Category Archives: Filipino food

The Sweet Taste of Independence: Seattle Bakery Pop-Ups

I’m celebrating independence and self-determination this 4th of July weekend by supporting some of my favorite small businesses and entrepreneurs in Seattle.

On Saturday, July 2 from 11am -5pm, Chera Amlag and the Hood Famous Bakeshop crew will hold a dessert pop-up at The Station coffee shop on Beacon Hill.

Chera is a woman after my own heart. She has combined two of my favorite things of all time: cheesecake and ube (a purple yam commonly used in Filipino desserts). Along with its classic ube cheesecake, Hood Famous will offer ube crinkle cookies, ube polvoron, and some new treats, including strawberry calamansi marshmallows and Vietnamese coffee cheesecake.

Chera’s good friend and talented chef, Tarik Abdullah, will host his own sweet pop-up on July 3 from 5pm-9pm at Refresh Frozen Desserts and Espresso on Capitol Hill. The Rose & Blossom pop-up will feature Moroccan-inspired desserts and music by Proh Mic.

Pursue some happiness this weekend by buying local sweet treats!

Hood Famous

Rose & Blossom

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Filed under Events, Filipino food, So right, Sweet

Paleo Filipino “Arroz Caldo”

Paleo Filipino arroz caldo made with cauliflower rice

Everyone at my office is sick, recovering from being sick, or like me, fighting like hell not to get sick. That’s why I made Filipino arroz caldo for dinner. It’s traditionally a savory rice porridge with chicken, garlic, and ginger. I cooked a Paleo version using cauliflower rice, which is made by putting cauliflower florets in a food processor and pulsing until the cauliflower is the size of rice grains. My arroz caldo is inspired by Joshua Bozel’s recipe for Serious Eats and Mary J. Gines’s recipe for Fit Living Foodies.

Paleo Filipino “Arroz Caldo”

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup canola oil (or coconut oil), divided
  • 12 cloves of garlic, minced (yes, 12!)
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced 
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger 
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces 
  • 2 cups cauliflower rice 
  • 2 cups chicken stock 
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce 
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced

Directions:
Heat 1/3 cup oil in small pan over medium heat. Add half of the minced garlic and cook until garlic turns light brown. Place garlic in fine-mesh strainer and drain. Then transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside.

In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the remaining 1/3 cup oil over medium-high heat. When the oil shimmers, add the sliced onion and cook for 5 minutes until soft but not brown. Next add the rest of your garlic and ginger and cook for 1 minute more.

Place chicken in pot and cook until no longer pink. Then add cauliflower rice, chicken stock, fish sauce, and lime juice. Bring to a boil and then lower heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes until it has reached your desired consistency. Add more fish sauce and lime juice to taste.

Ladle arroz caldo into bowls and top with green onions and fried garlic.

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Filed under Filipino food, Recipes, Savory

Recipe – Kabocha Squash and Kale in Coconut Milk

Kabocha squash and kale in coconut milk

I don’t really write recipes–I’d rather spend my time cooking. But my friends Dawn and Helen asked me to put this one together. It’s inspired by RG Enriquez of Astig Vegan, a blogger you should definitely check out if you want to explore vegan and/or Filipino food.

This recipe is vegan, but you could modify it to meet your dietary needs or taste preferences. It can stand alone as a main dish or as a hearty side. Eat it with rice and bagoong if you’re feeling Filipino.

Kabocha Squash and Kale in Coconut Milk 

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon vegan margarine (or your fat of choice)
  • 1/2 an onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bunch kale, middle stems removed and leaves torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 4-6 cups kabocha squash, peeled and chopped into 1-inch pieces (half of a small-to-medium squash)
  • 2 14 oz. cans unsweetened coconut milk
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Melt vegan margarine over medium-high heat in a large saucepan or Dutch oven. Add chopped onion and cook 3-5 minutes until soft and translucent. Put in minced garlic and cook for another minute. Stir in kale and cook for 5 minutes until kale is wilted. Place chopped squash in pan, pour in coconut milk, and add salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, and then turn heat to low and simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. You’ll know it’s done when you can easily pierce the squash with a fork. Taste and add more salt and pepper to your liking.

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Filed under Filipino food, Recipes, Savory

Kickstart Kalasada Coffee

Kalsada Coffee Kickstarter

I’ve decided to join Kalsada Coffee’s mission to support Filipino coffee farmers and bring the Philippine coffee industry back to its former glory, one farm at a time. Kalsada Coffee is currently in Kickstarter mode and is 80% funded with less than 2 days to go. I invite you to consider backing this Kickstarter. You can find more info at kalsada.org. Salamat!

