Saturday, April 16, 2011



2-4 lbs pork spareribs
2 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons flour
3 tablespoons salad oil
2-4 cloves garlic, crushed, peeled, minced.
2 bay leaves
1 small piece  ginger root, crushed
2/3 cup vinegar
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup light brown sugar
salt to taste
fresh cracked black pepper to taste


Cut spareribs into 1 1/2 inch pieces. Sprinkle soy sauce and flour over spareribs; mix gently.
In a large saucepan, heat oil. Brown spareribs with garlic and ginger; drain off fat.
Add remaining ingredients and simmer 45 minutes.
Cook on low heat until tender. Thicken with 1Tbsp cornstarch/water slurry.
Add thinly sliced turnip and carrots(optional).
You may add 1 can pineapple chunks and the pineapple juice in the last 5-10 mins of cooking.

Makes 6-8 servings

Get your rice ready!!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Tinolang Manok (Chicken with Papaya in Ginger Soup)


1 whole chicken or 6-10 chicken thighs, cut into pieces.

1-2 young green papaya or sayote, peeled and cut into 1-2 inch chunks or cubes.

4-6 inches ginger, crushed and sliced into strips

1/2 cup dahon ng sili (chili leaves) or malunggay leaves, or ampalaya (paria) leaves

1-2 cups water

1-2 bay leaves

6-8 garlic cloves, crushed, peeled and minced

1 yellow or white onion, diced

4 tablespoons oil

2 tablespoons patis (fish sauce) or to taste

fresh cracked black pepper to taste

Cooking Instructions:

  1. In a stock pot, heat oil and sauté garlic, onion, bay leaves, and ginger.
  2. Add chicken pieces and brown evenly.
  3. Add enough water to cover chicken.
  4. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 20 minutes or until chicken is almost done.
  5. Season with patis and black pepper.
  6. Add papaya and continue to simmer for an additional 5 minutes or until papaya softens but not overcooked.
  7. Add sili leaves then turn off the heat.

Serve steaming hot on a bowl with plain rice on the side.

Enjoy masarap yan!!

mangan tayon!!

Monday, April 11, 2011

What Are the Health Benefits of Balsamic Vinegar?

Balsamic vinegar is made of sweet trebbiano grape pressings. The grape pressings are boiled until these turn dark. The syrup is prepared for the aging process. The dark syrup is placed into oaken kegs with a certain vinegar to begin the process of aging. Through the years, the kegs become smaller before being placed on the market. When the moisture evaporates, it thickens and concentrates the flavor of the vinegar. Many people have used balsamic vinegar to treat infections, wounds and body aches.

Digestive Aid

Erica Brigati, a registered dietitian, states on that balsamic vinegar contains antioxidants, called polyphenols that "may boost the activity of the digestive enzyme pepsin. This enzyme helps to break proteins down into smaller amino acids." According to Ms. Brigati, this process enhances the immune system, metabolism, cellular repair, and muscle building. Balsamic vinegar also contains acetic acid, which helps the body absorb certain minerals that can strengthen bones. Reduces Fat
Reducing fat in the body is another health benefit of balsamic vinegar. Using it as a substitute for regular salad dressing or mayonnaise can reduce overall fat and calorie intake.


Using balsamic vinegar with meals can help control diabetes. Ms. Brigati states, "It appears that as little as five teaspoons of the vinegar with a meal can improve insulin sensitivity." Better insulin levels means having better control of diabetes. Antioxidant Activity
Balsamic vinegar's antioxidants, such as polyphenols, protect the body from cancer and heart disease. Antioxidants protect from cell damage and improve the immune system. Antioxidants guard against harmful radicals in the body. Ms Brigati reports, "More research is needed though to further evaluate the polyphenol content of balsamic vinegar and their exact mechanisms of action."

Other Health Benefits of Balsamic Vinegar

Marion Volk, a lecturer, practitioner and registered provider, states at that balsamic vinegar can help reduce headaches and lower the risk for anemia. She points out that balsamic can suppress appetite, and help to control weight. Ms. Volk also reports that adding balsamic vinegar into a diet can help an individual to become more energetic, and less fatigued.

What is Balsamic Vinegar?


