How to make Pork BBQ in skewers (Filipino Style)

How to make Pork Barbeque:

Prep time: Around 20 minutes (depends how much meat you are prepping)

Marinating Schedule: 3 hours upto 24 hrs is fine

Grill: Between 10 to 15 minutes each

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs pork
  • 20 bamboo skewers
  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of cooking oil
  • 1 head garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup of calamansi juice or lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup of pineapple juice (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons of brown or white sugar
  • 1 cup of banana ketchup (half for marinating and half for glazing)
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder/cayenne pepper if you want a little bit spicy
  • Aluminum foil

Instructions:

  • Cut pork meat into into 6 inch long, 1/2 inch thick and 1 inch wide. Whichever you prefer works.
  • In a mixing bowl, marinate with the soy sauce, minced garlic, cooking oil, lemon/calamansi juice, ground pepper, sugar, banana catsup and the pineapple juice (this tenderizes and adds flavour to the pork barbeque)
  • Mix well and keep in the refrigerator for at least 2-3 hrs.
  • Prepare the bamboo skewers by removing splinters and soaking in water to reduce burning during barbeque.
  • String the pork on the skewers.
  • Prepare the aluminum foil and fold to cover lower part of the grill. This is to prevent burning the BBQ sticks.
  • Over grill, barbeque the pork on skewers until each barbeque is cooked – turning every few minutes on each side and basting the leftover marinate on the barbeque.
  • A few minutes before taking them out of the grill, brush with ketchup/oil/ground pepper mixture. This is the glaze that makes it look more appetizing! 😛
 Notes/Tips:
  • You can use other meat according to your preference.
  • You can make it spicy according to your preference by adding cayenne pepper or chili powder.
  • To make it faster and easier, you can also have the option to cut the meat in 1 long slab(1inch by 1 inch by 6 inches) and skew it in all at once.

Pork Adobo

Adobo is one of the most famous Filipino dishes. You can make it using chicken, pork, or even a mix of the two. It’s a comfort food that’s commonly eaten with rice (and this is recommended, as rice soaks up the delicious sweet, sour, and garlicky sauce excellently.

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 hour
Yields: 6-8 servings, depends on appetite
  • 2 lbs pork, cut up 1 1/2 inch wide by 2 inches long
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp  ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 1 tbsp white or brown sugar
  • 6 hard boiled eggs
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • 3 cups of water or as needed

Instructions:

  1. Boil pork in 2 cups water with 1/4 cup of the soy sauce for 30 minutes or until dry.
  2. Heat up oil. Then fry pork to be a little crunchy. Set aside all fried pork and fry garlic in same pan. Brown the garlic, then toss in half of the fried meat only. (Toss other half later, when almost done to enjoy the crispiness on some of the meat)
  3. Add the rest of soy sauce, water, bay leaf,  sugar and ground black pepper. Let it simmer.
  4. Wait until the sauce gets thicker and gets to the color that you want to make it look enticingly delicious (dark brown).
  5. Add vinegar, simmer again for another 8-10 minutes. Do not mix!
  6. Add hard boiled eggs.
  7. Serve over rice or bread and enjoy!

Notes and Tips:

  • You can add as many as hardboiled eggs you want. lol! For four of us in my family, I would normally use 6-8 pieces of them. Adding them is an alternative also instead of eating more rice. That’s for me. Adding hardboiled eggs to our adobo was a tradition while growing up in the Philippines.
  • You can also add fried whole cloves of garlics in there. I fry some and put it as toppings!
  • Adding vinegar in the last few minutes of the cooking is very important. Putting the vinegar in the first step of boiling the meat is not advisable as this will not help in making the meat tender faster.
  • This is a good source of protein especially for those people on diet trying to cut down on carbs (in that case, cut out the rice or bread completely and definitely add the eggs.)
  • Adobo can be cooked with pork and chicken as combination. Whatever your preference.

