Sunday, July 31, 2005

A Lazy and Restful Weekend

This weekend I was just too lazy to cook. So I made my wife's favorite Filipino Spaghetti again which was real fast to prepare. The whole weekend she's been having that and also Pork and Baby Bok Choy Soup while studying and doing her homework for school. My wife Aurora started her night classes at Heald College the past week. She's majoring in Accounting. As for me I've been eating my low-carb red grape cheese quesadillas on wheat tortillas and green papaya salad, hardboiled eggs, and pork rinds. Sorry no pictures of the soup and quesadillas this time.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

BBQ Flame Broiled Juicy Hamburgers

My sister Lynn up in LA emailed me and asked how to make juicy ono hamburger patties on the BBQ grill. She's having her birthday party with friends on the 30th of this month. I told her I would post one of my recipes. She would be shopping at Costco to pick up the bulk tray of fresh ground beef for her party. She said that they would be eating it the normal way with buns, veggies and usual condiments on burgers. I asked because as a local Hawaii born and raised guy, I also love eating burgers with rice, soy sauce and lots of hot Tabasco sauce! Yum! :D

Here is the recipe.

BBQ Flame Broiled Juicy Hamburgers


10 lbs fresh ground beef, less fat is better
1 large whole white round onion, chopped and minced
4 slices of stale white or wheat bread, blended into breadcrumbs
1-2 cups Bullseye Barbeque Sauce
salt and pepper to taste
MSG to taste (optional)
2 eggs

Mix all ingredients together then make patties. Grill over flame to taste.
Medium recommended.

Serves "choke" people! (10-15)

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Laos-Style Green Papaya Salad (Som Tam)

Laos-Style Som Tam with cabbage wedges and fresh shrimp

The last time we shopped at 99 Ranch Market I picked a nice big Thai green papaya to make green papaya salad. I've been craving the taste of the hot, sweet, sour and spicy flavors of this lite refreshing dish for a while now. It's good with Thai/Laos sticky rice and turkey or chicken larb. About 8 years ago, I was a Thai and Vietnamese food junkie! My brother Pedro and I would frequent the restaurants and recreate the dishes at home. Back then my tolerance level of hot thai chili peppers was super high. I really enjoyed the heat and spicyness. But today I can't even handle the heat as much as before. I guess I have to work it. :)

This dish is really down to earth "earthy". It's a salad that makes you feel like you're eating a whole vegetable garden and the ocean. lol :) A full version of this dish has raw crushed crabs and is very ono if you like raw a'ama crab poke. Think of this dish as a normal Vietnamese green papaya salad on steroids! :D

Green Papaya Salad (Som Tam) in Thai, "som" means sour and "tam" means to pound with a mortar and pestle.

It was our light dinner for my wife and me when we got home tonight.

Laos-Style Green Papaya Salad (Som Tam)


1 medium garlic clove
2 medium fresh Thai chilis, start with 1 then add the other if you want it hotter.
2 cups shredded green papaya (Thai papaya recommended)
1-1/2 tablespoon fish sauce (nam pla) to taste
1/2 teaspoon shrimp paste
1 teaspoon sugar or Splenda to taste
Dash MSG to taste (optional)
2 oz unsalted roasted peanuts or 1 teaspoon peanut butter
1o-12 mint leaves
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
4 cherry tomatoes, quartered lengthwise
12 inches of ong choy leaves and stems, cut into 4 inch sections
6 inches of chinese long beans, cut into 2 inch sections
2 good size cut wedges of round head cabbage as a side condiment


Using a mortar and pestle, pound garlic and chiles until broken into small pieces. Add remaining ingredients. Use a spoon to scrape the sides of the mortar and turn the ingredients. Pound the papaya until it is limp and soft. Taste and adjust the seasonings to a balance of sour, hot, salt and sweet. Garnish with fresh ongchoy, in 4-inch pieces.
Serves 4

Shredded green papaya!

Pounding papaya!

Chinese long beans, tomatoes, chili peppers and limes!!

Salad goes well with Thai Sticky Rice and fried chicken!!

So Onolicious!

