Last month during my visit to my daughter and her family in Georgia there was an epic snowstorm in the East Coast. My grandson, Devon, requested I make him some “Sinigang”. I was surprised that he even knew what it was, but it seems that one of their friends makes it. Of course I said yes, after all that’s what Nanas do, cook for the grandkids! This Shrimp Sour Soup is the perfect comfort food for cold rainy (or snowy) days!
This was one of my favorite childhood dishes and I was happy to find out that my grandchildren love it too. Like many Filipino dishes this soup is very easy to prepare. Traditionally my grandmothers used tamarind (sampaloc) or the small Filipino limes called “Calamansi” to make the soup sour. These days it’s so much easier, you can buy the powdered soup base at most Asian markets or even order it on Amazon! (Affiliate Link)
This dish is typically eaten with steamed white rice with a side of “Patis“, Filipino fish sauce also available at Asian markets and on Amazon. It can be made with fish, shrimp, or meat with assorted vegetables like spinach, radish, eggplant, tomatoes, onions, or string beans. This time I made it with shrimp, spinach, radish, tomatoes, onions, and jalapeno pepper. I like to add the pepper to give it a bit of spice, we all love spicy things in our family.
In most Filipino households this shrimp soup is made with whole shrimps, meaning shrimps with shells and heads on. I’m not a big fan of shrimp heads so I use shrimps with shells on. You can also use prawns if you have any handy.
We’re all very busy working on our gift lists just like Santa’s little elves. In all the hustle and bustle of the season we sometimes forget to give our furry little friends a little something.
We’ve been giving not only our family pets Christmas gifts for years, we give our pet lover friends gifts for their fur balls too. I’m not sure who started this tradition and when we started, but I do know that we all love it!
I know sometimes things get too crazy and you think do I have to think of pet gits too? Not to mention pet gifts at the pet stores can be ridiculously expensive, sometimes hard to fit into a Christmas budget specially if you have lots of pet friends. But you don’t have to break the bank on buying gifts for the furry critters or your friends that have some.
This year we’ll be giving out homemade doggie biscuits. They are very easy and inexpensive to make and you can package them in any type of container you like. We’re packing ours in pint size Mason jars, it’s sort of the double gift, the jar can be used throughout the year for more treats!
I baked these treats in about an hour using just a few ingredients, many of which I already had in my pantry. I used rolled oats, ground flax seeds, and olive oil along with the other ingredients for a tasty and healthy treat. Rolled oats are a good source of fiber and the flax seeds and olive oil are good for skin and coat. My Siberian Husky, Cannoli, loves them. She’s my taste tester!
Here’s my recipe! It will make 24 bone shaped dog treats about 3″ long and 1/2″ thick
2 cups flour – organic if you have it
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup flax seed meal
1 small jar of chicken in chicken broth strained baby food
1 small jar of carrot strained baby food
3/4 + cup water
1/4 cup Olive oil
1. Mix all ingredients except water together in large bowl.
2. Knead dough, adding water about 1/4 cup at a time until the dry ingredients are all mixed in and you can form a ball.
3. Roll out dough to 1/2″ thickness.
4. Cut desired shapes with cookie cutters or use a glass to make round shapes.
5. Place biscuits on parchment paper covered baking sheet.
6. Re-roll dough until you have cut it all into biscuits.
7. Brush both sides of biscuits with olive oil.
8. Bake in 350 degree oven for 45 minutes. Turning biscuits halfway for even browning.
9. Remove from oven and cool on racks. Cool completely before placing in containers.
Store at room temperature in sealed containers. It will keep for 2-3 weeks or place in freezer to store longer.
Have you ever tried an Asian style fried chicken? It’s got many names including Korean Fried Chicken, Garlic Fried Chicken, and Mochiko Chicken, just to name a few.
But whatever you call it the taste is very similar and the recipes are pretty much the same. And of course it’s delicious! It’s slightly sweet, slightly salty garlicy chicken pieces that are delicately battered and fried to a crisp chicken that’s tender and juicy on the inside. In short it’s perfect!
Serve it hot over a bed of hot steamed rice or a stack of noodles. A crisp fresh salad of greens makes a great addition. Or serve it as a nice lunch on a bed of mixed greens and drizzle with the homemade garlic sauce.
For the tastiest Asian Garlic Fried Chicken make the sauce ahead of time and marinate your chicken pieces in some of the sauce overnight in the fridge. Also this recipe uses boneless skinless chicken thighs not breasts which tend to be less tasty and dry.
My family loves this delicious chicken dish I’m sure yours will too!
Chicken Long Rice is one of my favorite comfort foods. It’s one of the simple dishes my Filipino grandmothers made when I was growing up, but Filipinos call it Sotanghon.
