What is a Manapua? Simply put it’s the Hawaiian name for the yummy Chinese Bao, that slightly sweet dough stuffed with barbecued pork then steamed to form a shiny outer skin surrounding the fluffy bread and sweet savory filling.
In the 19th. century Cantonese Chinese immigrants came to the Hawaiian islands to work in the sugarcane plantations. They brought with them their heritage and cuisine. One of the delectable foods they brought to the islands was the Cha Sui Bao, that barbecued pork filled steamed bun. It soon became a favorite with the locals who called them Mea’ono’pua’a (Mea’ono means bread and pua’a means pork). Over time that name morphed into Manapua, which is what we call it today.
Along with the name change the traditional Manapua also evolved into different flavors. These days one can easily find Shoyu Chicken, Lap Cheung (Chinese Sausage), Pizza and Curry Manapuas at the 7/11 and other Manapua Shops and trucks. Actually you can stuff the dough with just about anything you want; I make adobo manapuas!
Manapuas are found everywhere in Hawaii, but homemade ones are still the best! They’re great for snacks, picnics, and even as a light lunch. They are one of my family’s favorite foods!
When I make manapua I usually use store bought Char Siu pork or chicken. Both are readily available at our local supermarkets. But sometimes I make my own, it’s not that hard. So today I’ll share the recipe for makng manapua and the barbecue meat filling we call Char Siu.
Char Siu – It can be used to fill steamed buns or sliced mix with noodles or rice.
1 lb. skinless pork belly or boneless skinless chicken thighs (trim off excess fat from the meat)
2 Tbs. Shaoxing Cooking wine
2 Tbs. Soy Sauce
2 Tbs. Sugar
3 Cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbs. Hoisin Sauce
1 Tsp. Five Spice Powder
1/8 Cup Honey except honey together and pour in to a ziplock bag.
Marinate in the fridge for 2-3 hours.
Place meat in a roasting pan and brush top with honey.
Bake in a 325° oven for 40 – 45 minutes or until meat is cooked. The meat is done when it starts to turn crisp on the outside and the center is firm.
Remove from oven and cool for about 10 minutes.
Slice into thin strips or if using for manapua filling dice into 1/4″ cubes.
3/4 Cup diced char siu meat (pork or chicken)
1 Tbs. Sesame Oil
1 Stalk Green Onions chopped
1/3 Cup Fresh Cilantro chopped
2 1/2 Tbs. sugar
1/4 cup Soy Sauce
1/8 Tsp. Salt
2 Tsp. Flour
2 Tsp. Corn Starch
1/4 Cup water
2 – 3 drops red food coloring
Heat oil in a pan. Fry diced char siu for about 30 seconds. Add green onions, cilantro, sugar, soy sauce, and salt. Stir so it doesn’t burn.
Dissolve Flour and cornstarch in the water.
Stir into char sui mixture to thicken.
Remove from heat and cool.
2 Cups Cake Flour
1 1/2 Cup Flour
1 Tbs. Vegetable Shortening
1/4 Cup Baker’s Sugar
1 Tbs. Dry Yeast
1 Cup warm water
Combine 2 flours and put 3 cups of the mixture in the bowl of your standing mixer. (or in a bowl if you’re mixing with your hands)
Using a dough hook cut in shortening.
Stir in about 2 tbs. sugar.
In a separate bowl combine remaining sugar with the yeast and add 1/3 Cup warm water.
Stir until yeast is dissolved.
Add the rest of the flour mixture to the yeast and mix well.
Add the yeast mixture and the remaining water to the flour mixture in the bowl.
Knead with the dough hook until smooth and elastic.
Turn dough in to a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel.
Let it sit at room temperature until dough doubles in size, about 1 hour. If it’s too cold proof in the oven until it doubles in size.
Divide dough into about 18 balls.
Flatten each ball with a rolling pin into a circle about 1/4″ thick.
Place 1 Tbs. filling in the center.
Pull sides of dough around filling and pinch to seal the seams.
Place buns on little squares of wax paper to keep them closed.
Place in a rack or a bamboo steamer and steam for 15 minutes.
Chow Mein seems to be a staple at Chinese Restaurants where it’s different versions of it are always on the menu. It’s a dish of fried noodles and can be made with just about any meat and/or veggies that you want.
In Hawaii we simply call it fried noodles and expect to find char shiu, Chinese barbequed pork, and Kamoboku, a Japanese fish cake. Both ingredients are readily found in our local grocery stores as is the noodles which can be purchase dry or fresh.
Chow Mein ingredients are so easy to find just about everywhere specially if you have an Asian supermarket by you. The first ingredients of course is the noodles and if you can’t find chow mein noodles you can actually use Ramen Noodles or even spaghetti!
