Monday, December 31, 2012

Filipino Pork Guisantes


3-4 pounds boneless pork country style ribs

4-6 cloves garlic

4-8 bay leaves

1-2 tablespoon patis (fish sauce to taste)

1 tablespoon freshly cracked or coarsely ground pepper to taste

2 large yellow onions, sliced

1/2 cup water as needed

1 cup tomato paste or 4 cans unsalted tomato sauce

2 teaspoons chopped or sliced pimentos (sweet bell pepper) or 1 jar fancy chopped or sliced sweet pimentos with the juice

2-4 cups frozen peas

2 sticks of cinnamon


Separate the fat from the lean in the pork and slice the pork into stir-fry-size pieces. In a large saute pan, dutch oven or wok over high heat, saute pork fat until melted and drain off excess. (You don't need much more than a couple of teaspoons.) Reduce heat to medium-high and add garlic, bay leaves, black pepper, onion and lean pork. Stir-fry for 15-30 minutes or so until pork is cooked and browned well. Add water and simmer until it is evaporated. Add tomato paste/sauce and pimento and cinnamon sticks and simmer for a 30 minutes or so. Finally, add peas, stirring carefully to break up frozen clumps. Simmer more if meat is not yet tender;  Add more patis to taste.  Add sugar for sweetness Serve hot with rice.

Makes 6-10 servings.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Masala Dabba Indian Spice Tin Box

A Masala Dabba is a traditional Indian spice box set made up of one large outer tin with two lids and 7 inner spice pots filled with commonly used spices. Most Indian homes have at least 1 Masala Dabba, used to store the most commonly used spices such as green cardamom pods, garam masala, fenugreek, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, turmeric, whole cloves, peppercorns, asafoetida, bay leaves, and ground chiles to name a few.

Buy your Masala Daba here on!

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Vegan Asian Salad with Hoisin Sesame Balsamic Vinaigrette


1lb fresh rinsed spinach
1 head romaine lettuce chopped
1/4lb mung bean sprouts
1 carrot peeled shredded
1 cucumber sliced and diced
1 large tomato sliced into wedges or 10 cherry tomatoes
1 green bell pepper seeded and chopped
2 nori sheets cut into flakes
chinese parsley or cilantro chopped
1 tsp ginger root minced
1 clove garlic crushed and minced fine


balsamic vinegar
hoisin sauce
sesame oil
extra virgin oil
black pepper


Cut veggies according to your preference. Combine in mixing bowl drizzle dressing either premix or straight drizzled from the bottle like me and toss.  No salt needed.  Hoisin is perfectly salty by itself.  Also add chili pepper flakes if you like it spicy.  Also can add slices of fresh oranges or canned mandarin too.

The tanginess of the balsamic with the sweetness of the hoisin along with the smoky sesame oil is a wonderful
combination I found out.   You'll love it too!

Yields about 2 big bowls for me or 4 servings!!  LOL

Enjoy kaukau time!!

Sunday, May 06, 2012

PHO Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup Recipe


2 medium yellow whole onions, cut in half, skin removed
1 large ginger knuckle or finger, or 2 medium.
5-10 pounds beef soup bones -- shin, leg, and knuckle bones, preferably with marrow -- not neck or tail bones. Cut into pieces about 3" - 4" long.
4 - 6 star anise
4 - 6 whole cloves
2  pieces of asian cinnamon stick (or 4" Mexican, in extremis)
1 pound beef stewing meat cut into 2" x 2" cube pieces.  Beef brisket is good.
1-1/2 tablespoons salt or Hawaiian rock sea salt, even kosher salt is good.
5-10 tablespoons fish sauce or nuoc mam or patis to taste.
1 1-inch chunk yellow rock sugar, or 2 tbs granulated white sugar.  Brown cane sugar can be used too.

Yield, about 5-6 quarts.


Broil the onion and ginger over a flame or on the electric burner. Blacken the onion and ginger but do not burn it.  You are going after the charred flavor.   Rinse under running water to get rid of all the loose blackened skin particles.  Set aside to cool.

Soak your bones in cold water first in the pot to release the blood about 1-2 hrs or so.  Drain and rinse the bones then refill the pot with fresh water and add the bones back.  Parboil the bones.

Turn on the hot water sink tap. Empty the bones and water into the sink. Allow water to go into the drain. Thorougly rinse the bones to get rid of any impurities that may have stuck to them. Set aside when clean. Thoroughly rinse the pot to get of any impurities that may have stuck to it. Return the bones to the pot, and cover with fresh, cool water.  One to two times is good.  You want a clean clear broth and this sets the standard.

Bring to the boil over high heat, reduce to a simmer. Allow to simmer for 10 minutes and skim the scum constantly.

Stuck the cloves into the round onions.

After the first skim, add the whole onions, ginger, anise, cloves, and cinnamon sticks to the stock. Check for scum at ten minute intervals, three times. Skim any scum that appears.

Beginning at the 1 hour mark, check the meat to see if it is tender (but not stringy). Check every 15 minutes thereafter. When the meat is cooked (usually about 90 minutes), remove it. Drain and immediately wrap (still hot) in aluminum foil. Reserve in the fridge, and use later as one of the pho meats.

Continue simmering stock. If water evaporates so bones become exposed, add more water as necessary. Stock should be finished at around 3 - 5 hours total simmer time (not counting the par-boil). Strain through a fine sieve. Check bones for any tendon which may have clung to them. If there is tendon, reserve in the same way as the cooked beef. Defat the stock if you like, but not too aggressively. Stock should be rich but not greasy.