Enjoy!! :D

Milkfish Stew (Paksiw Na Bangus)

Good morning or as they say in Hawaii, "Aloha kakahiaka!" Well back in grade school... lol
I got another call from my wife. Now Cathy wants Paksiw na Bangus. This dish has the baseline recipe of dinengdeng but also adds vinegar. Paksiw na Bangus is a dish in the Philippines with milkfish boiled with coconut or nipa vinegar, and other spices and a bit of vegetables simmered over a slow fire. The broth is slightly sweet and tangy. It's refreshing to sip the broth hot. So any dish with a little bit of vinegar added would be considered paksiw. You usually make paksiw when you want to stretch a dish longer. It's like fixing it up a bit and preserving it longer.

I have to go to the market after work and get a good size bangus(milkfish). Hopefully I can find a fresh one. They have frozen ones but I don't have the time to defrost it and clean it since Cathy wants it for dinner. Fresh or frozen mullet is also a good substitute for this dish. 99 Ranch Market has free fish cleaning and frying service btw. If you're wondering why I'm cooking for my buntis sister-in-law, I'm wondering too. LOL! My brother-in-law Les still has to learn to cook and prepare filipino dishes since he married a filipina. :P Les btw is a Hawaii born Okinawan guy and a restaurant manager. He's a cook by trade. Actually he's supposed to be doing this not me! hahaha :D he owes me big time!

Milkfish Stew (Paksiw Na Bangus)


1-3 fresh bangus (milkfish) It can be bought in Filipino stores and mullet may be substituted.
1 cup quartered bitter melon
1/2 cup ginger sliced 1/2-inch lengthwise and crushed
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 cup quartered eggplant
3 sweet green chili peppers
1 cup white vinegar
3/4 cup water
2-4 Tbsp patis to taste
Dash fresh black pepper to taste
Dash MSG to taste (optional)
Dash Hawaiian or kosher salt to taste


Clean bangus and cut into three serving pieces. Arrange bitter melon, ginger,garlic and
eggplant in saucepan and place fish and whole peppers over vegetables. Add vinegar and bring
to a boil. Add water and continue simmering until fish is cooked. Add patis or salt to
Paksiw is better served aged. Store in refrigerator in a covered dish for one to two
days. Reheat when ready to serve.

Serves 2

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Char Siu (Cantonese Sweet BBQ Roast Pork)

Well it's about time... After enjoying all the other food blogs on Char Siu I thought it was about time for my turn to share.

I have always loved char siu since I was a kid. We'd go to Honolulu's chinatown and buy vegetables, fish, and meat but the thing I looked forward too most was sampling a taste from one of the char siu vendor stalls. My grandpa would speak to the chinese man and ask for $5.00 worth of char siu. The vendor would then take the meat off of the meat hook hangers and weigh them on the scale carefully. My grandpa would then nod "yes" when the guy would ask, "you like chop?". While the meat was being chopped on the big round wooden cutting board, the vendor would offer a piece of char siu to me, my brother and my grandpa then wrapping the meat in pink butcher paper. The pink paper would always symbolize char siu or crispy skin roast pork to me and my siblings. Ahhh those were the wonder years. I learned to cook at 7 years of age cooking our daily steamed rice on the stovetop. At that time we didn't have a electric rice cooker. I learned the old fashion style measuring the rice with the lines on my finger to get the perfect rice water level.

My greatest influence in cooking was from my grandpa. He was known in the filipino community in the 1950's-1970's as a great cook of huge filipino weddings, baptisms, and birthday parties. Grandpa would take me with him to these parties and I would watch and help him prep and cook for the given occasion. Grandpa owned about 6 huge carbon steel woks and cooked on empty 50 gallon steel barrels cut in half. There was no propane tanks so it was the old fashion outdoor wood fires. He'd use the Hawaiian keawe wood tree logs which they say is actually mesquite wood. The heat for the woks had to be regulated by moving the keawe charcoal around. Either taking some out or adding in to the flame. Grandpa would stir-fry huge batches of meat, cook steamed rice, boil vegetables, deep fry and steam all simultaneously in the six woks. Now thinking back to that time it was actually an amazing feat to juggle cooking in all those woks. Today I have 3 of the surviving woks from Grandpa in storage. I have graduated to hi-pressure propane gas burners now. A very big difference in cooking times. My late Grandpa would have been thrilled to use gas. :)

The first time I made char siu was probably in the early 80's while I was learning to cook chinese from reading cookbooks and watching TV cooking shows. The first IBM PC had just come out and the internet was in its infancy with only the military, government, and major universities utilizing it. Also there was no such thing as the Food Network! I would go to our local regional public library and I would stay for hours reading about ethnic cuisine especially chinese. I watched lots of cooking shows with master chinese chefs like Martin Yan and Titus Chan. I also watched a lot of the late Jeff Smith of Frugal Gourmet fame. He was a pleasure to watch. Before graduating from high school I had the pleasure to meet Martin Yan at a cooking demo and book signing at Liberty House in the Ala Moana Shopping Center. I met master chef Larry Chu of San Francisco in another book signing and cooking demonstration at the centerstage also in Ala Moana Center.

