Noodles and Salad, Part II

UdonPalabok16 Very excited to share these birthday recipes! They turned out really well and my husband really enjoyed them! As I mentioned in the last post, I made Cobb salad, my husband’s favorite salad, and pancit palabok with udon noodles and smoked salmon. Why noodles and salad?  We always celebrate birthdays with pancit! As for salad, my husband loves to eat salads. Get ready, this post is picture heavy!  Continue reading

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Happy New Year! Some happy new recipes for 2014!

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It’s now 2 weeks into January and I haven’t greeted you all a happy new year yet! Better a little late then never so…..Happy 2014 to you all! We wish you the best possible year! Have any resolutions? I don’t remember when I stopped making them, but this year I’m just focusing on being positive (and hopefully inhibit the production of gray/white hairs). I tend to stress (go bonkers) about things (such as finding recyclable plastic in the kitchen garbage can every morning). Nevertheless, I guess I don’t have much reason to be stressed. I don’t have kids yet, hehe, just higher-maintenance fur-kids. As always, here at food flavor fascination, we celebrate with good food (and a little tinkering of recipes & culinary ideas). In addition to the grub, we celebrated with New Year’s Eve traditions of displaying 12 or 13 round fruits to bring prosperity in the new year as picture above (click here to read more about this seemingly peculiar Filipino cultural tradition) and also watching all five of the original Planet of the Apes movies (my husband’s New Year’s Eve tradition). Now, back to the food. We rang in the year with some classic/traditional New Year’s dishes, but updated for 2014. Continue reading

Sotanghon Soup v2.0

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We ate a lot of great food on our anniversary. San Francisco is such a delicious city! Who can resist indulging while staying there? Especially with places like Tartine Bakery where we got our pastry craving satisfied. When we got home, I think we wanted to be a bit more salubrious and eat more veggies. My husband has become a big fan of veggie-heavy dishes….except for those with kale….or mixed with quinoa, LOL. I love both, but try not to cook those superfoods as often and just get my fix somehow some place. I blogged about a Filipino-style chicken noodle soup last spring and was craving that, so last night on Halloween we had a different version of it, a veggie-loaded sotanghon (mung bean noodle) soup. Continue reading

Filipino Chicken Noodle Soup with Turkey Meatballs (Sotanghon Soup)

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What are cellophane noodles? Do you know what they are? It is a type of noodle made out of mung bean starch and is also known as mung bean threads, glass noodles, or mung bean vermicelli among other names. Filipinos call it sotanghon. These are one of my favorite noodles and my mom would often cook with sotanghon more than bihon (rice vermicelli). I guess I was jonesing for some sotanghon soup. It’s the Filipino version of chicken noodle soup, though there are multiple variations on chicken noodle soup in Filipino cuisine. Just replace the sotanghon with elbow macaroni and you have sopas! Or take out some of the veggies, use homemade pasta and you have miki nilad-dit, which is my dad’s specialty. Today is sotanghon day and even though the weather has gotten a bit warmer, I’m still wanting some soup. How about you? Heck, I don’t mind eating this in the heat of summer either! 😀 It’s just a comforting dish. I’ve added some turkey meatballs to make a two bird soup of Chicken Sotanghon Soup with Turkey Meatballs. Continue reading

Mussels Adobo with Potatoes

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A couple of weeks ago, I bought some cookbooks (I finally caved in!) and have been eager to test out some recipes or find inspiration from the recipes in the books. One of the books that I purchased was Chef Brian Malarkey‘s Come Early Stay Late and it is a beautiful book with photographs of each dish (yay!). I would recommend buying this book if you are into cookbooks. We’ve been to 2 of his 5 restaurants in San Diego, and have had nothing but delectable experiences. Searsucker and Gingham are a couple of our favorite San Diego restaurants. We make sure to eat there especially on restaurant week! Maybe you have seen Chef Malarkey on the new reality cooking show The Taste or on Top Chef Miami (season 3 in 2007)? Anyways, if you haven’t heard of him, I’m telling you that his food gives you a happy feeling like a beam of sunshine. Well, that’s how I feel!

One of these days, we’ll have to check out his Asian-influenced restaurant called Burlap as one of their top dishes there is Mussels Adobo. I was proud to read about the popularity of the dish and proud that people are enjoying dishes inspired by Filipino cuisine. There is actually a Filipino mussels adobo dish which in Tagalog is called “adobong tahong.” Seeing the mussels adobo recipe in the cookbook inspired me to explore my family’s recipe with a restaurant-style touch from the Burlap version. My parents also gave us some half shell green mussels–thanks! So here is my version of mussels adobo with potatoes. Continue reading

Fresh Lumpia Cabbage Wraps, a Remix on Lumpiang Sariwa

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Last week, I was at my parent’s house visiting for the week. Since I still go to my dentist near where they live, I often stay at their place for a few days when I have an appointment. One thing that I love, besides spending time with my family and the good food that they make is that I get to test some recipes on them. They have a bigger kitchen, so it is a nice change-of-pace to cook there instead of my small apartment kitchen. I think I mentioned in some of my other posts that my Dad has a big garden and that I often get some of his homegrown produce. One new item that he planted this season is a type of cabbage. I’m not sure exactly what the name of it is, but it seems like Savoy Cabbage. I told my Mom that I was thinking of making some sort of cabbage wrap with it and she gave me the delightful idea to make Lumpiang Sariwa (aka Fresh Lumpia) with the cabbage as a wrapper and some of the Spaghetti Squash Pancit Guisado (+ added veggies) that I had made. Continue reading

Seafood & Vegetable Ya Mein (peanut noodles), a birthday dish for my favorite twins, my Mom and my Aunt

Yesterday was my Mom’s and my Aunt’s birthday. They are identical twins who are both very successful and are role models of mine. Though my Mom lives close to me in Southern California and my aunt lives in the Philippines, they sometimes see each other at family events (last time was at my wedding!) or when my aunt visits us. Since they are twins, It’s cute to see them together and it’s fun to joke and laugh with them.

Like many Asian cultures, we also celebrate birthdays with a noodle dish to represent a long life. In the Philippines, we have pancit for birthdays and also for special occasions where we feast with lots of food. When we cannot all be together to celebrate, we still have pancit, or at least some type of noodles.

To celebrate their birthday, I made a dish called “ya mein”. Continue reading

Red Lentil Stew – a Remix of Filipino Mongo (mung bean stew)

Red lentils! I have never had them before, until very recently. Have you? Though lentils are a staple in many parts of the world, I didn’t grow up eating them. As an adult, I’ve had lentil stews a couple of times such as the canned soup variety or a lentil dish at an Indian restaurant. The taste and texture of lentils reminds me a lot of a mung beans, something I did grow up eating. We often ate mung beans in a savory Filipino stew called Mongo (Mongo Guisado or Ginisang Mongo) or in Hopia Mongo, a flaky pastry filled with sweet mung bean filling. Mongo is a comfort food that even kids with picky palates love. My dog Swift, a 17 year old Labrador mix, has loved Mongo stew with rice since she was a puppy! When she got sick and didn’t want to eat dog food, she would eat Mongo!

While shopping at Trader Joe’s, I saw a brightly orange and green colored package of Red Split Lentils. Somehow the bag of orange-red beans was calling me out and telling me that I needed to get it. I guess I have a penchant for buying colorful foods.

Don’t these look interesting? (traderjoes.com)

Using the red lentils, I decided to make a dish that reminded me of the Mongo stew that I grew up with and still love, but with an Italian and American twist. Remix time!

Continue reading