Saturday, June 29

Korean Spicy Bacon: Hot Hypertensive Heaven

I've always had a soft spot for Korean food. Next to that spot for Japanese food, and Filipino food, Italian….Okay, so I have a soft spot for food in general! But, there’s something about the dark red shades and distinctive smell of Korean cuisine that makes my mouth water. The hot and spicy soup bowls that make you sweat profusely. The fermented cabbage and radish that smells so bad, but tastes oh so good (it’s not that bad, really. It just takes getting used to). The smell of sesame oil in delicious Korean barbecue makes me feel like I’m in Korean heaven! Oh, and let’s not forget the FISH ICE CREAM!!! Better than that overrated Belgian chocolate crusted ice cream. And as my friend Xander always say, it’s better than sex (let’s hope my mom doesn't read this).

I was never really a fan of Korean food at first because I thought all of their dishes were fermented (forgive my temporary stupidity), but I tried a bite of kimchi in one of those over-the-top buffets, and It wasn't so bad. My friend Ozzie is a big fan of Korean cuisine and she would treat me to “Samgyupsal” every once in a while, I got hooked. Maybe it also helps that there are a lot of good Korean restaurants in the city.  
One of those Samgyupsal nights with Ozzie and Len.

It’s cold and wet out, a perfect day to make a fiery dish. So I decided to cook Daeji Bulgogi, its spicy bacon strips stir fried to hypertensive perfection. This will make your taste buds roar! If you think it’s too spicy for you, you can always eat more rice or drink cold water. Hahaha.    



500 grams bacon
2 tbsp white wine
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp minced garlic
3 tbsp chili paste
3 tbsp bulgogi paste
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 green onion roughly chopped
Onion leaves chopped into one inch pieces
Chopped chili (for garnish)


1.       Combine all ingredients except onion, onion leaves and chili. Marinate for about 30 minutes.
2.       In a pan, saute onions and onion leaves until onion becomes clear.
3.       Add in the marinade and cook for 15 minutes with occasional stirring.
4.       You may add a little more bulgogi sauce if you find it a little dry.

5.       Serve in plate and top with chili. Serves 5 people.


Friday, June 28

Vietnamese Fresh Springrolls Recipe

Surprisingly, I received a lot of recipe requests for this healthy roll of Viet goodness. I had fun making this because of the colors and the different textures of the ingredients, although the rolling part was a little tedious. This takes about 15 - 20 minutes to prepare just as long as you have chopped all the ingredients.

This is a great meal on it's own because it has a little bit of everything. meat, veggies, and noodles. Plus, the dipping sauce makes the dish a lot more refreshing.



Rolls- Rice paper 
          Lettuce (preferrably Asian, and NO THEY DONT HAVE SMALL EYES!)
          Mint leaves 
          Chinese Basil (you may also use Italian basil)
          Chives (choose the small or slim ones )
          Cucumber (pealed and sliced vertically)
          Vermicelli Noodles (cooked as instructed in the packaging, and don't forget to drain!)
          Pork Sirloin / Pork belly
          Shrimp (about 3-10 pieces, depending on your preference),you may substitute shrimps with tempura   or squidballs 
          Salt and pepper

Sauce- 1 tbsp. Creamy peanut butter
            1 tbsp Hoisin Sauce
            1 tsp Minced Garlic
            1 tbsp Vegetable oil
            1 tsp Sugar
            1/2 cup water



1.       In a pot, boil pork until tender and add salt and pepper. Take the meat out of the water and slice into thin pieces once it's cool.
2.       Cook shrimp in the pork broth until red. Devein and cut in half. If you opted for squidballs or tempura, make sure you slice them into thin bite size pieces. 
3.       Dip rice paper in warm water for 1-2 seconds. And place in a flat surface

How To Roll  (Run! Here comes the tricky part!)

Imagine that the paper has three parts. 
The first one is for the veggies and the noodles,
 the second is for the pork, and the third part is for the shrimp.

  • Arrange vegetables and noodles in the first part. Roll and fold the sides (1-3). 
  • Next, place 2 slices of pork. Roll.
  • Arrange the shrimp in the third part. Roll (4).
How To Make The Sauce
  • Coat pan with vegetable oil. 
  • Saute garlic until light brown
  • Add in Hoisin Sauce, peanut butter, and sugar. Mix well.
  • Add in water and let it simmer until the sauce is thick.
  • Serve in a bowl.
Done! Done! Done! I hope you enjoy this refreshing dish as much as I did.



Keane - Sovereign Light Café (Afrojack Remix)

Good Vibes. Good Morning!

Thursday, June 27

A Taste of Vietnam in Palawan

What is a trip without a little culinary experience? 

They say you've never really experienced a place unless you've had a taste of the local cuisine.  So, whenever I get that chance to travel, I make it a point to go to the local food grubs and "do what the Romans do".

This is my friend Xander after finishing a spicy bowl of chao long. (WARNING: Do not put too much chili paste unless you can handle it. Else you would look like this guy after a few spoonfuls! haha)

Pretty Charm enjoying her first mouthful.