My family thought I was going to become a chef. I thought so too but the computer bug bit me instead and my interests went toward electronics and automotive technology in high school. I have always wanted to own my own restaurant, to feed people and have them enjoy my creations. Well enough said for now. Here is my recipe for Cantonese Sweet BBQ Roast Pork or Char Siu. Other blog sites spell it Char Siew and to me it makes it feel more exotic and ono when looking at the beautiful shots by fellow food bloggers.

Here is my basic recipe for Char Siu.


10 lbs of boneless pork shoulder butt


1 Tbsp Hawaiian salt or coarse sea/kosher salt
1/4 cup soy sauce
4 slices ginger, crushed, peeled and minced fine
1/4 cup warmed honey or maltose
1/4 cup white or brown sugar. Splenda may be used as a substitute.
2 cloves garlic, crushed, peeled and minced fine
1/4 cup Shaoxing wine or straight whiskey
2 Tbsp Chinese 5-spice powder
1/4 cup oyster flavor sauce
1 Tbsp paste red food coloring
1 Tbsp MSG optional


Cut pork lengthwise into 2 x 8 inch long strips.
Mix marinade well in large metal bowl.
Add pork to marinade and mix through. Use thongs or very clean hands.
Marinate for 8-12 hrs overnight in refrigerator, turning occasionally.
Preheat oven to 400° F. & place a roasting pan filled w/ 1/2 inch of water.
Place pork pieces flat on a wire rack set high in oven. You may even rig your own meat hooks from metal hangers to hang in your oven.
Roast 30 minutes. Turn over & brushed with warmed honey or maltose. Continue to roast 15 min. Turn & brush again with honey. Roast another 15 minutes. Meat should have nicely charred edges with strands of glistening honey oozing and dripping.

To serve, slice finely thin across the grain. Char siu strip slabs may be frozen for convenience with other great chinese dishes.

In my kitchen I have a Ronco Showtime Rotisserie Grill and BBQ to make my char siu and other roast meats I love to make. The rotisserie is self-basting so just brushing the honey on the meat is easy while its turning. The meat is cooked faster and more evenly. My char siu took exactly 1 hour and 30 minutes to cook with about 15 minutes to rest before slicing.

Maltose is the secret ingredient Chinese restaurants use instead of honey and plain sugar. I had a hard time finding maltose syrup but finally found it in chinatown. After finding it I didn't even buy it because I had already bought a huge bottle of honey from Sam's Club. Some char siu recipes call for hoisin or sweet bean sauce, I find it unnecessary since I already have enough sweeteners added. I sometimes substitute sugar or brown sugar with Splenda then add the honey for the nice sticky glaze. It works out fine and nobody knows the difference. I make a big batch of sauce and store them away in jelly jars in the fridge. The consistency of the sauce is exactly like Lum's Char-Siu Sauce. Hmmm... I could sell my own and make a bundle!! :D

Here is some of the pics of the heavenly sweet roasted pork!!! :9

Marinaded Char Siu in Showtime Rotisserie Grill!

Close up of raw meat...

The rotisserie work horse of my kitchen!

Meat about 1 hour later...

Meat about 1 hour 20 minutes...

Close up of meat starting to char.

1 hour 30 minutes done! I didn't want to go longer. Last time I did, some parts got over cooked and burnt because of the sugar content.

Finished product in plastic bin.

Sliced Char Siu on plate... Onolicious!!! :9 mmmmmm!!!

Get my rice ready!!

Enjoy! :)

Monday, July 25, 2005

Harm Ha Pork with Kabocha Ong Choy

Another emergency request from a pregnant woman (my sister-in-law Cathy) for Harm Ha Pork with Kabocha Pumpkin and Ong Choy. Cathy spoke to my wife early this morning so I got an unexpected call at work. I laughed out loud! But my wife Au was serious. So earlier this evening my brother-in-law Les brought over the groceries for the dish. He bought boneless pork butt, ong choy, and a nice sized kabocha pumpkin.

