Thursday, 5 May 2011

The Delicious Food Recipe: TINOLANG MANOK ( Chicken Ginger Stew Eith Vegetables )

Tinolang Manok or Nilagang Manok (Chicken Ginger Stew with Vegetables) recipe is the filipino food dish that I was planning to cook when I arrived here in Canada. Tinolang manok recipe is a filipino food that is easy to cook but during that time, I don't know where to buy filipino ingredients specially papaya, sayote, chili leaves or malunggay and I thought that I couldn't cook filipino food dishes anymore.
But as I got familiar to places here, I've notice that cooking in Canada is not that difficult, as I have taught before. We even travel for an hour from our place just to buy filipino food ingredients. These filipino food ingredients are usually sold in Asian stores but some are not that often displayed. So, looking for a substitute is my next best option. Like this tinolang manok recipe, when I went to my favorite Asian store, the frozen malunggay or the chili leaves that I notice before are not there to be found, so I just used the spinach because they are abundant and it was recommended by a friend of mine.
Cooking away from your native country is challenging but enjoyable, especially when you are with your love ones. Happy Cooking!

Ingredients :
  • 1 lb. chicken, cut into serving pieces (or any choice cuts of your liking like thighs, drumsticks or wings)
  • 1 thumb-sized fresh ginger root, cut into strips
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. patis (fish sauce)
  • salt, to taste
  • 4 to 5 cups water (or rice water – 2nd washing)
  • 2 to 3 sayote (chayote squash), quartered (or green, unripe papaya or potatoes)
  • 1 cup sili (chili) leaves or malunggay or substitute 1/2 lb. spinach
  • vegetable oil

Cooking Procedures :
  1. In a medium saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Sauté ginger and garlic until fragrant. Add onions, stir-fry until softened and translucent.
  2. Add chicken cuts. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes until chicken colors slightly. Season with patis and salt.
  3. Pour in water (or rice water, if using). Bring to a boil. Lower the heat and let it simmer until chicken is half-done. Add in chayote (or papaya or potatoes, if using). Continue simmering until chicken and vegetable are tender. Correct seasonings and then addsili leaves or malunggay or substitute. Stir to combine until well blended. Remove from heat.
  4. Let stand for a few minutes to cook the green vegetables. Transfer to a serving dish and serve hot.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

The Delicious Recipe: Sizzling Pusit

1 pc. big squid
2 slices ginger, julienned (cut into thin strips)
1/2 tsp. salt
3 cloves garlic
1tbsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. sugar
1 tbsp. vinegar

How to cook Sizzling Pusit
  • Combine salt, soy sauce, vinegar, ginger, garlic and sugar in a bowl.
  • Marinate squid in the mixture for half a day.
  • Grill to almost done, but not quite, basting regularly with the marinade.
  • Slice into rings. Transfer to a heated up sizzling plate.
  • Pour a little marinade over the grilled squid.
  • Serve.


Can any dish be simpler to cook than steamed whole fish? The only real work involved is the preparation. After that, just place the fish in the steamer and leave it to cook for 30 to 45 minutes depending on the size of the fish. No stirring, no nothing. Very few utensils to wash. And, unlike fried whole fish, no oil splatters to clean up afterwards.
I love steamed whole fish. But not all kinds of fish are good for steaming. My top preferences are tilapia and pompano and both are available all-year round in wet markets. Tilapia can either be saltwater or freshwater; pompano is either dark gray or silver. The dark dray pompano is the common variety. The silver pompano, or mestiza, is something I don’t see too often. In fact, it wasn’t until a few months ago that I became aware that there is pompano other than the dark gray variety.
Why is pompano great for steaming? Because the flesh contains enough oil to make it moist and soft.
Most of my friends who cook think that commercial broth cubes are an essential ingredient of steamed whole fish. I beg to disagree. Using broth cubes takes the control out of the cook because you’re stuck with the flavors in the broth cubes. Worse, the MSG content of broth cubes kill the natural flavors of the fish and who the heck wants that? Might as well eat canned fish.
This is not exactly a new recipe. You can check out my older steamed whole fish recipes for comparison.
What’s new here is the use of bottled ginger sauce from Shuin. The ginger sauce was recommended for siomai. When mixed with soy sauce and sesame seed oil, you have a wonderful dipping sauce that makes you feel like you’re eating in an authentic Chinese restaurant even when you’re enjoying the siomai at home.
If you have fresh ginger available, I recommend that you use grated ginger instead of bottled ginger sauce. I used sliced or julienned ginger in the past but after this experiment with the bottled ginger sauce, I am convinced that grating fresh ginger and mixing it with soy sauce and sesame seed oil will yield a more flavorful steamed fish than one that has sliced ginger in it. Grating squeezes out the juices from the ginger and the ginger juice will permeate the fish flesh better.
This recipe serves four.
Ingredients :
2 whole pompano, about 800 grams in weight before cleaning
4 tbsps. of ginger sauce or 4 tbsps. of freshly grated ginger with the juice
half a cup of light soy sauce
1 tsp. of sesame seed oil
toasted garlic
chopped cilantro

Cooking procedure :
Clean the fish by gutting and removing the gills. Pompano has very small fine scales and you can remove them easily by scraping the fish’s skin with a small knife. Some cooks don’t find it necessary to do this; you decide if you wish to. Cut off the fins and tail. Make a diagonal incision along the entire length of the fish, from half an inch below the head to half an inch above the tail about one-fourth inch deep. Place the fish in heat proof plates.
Mix together the ginger sauce or grated ginger, soy sauce and sesame seed oil. Pour over the fish, reserving about two tablespoonfuls for later use.
Steam the fish over briskly boiling water for about 30 minutes.

When the fish is done, remove the plate from the steamer and pour the reserved sauce over the fish. Sprinkle with toasted garlic and chopped cilantro (coriander leaves, locally known as wansuy).
If you’re thinking of asking whether the toasted garlic and chopped cilantro are necessary, I will answer before you ask. Yes. YES. They may just be garnish but there is ornamental garnish and garnish that elevates the experience of enjoying your food. The crisp garlic adds color and texture; the cilantro adds contrast and depth. I don’t know how to describe it but if you decide to cook this steamed pompano with ginger sauce, remember to include a few bits of garlic and cilantro with every mouthful so you’ll understand what I can’t describe exactly with words.