Banana Langka (Jackfruit) Bread

Ang tagal kong naghahanap ng banana langka bread recipe but I can’t seem to find one. I have my go to banana bread recipe but I really wanted to incorporate jackfruit. I thought this classic flavor combination would make it distinctly ‘Pinoy’. I looked for an interesting recipe online na pwede ko i-tweak and I finally came up with a flavorful result.

This one doesn’t use any butter or oil but I will give the measurement in case you want the bread to be extra moist. Actually, it was just a happy accident why the batch I made omitted this ingredient. I simply forgot to add it! I just remembered when the bread was already halfway through baking. I was mortified and thought I completely messed up (OMG sayang ingredients, I didn’t want to do it all over again!). Good thing it still turned out soft and moist. I personally don’t like an excessively greasy banana bread kasi I sometimes eat this for breakfast. Isa pa, I learned how to eat it the Aussie way. Dito ko lang natutuhan na masarap pala sya na toasted then slathered with… butter! You will never go back to your old ways once masubukan mo ito. Dahil dito, I prefer to cut down the fat content in the bread itself.

This recipe calls for three main ingredients: super ripe banana, jackfruit (I used canned) AND sweet potato (yes you read that right! – Kamote 🍠). The addition of sweet potato adds an extra layer of sweetness and flavor. Ito din ang reason kung bakit kahit walang oil, malambot pa rin yung bread because it has high moisture content. I think successful baking depends a lot on the use of right ingredients. Sabi nga, exact science kasi sya. Kaya I will also list down the brands that I used if necessary. Eto, last bilin na din: invest on a digital weighing scale. Hindi naman ito kamahalan promise! I will also list down the measurement in cups but if you want to yield consistent baking results everytime, weighing is key 🔑. So, hindi na ako magpapatumpik tumpik pa, heto na ang ingredients at procedures 😁

Ingredients:

Wet Ingredients

  • 200g or a little less than 1 cup of sweet potato (purple kamote, boiled then mashed)
  • 200g or a little less than 1 cup overripe mashed bananas (about 3 medium bananas)
  • 150g (2/3 cups) jackfruit, drained and shredded into small pieces if using canned – I used a Thai brand called Aroy-D
  • 1 cup sugar (I used raw, you can use white or brown)
  • 1/4 cup evaporated milk or full cream dairy milk
  • Half a teaspoon vinegar (I used rice vinegar but any white vinegar is fine. This, combined with milk is an easy substitute for ‘buttermilk’. Isa rin ito sa magpapa moist ng bread)
  • 125ml (1/2 cup) vegetable oil. As I said earlier, you can omit this like I did.
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 medium sized eggs, well beaten

Dry Ingredients:

  • 300g plain flour (2 cups, also known as all purpose flour)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon

How to make:

  • Boil sweet potato until fork tender. Drain, remove skin and mash well. Set aside and cool to at least room temperature.
  • Preheat oven to 170 celcius.
  • Add all wet ingredients in a bowl. Mix well.
  • Add all dry ingredients in a separate bowl.
  • Transfer dry to wet ingredients in three batches, folding in each addition. DO NOT OVERMIX. Maybe do about 4-5 fold per addition only.
  • The batter will be very sticky if no oil is added. Time for muscle exercise! Mix just enough so that you can no longer see white streaks of flour. I repeat: DO NOT OVERMIX. This will ensure you get soft bread.
  • Transfer mixture to a greased loaf pan. I used 7cm (H) x 14cm (W) x 24cm (D) pan.
  • Bake for 60 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

The bread is of course, best eaten fresh. As in sarap just right out of the oven but you can refrigerate it for up to 3 days. Kami, we freeze it so it will last longer. Until a week ang itatagal or maybe even more pero nauubos na after that time so haven’t really kept it for longer than that 😜

This is the photo of the canned jackfruit:

Enjoy it friends and let me know what you think! I would love to hear from you. If you haven’t been following me in IG yet, please do: @ritzypixie. Mas madalas ang updates ko dun. See you until next blog 😘

Agar Fruit Jelly

This was the fruit jelly I shared in my IG stories a few days ago @ritzypixie. They look like cute crystals don’t they? Tastes great too! Recipe was taken from Chef Pailin @hotthaikitchen but this is basically made out of agar (seaweed) powder, lychee syrup and sugar.

You can get creative and use different fruits as you wish. My personal tweak on this yummy treat is to add a few pieces of dragon fruit (pitaya). As you can see the colors turned out amazing! I used fruit cutters to get them shaped into stars and hearts. Don’t worry, nothing’s wasted as any excess ended up in my tummy 😜! You can also make them into popsicles (if you are like me who doesn’t want to share 😜) just add half a teaspoon more of agar powder to make it firmer. Not my original recipe so I will just direct you to HOT THAI KITCHEN youtube channel, search for Agar Jelly Fruit Cake recipe if you want to recreate it! Perfect for your next party! 💖⭐️💖

Easy Chicken & Corn Soup

Pwedeng appetizer pero pwede na rin pang main meal 😁. No need to buy powdered, instant or canned soup dahil madali lang syang gawin. Simple lang din ang ingredients. Freshly cooked, homemade meal is always the best dahil you can be sure na walang sangkaterbang preservatives ang kinakain mo. Try this easy recipe and let me know what you think! 🌽🐓.

