Friday, September 30, 2016

Mongolian Noodles

Hubby and I enjoy Mongolian bowls. This recipe is as close as I can get like the ones that we eat at a Mongolian place at the food court. I love all kinds of noodles, so this is comfort food for me.

Mongolian  Noodles

2 small packs of vermicelli noodles (sotanghon), soaked in cold water.
Assorted vegetables, cut thinly (I use whatever is left in the crisper - carrots, sayote, Baguio beans etc.)
Choice of meat (sukiyaki cut, chicken fillets, cut in thin strips, squid etc)
Cooking oil
Chopped peanuts (optional, but highly recommended)

Sauce:
2 Tablespoons sesame oil
3/4 cup soy sauce (Kikkoman or any Korean brand)
2/3 cup brown sugar (or adjust to taste)
1 1/4 cup chicken broth (more, if your noodles feel a bit dry)
4 cloves or garlic, minced
1 inch ginger, sliced
Red pepper flakes, optional

Procedure:

1. Mix all the sauce ingredients and set aside. Let marinate for at least 15-20 minutes to infuse the garlic taste in the sauce.
2. In a wok, saute the meat/s in a bit of cooking oil and some of the sauce.
3. Add the vegetables and saute until vegetables are half done. Add the remainder of the sauce and simmer quickly. (I pass the sauce through a strainer, to remove the bits of garlic and ginger)
4. Drain the noodles and add to the pan.
5. Cook the noodles and add chopped peanuts.
6. Serve immediately.

This is nowhere authentic to a real Mongolian bowl,  but this is how we like it.

I've been cooking a lot lately but have not taken any photos of my experiments. I make recipes that are quick easy and with ingredients easy found in supermarkets.

Chicken Teriyaki

This is a recipe that I made recently for Hubby. He liked this version the best. I'm saving this so that it doesn't get lost in my files.

Chicken Teriyaki
2 Chicken fillets (thighs, boneless, skin on)
Cooking oil
Sesame seeds

Sauce:
2 Tablespoons soy sauce (Kikkoman or any Korean brand)
2 Tablespoons mirin
2 Tablespoons Sake
1 Tablespoon white sugar
1/2 inch ginger (sliced or grated, if you like the ginger flavor to be stronger)

Procedure:
1. Combine all the sauce ingredients in a small bowl and mix until the sugar is completely dissolved. Set aside.
2. Using a non-stick pan, pan fry the fillets in cooking oil until slightly browned. Set aside.
3. In the same pan, place the sauce and let boil. Once boiling, add the chicken fillets and swirl around the pan until fully coated on both sides, be careful to keep the skin intact. Simmer for just a minute or two until the sauce thickens a bit. Do not leave for too long, the sauce will caramelize quicky and will leave a mess.
4. Take out of the pan, drizzle sauce ove the chicken and garnish with sesame seeds.

Hubby doesn't enjoy the flavor of spring onions, so I didn't add any but, you can add some on top for color, if you prefer.

I have no picture, but it sure was good. This is my go to recipe for teriyaki sauce from now on. It's easy, affordable and I always have the ingredients handy in my pantry.



Friday, May 13, 2016

West Coast Trip





Hello from California!

Monday, March 28, 2016

Bundles of Joy

This year has been one of my most emotionally challenging ones for me. The saying goes "Catastrophies come in threes.".  I must say that I've met my quota even before the first quarter of this year ended.

However, nothing hurt the most than family calling us worthless simply because of the fact that we are unable to bear biological children of our own. Why is it such a curse? My husband and I have been living a simple, happy, contented and peaceful lives in the 21 years that we've been together. Sure, there were hurdles, some were larger than others but, we've managed to power through. We've been blessed with the life rich in experiences and love, even in the absence of children.

Why is it such a shame to be a childless couple?

Bundles of joy, don't just mean having children.

Bundles of joy can be experienced in countless ways.

I experience joy traveling with my husband.

I experience joy visiting beautiful churches, lighting candles, praying and giving thanks.

I experience joy trying out new things or reading something funny.

Giving, volunteering, spending an afternoon laughing with friends over a cup of coffee.

Cuddled in bed with my husband.

Celebrating milestones together.

I could go on and on about things, people and experiences that bring me joy.

Absence of children doesn't mean, absence of joy.

Joy and happiness can be derived from living a life of peace, contentment and simplicity.

Joy and happiness can be experienced by sharing your love and blessings to other children otherwise neglected by their own parents. Joy and love know no boundaries, it can be shared many times over, it is ever expanding. It is the beauty of being human. Our capacity to love is endless.