As for the protein you can use beef, chicken, pork, seafood or the protein of you choice. Then you toss in veggies which can be anything from carrots to spinach, just be sure you add fresh cilantro that’s what really pulls everything together!
In my recipe for homemade Chow Mein, I use Char Shiu pork or chicken which I find at my local grocery store. If you can’t find it omit it or substitute a different protein such as chicken, shrimp, or a plant based one. I also use the Kamoboku fish cake mostly because I think it’s pretty, but again you can omit it. As for my veggies I buy a Chop Suey mix that has bean sprouts, shredded cabbage and carrots, you can easily make your own mix.
To give it that Asian flavor I use Sesame Oil, soy sauce, and Cilantro also called Chinese Parsley. That’s really all you need! Chow Mein can be served alone as a main dish or as a side dish.
So here’s my recipe, adjust it to fit your needs!
Easy Chow Mein
1 Package Noodles (chow mein, ramen, or even spaghetti)
1/2 Lb. Char Shiu Pork or Chicken ( omit or substitute with your choice of protein)
1 Package Kamoboku or fish cake (omit if you want)
1 Package Chop Suey Mix (bean sprouts, shredded cabbage, shredded carrots) or veggies of your choice
1 Onion Diced
2-3 Cloves Garlic minced
1 – 2 cups chicken broth
3 Tbs. Soy Sauce
1 Tbs. Sesame Oil
1 bunch Cilantro chopped
2-3 stalks green onions chopped
Heat Sesame oil in large wok or skillet
Add diced onions, stir until they start to turn translucent
Add garlic and cook until garlic starts to turn golden brown, do not burn
Add meats and veggies and stir until veggies start to soften
Stir in broth and noodles (use more broth if noodles are dry, less if noodles are fresh) cook until noodles are al dente and most of the broth has evaporated. Keep stirring so you don’t burn it.
Stir in soy sauce. Toss until everything is well combined.
Remove from heat and place in serving platter.
Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro and green onions.
Serve right away.
Try not to have left overs as noodles do not keep well. If you have to store leftovers place in sealed container in fridge for no more than a day. To re-heat spread noodles out in a sheet pan and heat in the oven.
This is a recipe post for Filipino Pork Adobo. It is a dish composed of pork slices cooked in soy sauce, vinegar, and garlic. There are version wherein onions are also added. Adobo is a popular dish in the Philippines, along with Sinigang.
Adobo, in general, can be cooked using different kinds of protein. Chicken is the commonly used ingredient. Have you tried cooking Filipino Chicken Adobo yet? Our tried and tested recipe should be able to help you.
Filipino Pork Adobo vs. Mexican Adobo
The word Adobo was derived from the Spanish word “adobar”. It means to marinate. This can be in the form of a liquid marinade or to rub using a combination of powdered ingredient.
This version of Filipino Adobo suggests marinating the pork in soy sauce and crushed garlic. By preference, vinegar can also be added as a marinade ingredient.
Mexican adobo, on the other hand, makes use of chillies, garlic, cinnamon, and oregano as marinade.
Both dishes look and taste different. It will be unfair to compare which among the two dishes are best because each of us has our own preference when it comes to flavor.
Filipino Pork Adobo Versions
The Philippines is composed of composed of many islands. It was initially estimated to be around 7,107. At present, the count rose to 7,641. Each of these islands belong to a cluster, which are divided into regions.
Almost every region in the Philippines have their own pork adobo version. Sometimes, there can be more than one version in a location.
The Basic Pork Adobo version is what you see in the recipe below. There are also similar versions with additional ingredients.
Pork and Chicken Adobo is perhaps one of the favorite when it comes to family picnics. This is a dish wherein pork and chicken slices are combined and cooked inadobo style. It can be done the same way as this recipe, with or without onions. This is our clans signature summer dish in the Philippines. I remember my tito’s and tita’s prepare a large portion every summer outing. We would go to Pansol in Laguna to rent a swimming pool for the clan and they would bring with them two large cauldrons (kaldero). One has the adobo in it, while the other is for the rice.
Pork Adobo with Potato is another version that I tried. This is a saucier pork adobo version with cubes of potatoes in it. I’m not sure where this dish originated. It might have been initially created as a filler to feed more people. Nevertheless, I liked the taste. I think that it can be improved by pan-frying the potato first. Most of the flavors gets absorbed by the potato. It can be a carbohydrate overload when you eat the potato with rice. This is a good dish to have when before going to the gym or before starting a marathon.
I cook Pork Adobo with Eggs all the time. This is my favorite. There are two ways to make it. Both ways require boiling the eggs beforehand. The first version is cooked by adding boiled eggs once the pork gets tender. The eggs absorb the soy sauce, thus becomes darker in color. Be cautious about the time when cooking this way. We don’t want to overcook the eggs.