Ingredients:
1/4 piece of whole chicken (I used thigh part, bone on)
3 cups water
1 whole onion
Ginger (small, about half a thumb size)
Salt
1 tsp garlic powder
Ground pepper
2 tbsp cooking oil
1 stalk of spring onions, chopped
1 small can creamed corn (pay attention to the ingredients written on the can. Mine already has salt and thickener so I know I don’t have to add too much salt or add any other pampalapot)
1 egg beaten

How to make:
In a small pot, combine water chicken, ginger, half onion, pinch of salt and bring to a boil
Once chicken is cooked (or when water reduces to about 1 1/2 cups, turn heat off. Remove chicken, discard onion and ginger and set aside broth.
Shred chicken into pieces.
Heat cooking oil in a pot and sauté remaining 1/2 onion. Add shredded chicken, sprinkle with garlic powder and cook until slightly brown.
Add chicken broth and simmer for about a minute.
Add the canned cream of corn and mix well. Add spring onions (reserve a tablespoon for topping.
Cook for another 2-3 minutes while stirring constantly.
Add beaten egg and mix vigorously.
If you find the mixture is too thick, add 1/4 cup of water at a time and adjust taste by adding salt. Sprinkle with pepper before turning off heat.

That’s it! Serve in a bowl and top with remaining spring onions.😋

Sinigang sa Sabaw ng Buko

I had my first taste of sinigang sa buko (sour soup in coconut water) when I made a trip to Palawan many years ago. Sobrang tagal na I can’t even remember the year. Anyway, I never had it prior and thought it was wonderful.  Coconut water lends a hint of sweetness and lifts the flavour of the dish.

Since I moved here in Australia, I only attempted to make it once and it was sadly a failed attempt. It ended up too sweet for my liking, so something must have gone wrong. I realised this was because of the coconut water I used.  Fresh coconut juice here is scarce and too pricey if available so I just usually get bottled ones sourced from Thailand. Although it tastes great as a refreshing drink, its floral undertone wasn’t suitable for use in a savoury dish like sinigang. It’s sweet by itself without needing to add any sugar. I used to wonder if it’s artificially sweetened but then I realised they are not. I recently tried it fresh and its juice tastes the same as bottled. I can’t really say I prefer it though. Memories of home are entwined with every drop of our own buko juice. Ang drama ano? Pero iba pa rin talaga ang nakasanayan at nakalakihan. Agree?

I’m not the one who easily gives up, so I decided to give it another go. Perhaps I told myself, I can try another brand. So, there I was at the grocery aisle and I instinctively grabbed the first one that caught my eye. When I flipped the container to peep at the “made from” label, look at what I found:

Juice ko Lord, produced from the Philippines! This must be a sign, my sinigang sa buko dream is about to come true. Muntik na akong mag-hyperventilate sa tuwa. If you read my previous blog (here), you know that I am a proud advocate of Philippine made products. I had my doubts at first at baka kasi iba ang lasa. To my surprise, para lang akong bumili ng buko sa palengke. Yung sinasalin sa plastic, but obviously minus the coconut meat.

Bago pa maubos sa sobrang excitement, I saved myself some to cook sinigang na alimango. I was finally satisfied with the outcome. This is a simple recipe but it’s bursting with flavour. Of course, you may substitute it with other seafood (like hipon!). I haven’t tried using pork meat though. Mas mabilis kasi lutuin ang seafood plus the liquid doesn’t evaporate much so you’re left with more sabaw. The dami the sabaw, the better right?Heto na po ang recipe at syempre huwag natin kalimutan magluto ng kanin😃

Ingredients:

  • Crabs, thoroughly cleaned and cut
  • 1 cup fresh coconut water
  • Juice of ½ lemon (or 4 calamansi, adjust if you don’t want it too tangy)
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 big tomato, chopped
  • 1 medium sized red onion, chopped
  • 1 medium sized ginger (be generous if you want the spice to shine through)
  • A pinch of salt
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce (Healthy tip: go easy on salt or fish sauce when cooking shellfish. They already contain high amount of sodium, so you don’t want to add more)
  • Your choice of usual sinigang veggies (kangkong, eggplant, okra, etc.)

How to make:

  • Sauté ginger and onion in oil. Once onion is slightly translucent, add in tomatoes. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt. I find that this helps bring out that ginisa flavor better. Tomatoes also sweat a lot quicker, so you can get the juices out. You want that for additional tamis asim.
  • Add the crabs and sauté for less than a minute just to infuse flavours of other ingredients.
  • Pour coconut water and cook until crabs turn slightly orange. Season with fish sauce.
  • Add vegetables last and turn off heat once cooked.