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Filed under Filipino food, Good causes

Cooking with Michael

A few weeks ago, an acquaintance of mine named Michael sent me a message asking if we could get together and cook.

He wrote, “One of my favorite ways to get to know someone is to learn how to cook something.”

It was an unexpected and lovely invitation to connect.

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My Eternal Meal

If you could eat one meal for the rest of your life, what meal would that be, why, who would make it, and who would eat it with you?

My friend Laura posed this question as a writing prompt for National Blog Posting Month.

I considered the memorable meals I’ve had in my life. I remembered beef bourguignon in France, a Cherry Fizz cocktail served tableside, salt and pepper pork chops.

And I came to this conclusion: Continue reading

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Filed under Essays, Filipino food, NaBloPoMo 2013

What’s On My Phone Wednesdays: Food and Sh*t

Geo, one half of Seattle hip hop duo Blue Scholars, is a fierce lyricist and tireless community activist. The man can also cook.

He and his wife, Chera, have started holding monthly pop up dinners called “Food & Sh*t” at Inay’s Asian Pacific Cuisine. The menus feature inventive riffs on traditional Filipino dishes and other dishes that reflect Geo’s background and his family’s personal tastes.

Other than my mom’s, the sisig lumpia served as an appetizer at the dinner in September may be the best lumpia I’ve ever had. Sisig is a Filipino dish made from pig’s head and liver, or as Anthony Bourdain described it, “the strangely addictive, sizzling melange of hacked up pork face…oh, sweet symphony of pig parts.”

Sisig lumpia

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Filed under Events, Filipino food, NaBloPoMo 2013, Savory, So right, Sweet, What's on My Phone

Smells

To support my efforts to produce 30 posts in 30 days for National Blogging Post Month, my friend Laura Kimball has been providing writing prompts for me and my fellow blogger, Harmony Hasbrook.

Last night, Laura gave us the following prompt:

Smell, the sense that triggers the richest, most obscure memories during the most awkward times. Write about a time when a smell triggered a deep or odd memory. What was the smell? What was the memory? And did that recollection cause you to do anything in that present moment.

I was completely stymied by this prompt. I had no idea what to write about. I sifted through memories of a variety of smells—ranging from pleasant to repugnant—but nothing moved me to write. Then a faint recollection tugged at me.

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Filed under Essays, Filipino food, Food and race, NaBloPoMo 2013

My Seattle Food Picks for IFBC Attendees

The International Food Blogger Conference is just a week away, and I wanted to share a few of my favorite places to eat in Seattle with everyone coming from out of town. I am a proud Seattleite, and I love showing off my city to visitors!

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Filed under Events, Filipino food, Reviews, Savory, So right, Sweet

The Agony and Ecstasy of Adobo

When I first heard about Adobofest, I instantly knew it was an event for me.

First, it’s a community block party in my beloved Beacon Hill neighborhood in Seattle. Second, it’s hosted by Geo and Sabzi of Blue Scholars, one of my favorite hip hop groups. And finally, this event is all about adobo, a dish near and dear to my heart.

Adobo is the one dish that every Filipino should know how to make. It can take many forms—saucy, succulent or crisp—but all involve the Filipino trinity of vinegar, soy sauce and garlic and is traditionally made with pork or chicken.

The other thing about Adobofest that excited me was the adobo cook-off. Anyone could enter their favorite adobo recipe and cook it for the judges and everyone else attending Adobofest. The winner would receive bragging rights, a trophy, $100 cash prize, and an invitation to have his or her adobo featured in the “Jose Rizal” sandwich at Beacon Ave Sandwiches.

I really wanted to enter a vegan and gluten-free adobo so that my friends—and others—who have these kinds of diets would be able to experience this quintessential Filipino dish.

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One of my vegan adobo attempts

I’ve made vegan adobo before, and while it tasted pretty good, it wasn’t competition grade. I tinkered with a few recipes, but with the contest deadline looming, I realized that none of my vegan adobos would withstand Filipino scrutiny (which can be TOUGH).

While I was disappointed not to enter, I look forward to tasting the other adobos (and refining my vegan and gluten-free adobo for next year). The top 3 vote-getting dishes chosen by the Adobofest audience will advance to a final round live-tasting where the winner will be chosen by a judges panel.

Adobofest is Sunday, August 18 at The Station coffee shop on Beacon Hill (16th Ave South, Seattle, Washington 98144) from 12-5pm. Prices are: $6 for 3 tastes and a drink, $10 for 5 tastings and a drink, or $25 for all you can eat and drink.

For more details, visit the Adobofest event page on Facebook.

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Filed under Events, Filipino food