How can we tell if an egg is overcooked? It is simple. Egg yolk contain iron. When eggs are cooked longer than the usual, the iron turns greenish. This color formation happens between the yolk and egg white. We often refer to this as rings. Slice the boiled egg in half and try to examine the color of the outer yolk. When you see a dark ring around it, that means the egg is overcooked.
The other version of the adobo with egg is easier and does not put the eggs at risk of overcooking (unless it was overcooked during the boiling process). Simply add boiled eggs on the serving plate before serving. The eggs also retains its white color.
Pork Adobo with Tofu is a protein-rich adobo version. This is perfect for people who like their adobo mild in flavor. This version requires fried tofu. Always use extra firm tofu when making this. You can purchase raw tofu and fry it, or you can get packaged fried tofu from the supermarket.
The tofu absorbs most of the sauce in the process which tones down the flavor a bit. This is a good dish to prepare when you are into body building or into a protein-rich diet. Make sure to use lean cuts of pork though.
A favorite among our group of friends who like to drink beer is Spicy Pork Adobo. This is the perfect pulutan as far as I am concerned. The spicier it gets, the better it becomes. I tried making this dish using the former spiciest chili pepper in the world, Bhut Jolokia (It lost its crown to the Carolina Reaper, which is way spicier). The result was a very delicious and extremely spicy adobo. The spice lingers in the mouth for a while. Be forewarned.
Adobong Baboy sa Gata is a classic. This is notorious for making people on limited-rice-diet crave for more rice. It is very rich, tasty, and delicious. Add a few pieces of Thai chili pepper, and you will not get enough of it.
How to Cook Pork Adobo
This version suggests marinating the pork to make it more flavorful. Pork belly and other fatty cuts of pork are ideal for this recipe.
The first thing to do is marinate the pork belly in soy sauce and crushed garlic. It is best to marinate it overnight. If time is limited, one hour should be enough. Some like to add vinegar during the process. You may do so if preferred.
Drain the marinade. Save it for later. The marinated pork needs to be browned. Heat a cooking pot. Add pork with garlic. You can also add a few tablespoons of cooking oil. Cook the pork until it turns brown.
The pork needs to be cooked until tender. Do this by pouring the remaining marinade, if any. Also add water. Let the liquid boil. This is the part where I put the whole peppercorn and dried bay leaves. These ingredients complete my pork adobo. Boiling for 40 minutes should be enough to tenderize the pork. There are times when you have to cook longer.
If you have not added the vinegar as part of the marinade, pour it into the pot and let it cook for 10 minutes. Salt is an optional ingredient for this recipe. Use it only if you think its needed.
Pork Adobo Alterative and Additional Ingredients
Pork – Use any cut of pork that you prefer. I suggest pork belly for best results. However, use leaner parts if you are trying to avoid fats. Pork tenderloin is a healthier choice. This is very tender and contains way less fat than pork belly. You can also use other proteins such as chicken and goat meat using this recipe.
Onion – This recipe does not suggest the use of onion. I think that onions help improve the taste of adobo. Use red, yellow, or white onion for this recipe. Make sure to chop it into small pieces.
Kick off a festive party with our easy canapés. These sticky-sweet bites can be partly prepared ahead for fuss-free entertaining
Roast the pork belly ahead then chill before cubing, roasting and glazing on the day.
pork belly 1.25kg, skinless and excess fat trimmed
dried chilli flakes 1 tsp
soy sauce 2 tbsp
orange 1, juiced
Heat the oven to 170C/fan 150C/gas 3. Put the pork belly into a roasting tin, cover tightly with foil and roast for 2 hours 30 minutes. Cool to room temperature, or chill if making ahead, and cut into bite-sized pieces.
Heat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Put the pork belly squares into a roasting tray and roast, turning regularly, for 30 minutes.
Put the marmalade, chilli flakes, soy sauce and orange juice in a small pan and bubble until reduced and syrupy.
Pour over the pork belly, gently toss and roast for another 5 minutes until the pieces are glazed. Pierce with cocktail sticks to serve.
There’s ham under that golden puff-pastry pineapple! A riff on the iconic glazed ham covered with pineapple rings and cherries, every slice of this show-stopping main course has flaky pastry and salty ham topped with sweet pineapple sauce.
Total:2 hr 20 min
One 6-pound boneless ham
Two 17.3-ounce packages puff pastry (4 sheets)
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
Two 8-ounce cans crushed pineapple
3/4 cup light brown sugar
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
3 maraschino cherries
1. For the ham: Arrange 2 oven racks in the middle and bottom third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment. Put the ham cut-side down in the middle of one.