Top 10 tips on planning a weekly meal

Meal-planning and prepping is a real game-changer

As a mother with two kids, I have always planned our meals. They’re both grown up now and my son has moved to L.A. already. With my husband, my daughter and I to worry about on a daily basis or at least 3-4 days a week. We try to eat out on weekends or just buy take-out so we can have something different depends on our cravings. I need a break too, don’t you think? We all do… ;p

As the years go by and being married for almost 27 years, I have learned some tricks, techniques to make life much easier especially when doing housechores and cooking meals for the whole family. I have been living here in the US for almost 30 years and my husband who just followed us in year of 2000. I was born in the Philippines and grew up there until 19 when my mother have petitioned me to live in Hawaii. My husband and I were living comfortably back home, so to speak, due to a lot of help around the house. There is someone to cook, wash and iron clothes and drive you to places. I didn’t have to worry about doing all the chores except cooking. Cooking is my passion and what I really love doing. It is a therapy for me and no matter what, I would always go to the “wet market” to get fresh fish, meat and vegetables  regardless of how much help we have at home.

Eversince moving here in America, lifestyle has changed drastically. You do everything here . As for me, I lived here for the first few years before my husband could even join us to take care of some business issues back home. Living here was never easier since you have to do everything and no help to rely on. Unless, 1. you can afford to pay for a housekeeper, 2. you can buy take-out food everyday, and 3. you are so blessed to have parents or parents-in-laws, who have retired, supportive, generous and assist you with some housechores and willing to babysit their grandchildren. With this lifestyle, what do you expect? The result? Stress and fatigue. That’s right! I hear yah.

For me, eventhough I love cooking, I consider it the most difficult chores of them all. The fact that for this type of chore alone, it includes meal-planning, grocery-buying, loading and unloading stuff, putting them away,chopping and cooking all the necessary ingredients, and washing all the “tools” used just to put food on the table. After all these preparations, the food you just cooked,  in few minutes, are gone caput, and inside your stomach ready to be digested in few hours.  Isn’t that too much work? Is it really worth it to cook or to just buy fast food, or to go out to dinner instead? Some would say yay and some would say nay.

These days, times are really tough for most people and not only here in America but the whole entire world is feeling it. Each one of us has to learn to be really smart and wise in every penny we spend especially when it comes to food. Statistics show that at least on average, every household throws or wastes $100-$400 dollars worth of food a month with leftovers thrown away, spoiled fruits, veggies, meat, old frozen items, etc. That’s $1200-$4800 dollars a year right there! Enough to feed the whole starving population in Africa or even Philippines for the next 10 years! I am one person who refuses to toss any single piece of food that’s still edible. I raged when I see my kids waste even a piece of meat and just throws them or not being able to finish their plate. I always think there are a lot of people starving around the world and here we are, doesn’t even bother to think twice throwing pieces of food where some would even grab and take it just to put something in their stomach even it’s already in the trash. There’s a saying by Benjamin Franklin, “A penny saved is a penny earned”. Totally agree. So planning your meals for the whole week(ok, 3-4 days at least is ok) will definitely save you lots of dough in the long run. No more spoiled/rotten veggies, less leftover to throw and minimizes buying take-outs. Plus you become more productive since you have more time in your hands than being stuck in the kitchen the whole night, prepping and washing dishes every single day. Here are some tips on planning meals on a weekly basis:

1. First of all, be willing or rather start learning to eat leftover foods. If it’s edible and not spoiled, it’s still okay to eat it. It’s just all in the mind. Train your kids while they are still young and your husband? Ignore his face. He’ll get used to it. lol! Think of Africa, Philippines, other third world countries who has people that’s dying because of poverty. Be thankful that we have so much option to consume good food that we want to eat.

2. Plan your meals ahead of time. I know bad habits are really hard to break. Quit the habit of just last minute cravings and that’s when you only starts preparing for food, or much worse, ends up buying fast food. This does not only waste your time but also not saving you money in the long run.