I started prepping the dish right after he left by cutting the pork, cutting the onions, and mincing the garlic. The whole dish took under an hour to cook. Then I called Les and dropped off the dish at their house. Ading Cathy hasn't been eating well, so a craving from a buntis=hapai=pregnant woman is a priority to fill ASAP. :)

Harm Ha Pork with Kabocha Ong Choy


4 lbs boneless pork butt
8 cloves garlic, crushed and minced fine
1 round onion, cut in half and sliced
1 whole tomato, cut into wedges
1 bunch ong choy, cut in 2 inch sections
1 3-4 1lb kabocha pumpkin, cut into 2x2 inch chunks
3-4 Tbsp Harm Ha sauce (fine shrimp sauce)
2-4 Tbsp Canola oil
2 bay leaves, ripped in half
Dash fresh cracked black pepper to taste
Dash MSG to taste (optional)


Cut pork into 1 inch thin strips with a combination of fat and meat.Heat wok and add oil. Add cut pork and stir fry on high heat. Don't let the meat stick. Add bay leaves, garlic, and onions. Crack some fresh black pepper. Continue to brown until meat is dry and onions are translucent. You may fry it till its a bit crispy but be careful not to burn the meat and keep it moving in the wok.
While meat is cooking, cut kabocha up into pieces. Remove any hard outer skin or stems. You may remove the all skin but you'll be losing all the vitamins and we wouldn't want that. Plus if you peel the skin off, the kabocha will melt and fall apart during the cooking process and it'll turn into mush. Rinse and set aside.

Cut ong choy into pieces and set aside. Cut tomato into pieces and set aside.
Add kabocha, tomatoes and ong choy to wok. Stir a bit and cover to steam. Add Harm Ha sauce and about 1/4 cup of water to wok.
Simmer ingredients and "shake" or "toss" wok so kabocha doesn't get smashed from stirring. Continue to cover and simmer till kabocha is fork tender.
Do not overcook or it'll turn into pumpkin meat pie filling! Add more pepper and optional MSG to taste. If not salty enough you may add a few Tbsps of patis or more Harm Ha.

Serve with cold or hot steamed rice.

This recipe should serve 6-8.

FYI, if you added more vegetables to this dish such as eggplant, ampalaya, long beans, okra, wing beans etc. then it would be called Pinakbet.


Sunday, July 24, 2005

Fast N Easy Loco Moco

Today while checking out TSOGB, Santos made some ono looking Loco Moco.

It brought back memories of growing up in Kalihi. Early before school started we'd go to the local okazuya and buy mini plate lunches or bentos. Loco Moco would be one of the favorites for me and my siblings. My version is not visually appealing as Santos's version but it hits the spot of any construction worker's appetite. hehehe :) Sloppy but ono and filling!!

I used what we had in the cupboard and fridge like mushroom soup, ground beef and whole wheat bread. It takes about 15 minutes to prep, cook and serve. This is what we had for dinner tonight. My wife was so full she couldn't finish her serving. So I had more for me!! :D Tomorrow is back to my lo carb diet. So I gotta enjoy now. :P

Here is my recipe.

Fast N Easy Loco Moco


1 lb Ground beef
5 Eggs
1 Tbsp Mrs. Dash Originals Blend spice mix
2 pinches Hawaiian salt or coarse sea salt
Dash cracked ground pepper (or to taste)
1 Tbsp finely minced garlic
2 slices whole wheat bread, food processed into crumbs
1/2 cup chopped onion (optional)
1 8 oz can mushroom soup
4 Tbsp butter
3 oz Shaoxing wine or whiskey
1 Tbsp canola oil
2-4 cups cooked brown rice.


Mix together ground beef, onion, garlic, breadcrumbs and 2 eggs in a bowl. Mix well and add Mrs. Dash and spices and set aside. Follow instructions on mushroom soup can and add to saucepan. Whisk soup to blend well. Roll hamburger and form into patties and fry in canola oil. Brown and cook well on both sides till well done. Cook longer if you want it a bit crispy on the edges. Deglaze frying pan with butter and wine. Scrap bits well and pour into mushroom soup and stir. Crack remainder of eggs into nonstick frying pan. Fry sunnyside up.
Arrange plate with a generous layer of brown rice and 2-3 patties of hamburger.
Spoon over mushroom soup gravy. Slide sunnyside up eggs onto mushroom soup dredged patties and add more mushroom gravy soup over.
Great with soy sauce and tabasco sauce.