During my one week stay in Palawan, there was never a day that I didn't have a steaming bowl of Chao Long. Chao Long is Palawan's version of the Vietnamese noodles, "Pho", rice noodles in a clear broth of your choice (chicken, pork, beef, or beef ) with your choice of condiments on the side. This is Palawan's "batchoy", the go-to comfort food after a night of partying, breakfast, snacks, dinner, pretty much every meal. 

Beef stew topped with condiments. YUM-O!

There is a Chao Long House in almost every street corner in Puerto Princesa, and some are even open 24/7 for those who have late night cravings. The very first eateries who offered this mouth-watering soup bowl were owned by Vietnamese who sought refuge in Palawan during the war, then recipe was passed on and evolved into the Chao Long we now love to binge on.

Chao Long is best paired with garlic bread to counter the chili.

Now, I'm back in the queen city of the south, with no chao long house in sight. It's raining and I am craaaaaviiing for a hefty bowl of homemade noodles.

I tried to recreate the tasty beef Chao Long stew, unfortunately it takes 8 hours of intensive cooking before it's ready to be devoured and I do not have the time and patience to wait that long.  I guess we wont be seeing that cooking on the Master Chef kitchen anytime soon!(hahaha) So Instead, I opted to experiment on the chicken noodles and it was THE BOMB! It's filling and tasty. Nothing beats a steaming bowl of chicken soup on a rainy day. 

Here's the recipe for Vietnamese chicken noodles. Do not be deceived by the long list of ingredients. It's easy and it only takes about 15 to 20 minutes. 


Soup Base –            1 Green Onion sliced in half
                                3 inches Ginger sliced in half
                                2 tbsp. sugar
                                2 tbsp. salt
                                1 Liter of water
                                ½ kilo chicken (1 lb.)
                                A pack of Rice Noodles

Spices -                    1 piece Cinnamon bark
                                5 pcs. Star Anise
                                1 tbsp. Fennel seeds
                                1 tbsp. Cumin seeds ( you may also use powder)
                                1 tbsp. Coriander seeds
                                1 tbsp. Black pepper corns
                                2 cloves
·         Put all of the spices in a cheese cloth (if it’s not available, you can you use a sterile gauze) and make sure to tie it up. You may also toast the spices before you put them in the bag.

Condiments -           Bean sprouts (cleaned and with ends pinched off)
                                Basil leaves (Chinese basil is preferred, but you could definitely use Italian basil)
                                Onion leaves / scallions (chopped)
                                Chili (sili espada / labuyo / jalapeno) chopped
                                Red onions (chopped thinly)
                                Fish sauce
                                Chili paste
                                Hoisin Sauce


1.       Pour water into a pot and bring to boil. Add sugar and salt.
2.       Place onion and ginger in a bowl and cook in the microwave for 2-3 minutes then add to boiling water. Let it simmer for 3 minutes.
3.       Add chicken and let it boil for 7 minutes. (Be sure to take out the scum).
4.       Put in spice bag. Simmer for another 5 minutes then turn it off.
5.       Take out the chicken and debone. Cut into bite size pieces
6.       In a separate pot, cook noodles as instructed in the box. Drain.
7.       In a big bowl, put together the noodles, chicken, and soup.

8.       Serve with condiments on the side


Travelling Light

I was always one for spontaneous undertakings, but never one THIS spontaneous. I was already invited to go to Palawan with a bunch of friends but I declined because my budget couldn't stand another out of town trip after my Boracay, Kalanggaman, and Lifedance Soiree. My wallet was practically weeping. However, two days before the scheduled trip to Palawan my friend called me up and told me that there was a vacancy and that they’ll be helping me out with the expenses. Who wouldn't say YES to that?!

I packed my bags not knowing what to wear in Palawan because the weather was like a girl high on hormones. Threw some clothes, travel essentials, and a pair of bikinis in the bag and zipped it up.  I always travel light. Just one carry on and a tote, that’s it. In this trip though, I’m literally travelling light. Light bags, light wallet, and me in all my hundred-five-pound glory. I’m up for an adventure.

My expectations weren't extraordinary, because I didn't have time to research and plan my itinerary. So, when I arrived in Puerto Princesa, I was ecstatic! Nothing beats exploring a new patch of land with your closest friends. Stepping foot on El Nido was like a breath of fresh air. It was poles apart from the hustle and bustle of the metro.  I didn't mind the 5 hours of ass-wrenching drive or the rough road mayhem; this secluded sanctuary is a piece of paradise.

I’ll be blogging about the whole Palawan trip with all the boring details (itineraries and such), hopefully when my creative juices are flowing because I’m kind of having a dry spell (no pun intended).
This unexpected escape was undeniably, the highlight of my summer and if there’s one thing I've learned this season, it’s that you should always be open to new things and experiences.

When travelling, Always keep an open mind.

Wednesday, June 26