Balsamic Vinegar Characteristics

Pronounced: ball-SAHM-ick VIN-uh-ger

Real Balsamic Vinegar requires at least 12 years to make, and some take 25 years! Modena, Italy, a town in the northern region of Italy between Milan and Bolgna, is thought of as the home of Balsamic Vinegar. Grapes, primarily the Trebbiano grape, are crushed to make a must just like the first step in making a wine. The must is filtered through a course sieve and transfered to open kettles and simmered between 180 and 195 degrees Farenheit for 24 to 42 hours until it is reduced about 30-50% to a fruity syrup. The must, now called mosto cotto (cooked must) is cooled and transferred to a 60-liter oak cask containing about 1/3 of the vinegar from the prior year.

Clay's Kitchen : Clay's KitchenTraditional Balsamic vinegar makers have a minimum of 5-6 different size casks (with a maximum of 10-12) made of different types of wood called a battery. The must is successively decanted in a process called rincalzo into casks of different woods, each progressively smaller. For example, the must may move from a 60-liter oak cask to a 50-liter chestnut cask to a 40-liter cherry wood cask to a 30-liter ash cask to a 20-liter mulberry cask. Each different type of wood contributes to the taste of the vinegar as it ages. The casks have a hole on the top which is partially covered to allow evaporation. As the must ages in each cask, evaporation reduces the volume and intensifies the flavor. As much as 85% of the volume is lost in evaporation. This means that in 12 years, the original 60-liters will be reduced to only 9-liters of vinegar!


True balsamic vinegar is tightly controlled by a consortia in Modena and Reggio Emilia that govern every aspect of how the vinegar is produced and aged (including the shape of the bottle and the foil used on the cap!). True balsamic vinegar wears the name Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena or di Reggio Emilia on the label. Tradizionale is the key word. It must be aged for a minimum of twelve years in wooden casks and be approved by master tasters. Small bottles of tradizionale balsamic vinegar start at about $75 and go upwards of $400.

Condimento Balsamico
Vinegar makers who do not live in Modena or Reggio Emilia, or who don't want to endure the strict governace of the consortia, produce vinegar the same way, but may not age the vinegar for a minimum of 12-years. These vinegars are grouped under the name, condimento balsamico, and may be called salsa balsamica or salsa di mosto cotto.

Aceto Balsamico di ModenaThen there is Aceto Balsamico di Modena which may or may not be aged in wood and it isn't aged for a long period of time. Sometimes it is a mixture of concentrated grape juice, strong vinegar and caramel coloring. Sometimes it is a mixture of red-wine vinegar and caramel. This is the type of balsamic vinegar probably makes up 75% of the balsamic vinegar found in grocery stores in the US.

Modena, Italy

Trebbiano Grapes

Condimento Balsamico

Aceto Balsamico di Modena

Aceto Balsamico di Modena

Cheap commercial restaurant quality in bulk

Cantonese Braised Beef Brisket and Tendon


2 lbs beef brisket cut into 1-2 inch cubes

2 lbs beef tendon, cut into bite sized pieces (1-2 inches)

3 Tbsp canola oil

1/2 cup Shaoxing wine or any type of whiskey

2 cinnamon sticks

3-4 star anise

4-6 cloves of garlic, crushed, peeled, and minced

2-4 bay leaves

1 fat thumb ginger, peeled and sliced into thick disks

1 medium piece of rock sugar (or to taste), if you can’t find rock sugar, use regular sugar or splenda

1-2 tsp salt

1-2 Tbsp soy sauce

2 large or 4-5 small daikon, peeled and cut in large chunks (optional)

2 cups water


  1. In a large pressure cooker heat oil and saute the garlic, ginger, and herbs to release the aromatics.
  2. Add rinsed and drained beef to brown in pot. Add tendon and continue to brown evenly.Next
  3. add water, soy sauce, wine, and vinegar.
  4. Bring to a high heat to boil and simmer.
  5. Cover pressure cooker and let reach appropriate PSI for you cooker. (or when the valve rattles etc)
  6. Time at set pressure for about 45mins or so. check tenderness of meat and tendon consistency.
  7. Add salt and sugar for desired taste level. Add more water or less for desired sauce thickness. (some like it sticky gooey over rice!!)

You can do the same without a pressure cooker but it will take 2-3 hours longer and if you have the time and patience.

Get your rice ready and enjoy!!

Serves 4-6

Basic Hawaiian Macaroni Salad

To make a basic macaroni salad, just follow these guidelines:

The pasta: Cook 1 pound elbow macaroni (for really local Hawaiian style, cook until soft and fat, but you can go al dente if you prefer).

The flavoring: Stir in ¼ cup very finely grated onion. Not minced, chopped or sliced—grated. It should be liquidy (this is how they do it at Diner’s, a local eatery in Kalihi).

