll look like you added atchuete oil. Add ong choy - hard stems first & stir fry. Add water if necessary. Add rest of ong choy cover & steam for 5 min. Mix cornstarch and water in cup and add to wok to thicken sauce Season with pepper and msg. Serve with hot rice. Enjoy!

The dish will taste a little bit like eating a typical chinese oyster sauce stir-fry and the taste of a typical filipino tomato based saute' dish like pork guisantes. It's my fusion of the two cultures! :)

Here is the finished dish pic:

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Golden Palace Seafood Restaurant

On Father's Day Sunday my wife and I gave Golden Palace a second try after vegetable shopping in chinatown. Golden Palace is known for their steaming dim sum carts, crowds of people and the anticipation of the waitress to come by to serve you more dim sum. lol My wife was so famished that I had to wave down the waitress a few times.

We ordered:

  • pork/shrimp siu mai
  • shrimp dumplings
  • mochi rice with chicken
  • steamed dau si spareribs
  • golden chicken feet
  • rice congee (juk) with pork and 1000 year old egg

This time we didn't have any steamed or baked char siu bao. My wife had her fill of the siu mai choices as I attacked the mochi rice and dau si spareribs. By the time the juk arrived at our table my wife was full so that gave me the opportunity to attack it. :9 mmmmmmm Very warm and filling meal for Sunday brunch.

You can't go wrong for $1.50 a plate of any type of dim sum!! Our bill came out close to about $20 which felt good on the wallet. My wife was satisfied and so was I. There are other dim sum restaurants in chinatown that are better in quality and service but for now Golden Palace is good for us. :9 mmmmm

GOLDEN PALACE SEAFOOD RESTAURANT 111 N. King St. 521-8268. 7 a.m.-10 p.m. daily.

Taste of Honolulu that we missed...

This past weekend it was the 14th Annual "Taste of Honolulu" festival at the Honolulu Civic center grounds. It's Hawaii's largest outdoor food, wine and entertainment event. But we missed it!! :(
We were so busy this past weekend with other priorities that it just passed by us. I only saw glimpses on the tv simulcast and it looked fun. My parents and relatives would attend religiously every year til they all moved to Las Vegas! lol

The admission was $3 for adults, and kids/seniors got in free! All proceeds from this event went to the Easter Seals Foundation of Hawaii.

Some of the restaurants that participated were:

  • Brew Moon Restaurant and Microbrewery 1200 Ala Moana Blvd. , Honolulu Phone: 593-0088

  • Canoes at the Renaissance Ilikai Waikiki 1777 Ala Moana Blvd. , Honolulu Phone: 951-6861

  • Ciao Mein 2424 Kalakaua Avenue , Honolulu Phone: 923-2426 (CIAO)

  • The Colony 2424 Kalakaua Avenue , Honolulu Phone: 923-1234

  • Dave & Buster's 1030 Auahi Street , Honolulu Phone: 589-2215

  • Down to Earth 2525 South King Street , Honolulu Phone: 947-7678

  • E&O Trading Company 1200 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu Phone: 591-9555

  • Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant 1 Aloha Tower, Honolulu Phone: 599-4877

  • Gyu-Kaku Restaurant 1221 Kapiolani Blvd., #105 , Honolulu Phone: 589-2989

  • Hapa Grill 91-590 Farrington Highway, #539, Kapolei Phone: 674-8400Opening Soon

  • Highway Inn 94-226 Leoku Street, WaipahuPhone: 677-4345

  • Hong Kong Harbor View Restaurant 1 Aloha Tower Drive, HonoluluPhone: 566-9989

  • Longhi's Ala Moana Restaurant 1450 Ala Moana Blvd. #3001, Honolulu Phone: 947-9899

  • The Mandalay 1055 Alakea Street , Honolulu Opening Soon

  • Marians Island Wide Catering 79 Mango Place , Wahiawa Phone: 621-6758

  • Mediterranean Garden Deli 212 Merchant Street, #6 , Honolulu Phone: 533-1677

  • Musashi 2424 Kalakaua Avenue , Honolulu Phone: 923-1234

  • Neptune's Garden Restaurant 2490 Kalakaua Avenue , Honolulu Phone: 921-6112

  • Prince Court Restaurant at the Hawaii Prince Hotel 100 Holomoana Street , Honolulu Phone: 944-4494

  • The Shack 377 Keahole Street , Honolulu Phone: 396-1919

  • Shanghai Bistro 1778 Ala Moana Blvd. , Honolulu Phone: 955-8668

  • Top of Waikiki 2270 Kalakaua Avenue , Honolulu Phone: 923-3877

  • 21 Degrees North Turtle Bay Resort, 57-091 Kamehameha Hwy , Kahuku Phone: 293-6000

  • The Willows 901 Hausten Street , Honolulu Phone: 952-9200

  • Yakiniku Hiroshi 339 Royal Hawaiian Avenue, Honolulu Phone: 923-0060

Every year they've been having this event and I've been wanting to take my wife to it. She has yet to experience this. Over the years I only attended it twice sad to say. Supposedly over 45,000 people sampled the great food, wine and entertaiment over the 3 day weekend. Hmmmm... I've been thinking if they made a whole suckling pig aka Lechon Baboy like this:

I'd be there with bells on!! lol :9 mmmmmmmmmmmmmm yum!