3. Write down all the ingredients needed. If you have everything listed, you are less likely to buy stuff you don’t really need. Again, that saves you another dollar.

4. Never go hungry! Don’t ever go to the grocery store when you’re starved. Your eyes are going to get bigger than your stomach can handle. So you end up stuffing your cart and paying for something you don’t really need.

5. Once in a while, cook meals that are in the same family like let’s say kids want some spaghetti. Cook a little bit more of the pasta than the sauce so that you can make the extra pasta for a cheesy garlic noodles with lots of parmesan cheese on top. Kids will love it! You can also double up on the meat when you sautee and you can save the other half for an omelette the next day or so. Or If you baked/roasted a prime rib larger than usual, you can make the rest of them, a prime rib sandwich. All you need is a mayonnaise and a bread.  And beef noodle soup/stew, the next! Just add chopped veggies. Voilah! Yummm! That’s already 4 different meals you have there and good for one week and I’m sure one of those days you might have to eat previous day’s menu. So you skipped one step of boiling the pasta for the cheesy garlic noodles, you skipped baking/roasting the prime rib for making a sandwich plus, less washing all the dishes! You have more time to do other stuff. Like that overdue ‘workout” regimen you’ve been putting off for months now.

6. Think of menus that can be frozen for weeks or months. You can freeze veggie soups or any type of soup you prefer. The beef stew or chicken teriyaki for BBQ, or any marinated meat that you have. This way you can always have what I call “Emergency food” instead of having canned goods, which are not actually good for our health. Canned or processed goods  are very convenient and gets cheaper sometimes when they go on sale but it is a trap to being unhealthy.

7. Eating lunch out is great but bringing home-cooked meals to work is a greater deal! A lot cheaper, better and healthier than take outs or to-go.

8. If you love eating breakfast i.e. eggs n sausage with bagel, or ham n eggs with toast, try cooking or making them good for 2-3 days in one cooking. Buy those small plastic containers in same sizes and stuff them in there and stack in the fridge. This way it’s just a “grab-and-go” for the both of you.You’re lucky if you have toaster in your office kitchen, if not just don’t eat with the bread and forget the carb! You’ll loose weight as well. If you and your husband will bring and eat it to work, you’re gonna need 6-10 of them since there are 5 days of the week. Okay, okay maybe only 8 coz you deserve a break. Fridays, it’s a break so you’re excused to buy that breakfast burrito you’re craving from that deli next to your office.

9. Buy lots of food containers. They come in very handy and so easy to plan your meals/snacks with them. You can also cut up fruits and veggies like cantaloupe, pineapple, papaya, carrots, celery, etc ahead of time to bring to work. You can stack them up in the fridge so it’s just, again, a “grab n go” for you.

10. Last but not the least – refrain shopping and buying bulks of perishables from wholesale club i.e. Costco, Sam’s Club, Smart and Final. If there’s only two of you who’s gonna eat a certain type of food and if there’s a dozen of them, or one huge box or packaging, how much could you really eat for the next 2-3 weeks or so? Then it will end up stocked up in the freezer/fridge for months and before you know it, it’s expired or you feel you don’t want to eat it anymore since it’s been there for the last 6 months, so you end up throwing them away eventhough it’s not expired yet. Sounds familiar? So instead of thinking with buying in bulks to save $$$, just go to the regular grocer closer to your home unless it’s necessary. Trust me because 99.9% they just end up in trashbin. Don’t you agree?