The mayo: At least 2½ cups for real local style. But there are no rules, so use less if you like. Or more.

The finale: Salt and pepper, to taste. Stir well; refrigerate.


1 lb box of Elbow macaroni
1/4 C Carrots finely chopped
1/4 C Onions very finely minced
1/2 Cup  Best Foods Mayonnaise
1/4 Cup milk
1 Tbsp sugar or more to taste
fresh cracked black pepper
Paprika (optional)
1 Tbsp vinegar or more (optional) if you want it a little tangy.

Cooking Instructions:

Prepare macaroni according to instructions on box. Afterwards, rinse with cold water and drain again. Let cool for about 10-15 minutes. 

Add finely chopped Carrot and mix well. Add finely chopped onions and mix well. Combine mayonnaise and milk. mix well, then add to macaroni. Add salt, pepper and paprika to taste. 

Chill before serving.

Taste test the mayo and milk combo. Add more mayo or milk to suit your tastes. 

Easy Falafel Recipe

Close up!! uh-oh I'm hungry now!! :D


* 1 can S&W garbanzo beans rinsed and drained a few times unless you want to buy the dried beans and soak them overnight. 
* 1 medium white or yellow onion, roughly chopped (about 1 cup)   
* 1 bunch tablespoons finely chopped fresh italian parsley (optional) about 1/4 cup  
* 1 bunch tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro or chinese parsely.  Use the roots, stems, everything!! about 1/4 cup
* 1-2 teaspoon salt   
* 1/2-1 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes more or less if you want spicy (optional)
* 4 cloves of garlic   
* 1-2 Tbsp cumin   
* 1-2 teaspoon baking powder   
* 4-6 Tbsp flour
* fresh cracked black pepper to taste
* canola oil for deep or pan frying
* 1-2 large tomatoes chopped or 8-10 cherry tomates quarted
* 1-2 english or japanese cucumbers peeled and sliced or cubed chopped
* 1 chopped or sliced sweet red onion (optional)
*  pita bread heated on a warm dry frying pan.
* 3-4 romaine leaf lettuce roughly chopped


1.  Place the drained, chickpeas and the onions in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Add the parsley, cilantro, salt, hot pepper, garlic, and cumin. Process until blended but not pureed.  

2.  Sprinkle in the baking powder and 4 tablespoons of the flour, and pulse just a time or two. You want to add enough flour so that the dough forms a small ball and no longer sticks to your hands. Turn into a bowl and refrigerate, covered, for several hours.  

3.  Form the chickpea mixture into balls about the size of walnuts. Did you know that there are such tools as falafel scoops? They are available in Middle-Eastern markets. I use my cookie dough scoop which is about the same size. You can also make patties instead of balls.  

4.  Heat 3-4 inches of oil to 375 degrees in a deep pot and fry 1 ball to test. If it falls apart, add a little flour. Then fry about 6 balls at once for a few minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.

We enjoy falafel stuffed into pita bread and then we add chopped tomato, lettuce cucumbers and the following yogurt sauce.

Yogurt Sauce for Falafel

* 1 cup no-fat, plain yogurt   
* 3 tsp minced garlic   
* 2 T fresh lemon juice   
* 1 T dill leaves
* salt and pepper to taste!

prepped and ready!

prepping to go into food processor!

roll into balls and drop into hot deep fry oil!! Can be made into patties for falafel veggie burgers!!

S&W Garbanzo Beans

Hawaiian Style Chicken Katsu


8-10 pieces boneless Chicken thighs (for a healthier recipe, use boneless/skinless thighs) but with the skin on its what gets it crispy!
2 large Eggs
1 C Flour
1 1/2 C Panko bread crumbs
Garlic salt to taste
Pepper to taste
1 tsp ajinomoto/MSG (optional)
Canola oil for frying

Dipping Sauce:

3 Tbps Ketchup
1-2 Tbps Worchestershire sauce
1 tsp Shoyu
1-3 tsp Tabasco to taste

For sauce, mix ketchup, Worchestershire sauce, shoyu, and tabasco.

Cooking Instructions:

  1. Heat about a 1/2 inch of oil in a large pan or wok on high 375 deg F temperature. 
  2. In a medium sized bowl, mix flour, garlic salt, pepper and ajinomoto/MSG (optional). 
  3. In a separate bowl, beat eggs and add salt and pepper, set aside. 
  4. In a third, shallow bowl or plate, place Panko. 
  5. Dredge thighs in flour to evenly coat the thighs. 
  6. After coated, dip coated thigh in the egg wash, then into the panko, making sure that all of the chicken is coated. 
  7. Repeat with all of the thighs. 
  8. Carefully place coated chicken in heated oil, turn when panko turns a nice golden brown (about 5-7 minutes per side). 
  9. After chicken is cooked, drain on paper towels.