We'll mark our calendars and try and make it next year. Taste of Honolulu official website

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

A few thoughts on food I made the past week or so...

Yesterday I cooked Tuna spaghetti noodle casserole for my wife. The day before that I recreated my own Japanese style chicken curry. Kinda like Coco Ichibanya Curry House here in Hawaii and Japan. I also made a dozen salted chicken eggs which are now sitting in the kitchen cupboard in it's hawaiian salt brine. This should be ready in about a month or so.

Also made char siu and whole crispy skin chicken plus oyster sauce chicken cake noodle. I wish I took photos of those dishes. Now I have to cook them all over again! :9 mmmmm

My wife also suprised me and made her first batch of chewy chocolate brownies! When I got home it was sitting on the stove cooling. I quickly got a spoon and scooped a spoonful to taste. It was pretty good from a girl that is cooking challenged! hehehe :D Btw my wife is Kampampangan and I'm Ilocano/Visayan. She is supposed to rule the cuisine but only knows how to eat my creations! hehehe I love you mahal! :)

lechon kawali

I just had the urge to post these pics! It's almost lunchtime and I wana get some!! Where's my rice??!! hehehe A lil bit of tabasco and soy sauce works for me. Mang Toma's Lechon sauce is good too!

Lechon Kawali (Crispy Pork) aka Chicharon


  • 6 C Pork belly or side pork (equal parts fat and meat)
  • 4 C Water Salt to taste
  • 4 C Cooking oil
  • 1 bottle Mama Sita's Sarsa ng lechon (Sauce for Roasts)
  • MSG to taste

Cooking Instructions:

Combine pork, water, MSG and salt in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer until the pork is tender. Drain the pork and cool. Prick skin with fork and rub with salt and MSG. Leave in colander to dry for one hour. Heat cooking oil in a deep fryer or wok at high heat. Fry pork until golden brown and crispy. Cut into serving pieces and serve with Mama Sita's Sarsa ng Lechon (Sauce for Roasts). Also may be served with fresh tomato slices mixed with harm-ha (fine shrimp paste) sauce as a side salad dish.

Additional Comments:
This recipe is similar to the lechon you can buy from Northstar Deli or Christina's Chicharon in Honolulu, Hawaii. If you are lazy to cook just go there to buy it! Also good to add into mongo beans yum!!"

Above is the recipe I posted on Alohaworld a while back! Enjoy!

(pls note these pics are not my own. I'll post my own pics when i get some!)

Hong Nien

Last night my family and I went to Hong Nien in Kalihi on King Street. We've been there many times in the past and the food is always quality Cantonese cuisine and great service. We had the Dinner for 4 Special for under $40 which included:

  • PepperSalt jumbo prawns
  • Eggplant Szechuan with garlic meat sauce
  • Sweet & sour fish filets with pineapple and bell peppers
  • Half crispy skin chicken
  • Mongolian beef
  • Chicken and velvet corn soup
  • Steamed white rice

ala carte:

  • Oyster sauce chicken on crispy cake noodle

  • and also complimentary oolong tea.

The atmosphere when we arrived there was a little crowded but there were enough tables to seat four of us. This place is one of my brother-in-law's favorite Chinese restaurants to go to as well as mine. Over the years they have been very consistent in their quality, freshness and service. The prices are still very reasonable and affordable for a family style restaurant despite the raised prices at other Chinese restaurants in Hawaii. Hong Nien is still a great value and hidden treasure in my book. I didn't have my digital camera last night but I'll post some the next time. I'm drooling just thinking about the crispy skin chicken!! mmmmm :9

Other patrons of the restaurant were having other delicious entrees and it was driving us crazy while waiting for our food to be served to us. I could hear the wok sounds in the kitchen as the chef clanged away with his spatula. In about 10 minutes we had our chicken and velvet corn soup arrive, then the mongolian beef and oyster sauce chicken cake noodle with steamed white rice and we hit it immediately. A while later the remainder of our entrees came in waves. The prawns, the sweet sour fish, the eggplant and finally crispy chicken! My wife, her sister and my brother-in-law stopped talking as we quickly filled out plates with the yummy food. It was so wonderful a meal after shopping at Sam's Club on Kapiolani. We drove home full and satisfied. A great place to kaukau!! :)

Aloha Everyone! My First Post

Aloha from Hawaii!

I just decided to start my own blog since I jus love frequenting all the wonderful food blogs on the net. To all those food bloggers out there I salute you and keep up the good work. I hope my blog can contribute to the love of food lovers everywhere and to share the wonderful mix of ethnic cuisine we have in Hawaii and abroad.

I have always wanted to critique my many dining experiences from the past and reading what others have shared in their gastronomic adventures. I have experiences, recipes and pictures to share with everyone. So keep reading...