 

Octopus and Avocado salad

Prep time: 35-40 minutes

Serving: 10-12 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb sliced pre-cooked octopus (big ones not the baby ones)
  • 1 whole white onions (chopped)
  • 4-6 Roma tomatoes chopped (seeds taken out)
  • 1/2 stalk of green onions
  • 1/2 small piece of jalapeno (finely chopped) if you prefer spicy, add more
  • 1/2 lb of seasoned Wakame seaweeds
  • 1 whole lemon/lime
  • 1 medium avocado (cut in small cubes)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 tablespoons sesame oil

Instructions:

  • Boil octopus for 15-20 minutes. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Drain n run in cold water.
  • Slice octopus diagonally in small bite pieces.
  • Mix with all the ingredients. Sprinkle green onions on top.
  • Refrigerate, then serve.

Philippines Debut Tradition

Celebrating 18th birthday for young women in the Philippines is a very special event every family looks forward to. If a girl comes from a middle-class or affluent family, most of the time, they do a lot of preparations for this event. It is very popular in the country that even families who comes from low-class or even for those who doesn’t have enough funds, try their best to make the event happen in their own little, special way. This way, they try to make it memorable and something the debutante will treasure for the rest of her life.

The “debutante”, as she is called, is a French word meaning a “female beginner”, an adult now, who is being prepared to be introduced into society and into a world of civic responsibility and social awareness. Originally, she is being exposed due to her legal age, that she will be eligible for marriage and to be formally introduced to all eligible bachelors as well. That’s why this event is also called as the “coming out party”.

The debut tradition consists of the 18 roses presentation, in which 18 males from family members and close friends perform a short waltz dance with the debutante. One of those roses is from the father of the celebrant, usually the first one to dance with, but some do it the last dance, so they can perform the “Father and Daughter dance” portion. Next would be the presentation of the 18 candles, which has 18 females either from family members or closest to the celebrant’s heart who say their speech and wishes. They will lit each of the candle that represents all the virtues that they chose to resemble the character of being a full grown woman to guide her in her journey in life. They say each of their own piece and greetings, and after all of them are lit, the debutante will make her wish and blow all the candles and the cake is cut for the guests to enjoy. Last but not the least is the cottilon de honor, which has 9 pairs who will be presenting a waltz dance number, together with the debutante and her escort. This usually is an elaborate dance number wherein it could take from 4-10 minutes the longest which requires at least 6-8 months long rehearsal. At most times, the family of the debutante hires a choreographer so he can prepare them for the special performance and the most awaited portion of the night. The rehearsal is always at the Debutante’s home who also provides food and drinks to all the participants of the cotillon de honor.

Also, a new presentation has been added wherein they call it “The 18 Symbolic Treasures/Token”, where another 18 participants, either family friends and/or relatives offer a gift to the celebrant and explain why they chose to give it to her. The gift is something that the Debutante should treasure/cherish/use as she moves onto college and starting to live as a young woman. These days, everyone can get creative and just accomplish in whatever way they want to celebrate.

The debutante’s ball concludes with dancing by both the teenagers and the adults.

How to make Filipino Spaghetti

Spaghetti (Filipino Style)

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1/2 lb hotdog (filipino hotdog), diagonally sliced
  • 2 medium can of tomato sauce
  • 2 cups of banana ketchup (could be regular or spicy-depends on your preference)
  • 1/4 cup red bell peppers, chopped
  • 1/4 cup onions, chopped
  • 1 head garlic, minced
  • 4 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 5 tablespoons of sweet pickle relish
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup grated mild cheddar cheese (half used for cooking and the other half for toppings)
  • 1 lb spaghetti noodles

Spaghetti Cooking Instructions:

  • Sauté garlic and onions in olive oil.
  • Add ground beef, ground pork, bell pepper. Add soy sauce. Simmer for 20-30 minutes until  meat is a little toasted. This is what makes it taste so flavorful.
  • Add tomato sauce, banana ketchup, salt and pepper to taste then let simmer for another 10 minutes
  • Add cheese (1/2 cup only), relish and hotdogs. Continue to simmer (low fire) for an additional 15 minutes or until color becomes orange red. The longer it simmers in low fire, the better.
  • Boil spaghetti noodles according to package instructions. Pinch of salt is okay. Don’t forget to pour a little bit of olive oil so that the pasta won’t stick after it’s cooked.