2. Lay 1 sheet of puff pastry on a clean work surface and brush lightly with egg wash. Layer a second sheet on top and brush with egg wash. Repeat with the remaining sheets but do not brush egg wash on the top sheet. Roll the pastry with a rolling pin so it is 3 inches longer than the length of your ham and wide enough to drape over the ham completely. Cut off the extra 3 inches of pastry and set aside. Using a long sharp knife, score the pastry diagonally one way and then the other to form a diamond pattern, cutting halfway through the pastry layers.
3. Drape the pastry over the ham, pulling it gently to cover. Trim the excess pastry on the corners and set aside with the 3-inch-wide strip. Brush the wrapped ham with egg wash and bake on the middle rack until the pastry is golden and the ham is hot through (about 140 degrees F), about 2 hours.
4. For the pineapple top: Meanwhile, cut the 3-inch-wide pastry strip in half lengthwise on the diagonal so you have 2 long triangles. Cut the other pastry scraps into long thin triangles of various sizes. Transfer to the second prepared baking sheet, brush with egg wash and bake on the bottom rack until golden, rotating front to back half way through, about 30 minutes.
5. Combine the pineapple, sugar, cloves and vinegar in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer and cook until reduced and slightly thickened, about 20 minutes. Combine the cornstarch with 1/4 cup water in a small bowl and mix until smooth. Stir the cornstarch mixture into the pineapple sauce, bring back to a boil and cook, stirring, until thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove the cloves. Transfer the sauce to a small bowl and top with the cherries.
6. Put the ham on a serving platter and arrange the baked triangles at the top of the ham in the shape of a pineapple crown. Serve with the pineapple sauce.
This classic crown roast of pork is sure to wow family and friends at your next holiday gathering. We seasoned the pork overnight with salt, pepper and aromatic spices such as fennel, juniper, bay and allspice, for the most tender and juicy roasted meat. Glazed apples and onions serve as a sweet and tangy counterpoint.
Total:10 hr 40 min
(includes resting time)
Yield:16 to 18 servings
One 16- to 18-bone crown roast of pork (about 10 pounds) (see Cook’s Note)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons fennel seeds
1 teaspoon whole allspice
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon juniper berries
1 small bay leaf
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
6 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into 8 wedges each
2 large red onions, peeled and cut into 8 wedges each
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
1 cup dry white wine
2 cups apple cider
1. Put the pork on a rimmed baking sheet and sprinkle all over with 1 tablespoon salt and several grinds of pepper; set aside.
2. Put the fennel, allspice, whole peppercorns and juniper berries in a small skillet over medium heat and cook until the fennel begins to turn slightly golden, about 5 minutes.
3. Transfer the toasted spices to a blender, add the bay leaf and blend until coarsely ground. Add the olive oil and 1 tablespoon salt and process until a coarse paste forms, about 1 minute. Spread the paste over the pork, making sure to get it into all the nooks and crannies; use a spatula to scrape up all the paste from the blender. Cover the pork with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 8 hours and up to 24 hours.
4. When ready to cook the pork, preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
5. Put the pork on a rack set in a large roasting pan and cook for 20 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees F and continue to cook until an instant-read thermometer registers 135 degrees F, about another 1 1/2 hours.
6. Meanwhile, combine the sugar, sage, thyme, apples, onions and 6 tablespoons of the butter in a large bowl until well coated. Heat a large skillet over high heat until very hot, about 3 minutes. Add half of the apple and onion mixture and cook, stirring occasionally, until the apples and onions are dark golden all over but the apples are still firm, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet and spread into a single layer to cool, using a heatproof spatula to scrape all the remaining sugar from the skillet over the apples and onions. Repeat with the remaining apple and onion mixture.
7. Return the skillet to high heat and add the wine. Cook until syrupy and reduced to about 2 tablespoons, about 4 minutes. Add the cider and cook until thickened and glossy, about 8 minutes; you should have about 1/3 cup of glaze. Swirl in the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and set aside.
8. Once the pork reaches 135 degrees F, increase the oven temperature to 450 degrees F and brush the pork all over with half the glaze. Return to the oven and cook for 5 minutes. Brush with the remaining glaze and continue to cook until the internal temperature registers 145 degrees F, about another 5 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter and let rest for 30 minutes. Serve with the apples and onions.
A crown roast is made up of 2 to 3 racks of bone-on pork loin that a butcher ties together end to end to create a large round roast. Make sure to order the roast from your local butcher a couple of days in advance so they have time to get the right size racks, clean the meat from the tips of the bones (called Frenching) and tie them together securely so it cooks evenly.