Serves 2

Sloppy but ono!! :)

I posted the recipe for a serving of 2, but it might actually serve 4 depending on the size of the person. hehehe ;)

Pork Dinengdeng with Saluyot

We went shopping yesterday at 99 Ranch Market and bought groceries to cook. We grabbed the usual veggies such as tomatoes, onions, carrots, green onions, head cabbage etc. but this time my wife picked up a bunch of saluyot leaves. She said Tita Jesse cooked some made with bagoong and vinegar as a salad with dried shrimp. Aurora wanted me to cook something similar to that.
I remember growing up and eating dinengdeng everday and that saluyot was a normal part of our Ilocano diet.
I couldn't just cook a plain version of dinengdeng so I added pork, shiitake, and baby bok choy to the dish to make it plentiful. If you haven't tried saluyot I encourage you to try it! When its cooked in soup like this it gets a little slimey in texture like when you eat okra. So ono! So good for you! :) No wonder when I was growing up I used to mix up okra and saluyot thinking that saluyot were the leaves of the okra plant. lol :D

Here is my recipe.

Pork Dinengdeng with Saluyot


2-3 cups water
1 garlic clove, smashed and minced fine
1/2 round onion, sliced very thin
2-3 Tbsp bagoong isda or harm ha (fine shrimp paste)
1 whole tomato, sliced into thin wedges
6 cups saluyot or jute leaves
2-4 dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked in hot water and sliced thin--save 1 cup of the mushroom water
8 oz of lean pork, sliced very thin
Dash cracked black pepper to taste
Dash MSG to taste (optional)
1-2 Tbsp patis or fish sauce/nuoc mam
3 stalks baby bok choy, rinsed clean and cut into 2x2 pieces

Marinade mixture for pork:

1 tsp tapioca starch
2 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp Shaoxing wine or whiskey
1/8 inch ginger grated fine
mix well with pork for 20 minutes and set aside.


Boil water with tomatoes, garlic and onions until tomato and onions are soft. Add bagoong sauce. Add in mushrooms and mushroom water and let simmer for 15-20 minutes or until mushroom is soft.
Add marinated pork and cook for 3 minutes. Pork should be cooked through and broth should taste rich and meaty.
Add saluyot, bok choy leaves and continue simmering for 3 minutes.
Season with pepper and add more patis and or bagoong/harm ha for saltiness.

Serve with hot steamed rice.

Serves 4

jute leaf = West Africa sorrel = krin-krin = saluyot = rau day = Jew mallow
Notes: These are tossed into stews in Africa, the Philippines, and Southeast Asia.
Substitutes: spinach

What is Saluyot?

Saluyot is a leafy vegetable popular among Ilocanos in the Philippines. Saluyot is easy to propagate, you can start harvesting the leaves after one month. It is easier to plant saluyot than any other crop since you don't need pesticide and fertilizer to grow the crop.

If you have ½ cup boiled saluyot leaves (45g) for your lunch and dinner, you are assured with 20 kcal for energy, 1.3 g for protein, 0.3 g for fat, 3.1 g for carbohydrate, 0.4 for fiber, 87.3 mg for calcium, 22.5 mg for calcium, 1,334 for beta carotene, 1.0 mg for iron, 0.02 for thiamin, 0.04 mg for riboflavin, 0.3 mg for niacin, and 10 mg for Vitamin C.

Saluyot is rich in beta-carotene for good eyesight, iron for healthy red blood cells, calcium for strong bones and teeth, and vitamin C for smooth, clear skin, strong immune cells, and fast wound healing. In other words, saluyot is a nourishing green leafy vegetable. Secondly, it is the legitimate source of the world's raw materials for containers of rice, corn, sugar, mongo and other commodities.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Shrimp Sinigang

My wife told me yesterday that my sister-in-law was craving for Shrimp Sinigang. She's pregnant so a request was made. This ono dish is for my Ading Cathy! :)
My wife Aurora loves the pork sparerib version and I do too because it's so rich and meaty.