Ang dali ‘di ba? Let me know if you’ve tried it, I would love to hear your thoughts. Better yet, let me know if may iba pang quirky ways to prepare sinigang.

See you until next blog!

Malunggay Milk Cookies

If you are like me who doesn’t drink coffee, tea would most likely be your alternative beverage. I think it’s more exciting anyway with the range of flavors to choose from. My go-to are green tea (I drink this almost everyday), early grey or peppermint. Imagine my delight when I found out it can also be used to flavor food.  I’ve seen recipes where you can use it to smoke meat or even for gravies.

My first encounter of a tea infused treat was when one of my colleagues brought back a darjeeling biscuit (with chocolate) from Japan. Oh my goodness, it was lovely! I was  so smitten that I had to recreate it. The malunggay (moringa) tea sitting in my pantry immediately came to mind. I thought it would add a healthy twist and would make a nice milky flavored cookie.

The result? I will probably make a few more batches because this will be devoured quickly.  It is yummy!  Lucky I restrained myself from eating everything until I can get a decent shot for this blog.  Here’s the recipe in case you want to try it:

malunggay cookie 2

Ingredients:

100g (1/2 cup) plain flour

20g (1 tbsp) tapioca flour (you can just use plain flour but this will make a crunchy outer to the cookie)

40g (1/3 cup) icing sugar

1/2 tsp baking powder

2 bags of malunggay tea

50g (1/4 cup) vegetable oil

50g (1/4 cup) evaporated milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

How to make:

1.)  In a bowl, sift together flour, icing sugar and baking powder. Mix well.

2.) Open malunggay tea bags and pour contents to dry ingredients.

3.) Add oil, evaporated milk and vanilla extract. Mix all ingredients well. The texture will be sticky.

4.) Form the dough into a log and cover in a cling wrap. Put in the fridge and chill until it hardens slightly.

5.) Slice dough evenly (the recipe will yield about 16 pieces of cookies). Form into a ball and flatten to achieve a round shape.

6.) Bake at 180C for about 15 minutes or until sides turn slightly brown.

7.) Remove from oven immediately and transfer cookies to a cooling rack.

Enjoy! Let me know if you tried this recipe.

San Choy Bow

Also known as lettuce cups. Super quick and easy to make dish. The combination of crunchy lettuce at sweet, salty minced meat is really yummy! You can be creative and add whatever veggie you like. Add this to your healthy meal plan (dahil alam kong marami ang may new year’s resolution na ‘I want to eat healthy this year’ 😁)

For the meat:
500g minced meat (I used chicken pero pwede din ang pork)
2 tbsp peanut oil (you can use cooking oil)
2 cloves minced garlic
1 tbsp finely minced fresh ginger
2 tbsp hoisin sauce (I use Lee Kum Kee)
1 tsp oyster sauce
A pinch of ground pepper

Sauté garlic and ginger. Add the mince and stir fry until cooked through. Add hoisin and oyster sauce, mix and cook until sauce reduces slightly. Lastly, sprinkle the pepper before turning off heat.

Arrange minced into the iceberg lettuce and add your choice of veggies. Ang dinagdag ko on top is water chestnut (you can use singkamas if in season for additional crunch), red bell pepper, lychee (to add a bit of sweetness). Other ideas can be pineapple, diced cucumber, chili for a bit of kick etc. It’s really up to you 😊. The flavor of minced meat is versatile and blends well with any veggie or fruit.

Have you made this before? Ano po ang mga ginamit nyo na veggie/fruit? Let me know! 😊

Cheesy Kangkong Dip

I love cheesy dips! One that I would normally buy from grocery is the spinach dip. Of course, homemade is always better than store bought so here’s my own version using a veggie that you are all familiar with — kangkong (water spinach). Yep, you can use it for something else other than sinigang 😊

Ingredients:
3 cups kangkong ‘leaves’ (use leaves only but don’t discard the stem, you can use it for other dishes)
1 small carrots chopped finely
125g (half block) cream cheese
1/4 cup mayonnaise (Japanese style – Kewpie)
1/4 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon condensed milk
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon onion flakes for topping (optional)
A pinch of salt

How To Make:
✩ Wash kangkong thoroughly and steam for about 3 minutes. (note: best to use chinese kangkong)
✩ Remove kangkong from heat and place in ice cold water to prevent further cooking. Drain and squeeze to take out juices. Once most of the liquid is removed, gather leaves and chop into smaller pieces. Place in a bowl.
✩Put the rest of the ingredients making sure everything is mixed in properly.
✩Adjust taste by adding a pinch of salt. Top with onion flakes.

This recipe also works well as spread for crackers or toast. Hope you enjoy!