All authentic Pho shops simmer their broths 6-10hrs or longer for a deep rich beefy broth.  Some use spice and broth packets to speed up production but real old school shops use real fresh herbs and fresh bones daily.  Their broth gets deep and and rich but super clear as they remove all fat from it.

For the bowls:

1  1/2-2 pounds small (1/8-inch wide) dried or fresh banh pho noodles ("rice sticks'' or Thaichantaboon)
1/2 pound raw eye of round, sirloin, London broil or tri-tip steak, thinly sliced across the grain (1/16 inch thick; freeze for 15 minutes to make it easier to slice)
1 medium yellow onion, sliced paper-thin, left to soak for 30 minutes in a bowl of cold water
3 or 4 scallions, green part only, cut into thin rings
1/3 cup chopped cilantro (ngo)
Ground black pepper

Garnishes arranged on a plate and placed at the table:
Sprigs of spearmint (hung lui) and Asian/Thai sweet basil (hung que)
Leaves of thorny culantro (ngo gai)
Bean sprouts (about 1/2 pound)
Red hot chiles (such as Thai bird or dragon), thinly sliced
Lime wedges

Assemble pho bowls:

The key is to be organized and have everything ready to go. Thinly slice cooked meat. For best results, make sure it's cold.

Heat the pho broth and ready the noodles. To ensure good timing, reheat broth over medium flame as you're assembling bowls. If you're using dried noodles, cover with hot tap water and soak 15-20 minutes, until softened and opaque white. Drain in colander. For fresh rice noodles, just untangle and briefly rinse in a colander with cold water.

Blanch noodles. Fill 3- or 4-quart saucepan with water and bring to boil. For each bowl, use long-handle strainer to blanch a portion of noodles. As soon as noodles have collapsed and lost their stiffness (10-20 seconds), pull strainer from water, letting water drain back into saucepan. Empty noodles into bowls. Noodles should occupy 1/4 to 1/3 of bowl; the latter is for noodle lovers, while the former is for those who prize broth.

If desired, after blanching noodles, blanch bean sprouts for 30 seconds in same saucepan. They should slightly wilt but retain some crunch. Drain and add to the garnish plate.

Add other ingredients. Place slices of cooked meat, raw meat and tendon (if using) atop noodles. (If your cooked meat is not at room temperature, blanch slices for few seconds in hot water from above.) Garnish with onion, scallion and chopped cilantro. Finish with black pepper.

Ladle in broth and serve. Bring broth to rolling boil. Check seasoning. Ladle broth into each bowl, distributing hot liquid evenly so as to cook raw beef and warm other ingredients. Serve your pho with with the garnish plate.

If you want authentic pho dac biet or combination pho served at pho shops, head to the chinatown butcher. There you'll find white cords of beef tendon and thin pieces of outside flank, not flank steak. Beef tendon which is actually "muscle" requires no preparation prior to cooking, Simmer it and the beef tendon in the cooking broth for 2-3 hours, or until soft chewy-tender.

Book tripe needs to be boiled and rinsed to chewy tenderness before using, wash and gently squeeze it dry. Slice it thinly to make fringe-like pieces to be added to the bowl during assembly. For beef meatballs (bo vien), purchase them in asian markets in the refrigerator case; they are already precooked. Slice each one in half and drop into broth to heat through. When you're ready to serve, ladle them out with the broth to top each bowl.

garnish to add to your bowl of pho

frozen bo vien

bo vien or beef meatballs

beef tendon

book tripe

Very time consuming to prepare but if you're doing it for loved ones than it's all worth it!!
Let's kaukau!!  :D

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Make Money On is a micro job site where freelancers (that means you) join and offer their services for five bucks up to $100 US dollars. Instead of being hired by one person who pays you a flat rate every two weeks, you perform tasks that you offer to whoever orders your “gig”. If you use wisely it can serve as a good way to generate supplemental income in addition to your regular 9 to 5 job.

What to offer

To decide what types of jobs you want to do, you first have to know what you are good at. If you’re a good writer, perhaps you can offer an article writing service. Let the buyer choose a topic and you’ll write a 300+ word article that they can then post on their blog. If you’re good with Photoshop you can offer up simple photo editing tasks. Are you an artist? You can draw simple caricatures for five bucks or more technical gigs such as programming etc.


Five bucks doesn’t sound like a lot. But what if it takes you just a few minutes to do the task? Then it becomes worth it. If you have to spend an hour completing the project, it’s just not worth it. Even a job at McDonald's would pay more. Some gigs I’ve seen revolve around people offering to cartoon-ize your picture. You might think this takes a long time, but actually all they do is put the picture into Photoshop, click a button which performs a series of actions, and voila the resulting image is saved and then sent to you. That’s just an example of a gig that’s worth it.


The buyer will be charged $5.00 up to $100. But has to make money of course, so they eat up $1.00 of each $5 transaction or 20%. This leaves you with $4.00. Not so fast, Paypal is the only way to collect money. They want their cut too. In the end, you’ll end up with about $3.92 for every completed gig. So can you make a real profit on The answer is yes, but it is extremely difficult. The only way to do it is to offer a service you can provide quickly that is popular. Of course that is easier said than done. Finding customers is the hard part, but if you provide a good service you’ll get customers coming back and re-ordering from you time after time.

I just setup 2 gigs for $5 recipes!  hehehe  :)