Shrimp Sinigang


1/2 round onion, sliced into wedges
1 whole tomato, sliced into wedges
10-12 cups of water to boil.
1 bay leaf, ripped in half.
2 large chinese daikon (radish), peeled and cut into 3x3 inch pieces
1 bunch ong choy (swamp cabbage), cut into 2 inch pieces and separate stems from leaves.
2 Mama Sita Tamarind Seasoning Mix
1 lb unshelled 36/45 count Shrimp
1 lb of okra, cut into 2 inch pieces
2-4 Tbsp fish sauce or patis
dash pepper to taste
dash msg to taste (optional)
1 hot thai chili pepper cut into thin slices (optional) for a little heat.
1 pork butt bone with meat on top. (For pork broth)
1 clove garlic, crushed and minced fine
1/2 inch finger of ginger sliced and crushed.


Rinse pork butt bone and put in pot with water just to cover.

Bring to a boil then throw away water and rinse bone and pot.

Bring bone back to pot and add 12 cups of water.

Add garlic, ginger and bay leaf.

Bring to a boil then simmer 30 minutes skimming away fat and impurities.

Your broth needs to be clear.

Add onion and tomatoes and simmer for 10 minutes.

Add daikon and simmer 3 minutes.

Add ong choy and okra and simmer another 3 minutes.

Add tamarind seasoning and mix well.

Add shrimp and simmer till pink and veggies are tender.

Add patis and dash seasonings.

Add chili pepper to spice it up.

Do not overcook.
Serve with cold or hot white rice. I prefer cold. :)

Serves 4-6

Variations for sinigang are fish, pork, and beef.

You may substitute fresh mullet, pork spareribs, or beef brisket.

And veggies such as string beans and araimo (japanese taro) can be added for a more ono version. :)

Friday, July 22, 2005

Low-Carbing etc.

It's been about a couple of months or so of watching "Blaine's Low-Carb Kitchen" on FitTV.

My wife and I love the show. Eliminating high carb products from our diet was difficult at first but we managed to curve our temptations. We've been eating brown rice and whole wheat bread and saying bye-bye to Hinode Calrose rice and good ol' white bread for sandwiches keeping it down to 20g of total carbs per day.

Oatmeal and Special K is prepared by my wife for us and we've even gone onto meal replacement protein shakes. We'd eat low carb for a whole week and get a free day on Sundays so my wife can indulge on ice cream, pasta and burgers. lol :)

Blaine recommends these Low-Carb Substitutions:

  • soy flour for wheat flour
  • artificial sweeteners (such as Splenda) for sugar
  • cauliflower for rice and potatoes
  • pork rinds for bread crumbs
  • spaghetti squash for pasta
  • lettuce leaves or flatbread for bread (for with sandwiches)
  • cheesecake for pie
  • celery for snack crackers (use with dips, peanut butter or cream cheese)
  • heavy cream for milk
We've used celery, beef jerky, pork rinds and cheese slices/sticks as our snacks in between meals. In the past I've made low-carb recipes such as meat loaf, steamed pork hash chinese restaurant style, and pork/shrimp shu mai to satisfy my wife's cravings for meaty type dishes.

Lately been thinking of circular sandwiches or wraps to make. I recall Costco had a good wrap sandwich on a deli platter made with turkey, swiss/cheddar cheese, and cherry creme cheese with romaine lettuce cut into circles (pinwheels). It was so delicious we gobbled them up in a jiffy (my brother and I). My wife has yet to try these. I've been thinking of my own version of the wrap. I'd say our current diet is a combination of Atkins, Protein Power, Carbohydrate Addict Diet, and the Paleolithic or Neanderthin diet.

Also we started a walking program to burn all these yummy dishes. :)

My Puter is back!!

I bought a new mobo on Saturday after shopping around town with my wife. Finally decided on a Shuttle mainboard AB60R V.20. After swapping out my old mobo with the new one and a few bugs and BSODs, my winXP pro installed ok. So far... :)

Burn in Testing...
So far my pc has been on the past 5 days. The case gets very warm. I need to get more fans for now or a bigger case with vents and coolers. Installing Adobe Acrobat Pro 7.0 bsod'ed my computer. Usually I choose a typical install. This time I chose custom and it crapped out on me upon reboot.

