I spent almost half of my life away from home, therefore it has been quite tricky to learn to cook authentic Filipino dishes. But I was surrounded by amazing ladies that cook delicious Pinoy food. I was able to learn a few recipes that are actually typical Bicolano Food, Bicol is a region in the Philippines, South of Luzon where I spent my childhood life. A lot of recipes are also now available online, leaving me with no option but to contemplate and experiment.
Here we have Chilli pork curry or Bicol express. Thin slices of pork belly, cooked in coconut milk along with a whole loads of both green and red chilies with fermented shrimp. Second Image is my favourite, Banana muffin, this is a Mary Berry recipe so I can assure you that at least, this one is very edible 🙂 HAHA!
The third photo is my own version of vegetable spring rolls. A mixture of julienne vegetables, seasoned and sauteed quickly before wrapping into little mini rolls in a thin spring roll pastry sheet. Dipping sauce could be a homemade sweet and sour chili sauce or simply a tomato ketchup 🙂 Last but not least is the plastic noodle dish. Another staple in the Philippines. The main protein could be pork or chicken or both!
- 1 small jar of plain fermented shrimp (rinse off with plain water)
- 1 Coconut Milk
- 1 Coconut cream
- 20 pieces of red and green chilies, seeds removed and sliced diagonally.
- Pepper and a bit of salt to taste if not too salty yet
- 3 to 4 slices of pork belly
- Garlic Cloves
Start by slicing the meat thinly, sautee in garlic infused oil, just a tiny amount of oil. The meat itself will produce oil as it starts to turn golden brown. The garlic is optional, but I personally love the garlic-ky flavour so I would use about 5-10 garlic cloves (smashed) and believe me it will not overpower the dish as we have the shrimp paste as well.
When the meat is crispy brown and seasoned remove from the pan and set aside. Pour in the coconut milk and add the chillies. Halfway through add the shrimp and maybe a bit of coconut cream if needed. I always have mine extra rich and creamy. The spicy flavour always balances out the creaminess of the dish anyway that it will not be too overwhelming. Once the taste and texture are well adjusted, fold in the crispy pork meat until it is coated with the sauce. Sprinkle with a bit of lemon juice or top it up with coriander leaves. It is a dish always serve with rice.
- 100g Butter, at room temperature
- 170g golden caster sugar
- 3 medium size eggs
- 3 very ripe bananas, mashed
- 225g self-raising or plain flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2 tablespoon milk
Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees.
Beat the butter and sugar together until it is well combined. Add the eggs one at a time and beat again. Incorporate the dry ingredients slowly, when the flour is well incorporated, add the mashed banana with the milk and a pinch of salt run the mixer one last time. Transfer to a cake tin and bake for 45 mins over 180 degrees. Serve with coffee or tea!
Vegetarian Spring Rolls
- A handful of beans sprout, julienne carrots, fine green beans, and cabbage
- Cooking oil
- Chopped onion and garlic
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Spring roll sheets (Available at Asian markets) take out of the fridge an hour before to soften.
Heat the pan to a medium heat, add oil and once the oil is hot add the onion, saute until it is translucent to extract the sweetness out of it, then add the garlic and vegetables. Saute for 5 minutes keeping it still crunchy, season and transfer into a chinois to cool and drain out the moisture before wrapping. Wrapping is simple, lay out a perfectly softened sprint roll sheet, add the veggies but make sure that you do not overstuff the sheet and you have enough space on all sides to be able to fold it into a roll.
Pick and fold the bottom part of the sheet, followed by both left and right sides. Then slowly roll the bottom up to the top corner, finish off by sealing it with water or eggwash. Rest for 10 minutes and start frying.
Pancit Bihon or Glass Noodles
Here you can use the same vegetables as the one we had used for the spring rolls. All you need will be:
- Onion and garlic, chopped
- Boneless chicken thigh, cut into strips
- Soy sauce
- 2-3 cups Water
- Mixed vegetables, cut however you like.
- Glass noodles
- Salt and pepper
- Lemon wedges to serve
Saute the meat for 5 minutes, add the vegetables, water and let it simmer almost to a boiling point. Then add the noodles and slowly add soy sauce and adjust the seasoning. Let the noodles cook through but not to a point that it becomes all mushy. It must come out a little al dente. Hope you enjoy!!