Living in Hawaii it’s a dish one can easily find on the menu of local restaurants and is a staple at Hawaiian Luaus. That’s probably why it never occurred to me to make it at home. So much easier to order it at Zippy’s or some other local eatery. Besides I didn’t have a recipe for Chicken Long Rice and never actually thought to go look for one.
Well that recently changed after I attended an Alumni Luau at my Alma Mater. Of course Chicken Long Rice was served, and like my classmates I wasn’t too impressed with it. The version served was pretty bland and tasteless. That’s when I mentioned that it was one of my favorite dishes but alas didn’t know how to make it.
So the discussions began and for the next couple of days during our class reunion a couple of classmates shared their recipes and tips. A week or so later I finally made some, tweaked the way I like it of course!
Now before I share my version I should explain what it is. In a nutshell Chicken Long Rice is Hawaii’s version of chicken noodle soup. But I suspect it’s a dish adapted from the Asian immigrants who came to the islands to work in plantations in the 1800’s.
I’m pretty sure just about every culture on earth has its own version of chicken noodle soup and Asia is no different. In fact I think every Asian country has a chicken noodle soup version; Udon or Ramen in Japan; Phð Gà in Vietnam; and Sotanghon in the Philippines just to name a few.
Where ever it originated Chicken Long Rice is simple chicken stock with clear bean thread noodles aka glass or cellophane noodles, seasoned with fresh ginger and topped with chopped green onions. I like it soupy and eat it with steamed white rice mixed in. So here’s my version of Chicken Long Rice, it tastes almost the same as the Sontaghon my grandmas used to make!
*Bean Thread noodles can be found at any Asian Market and sometimes in the Ethnic Food section of your local grocery store. Or you can order it from Amazon.
*I prefer to use Aloha Brand Soy Sauce as it’s milder than most brands available on the US Market (like Kikkoman and La Choy), but it’s not easily found unless you are in Hawaii or order it from Amazon. If you can’t find Aloha Brand Soy Sauce an alternative brand is Silver Swan Soy Sauce. It too has a milder taste and it can be found in most Asian Markets anywhere. But you can use any brand or your favorite brand of soy sauce.
*Use fresh ginger. Fresh ginger root can be found at most Asian Markets. Ginger can be frozen in a sealed ziplock bag for a long time. Just break of pieces as you need them. You can adjust the amount of ginger root in this recipe to suit your taste. I love the strong ginger taste and usually add a bit more to my broth.
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Chicken Long Rice
4 Bone in chicken thighs. Be sure the skin is on too!
As many of you know one of my daughter’s gave me an Instant Pot for Christmas last year. It took a few weeks of staring at the box before I actually opened it; all those buttons were a bit intimidating! But once I made my first recipe, Instant Pot Beef Stew, it was instant love! Now I don’t know what I’d do without it! So I’ve been exploring possibilities and one of my new favorites in this Instant Pot Mongolian Beef.
Mongolian Beef is a family favorite and we always order it when we dine at Chinese Restaurants, we love the tender morsels of beef in its delicious sauce. I’ve tried to make it at home, after all it’s just a basic sitr fry, but I could never get the meat to be so tender. I’d tried all sorts of cuts except filet mignon, I mean seriously who’d use filet in a stir fry? Whatever I did I could never get it as tender as the restaurants do; that is until now! It never occurred to me that the secret was in the cooking method. I mean all the recipes said fry the meat in a wok or a pan, I’m guessing you’d get very tender meat if you stir fired filet mignon, but at over $15 a pound that wasn’t going to happen anytime soon!
Well it seems to me the secret to tender beef is to pressure cook it! Enter the new love of my life, the Instant Pot! When I adapted my Mongolian Beef stir fry recipe to the Instant Pot the whole dish changed! It transformed from a pretty good stir fry to a tender delicious restaurant worthy dish! This Instant Pot Mongolian Beef is seriously delicious!
But it’s not only yummy, Instant Pot Mongolian Beef is easier than stir fry! What? Easier than stir fry? How is that possible? First of all my original recipe has me marinating the meat for at least an hour; no need to marinate Instant Pot Mongolian Beef so that cuts kitchen time down a bit. And stir fry requires you to, um, well, stir what you’re frying; with the Instant Pot Mongolian Beef stirring is kept to just a few minutes to brown the meat. And best of all from start to finish you could get Instant Pot Mongolian Beef on the table in about 30 minutes!
I serve it over steamed white rice which I make in my Zojirushi Rice Cooker. You can even make bowls and bentos with this recipe!
So here’s the recipe for Instant Pot Mongolian Beef!
2 Lbs. Flank or Sirloin Steak cut into small thin slices
1 Tbs. Sesame Oil or vegetable oil will work if you’re allergic to sesame seeds or don’t have sesame oil on hand