Friday, July 15, 2005

My computer is broke!! >:/

On Wednesday the 13th, my pc broke!! I just got home from Blockbuster Video with 2 dvd rentals for my wife and when I got to my pc the system was frozen. All the resources were locked up and not even my reset button worked. I had to hard reset the power supply to turn it off. But the thing is that it wouldn't come back on again!! >:/ Arghhhhhhh!!!!

So I just bought a power supply tester from CompUSA and tested it yesterday. Everything checked out right. So the problem isolated is the motherboard.

And now I have to get a new motherboard ASAP. I could buy a mobo=motherboard cheap online but my wife doesn't want to pay for the shipping and wait for it to arrive. So I have to shop locally today for one. The weekend looks busy already!! :/

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Chicken Curry

On Monday I cooked Chicken Curry for lunch. I was suprised my wife suggested I make it. Usually she doesn't crave for curries. :/ But this time she did! :)
This variation is a cross between Thai and Vietnamese styles. In that it adds lemongrass and fish sauce (patis/nuoc mam) and sweetened a bit with splenda or sugar. I didn't have coconut milk so I substituted with evaporated milk which turned out fine as always. On the curry powder I used the type that they use in restaurants and food service establishments made by McCormick which I bought at Sam's Club. On the veggies, no eggplant or hot chilis were added. Just potatoes and carrots. I wanted to make it similar to Coco Ichibanya Curry House Japanese curry but my wife doesn't like it spicy or flaming hot. :) Coco's curry is a bit darker and sweeter and they don't use coconut milk in Japanese curries. They make a rich curry roux which can be bought premade packets at the supermarket made by S&B brand. It's quite authentic.


5 lb Chicken, skinned , cut into pieces

4-5 Tbsp Curry powder

4 inches thin sliced green onions

1 80z can evaporated milk or coconut milk

1 round onion chopped fine

6-8 potaoes, peeled and cut into quarters

4-6 carrots, peeled and cut into 2 inch parts

4-6 Clove garlic

1 bay leaf, ripped in half

1 stalk lemongrass, leaves removed and bottoms crushed

2-1/4" slices of ginger crushed

1 block Butter

dash cracked blackpepper to taste

dash salt to taste

2-4 Tbsp of patis to taste

dash MSG optional to taste

2-3 Tbsp Corn starch mixed with water for thickening

1-2 Tbsp Canola oil

1-2 Tbsp splenda or sugar to taste


Heat oil and fry crushed garlic, lemongrass, ginger, bay leaf, and onions to release oils and aromatics. Do not burn. Add cut chicken and brown. Add dash salt and pepper to season. Add water to cover chicken after browning. Add evaporated milk, curry power and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer til cooked about 20 minutes. Add potatoes and carrots and simmer more until potatoes and carrots are fork tender. Add patis to taste. Add butter to make curry creamy before thickening. Add splenda to sweeten a bit to your taste. Thicken curry sauce with corn starch and water as thick you want the sauce. Sprinkle thin slices of leaf onion over your curry dish before serving. Serve with white or brown rice.

Serves 6

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Pancit Ramen Lucky Me! Style

My wife asked me what I was going to cook for brunch today. I looked in the cupboard and we had a box full of Maruchan ramen noodles. You know the kind thats sold cheap for a buck. We bought a big box from our local Sam's Club about a month ago.

In the fridge I had a half of head cabbage and carrots and lemons. So I thought about suprising my wife because I never made this for her. She loves "Lucky Me!" instant pancit packagages so I wanted to make it a more special version of this with what I had in the kitchen and fridge.

Here is the recipe:


  • 2 lbs of boneless pork, sliced thin into strips
  • 8 packages of Maruchan ramen noodles
  • 6 cloves of garlic, crushed and minced fine
  • 1 half of a round onion, sliced in slivers
  • half a head of round cabbage, chopped and shredded
  • 3 carrots, peeled and julienned into strips
  • 6 oz dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked and sliced
  • 3 inches of green onion, sliced fine
  • 1/2 lb char siu pork, sliced thin
  • 2 lemons, halved and sqeezed
  • 1-4 Tbsp patis to taste
  • soy sauce to taste
  • salt to taste
  • cracked pepper to taste
  • 1 bay leaf, ripped in half
  • msg optional
  • 4 Tbsp canola oil


Boil a pot of water for the amount of the 8 ramen pakages. Add ramen noodles without soup base packets. Cook til aldente'. Do not overcook or noodles will be soft and mushy. Drain and run under cold water. Drain in collander. Set aside.