Yes, me and my husband will never have children. We have embraced that fact and we are at peace with that. So what? Deal with it.

We are happy, thank you very much.



Thursday, March 10, 2016

Chicken Yakitori Recipe

This Chicken Yakitori recipe is one of Hubby's favorites. It takes a few steps, but doable.

Chicken Yakitori

2-3 pcs of quarter cut chicken thighs, deboned, but keep the bones.
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup Kikkoman soy sauce 
1/4 cup sake
1/4 cup mirin
2-4 tablespoons of brown sugar (dark)
2 inches of ginger, peeled and sliced
5 cloves of garlic, chopped

Preparation:
1. Soak barbecue sticks in water so that they don't burn on the grill.
2. Debone chicken, set aside the skin and cut into bite-sized pieces. Season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine and skewer them on the barbecue sticks. Skewer the chicken skin together on barbecue sticks as well. They're quite tasty.

To make the sauce:
1. Gather all the bones and broil for a few minutes. I broiled mine for around five minutes. Set aside.
2.  Combine Kikkoman, sake, mirin, brown sugar, ginger and garlic in a sauce pan. Mix well until the sugar dissolves completely. Add the chicken bones.
3. Simmer the sauce in medium heat, until reduced in half.
4. Strain and divide the sauce in half. One is for basting, one is for dipping.

Grilling:
1. Grill the chicken over hot coals and baste it with the sauce until chicken is done.
2. Serve with the sauce on the side.

Variation:
1. Wrap okra or asparagus with bacon and skewer them by threes. Grill and baste until bacon is done.

Sweet Spicy Squid

Another one of my nephew Jayjay's favorite dishes. I should really start listing all these recipes so that I don't forget. Most of the recipes that I will be posting here will be made on the fly or put together based on the ingredients that are available in my fridge or something that I saw on TV, Youtube or read somewhere. I usually make it my own by adjusting, substituting or adding a few other ingredients are are more suitable to my family's tastes.

Sweet Spicy Squid



1/2 kilo fresh squid, preferably small ones, cleaned, dried and sliced in rounds. I used baby squid in this photo, be sure to remove the "spine" before cooking.
Cooking oil
3-5 cloves of garlic, minced
1 small white onion, minced
2-3 fresh red or green chilies (bird's eye or pang sigang), sliced
2-3 tablespoons of brown sugar
A few dashes of soy sauce or Knorr liquid seasoning
Sriracha (if you want extra spicy), or
Banana catsup

1. Saute the garlic and the onions, until fragrant but not brown.
2. Add the chilies and saute for a few seconds so that the chilies can release their oil.
3. Add sugar and Knorr. Stir to combine and to dissolve the sugar.
4. Quickly add the squid. The squid will release some of its water, keep stirring until most of the water has evaporated. Don't worry, the squid will still be tender.
5. Finish off with sriracha or banana catsup. Stir until well combined and heated through.  Serve immediately.


Mongolian Style Beef Stir Fry

MONGOLIAN-STYLE BEEF STIR FRY

This is one of Jayjay's favorite dishes, which I tweaked and made on the fly. Will keep the recipe here for my archives.

Ingredients:
Sukiyaki cut beef or shabu-shabu style beef (found in Korean grocery stores)
Cornstarch
Cooking oil

Sauce:
1/4 cup Kikkoman soy sauce (or light soy sauce, if you're cutting down on sodium)
1/4 cup water
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 inch of ginger, cut into strips
1 bell pepper, cut into strips
1 carrot, cut into strips
Sesame oil

Procedure:
1. Lightly dust beef with cornstarch and let stand for about five to ten minutes (this will provide a slight crispy texture to the beef). Set aside.

Sauce:
1. Mix soy sauce, brown sugar and water until the sugar dissolves completely.
2. Heat oil in a small sauce pan, saute the garlic and ginger until fragrant but not brown.
3. Add the soy sauce,brown sugar and water mixture and let simmer on medium heatforabout fiveto eight minutes.

To assemble:
1. Heat vegetable oil in a wok, stir fry the beef.
2. Remove beef from pan and set aside.
3. In the same pan, stir fry the carrots and bell peppers and drizzle some sesame oil. Until the vegetables are half-cooked.
4. Add the beef. Toss.
5. Using a strainer, carefully add the simmering sauce to the beef mixture and toss once more until well combined.
6. Serve immediately with rice.

Variation:
Make extra sauce. Toss in vermicelli noodles and other vegetables and crushed peanuts, for a Mongolian-style bowl.

I have no picture since this was a first attempt and I made more sauce than the amount of beef I had. We had no leftovers and my nephew Jayjay asked me to make it again tomorrow.