Chop and slice chicken thighs and dip in katsu sauce. Serve on a bed of shredded cabbage alongside white rice and macaroni salad for an authentic Hawaiian style plate lunch!



panko - Japanese breadcrumbs essential for katsu

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Pasta with Shrimp Scampi


canola oil
Kosher salt
1 1/2 lbs linguine, spaghetti or angel hair
6 Tbs (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
5 Tbs good olive oil
3 Tbs minced garlic ( 9 cloves)
2 lbs large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup chopped parsley
Grated zest of 1 lemon
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (4 lemons)
1/2 lemon, thinly sliced in half-rounds
1/4 tsp hot red pepper flakes


Drizzle some oil in a large pot of boiling salted water, add 1 Tbs of salt and linguine, and cook for 7 to 10 minutes, or according to directions on the package.

Meanwhile, in another large (12-inch), heavy-bottomed pan, melt the butter and olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the garlic. Saute for 1 minute. Be careful, the garlic burns easily! Add the shrimp, 1 Tbs of salt and the pepper and saute until the shrimp turn pink, about 5 minutes, stirring often. Remove from the heat, add the parsley, lemon zest. lemon juice, lemon slices and red pepper flakes.
Toss to combine.

When the pasta is done, drain the cooked linguine and then put it back in the pot. Immediately add the shrimp and sauce, toss well and serve.

serves 6


with linguini

with angel hair

Shrimp Canton with Pineapple


2 lb. shrimp

peanut or canola oil for deep frying

2 eggs, slightly beaten

1 cup water

1 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 can (1 lb, 4 oz) pineapple chunks with juice syrup

1/2 cup vinegar

1/4 cup catsup

1/2 cup sugar

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon soy sauce

1/2 teaspoon monosodium glutamate (optional) I don't actually use it!!

dash of hot pepper sauce ( i prefer Tabasco!!)

2 tablespoons cornstarch

2 tablespoons water

1 teaspoon toasted sesame seed


Shell and clean/devein shrimp. Heat deep fryer with oil to 360 degrees F. Combine eggs and the one cup water. Add flour and the 1/2 teaspoon salt; mix lightly.

Dip shrimp into batter; drop into fat and fry.  Deep fry until golden brown and puffy then drain on strainer or paper towels, set aside.

Drain pineapple; add water to syrup to make one cup.

Combine syrup, vinegar, catsup, sugar, the two teaspoons salt, soy sauce, monosodium glutamate and hot pepper sauce in saucepan; bring to a boil.

Mix cornstarch and the two tablespoons water; stir into hot mixture.

Cook two more minutes, stirring constantly.

Plate shrimp, add pineapple chunks and pour over shrimp.

Sprinkle with sesame seed.  Garnish with a sprig of cilantro and some lemon wedges.

Makes 6 servings.


Saturday, April 09, 2011

Huli Huli Chicken (Hawaiian Grilled BBQ Chicken)

This popular Hawaiian barbequed chicken is often sold at fundraisers in Hawaii. Locals in Hawaii scan the newspaper on weekends looking for Huli Huli benefits. The barbeque sauce for this dish is flavored with pineapple juice, soy sauce, whiskey, ginger, and garlic.


3-4 whole young fryer chickens, cut into quarters or halves

1  cup catsup

1 cup soy sauce

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup chicken broth

1 cup sherry, white wine, or straight whiskey

1 can frozen pineapple juice concentrate.

2-4 garlic cloves, minced

1-2  inch piece of ginger root, finely minced

Two drops of worcestershire sauce to taste

fresh cracked black pepper to taste

1-2 tablespoon paprika


Mix all ingredients except chicken, and brush over chicken pieces. Cook chicken on an grill until done, will will typically take about 40 minutes. Brush chicken with sauce repeatedly during the cooking period. 

Special Equipment

Smoker bbq grill or hibachi. Gas propane grill will work just as good with the lava stones!

Mesquite coals or kiawe wood.  It's the wood that flavors it authentic Hawaiian huli huli style!

Mesquite chunks (soaked in water at least 1 hour)

Marinade mop


Serves 1 beeg Hawaiian or 4-6 normal sized people.  LOL