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!

Pickled Okra

Smoked fish with pickled papaya (atchara) on a bed of warm rice is one of my favorite Filipino comfort foods. My husband’s lola (granny) makes wicked atchara and I don’t think I will be able to replicate it. The process of making this dish is quite tedious and I haven’t convinced myself yet to give it a go (lazy!). I recently bought my Ball Preserving Starter Kit to make fruit jam since we have an abundance of stone fruits. I looked for recipes at www.freshpreserving.com  and while browsing was surprised to see pickled okra!  I never knew this can be pickled.  I’ve tried bitter melon and radish but not okra.  This vegetable is quite polarizing – either you love or hate it. I personally LOVE, LOVE it. I recreated the recipe (with a few tweaks) and it’s delicious! Super easy to make too. It’s crunchy and perfect partnered with fish or an addition to fresh vegetable salads.

Here’s my version:

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 pounds okra
  • 1 small carrot cut thinly
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/8 cup sea salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seed

Procedure:

  • Combine vinegar, water, salt, sugar and mustard seed in a small pot and bring to a boil. Turn off heat. Place the okra, garlic and carrots in properly sterilised jars (pack tightly).
  • Pour hot brine into the jars until all jars are filled up to brim (1/4 headspace).
  • Follow proper water bath canning method if desired. Otherwise, let the jars cool completely before refrigerating.