Tips:

  • Ground meat can be substituted i.e. ground chicken or ground turkey
  • If you don’t want to use red hotdog, it’s okay to just use the regular ones
  • Leftover noodles can be cooked as garlic noodles. I like cooking and having some extra noodles. Just sautee with butter, olive oil, garlic and little bit of salt and grated parmesan cheese. Toss some shrimps or chicken. Toast some French bread to go with it. Voilahh! Your kids are gonna love it. You have just made another new meal in under 10 minutes!
  • I like eating it with roasted veggies on the side or side salad
  • Topping it with sundried tomatoes and/or some black olives

Menudo (Filipino Style)

pork stew with carrots, celery, pickles, potatoes, and liver

Prep time: 30 minutes

Cooking time: 60-90 minutes

Ingredients :

2 lbs of pork butt or loin cut n cubes or strips is preferred
1/2 lb of pork liver cut in cubes
1 tbsp. of minced garlic
1 medium onion chopped
2 tomatoes sliced
1 small red bell peppers cut in strips                                                                                   1small green pepper cut in strips
2 potatoes sliced in small cubes
1 carrot sliced in small cubes
1 tbsp. of raisins
1/2 c. of sweet peas
1/2 c. garbanzos (chick peas), optional
1/4 c. of tomato paste
2 bay leaf
2 tbsp. of olive oil

1 tsp soy sauce
1/4 c. of vegetable oil (if you’re going to fry the potatoes; see notes below)
2 cups meat broth or water
salt and pepper to taste

For the marinate: 3 tbsp lemon juice and 2 tbsp soy sauce

Instructions:

– Marinate pork for at least 15-30 minutes in lemon/calamansi and soy sauce mixture.

– In a casserole, heat the olive oil. Over medium-high heat, brown pork pieces until the meat is no longer pink. Set aside on the casserole. Add the garlic and chopped onions, tomatoes until cooked well.

– Add the tomato paste, 1 tbsp soy sauce, bay leaf and 2 cups of water/broth. Season with salt and pepper.

– Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer for an hour or until pork is tender. Check the amount of liquid once in a while. Add more broth or water, if necessary, about half a cup at a time. When the pork is tender, increase the heat to medium-low and add the liver cubes. Cook for another 20 minutes. Add cooked potato and carrot cubes, sweet peas and diced bell pepper. Adjust the seasonings. Stir to distribute ingredients. Serve over rice.

NOTE/TIPS:

– Adding a sweet dill pickle is an option. You can substitute this in place of raisins. Cut up in cubes or strips

– Eliminating liver is fine if you don’t eat liver. Can use liver spread also to make it thicker and more flavorful.

– Frying potato and carrots are optional.

No Spoons and Forks please!

Boodle Fight in Philippines:
What exactly does it mean? A lot of us is wondering.
Started originally from the Philippine militaries who share eating varieties of food on the table that is placed on top of banana leaves. Mostly dried, grilled, steamed and fried food are served with different types of condiments as dipping sauce/side dishes that makes it more of a satiating experience.
No plates, no utensils, only bare hands to use. Although the word “boodle” came from Dutch word-“boedel”, w/c means money, it also has different context like, collection of lot, mass. Confusing ehh? How did they arrive on that word to call this type of activity? 😜.

Anyways, The word “fight” is due to acting of fighting and grabbing while eating since these men are really starved before they even begin. Thus, they have to eat faster so they won’t miss any. Most important though, this is to show the unity, equality and camaraderie of each and everyone from the academy regardless of their rank. However, this is not done on a daily basis in regular households in the Philippines though as what many thinks. It has now become a custom that only happens on special occasions. You still have the option though 😜
#boodlefightlunch #boodlefighters #kamayanstyle #kamayanfeast #kamayanmania #eatwithyourhands