Heat oil in wok. Add garlic and brown. Add pork and bay leaf. Stir-fry and brown meat till a bit crispy. Add cracked pepper and salt. Add sliced round onions. Fry til translucent. Add mushrooms and carrots. Continue to stir-fry for a minute or so. Add chopped cabbage and stir-fry. Cook til cabbage gets soft and translucent.

Add ramen noodles to wok and add a bit of canola oil to lubricate the noodles. Add patis and soy sauce. Continue mixing ramen with veggies. Add lemon juice and drop lemon rinds into noodles. Season with more pepper. Add char siu pork and green onions. Mix well and toss ramen so flavors of garlic oil, patis, soy sauce, and lemon juice are incorporated.

Serves 6

I brought the plate to my wife and she was suprised it tasted like Lucky Me! pancit noodles that she used to make in the Phils. She goobled them up with a smile! :D The aroma and taste of the lemon juice with the garlicky oil and freshly cracked black pepper was so sarap!!

So ono!! :9

Friday, July 08, 2005

Italian Style Eggplant by Aurora

On my lunchbreak my wife called my cell and told me where I was. I told her I was at the bank and returning the videos at Blockbuster Video. She asked me if I was coming home to lunch. I said yes and she said she had a suprise for me. She cooked something. hmmmmm :)

When I got home she brought this plate to me on the kitchen table. I was suprised and shocked! It looked like she bought it from a fine dining restaurant. She immediately wanted me to taste how it was. It was so ono!! I told her it look like she got it from a restaurant. And the filling she made in the pot looked like kaldereta that her dad is a master of! :D

It was Italian Style Eggplant!! :D wooo hoooooooooo Her plating presentation was so cute and clean I was tickled.

Her family wouldn't believe she can cook. It's in her now. :)

Here is her recipe:

Italian Style Eggplant


  • 3 large eggplants
  • 4 cloves of garlic crushed and minced
  • 1 medium onion, sliced chopped fine
  • 2 lbs. ground pork
  • 1 medium carrot cute into tiny cubes
  • 1 can italian style spaghetti sauce
  • 4 stalks geen onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup grated cheese


  1. Cut eggplants lengthwise in half. Scrape out "meat" of eggplant, leaving 1/8" thick skin. Dice scooped meat. Boil skin for 2 minutes. Set aside.
  2. Saute' garlic, onion and pork in oil. Add carrot, diced eggplant and spaghetti sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for 10 minutes or until cooked.
  3. Stir in half of the green onions. Fill each eggplant skin with meat mixture. Top with remaining green onions and cheese. Bake for 10 minutes in oven at 450 degrees F to melt cheese before serving.

Serves 6

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Pandan Leaves in Asian Cooking

In my craving for cooking asian cuisines, I came across a few recipes that included pandan leaves or pandan extract from the pandanus tree. Growing up in Hawaii you take this tree for granted. Locally in Hawaii, the proud samoan people eat the ulu or breadfruit from the tree. They steam it in underground ovens called "imus". It comes out like a cooked steamed potato. I've seen it fried crispy into chips by my cousins on the Big Island of Hawaii.

Driving daily I've notice very few pandanus trees in Honolulu. It's somewhat scarce. On the windward side of Oahu near Kahana and Kaawa beaches the pandanus grows abundant according to some sources. The next time we go sight-seeing around the island I'll go check it out.

My wife said that pandan is used a lot in filipino cuisine especially in Pampanga for the rice and cakes. She said it has a distinct fragrance when added to a dish. Other ethnic groups use it well in their cooking too.

In grade school I remember all the boys breaking the branches and leaves for fun and games. It's also used by the Hawaiians and Samoans to make purses, hats, and baskets that they sell to the tourists. These souvenirs also are dried and sold on the internet and sent to the mainland US for keepsakes of Hawaii.

Recently I came across a few pandan trees at the airport and one in my neighborhood growing wildly. As you can see above the leaves are so versatile!!

I have yet to try cooking some pandan related recipes.

Get Santo's recipe for Pandan Chicken here!

Get recipe for Buko Pandan here at Pinoy Cook's site!