• arrozcaldo detail
    Heirloom Recipe,  Kanin at Pancit | Rice and Noodles/Pasta,  Ulam | Main Dishes

    Arroz Caldo | Chicken Congee Recipe

    Arroz caldo—from the Spanish words “arroz” for rice and “caldo” for broth—is the Filipino version of Chinese congee that was adapted to the tastes of the Spanish peninsulares. Filipino congee comes in three basic forms: lugaw is plain rice broth; when tripe is added, it becomes goto ; but when chicken is used instead, it is called arroz caldo or pospas. A hot and hearty bowl of lugaw, goto, or arroz caldo is pure comfort on a rainy day. But to nurse a cold or a fever—or when you’re just feeling under the weather—the best food to eat would be arroz caldo. The ingredients that go into arroz caldo suggest everything restorative in nature: calming rice for an upset stomach, chicken and broth…

  • Goto tripe congee image
    Kanin at Pancit | Rice and Noodles/Pasta,  Heirloom Recipe

    Goto | Tripe Congee Recipe

    No trip to Malolos is complete without a pit stop at Citang’s Eatery in Sta. Isabel, a stone’s throw from the old church, to refuel and to buy various kakanín to take back home. Citang’s offers a variety of native snacks to eat and to-go, but our all-time favorite is the goto. The goto of my childhood used isaw (small intestines) from carabao. It was soupy, rather than thick, with a generous sprinkling of golden toasted garlic (and an overload of triglycerides and cholesterol). It was so good, squeezing kalamansî and patís into it was unthought of. Mamang used to order goto in bulk from a neighbor, Ka Edeng, who also made the best Lumpiáng Sariwà and Empanada (the flaky fried ones).…

  • Spaghetti_Jollibee_closeup
    Kanin at Pancit | Rice and Noodles/Pasta,  Pagkaing Pang-Handaan | Festive Dishes,  Ulam | Main Dishes

    Jollibee Sweet Style Spaghetti Recipe

    Filipino spaghetti is notoriously sweet—the mere thought of which would make Italians foam in the mouth. I make my spaghetti sweetish, rather than sour. Amongst all local spaghettis, Jollibee surely takes the cake. The secret ingredients are liver spread, milk, and sweetened condensed milk. I made this copycat for my grandson’s 4th birthday. It will not be my everyday spaghetti though but will be my standard spaghetti for kiddie parties.  Amongst all local spaghettis, Jollibee surely takes the cake. The secret ingredients are liver spread, milk, and sweetened condensed milk.

  • biko top view
    Heirloom Recipe

    Biko/Sinukmani | Sweet Rice-Cake Recipe

    Despite the distance between Manila, where my parents-in-law lived and their hometown Quezon Province, they made it a point to bring home some rice at every harvest. My mother-in-law taught me how to cook the family’s favorite rice cake. Sinukmani (see NOOK mah knee) always tasted better using the family’s malagkit than any commercially bought ones. In Malolos and Pasig, sinukmani is called biko (BEE koh). My husband’s grandmother, cooked biko on Good Fridays. He and his cousins couldn’t wait for her to pour the cooked biko into a banana-leaf lined bilao (flat round basket tray) so they could scrape the burnt rice that stuck to the bottom of the pan. Sweet and crispy, the tutong, was the…

  • tiboktibok close up
    Himagas at Merienda | Desserts and Snacks

    Tibok-Tibok | Carabao-Milk Pudding Recipe

    Tibok-Tibok is a sweet-based pudding of carabao milk, flavored with dayap (lime) rind, topped with latik.  This delicate pudding is so soft, it quivers like a beating heart, thus the name tibok-tibok from “tibok”(tee-BOHK), Tagalog word for heart beat or pulse or, as a verb, to throb. It is often mistaken for maja blanca because tibok-tibok is likewise immaculately white and sprinkled with a generous topping of latik.  But unlike maja blanca which relies on other ingredients like corn to complete its substance, tibok-tibok stands almost solely on carabao milk, the rest of the ingredients are merely supplementary. Tibok-tibokis also reminiscent of the Italian panna cotta—a silky smooth offering made of rich cream and popularly served with a berry, caramel or chocolate.  In fact it is often described…

  • grand marnier fruitcake image
    Himagas at Merienda | Desserts and Snacks

    Grand Marnier Christmas Fruitcake Recipe

    Yes, I’ve heard the jokes. Fruitcake is the bane of the holidays—there’s only one in the whole world, and people keep sending it to each other, year after year.  And if you don’t like it, you can actually use it as a doorstop 🙂  People either love fruitcake or hate it; I love it! Surveys show that 38% of people give it away, making it the most popular re-gifted item; another 13% use it as a doorstop, while 9% throw it away; still 28% actually eat it.  Especially if you bake it yourself, Christmas fruitcake is a great gift to bring to your friends or family for their Christmas meal or to…

  • SpamRice chopsticks image
    Almusal | Breakfast,  Kanin at Pancit | Rice and Noodles/Pasta

    Spam Fried Rice Recipe

    Spam—not the kind you get in your mail box, but the canned pre-cooked “SPiced hAM” variety that you get from the grocery or a balikbayan box from family and friends in the US. Like everything that is processed and/or comes in a can, Spam is not a healthy food but it is nice to have once in a while. We like it sandwiched in pan de sal or “tasty” loaf bread. But we like it best with fried rice and fried eggs, a meal we call “Spam-si-log,” a portmanteau of Spam, sinangag (fried rice), and itlog (fried egg). It is great not just for breakfast, but for lunch or dinner as well. It’s a great way to not…